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HBO Max: What are the different plans, and which should you get?

HBO Max
(Image credit: HBO)

If I had to cut back on all of my streaming services and choose only one, it would definitely be HBO Max. Boasting a massive streaming library that includes over 13,000 hours of content from HBO, WarnerMedia, Studio Ghibli, and much, much more, HBO Max has pretty much all the entertainment you could ever need. 

The service costs $14.99/month for the ad-free plan, or you could stream entertainment with ads for only $9.99/month. HBO Max is also offering a deal that'll save you over 40% if you pre-pay for a year in advance, and some mobile providers might even hook you up with a free subscription. No matter which route you take, if you want to sign up for one of the best streaming services around, you'll find everything you need to know in this guide. 

The right HBO Max plan for you

When signing up for HBO Max, the first thing to decide is the plan that's right for you. If your current cable or mobile provider doesn't offer HBO Max as part of its service, you can change to a provider who does — or sign-up directly through HBO. 

It's also worth pointing out that WarnerMedia launched a cheaper, ad-supported version of HBO Max in June 2021. The ad-supported plan costs $9.99 a month (opens in new tab) and promises that ads will not play during HBO original programs or feature more than four minutes of commercials per hour of streaming content. 

Plan nameMonthly price4KOffline viewing
HBO Max with ads$9.99
HBO Max (No Ads)$14.99✔️✔️

Customers who choose to subscribe to HBO Max with ads won't be able to stream 4K content and won't be able to download movies and shows for offline enjoyment. Previously, subscribers to the ad-supported plan weren't able to watch films that were released on the same day as theaters, but HBO Max suspended that feature altogether at the beginning of 2022. Now, customers who use HBO Max with ads will get access to all of the same content as ad-free subscribers. 

In addition to launching the new ad-supported plan, HBO Max recently launched in the Nordics (excluding Iceland), Spain, Central and Eastern Europe, and Portugal. This rollout marks the first time the entire WarnerMedia slate — including HBO, Max originals, DC, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network — in addition to acquisitions from third parties, has been available on one service in those regions. New deals connected to that launch are expected to be revealed at a later date.

Because HBO programming is currently being distributed in France by OCS as part of its multi-year deal with Orange S.A., HBO Max isn't expected to launch in that region until 2023 at the earliest.

How to save 40% on a year of HBO Max

Screenshot of HBO Max deal

(Image credit: HBO Max)

As we mentioned above, for a limited time you can prepay for a full year of HBO Max (either plan), and instantly save over 40% on your purchase. That discount brings the price of a year's subscription down to $64.99 with ads (usually around $120) or $104.99 if you choose to go ad-free (about $180 without the deal).

In other words, you're essentially getting five months of streaming for 100% free. The offer makes HBO Max one of the cheapest streaming services around, so if you've been waiting for the right time to join, now's your chance. The discount is only going to be around until October 30th, and only new and lapsed subscribers are able to take advantage of the deal. 

How to get HBO Max through your digital media provider

Hulu with HBO Max screenshot

(Image credit: Hulu)

Hulu and YouTube TV offer access to HBO Max by adding a $15/month subscription to your existing streaming plan. That means you don't have to sign up for a separate subscription with HBO. Once the app is installed, just log in and stream. 

It works like this. Hulu subscribers pay an additional $15 per month for the platform's HBO Max Add-on, which grants access to HBO Max originals and exclusives via the HBO Max app. It also gives you access to classic HBO content on the Hulu app. While HBO Max no longer offers free trials, potential subscribers can test drive the streaming platform by signing up for the Hulu with HBO Max seven-day free trial. Use it to get a free HBO Max subscription for one week, along with Hulu's offerings, then choose to cancel or continue paying the $14.99 per month plan.

If you subscribe to YouTube TV, you can either choose to add HBO Max for an extra $14.99 per month or get it as part of the platform's Entertainment Plus add-on bundle. The Entertainment Plus collection costs $29.99 and includes HBO Max, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.

How to get HBO Max through your mobile provider

AT&T HBO Max

(Image credit: AT&T)

While HBO's $15/month subscription fee makes it one of the most expensive streaming services, AT&T is currently offering the service for free as part of its AT&T Unlimited Elite and AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 plans. The wireless carrier's DirecTV Stream Choice plan also gives you access to HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and Cinemax for the first three months. 

The AT&T Unlimited Elite plan starts at $50 a month when you get four lines and includes 5G access, 30GB hotspot data per line, and unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada. Meanwhile, the AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 plan starts at $80 a month and includes a 1000Mbps connection, unlimited internet data, and supports more than 12 devices at once. Finally, the AT&T DirecTV Stream Choice plan costs $89.99 a month and includes HBO Max for three months at no cost, along with Unlimited Cloud DVR storage and access to more than 7,000 streaming apps.

HBO Max is also included with a handful of AT&T plans that are no longer available to new subscribers. However, if you were grandfathered into one of the following plans, you can still take advantage of the HBO Max streaming promotion.

  • AT&T Unlimited Plus
  • AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice II
  • AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced
  • AT&T Unlimited & More Premium (if you chose HBO as your premium channel)

The AT&T-owned Cricket Wireless also started including the ad-supported tier of HBO Max at no extra charge for select customers in August 2021. Specifically, HBO Max with ads is now included as part of Cricket's $60 per month unlimited plans for both new and existing subscribers.

How to get HBO Max through your cable provider

If you already subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, you may already get access to HBO Max at no additional cost or for an extra fee. Here are the providers who offer HBO Max free of charge as part of your current HBO plan.

  • 1Tennessee Broadband
  • AcenTek
  • Acme Communications
  • Adams Cable Service
  • Albany Mutual Telephone
  • All West Communications
  • Allen's Communications
  • ALLO Communications
  • Alpine Communications
  • Altice One
  • Altice USA
  • Antietam
  • Armstrong
  • Arthur Mutual Telephone
  • AT&T
  • ATC Broadband
  • Atlantic Broadband
  • ATMC
  • Baldwin Lightstream
  • Bardstown Cable
  • Bay Country Communications
  • Beaver Creek Cooperative
  • Beaver Valley Cable
  • Beehive Broadband
  • Bellevue Municipal Cable
  • Bend Broadband
  • Benton Cablevision
  • BEVCOMM
  • Bloomingdale Communications
  • Blue Ridge Communications
  • Blue Stream
  • BOLT Fiber Optic Services
  • Brandenburg Telephone Co.
  • Bristol TN Essential Services
  • Broadstripe
  • Buckeye Broadband
  • Bulloch Solutions
  • Butler-Bremer Communications
  • C Spire
  • Cable Co-op
  • Cameron Communications
  • CAS Cable
  • CASSCOMM
  • Cedar Falls Utilities
  • Celect Communications
  • Cherokee Communications
  • Chesnee Communications
  • Cincinnati Bell Fioptics
  • Citizens Fiber
  • Citizens Mutual
  • CityLink
  • Clear Creek Communications
  • Click! Network
  • CNS Next
  • Co-Mo Connect
  • Cobalt TV
  • Community Cable & Broadband
  • COMPAS X-STREAM
  • Complete Comm Services
  • Comporium
  • Consolidated Cable Vision
  • Consolidated Communications
  • Continuum
  • Conway Corporation
  • Coon Rapids Municipal Utl.
  • Cooperative Telephone Exchange
  • Cox
  • Craw-Kan Telephone
  • Crosslake Communications
  • CTC-Brainerd MN
  • CTV Beam - East Alabama
  • Cunningham Telephone & Cable
  • D & P Communications
  • Dakota Central
  • DIRECTV
  • DIRECTV Puerto Rico
  • Docomo Pacific
  • Doylestown Cable TV
  • DTC Cable (Delhi)
  • Dumont Telephone Company
  • Dunkerton Communications
  • Duo Broadband
  • Eagle Communications
  • Easton Velocity
  • EATEL Video
  • EATEL - Westside
  • Emery Telcom Video LLC
  • Emily Cooperative Telephone Company
  • Empire Access
  • enTouch
  • EPB Fiber Optics
  • EPB Smartnet
  • EPlus Broadband
  • ETC
  • Etex Communications
  • EZVideo
  • Fidelity Communications
  • FJ Communications
  • Foothills Communications
  • Fort Collins Connexion
  • Frankfort Plant Board
  • Franklin Telephone Company
  • Frontier Communications
  • Full Channel, Inc.
  • Garden Valley
  • Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association
  • GBT Communications, Inc
  • GCI
  • Giant Communications
  • Golden West Cablevision
  • Glasgow EPB
  • Grande Communications
  • Greenlight Community Broadband
  • Gridley Cable Inc
  • Griswold Communications
  • GTA
  • GTel
  • GVTC Communications
  • Haefele Connect
  • Halstad Telephone Company
  • Hardy Telecommunications
  • Hawaiian Telcom
  • HBC
  • Hickory Telephone Company
  • Hilliary Communications
  • Hinton CATV Co.
  • Home Telecom
  • Home Town Communications
  • Hometel Entertainment Inc
  • HOOD Canal Communications
  • Horizon Cable TV, Inc.
  • Hotwire Communications
  • HTC Communications Co-IL
  • HTC Digital Cable
  • i3 Broadband
  • ImOn Communications
  • IMU Fiber
  • Inter Mountain Cable
  • Kalida Telephone Company, Inc.

  • KMTelecom
  • LaValle Telephone Coop
  • LHTC Broadband
  • Liberty Cablevision of PR
  • Limestone Cable/Bracken Cable
  • Lincolnville Communications
  • Litestream
  • LocalTel Communications
  • Long Lines
  • Lonsdale Video Ventures, LLC
  • LPC Connect
  • Lumos Networks
  • LUS Fiber
  • Mahaska Communication Group
  • Marne & Elk Horn Telephone Company
  • MaxxSouth Broadband
  • MCTV
  • Mediacom
  • MetroCast
  • MHTC
  • MetroNet
  • Mid-Hudson Cable
  • Midco
  • Midstate Communications
  • MIDTEL
  • Minford TV
  • MLGC
  • Mon-Cre TVE
  • Morris Broadband
  • MTC Cable
  • MTC Technologies
  • MTCC
  • MTCO Communications
  • Mulberry Telecommunications
  • Murray Electric System
  • MUS FiberNET
  • Muscatine Power & Water
  • NCC
  • NDTC
  • Nemont
  • New Hope Telephone Cooperative
  • New Visions
  • Nex-Tech
  • NICP
  • NineStar Connect
  • NITCO
  • Nortex Communications
  • North State
  • Northland Communications
  • Norvado
  • Norwood Light Broadband
  • NuLink
  • NVC
  • OEC Fiber
  • OmniTel Communications
  • Optilink
  • OneSource Communications
  • Optic Communications
  • Opticaltel
  • Optimum
  • Orbitel
  • OTEC Communication Co
  • OzarksGo
  • Park Region
  • Paul Bunyan Communications
  • Pembroke Telephone Company, Inc
  • Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative
  • Pineland Telephone Co-Op
  • Pioneer DTV
  • Pioneer iVideo
  • Plateau
  • Point Broadband
  • Polar Cablevision
  • PSC
  • Rainier Connect
  • Ralls Technologies
  • RCN
  • Rock Port Cablevision
  • RS Fiber
  • RTC Communications
  • S&T
  • San Bruno Cable TV
  • SC Telco
  • SCI Broadband
  • SELCO
  • Service Electric Cable TV
  • Service Electric Cablevision
  • Shentel
  • Sjoberg's Inc.
  • SkyBest TV
  • Solarus
  • South Central Rural Telcom
  • South Slope Coop Comm
  • Sparklight
  • Spectrum
  • SRT
  • STaC-TV
  • Star Communications
  • Stratus IQ
  • Suddenlink
  • Summit Broadband
  • Swiftel
  • Swyft Connect
  • TCT
  • TDS
  • Tri County Communications
  • TRUVISTA
  • TSC
  • Tullahoma Utilities Board
  • United Services
  • Valparaiso Broadband
  • Vast Broadband
  • Verizon Fios
  • Vernon Communications Co-Op
  • Vexus Fiber
  • Vision Communications
  • VNET Fiber
  • Volcano Vision
  • VTel
  • Vyve Broadband
  • Wabash Communications Coop
  • Wabash Mutual Telephone
  • Walnut Communications
  • Wave
  • Wavefly
  • Waverly Utilities
  • WBI
  • West Central Telephone
  • Wiatel
  • Wilson Communications
  • Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association
  • Wire Tele-View Corp
  • WOW!
  • WTC
  • Xfinity
  • Yadtel Telecom
  • Yelcot Communications
  • Yondoo
  • Ziply Fiber

If your cable provider is on this list, all you need to do is download the HBO Max app on a smartphone, tablet, or third-party streaming device. You will be prompted to sign in through your cable or digital media provider before you will be able to start streaming. You can also log in directly on the HBO Max website using your cable credentials.

WarnerMedia added a handful of agreements with additional cable TV providers, including Altice USA, in April 2021. As part of those deals, Altice USA cable users who already had HBO or HBO Now on their Optimum and Suddenlink plans were given access to HBO Max for free. This also applies to HBO and HBO Now subscribers on Verizon's Fios TV and Fios Internet services.

Existing Verizon Fios customers who didn't previously subscribe to some form of HBO, as well as new subscribers, also have the option to add HBO as a one-off premium channel or as part of a bundle that any or all of the following premium channels: CINEMAX, EPIX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME. In addition, Verizon customers can add HBO Max or any of the other options for an additional $15 a month, two premium channels for $25 a month, three premium channels for $30 a month, or all five premium channel add-ons for $40 a month.

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HBO Max: Thousands of hours of entertainment

HBO Max features over 13,000 hours of HBO exclusive and premium content from WarnerMedia, DC Comics, and Studio Ghibli.

Starting at $9.99/month (opens in new tab)