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Hulu is raising its prices — here's how you can save on your streaming services

Hulu prices are going up. Here are 4 helpful tips to keep your bills low and the content flowing.

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Hulu's prices are going up as of Oct. 1, 2021 — but thankfully, not by much.

The least expensive plan (with ads) will be $6.99, up $1 from $5.99 per month. The ad-free plan is $12.99, up $1 from $11.99 per month. And if you want the yearly ad-free plan, you'll now pay $69.99 per year, up from $59.99.

While none of these changes are drastic, streaming services continue to get more expensive as more and more Americans cut the cord. According to a J.D. Power survey, the average American family now has between four and five different streaming services, with an average collective bill of $55 per month as of June 2021. This is up from $38 in April 2020.

While $55 per month may not be a disaster for your budget, there are several ways to trim that bill, without giving up your favorite binge-worthy shows.

Here are four ways to save money on your streaming services.

Here's how you can save money on streaming services

1. Condense and consolidate

If you're like the average American family, with subscriptions to four or five streaming services, it might be time to cancel a few. It's likely, you favor one or two over the others.

Take a few minutes to analyze how much time you're spending on each platform, and you may find you can cut at least one from your budget. Maybe you decided to subscribe to watch a new series that everyone's talking about, but you haven't tuned back in much since the season finale. It's OK to cancel your subscription while you wait for the show to return with new episodes; and in some cases the streaming service will let you pause the service for a while.

2. Share subscriptions with friends and family

This might not be a new trick, but it's a good reminder if you're not already sharing info with friends and family. In fact, 88 million Americans borrow logins, according to CordCutting.com.

Many subscription services offer the ability to add multiple users to one account, and in many cases, it's cheaper per person.

For example, the Basic Netflix plan is $8.99 per month, but only allows for one user. The Premium plan is $17.99 and can be used by four people at once. By splitting the Premium plan with three other people, the effective cost is $4.50 per person per month.

And with mobile payment apps like Venmo and Zelle, it's incredibly simple to request a quick $5 each month from your fellow streamer.

3. Consider switching cell phone providers

Several cell phone providers, including Verizon, offer promotions where you can get access to streaming platforms for free just for being a customer.

Verizon offers several different cell phone plans, based on your needs and budget. The inexpensive plans give users access to Disney+ and Apple Music for free. And the more expensive plans give you access to Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and Apple Music all for free.

T-Mobile offers a similar deal, where you can get a free Netflix subscription with qualifying cell phone plans.

If you're getting a great deal on your cell phone bill, it may not be worth it to switch. But if you're looking to make a change, see what perks the cell phone providers offer so you can potentially consolidate your streaming and cell phone bill in one easy move.

Don't miss our story on ways to cut your cell phone bill by up to 50%.

4. Consider a credit card with rewards for streaming service purchases

With the right credit card, you can earn points for free travel or cash back on your monthly streaming bills.

Here are some of our favorite cards for streaming services:

The Blue Cash Preferred card from Amex is an excellent choice if you subscribe to several streaming services. Cardholders can earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions as well as 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more, and 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply.

There are a huge range of subscription services that fall into the 6% cash-back category, including Apple TV+, Prime Video and Spotify. You can see the full list in our article about how to maximize the credit card rewards you can earn when you sign up for a new streaming service.

Additionally, the card offers a great welcome offer: Earn $250 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. You will receive the $250 back in the form of a statement credit.

The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. (see rates and fees).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is another excellent cash-back card. With this card, you can earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other eligible purchases.

When you sign-up for the card, you can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

The card doesn't have an annual fee (See rates and fees).

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024, 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; Terms apply, 3% cash back on dining and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), 3% cash back on popular streaming services and entertainment, and 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • Regular APR

    19.99% - 29.99% variable 

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees. Terms apply.

If you prefer to earn points for travel, the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card is a great choice.

You can earn 4X points per dollar spent on travel and at gas stations and EV charging stations, 2X points per dollar spent at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services and 1X point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

In addition, the card comes with a $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix, Apple TV+, Spotify® and more.

When you sign up for the card, you can earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first 120 days from account opening. Those points are worth up to $500 in gift cards, travel and other redemptions.

The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center, 4X points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations, 2X points on streaming services, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, and dining, 1X point on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening ($500 value)

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Bottom line

It's not surprising Hulu raised its prices as consumers continue to cut the cord from their traditional cable or satellite providers. Americans are consuming more content than ever, and they love being able to watch on their own schedule. But with any new technology, comes rising costs. And the more you can reduce these costs and find simple ways to save, the more cash you can direct toward achieving your financial goals.

For rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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