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Running out of stuff on Netflix? Try one of these free streaming TV trials

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Binge the first three seasons of Rick and Morty as part of your 30-day Hulu trial. HBO Max I’ll be honest: Even before coronavirus the Netflix well was running a little dry for me, although I am psyched for Ozark season 3. Fortunately, lots of other streaming services have stepped up with longer free trials for people stuck…

rick-and-morty-art

Binge the first three seasons of Rick and Morty as part of your 30-day Hulu trial.


HBO Max

I’ll be honest: Even before coronavirus the Netflix well was running a little dry for me, although I am psyched for Ozark season 3. Fortunately, lots of other streaming services have stepped up with longer free trials for people stuck at home, meaning you no longer have to try to shoehorn an entire season or series into just a week or two.

Below I’ve rounded up some of the best free-trial deals you can get right now. Take note that with many of them, standard rules apply: 

  • You’ll have to provide a credit card number
  • After the trial ends you’ll start getting billed at the regular monthly rate
  • If you don’t want to get billed, you need to cancel before the trial ends (pro tip: set up a calendar reminder the day before)
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One other thing to note: CBS All Access and Showtime, both listed below, are divisions of ViacomCBS, CNET’s parent company.

For each service I’ve included my recommendations for what to binge. But I want your recommendations too, so list them in the comments!

Read more: The 10 best services for free movies

Acorn TV

Missing your weekly dose of Downton Abbey? Find another great British series at Acorn TV, which is home to a wealth of Australian and Canadian shows as well. The standard trial lasts just seven days, but promo code FREE30 will score you a full month.

You can continue as an Acorn subscriber for $6 a month, though there’s a discount if you prepay annually ($60).

What to binge: A Place to Call Home, Detectorists, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

CBS All Access

About a week ago I reported that Sir Patrick Stewart, star of Star Trek: Picard, had tweeted about CBS All Access offering a free 30-day trial. That offer is still good: Use code GIFT when signing up. However, after you’ve created your account, head to the Subscriptions & Billing area and apply promo code ENJOY. That will net you a second month!

After that, you can continue for as little as $6 per month. If you want commercial-free viewing and downloadable content, that tier costs $10. 

What to binge: Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, Survivor, The Good Fight

Netflix: 30 days

Netflix

If memory serves, Netflix has always had a 30-day trial, so there’s nothing “extended” here. (Not yet, anyway — cough, cough, how ’bout it, Netflix?) Still, assuming you haven’t already taken advantage of it, it’s a free month in which to consume a pretty deep well of TV shows, movies and original content.

After the trial, subscriptions start at $9 a month, though you’re probably going to want at least the $13 plan so you can enjoy high-definition streaming.

What to binge: Better Call Saul, BoJack Horseman, Stranger Things, The Crown, Tiger King

Quibi

It hasn’t even launched yet (the service goes live April 6), but there’s already quite a bit of buzz about this new original-content service, which will stream bite-size shows designed for mobile devices. If you’re even the least bit curious, you might as well sign up now, because doing so will net you a 90-day free trial.

After that, Quibi will cost $5 a month with ads or $8 without.

Read our Quibi preview.

Sling TV

OK, so two weeks seems pretty paltry when most services are offering 30 days or more. But what’s significant about Sling’s offer is that you don’t have to provide a credit card; you won’t automatically start getting billed when the two weeks are up.

It’s also one of the most expensive services here at $30 a month, so the two-week trial is worth $15. Sling’s Blue package brings you over 40 channels’ worth of live TV, including various news networks and Fox and NBC local stations in some cities (unfortunately the trial doesn’t extend to Sling’s Orange package). You’ve got until April 5 to sign up for this offer. Read our Sling TV review.

What to binge: Forged in Fire, Mr. Robot, Search Party

Jim Fiscus/Showtime Networks

Showtime may not have the prestige of HBO, but there’s plenty of good stuff to watch there — and a full 30 days in which to watch it. For example, if you’ve never seen the Matt LeBlanc series Episodes, do yourself a huge favor. It’s one of the most bingeable shows ever.

After the trial, a subscription would cost you $11 a month.

What to binge: Billions, Episodes, Escape at Dannemora, Homeland

What’s your favorite streaming service right now? And which one(s) do you plan to try out? Share your thoughts (and viewing recommendations) in the comments.


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