One of the first things people do when they budget, is cancel their subscription services they don’t “need”. Well, let me tell you right now, I might not “need” Netflix/Hulu/Disney+/AppleTV/etc, but I sure as heck don’t want to cancel them.
What if there were ways for you to keep your subscriptions, but stop paying for them? Yea, that’s possible (and it doesn’t even include theft). Sure, you can always ask your friends and relatives for their login information and these services are free until they change their password. But what if you’re already paying for something else, that will cover the cost of your subscriptions?
You’re most likely already paying for your cell phone bill. And most service providers throw in perks with their unlimited plans. I’ve outlined some perks offered by popular cellular service carriers and insurance companies below that can pay for things like streaming services, Amazon Prime, a Peloton digital membership, and even get you a free Apple Watch!
*Disclaimer* none of these services or links are sponsored in any way. If that changes, I will edit the post accordingly.
To save you some time reading everything below, here’s a handy little chart.
|You already pay for this||You can get this for free||Annual Savings|
|$155.88 + Any freebies from T-Mobile Tuesdays|
|$215.76 + Any gift cards from Verizon Up|
*This is the price of HBO Max for a year. Annual value for other premium services varies.
|Various Insurance Companies & Company Employee Benefits||Savings Vary Based on Insurance Plan.|
My particular benefits save me $468/year with Peloton.
My last insurance company paid for my Apple Watch.
Netflix recently increased their pricing. I saw the pop-up on my Netflix home screen recently and thought “dang they really got me. And they know I’m not going to cancel”. But what if I could keep the service but stop paying for it? Keep dreaming….right? Well, it’s possible.
The updated prices from Netflix are listed below:
If you are currently a T-Mobile customer, you may be able to have them pay for your Netflix! You can find more information through the T-Mobile website, but below is the breakdown on which Netflix plan is covered by each T-Mobile plan.
Also, if you have T-Mobile, you should definitely be taking part in T-Mobile Tuesdays. Every Tuesday you get coupons for free items like food, discount concert tickets, and more. Find out more here. There’s also threads on Reddit where people are looking to trade offers since not everyone gets the same coupons each Tuesday. Also, when concerts were happening, LiveNation often had T-Mobile employees walking around and granting T-Mobile customers fast-pass access to the venue. Pretty sweet perks for a cell phone plan!
Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Discovery+
If you’re a Verizon customer (like myself), you may be eligible to have this bundle paid for every month. The Disney Bundle offer (a $12.99/month value) is included for no extra charge when you have at least 1 Get More Unlimited or Play More Unlimited wireless phone plan on your account. This isn’t a free trial, this is as long as Verizon continues this benefit or as long as you hold an eligible account.
So go on and watch The Mandalorian, Hamilton, Shitts Creek, and D3 College Football all you want! There are so many excellent shows and movies to stream on these platforms.
Verizon also just added Discovery+ which is the new streaming service that includes HGTV, Food Network, TLC, OWN, Discovery, Planet Earth, Animal Planet AND the new Magnolia Network. Whaaaaaat?! Unlike the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ Bundle above, this one has a 12 month limit on it. But that’s still 12 months of watching 90 Day Fiancé for FREE. After the 12 months, the pricing increases to $4.99/month. Side note, 90 Day Fiancé is one of the most dynamic and entertaining shows on television. You get this for free with select Unlimited plans, or when you have Fios home internet or 5G home through Verizon. Find out more here.
HBO came out with another streaming service…didn’t they already have HBO Go and HBO Now? Anyways, they have this one now. But if you’re an AT&T cellular customer, you may be eligible for this free perk.
Eligible unlimited plans:
- AT&T Unlimited Elite
- AT&T Unlimited PlusSM
- AT&T Unlimited Plus EnhancedSM
- AT&T Unlimited ChoiceSM
- AT&T Unlimited Choice IISM
- AT&T Unlimited Choice EnhancedSM
- AT&T Unlimited &More℠ Premium (if you chose HBO® as your premium channel)
You can follow the instructions here on how to set up your account. Then after that, you have access to all the Game of Thrones episodes, The Flight Attendant, WW84 (yea the new Wonder Woman movie…included), and my favorite shows Curb Your Enthusiasm and Succession.
Do you have AT&T but don’t want HBO Max? If you have an Unlimited & More Premium Plan through them, you can select which Premium service you want added as a perk! Spotify Premium is part of that too. Find out more information here.
Free Amazon Prime & Prime Video
I’ve seen stats floating around that there are between 126-150 million Amazon Prime members in the US currently. That’s a staggering number. Like…a lot of humans. And you can get it for free if you’re a Metro by T-Mobile customer. So cut out $12.99/month and continue watching The Boys on Prime Video, or get that Instapot or that $20 cast iron skillet in 2 days. I must be hungry because I can only think about buying kitchen items right now.
In the mood for Pizza? Get a free EPIX 30 day subscription
Right now, if you order Domino’s online, you get a code for a 30 day subscription to Epix. This trial also doesn’t automatically renew, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to cancel. Check out their website for more details. Epix doesn’t have the best selection of movies, but if I’m already getting that pizza, I’m definitely taking the free movies.
Gym / Fitness
Now that we have successfully turned into couch potatoes with all these streaming apps, we need get our bodies moving again.
I’m 100% in the Peloton cult and I don’t regret it for a second. Announcing you have a Peloton is like announcing you’re vegan or you do CrossFit. No one needs to know, but everyone needs to know. And to be fair, buying a Peloton was an excellent investment. Used Peloton’s still hold their value and I can sell it for what I paid for it right now. Crazy, right? Here’s how I rationalized paying this much for a bike that goes nowhere:
- I live in California and absolutely nothing is open because of COVID. When it does open, it just gets shut down weeks later. An at-home gym is crucial right now.
- Sometimes it gets really cold, like 55°, and we can’t work out outdoors (I’m kidding). But weather was a big factor when I still lived in Illinois.
- The 0% interest payment is $62/month through Affirm, which is cheaper than what I was paying for my last gym membership. I’m normally against financing things, but at 0% and it’s on auto-pay, why not?! Take. My. Money. On top of the $62 bike payment (if you finance it), there is a $39/month subscription fee to access the live and on-demand classes.
Right now, Peloton is offering a free 2 month subscription for their digital app. They will even send you a reminder a week before your subscription ends so you can cancel. After the free trial, the service is $12.99/month. This app has indoor and outdoor runs/walks, stretching, yoga, meditation, cycling (you don’t need a Peloton bike for that…seriously), bootcamp, cardio, pilates, barre and so many more classes. The library of on-demand classes is so extensive, and the instructors and community are amazing!
Also, if you go to a hotel with a Peloton, you can create an account on that bike and you have free access to it as long as the hotel has an active subscription (so, basically forever). Here’s a link to help you locate a bike and create an account . It’s totally legal and not frowned upon at all. They encourage it. Or if you have a friend who owns a Peloton, just ask them to create a username on their bike for you. You’ll have access to that account for free.
The company I work for offers Twic which is sort of like an HSA account. We get $50 a month added to our account and we can use it towards a variety of things from fitness memberships (virtual or in-person classes/memberships), spa treatments, baby food, tutors, childcare, ergonomic office furniture, tax services, etc. So now my Twic account pays for my Peloton membership ($39/month) and the balance buys my cat’s pet food. Now I know not all jobs offer perks like this. Hell, my last job wouldn’t even let us have access to a color printer because it was too expensive. But really look into your employee benefits. There might be something new there this year that you didn’t have last year. HSA accounts and insurance companies are now adding things like digital fitness app memberships to what they cover.
Insurance Company Paid Gym Memberships
I don’t currently use this program, but I have in the past. If you have BCBS look into their fitness program and if your plan offers you access to this plan. For $25 a month, I received access to a number of gyms in my area. No contract, no cancellation fees. And on top of that, BCBS of Illinois had a rewards program that would send me gift cards and allow me to spend my points earned by completing healthy activities for pretty much anything I wanted. I redeemed them for a new set of kitchen knives, a smart-home outlet, and more.
Other Insurance companies that will pay for your gym membership:
First, look into your benefits. Especially since (at the time I’m writing this) it is the beginning of the year and usually benefits renew at the beginning of a calendar year. I’ve assembled a list of insurance companies below and the programs they offer to pay for full or partial gym memberships. The links below aren’t sponsored in any way.
- Horizon BCBS – Bfit program will reimburse up to $20 per month for your gym memberships
- Blue Cross Blue Shield – Varies by state and policy. But Blue365 offers a $20/month gym membership to use at a variety of gyms that normally cost way more than that, and they offer a variety of discounts.
- AmeriHealth – $150 in fitness fees reimbursement
- Aetna – $200 for you and $100 for your eligible spouse every 6 months
- Cigna – Various discounts, but up to 40% in total fitness fees reimbursement
- Aetna Medicare – Silver Sneakers free membership
Free Apple Watch
At my last company, we had “Aetna” for our insurance company. The same one mentioned in the list above. The company paid for our insurance 100% (depending on the plan we chose) and then Aetna had a program for a “free Apple Watch”. Click on this link to learn more about the “Earn my Watch” program. The catch? You paid for the watch by standing up a certain number of times in a day, or burning a relatively low amount of calories in a day. You also got points for completing things like health surveys and challenges. If you had points in excess to what was needed for the Apple Watch “payment” each month, you could use points towards gift cards. I usually choose Starbucks gift cards because I hate spending money on fancy coffee, but I sure do love fancy coffee. So when I use a gift card I got for free, that fancy coffee tastes even better.
So let me know if your cell phone plan, insurance company, or employee benefits give you discounts on any premium subscription services or products! I’d love to continue to add them onto this list to help more people take advantage of these great deals. Cutting unnecessary subscriptions can help the budget, but getting them for free is a whole lot better.