HBO Max has quickly become one of the most popular streaming services thanks to its massive library of iconic shows, hit movies, and buzzy originals. But an HBO Max subscription doesn‘t come cheap – $10 per month for the ad-supported plan and $15 per month without ads.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to get HBO Max for free or at a big discount. Here‘s a comprehensive guide on how to score free HBO Max and start bingeing your favorite shows.
Get HBO Max free with your TV/internet provider
The easiest way to get HBO Max for free is by bundling it with your existing TV or internet service. Numerous major providers offer free HBO Max to customers on select plans, including:
AT&T – HBO Max is included free with AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plans and certain AT&T fiber internet plans. Both new and existing customers on eligible plans get HBO Max.
Verizon – HBO Max is free for Verizon Fios internet customers on the Gigabit Connection plan. It‘s also included with Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited wireless plans.
Spectrum – Spectrum TV customers who subscribe to HBO get free access to HBO Max. No additional cost.
Optimum – HBO Max is free for Optimum TV customers with an HBO subscription. Internet customers can also add HBO Max for just $5/month more.
Xfinity – Xfinity X1 and Flex internet customers get Peacock Premium free along with an HBO Max subscription. HBO is $15/month extra for other customers.
YouTube TV – An HBO Max membership is included free with a YouTube TV subscription.
DirecTV – Longtime DirecTV customers with premium TV packages get HBO Max bundled in for no extra cost. New customers get HBO Max free for 3 months.
As you can see, bundling HBO Max with an existing TV/internet plan is by far the easiest way to get it for free. Be sure to check your current provider‘s website to see if you qualify for any HBO Max promos.
Score an HBO Max free trial
HBO Max offers new subscribers a 7-day free trial to test out the service. To sign up:
Go to hbomax.com and click "Sign Up Now"
Select the plan you want (with or without ads)
Enter your personal info and payment details (this is required even though you won‘t be charged during the trial period)
Start streaming! Your 7-day free trial begins as soon as you sign up
After the free trial ends, you‘ll be charged the standard HBO Max subscription fee (either $10 or $15 per month). You can cancel anytime to avoid being charged.
For an even longer 30-day free trial, sign up for HBO Max through Hulu. Hulu‘s current promo gives new HBO Max subscribers a full month to preview the service at no cost. Keep in mind you do need an active Hulu account to take advantage of this extended trial.
Watch select HBO Max shows for free
Believe it or not, HBO Max lets all visitors – no login or subscription needed – watch select episodes of popular shows 100% free. Dubbed "Watch Free Episodes", it‘s a great way to sample HBO Max content without handing over any payment info.
Here‘s how to watch HBO Max free episodes:
Open the HBO Max app or go to HBOMax.com
Look for the "Watch Free Episodes" row on the homepage
Browse and play any episode with the "Watch Free" tag – no signup required!
Generally, you can watch the pilot episode free for many HBO Max originals like Love Life, Raised by Wolves, and more. Full seasons of classics like The Flight Attendant and Euphoria are also often available to stream for free. Just look for the "Watch Free" tag.
Grab HBO Max free with Google Chromecast
Occasionally, Google offers promotions bundling free HBO Max with purchase of a new Chromecast streaming device. Earlier this year, for instance, buyers received 6 months of HBO Max along with a Chromecast with Google TV.
Be sure to check the latest Chromecast deals for any bundled HBO Max offer. Even without a promo, Chromecast makes it easy and affordable to stream HBO Max from your phone to TV.
Watch free with limited commercials plan
HBO Max offers an ad-supported plan that costs just $10 per month – $5 less than the regular no-ads plan. For budget-minded streamers, it‘s the most affordable way to get HBO Max and watch most of the same shows and movies.
The limited commercials plan shows an average of 4 minutes of commercials per hour. That‘s far less advertising than most other ad-supported streamers. And you still get access to everything HBO Max offers – just ignore the occasional commercial break.
Stream free TV channels on HBO Max
Along with thousands of on-demand shows and movies, HBO Max includes over 35 live TV channels covering news, sports, finance and more. Best of all, these free live channels are available to all HBO Max subscribers, regardless of your base subscription plan.
No cable login or additional cost needed! Just open the HBO Max app and select the "Live TV" tab to start watching. Channels include:
- ABC News Live
- Bloomberg TV
- Cartoon Network
- NBC News Now
- ESPN News
From 24/7 news to live sports and breaking events, HBO Max has you covered. The free live channels are a great perk if cutting cable but still want some live programming.
Watch select Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max at no cost
In 2021, Warner Bros. made headlines by announcing all new movie releases would debut simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. While the hybrid release strategy has ended, Warner Bros. still occasionally offers new films to stream at no extra charge for HBO Max subscribers.
For instance, romantic comedy "Moonshot" starring Lana Condor landed on HBO Max the same day it hit theaters. And "Father of the Bride" remake with Andy Garcia premiered on HBO Max on the same day it opened in cinemas. No Premier Access purchase required!
Going forward, expect a handful of new Warner Bros. movies each year to come "free" to HBO Max subscribers as part of their standard membership. Be sure to check the HBO Max movie releases calendar.
Watch CNN, TBS and TNT with an AT&T WatchTV account
For AT&T wireless customers, the AT&T WatchTV app is a free entertainment perk offering 35+ live channels, including CNN, TBS, TNT, Comedy Central, Adult Swim and more. Although it lacks on-demand content, it‘s a free way to stream top cable channels.
To get AT&T WatchTV:
Confirm you have an eligible AT&T postpaid wireless plan
Download the WatchTV app (compatible with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and web)
Sign in with your AT&T wireless credentials
Start streaming CNN, TBS, TNT and other channels free!
AT&T WatchTV also includes 15GB of free high-speed mobile hotspot data for streaming on the go. Just connect your phone and laptop or tablet to access HBO Max anywhere with your AT&T data plan.
Get discounted HBO Max through Hulu
Signing up for HBO Max directly costs $10-$15 per month. But Hulu subscribers can add HBO Max to their plan and save money with the Hulu + HBO Max bundle.
Pricing for Hulu + HBO Max:
Hulu basic plan + HBO Max: $14.99/month (saves $5 vs buying separately)
Hulu no ads plan + HBO Max: $18.99/month (saves $6 compared to individual plans)
Hulu + Live TV + HBO Max: $72.99/month
Hulu does not offer a free HBO Max trial. But the discounted bundle pricing makes it very affordable to get both in one package. Subscribing through Hulu also makes it easy to manage both services in one place.
Watch free HBO Max previews
Before certain high-profile releases, HBO Max will offer the first episode totally free – no logins, credit card or trials required. It‘s a chance to preview buzzy new Max Originals before they debut.
Free previews are usually available 1-2 weeks prior to a show‘s launch. For example, the first episode of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon was watchable free online leading up to the official premiere.
Keep an eye out on social media and the HBO Max press site for announcements of upcoming free previews. It‘s a great no-commitment way to sample HBO Max‘s original programming.
Get discounts for HBO Max as an AT&T or Verizon customer
AT&T and Verizon subscribers can save money when adding HBO Max by signing up directly through their cellular provider, rather than HBO Max.
For AT&T wireless customers:
- HBO Max monthly plan – $5.00 off per month
For Verizon wireless customers:
- HBO Max monthly plan – $3.00 off per month
- HBO Max annual plan – $60 off per year (equates to $5 per month)
The Verizon and AT&T discounts essentially match the cost of the HBO Max ad-supported plan. However, you still get the full HBO Max experience with no ads.
Existing HBO Now subscribers can also get the special AT&T/Verizon pricing by switching their billing from HBO Now to through their AT&T or Verizon account.
Watch HBO Max free on Charter Spectrum
Charter Spectrum provides HBO Max included free with Spectrum TV Silver and above packages. Spectrum Internet customers can also get HBO Max by adding it to their current TV plan.
Ways to watch HBO Max free with Charter Spectrum:
Spectrum TV Silver Package – Included free with 200+ channels
Spectrum TV Gold Package – Comes free with 270+ channels
Spectrum TV Platinum Package – Get HBO Max bundled with Spectrum‘s full channel lineup
Spectrum Internet-only – Add HBO Max to Spectrum Internet for $9.99/month (regular price $15.99)
Spectrum does not offer a free HBO Max trial. But bundling HBO Max with their Internet service is $6 cheaper than subscribing directly. Existing Spectrum TV subscribers with HBO automatically get access to HBO Max too.
Watch select episodes free on Roku
Roku provides a free collection of HBO Max series and movies to all Roku Channel users, without needing an HBO Max membership. It‘s a nice perk to enjoy top HBO Max programming for free.
Here‘s how to watch free HBO Max on Roku:
Open The Roku Channel app
Select "Featured Free" category
Choose a show flagged with "Free Episodes" – no login needed
Typically, you can watch the pilot free for HBO Max originals like The Flight Attendant and Love Life. There‘s also a selection of HBO classics like Sopranos and Sex and the City available to stream at no cost.
While the free selection is limited, it‘s an easy way to check out HBO Max on your Roku device. You can upgrade to the full HBO Max experience through The Roku Channel subscription plan.
Watch free with Google Nest Hub
Google recently added HBO Max to its Nest Hub and other Assistant smart displays. Even without an HBO Max account, Nest Hub owners can say "Hey Google, play Free HBO Max" to watch a selection of shows free.
Just like Roku, you‘ll get access to pilot episodes of certain HBO Max original series to stream on Nest Hub with no subscription, logins or payment needed. It‘s a handy free preview if you already own a Nest Hub.
To watch the full HBO Max catalog ad-free, you‘ll need to link your HBO Max membership with Google Assistant and enable content ratings. Google Nest Hub also supports Chromecast to stream HBO Max from your mobile device.
Stream free HBO Max on Google Chromecast with Google TV
Speaking of Google, Chromecast with Google TV offers an HBO Max app with a limited selection of free shows baked-in. It‘s a nice perk if you own Google‘s latest Chromecast streaming dongle.
Open the HBO Max app on Chromecast with Google TV
Select the "Free Episodes" row on the home screen
Browse and play any episode marked "free"
No signup or payment required! Usually you can watch pilot episodes of HBO Max originals free, similar to the Roku Channel. It‘s a handy way to preview HBO Max on Chromecast, which fully supports streaming the full service.
Watch free HBO Max on Oculus VR headsets
HBO Max is available on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 virtual reality headsets. And Oculus provides a selection of HBO Max content like Wonder Woman 1984 available to stream free, no subscription needed.
To watch free HBO Max content in VR:
Open the HBO Max app on your Oculus Quest headset
Browse the selection of titles tagged "free"
Stream free! No account or payment required
VR isn‘t for everyone, but it‘s a unique way to watch HBO Max and certain movies for free on the Oculus Quest platform. You can always sign up for the full HBO Max service directly through the Oculus Store too.
Try HBO Max student discounts
College students can save big on an HBO Max subscription thanks to exclusive promos like:
$7.49 per month HBO Max annual plan – 50% off for students
Free 1-week HBO Max trial with Unidays verification
HBO Max for free by bundling with Spotify Premium Student
Students need to verify their school status through Unidays or SheerID to access the bulk discounts. But it cuts the HBO Max price almost in half making it one of the cheapest streamers for college students.
Watch free HBO Max on new Android phones
When purchasing select new Android phones, HBO Max is often bundled in free for 6 months or even a full year. For example, those who bought a Samsung Galaxy S22 earlier this year scored HBO Max free.
Be sure to look for any free streaming promos when buying a new Android flagship phone. Even without a bundled deal, Android phones fully support the HBO Max app for subscribers.
Try other services with free trials
While this guide is focused specifically on getting HBO Max for free, don‘t forget about free trials offered by other top streaming services:
Netflix – 1 month free trial
Hulu – 1 month free trial
Amazon Prime Video – 30 days free
Disney+ – 7 days for free
Paramount+ – 1 week free trial
Peacock – 7 days free with code PERFECT
Apple TV+ – 7 days complimentary
Mix and match free trials from Netflix, Hulu and others to test and find your favorite services. You can cancel anytime before you‘re charged at the end of the free period.
Don‘t fall for fake "free" offers
Lastly, a word of caution when searching for free HBO Max access. There are lots of shady websites claiming to offer free HBO Max logins, accounts generator tools and access "hacks".
These are scams! HBO Max accounts can not be generated or accessed for free illegally. The only legitimate free options are directly via HBO Max trials and promotions or the TV/wireless bundles covered in this guide.
Stick to the official HBO Max app and verified free trial links to avoid handing your personal data to HBO Max account scammers. Never input payment information or personal data into any website offering discounted subscriptions or account giveaways.