HBO Max: Plans, Costs and More

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HBO Max competes with the many on-demand streaming channels with a vast library of movies and television series. Launched in 2020, HBO Max is currently owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and has reached a worldwide audience of more than 75 million subscribers. In Q2 of 2022, HBO Max had the highest Net Promoter Score, a research metric determining how likely someone would recommend a product or service, of 46 — beating out all other streaming subscriptions.

Learn: 3 Easy Tips to Turn Your Credit Woes into Wows

You can subscribe to HBO Max’s “with ads” plan at $9.99/month or $99.99/year or the “without ads” plan at $14.99/month or $149.99/year.   

As it’s a popular streaming platform, HBO Max may be worth your while. But what do you get with each subscription plan?

How Much Is HBO Max?

Depending on the platform you use for subscribing to a streaming service, you may choose between an HBO Max plan that includes advertising or an ad-free viewing experience. The monthly and yearly fees of the “with ads” plans are less than plans that are ad-free.

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HBO Max With Ads

An HBO Max subscription with ads is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. This tier offers HD movies and original shows, access to Warner Bros. movies, the entire HBO lineup and selections owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, such as Turner Classic Movies. 

With this plan, you get approximately four minutes of ads per hour. While you can skip the trailers at the beginning of movies and shows, you can’t skip or fast-forward through the commercials. 

If you see specific advertising inappropriate for the show or the audience, you can provide direct feedback to HBO Max using their website feedback form.

HBO Max Without Ads

The ad-free, premium tier of HBO Max is $14.99 a month or $149.99 a year. This plan offers the same benefits as the “with-ads plan” and goes beyond. Along with enjoying an ad-free viewing experience, U.S. non-ad subscribers can download movies and shows for offline viewing, stream in 4k UHD and stream in foreign countries. 

What’s the Cheapest Way To Get HBO Max?

A cost-effective way to enjoy HBO Max is through a mobile phone package. For example, AT&T was the parent company of WarnerMedia before selling it to Discovery in April 2022. Select AT&T talk, text and data unlimited plans still offer HBO Max for free. Additionally, Cricket Wireless also includes a free subscription to HBO Max with ads in its $60/month Unlimited plan.  

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How Does HBO Max Compare With Competitors?

Since there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of streaming channels for your favorite movies and shows, you may be interested to see how HBO Max compares with some competitors.

Streaming Service Price Benefits
HBO Max – $9.99 month/$99.99 year with ads
– $14.99 month/$149.99 year without ads
– Extensive library of movies and TV titles, some of which are available in 4K UHD
– Easy sign up on your tablet, computer, TV or through a provider
– Ability to watch the first episode of select original programming for free with no commitment to subscribe
Netflix – Basic (with ads) $6.99/month
– Basic: $9.99/month
– Standard: $15.49/month
– Premium: $19.99/month
– Up to four supported devices for viewing simultaneously, dependent on the plan
– Basic, Standard and Premium plans are ad-free
– Premium offers Ultra HD resolution
Disney+ – Basic: $7.99 (with ads)
– Premium: $10.99/month or $109.99/year
– Basic and Premium offer hundreds of movies, thousands of episodes and many original programs
– Premium plan offers streaming without ads, downloadable content, up to four supported devices for simultaneous viewing and GroupWatch
AppleTV+ $6.99/month – Seven-day free trial for new subscribers
– MLB Friday Night Baseball
– Movies and original series
– Ability to share services through Family Sharing

What Are HBO Max’s Features?

HBO Max’s app is available on various smart TVs, mobile phones, gaming consoles, PC and Mac computers, tablets and streaming devices. HBO Max subscribers can take advantage of several stand-out features:

  • Offline viewing option: With an ad-free subscription, you can download your favorite movies or TV shows to your devices and enjoy them offline.
  • Simultaneous streams: You can stream on up to three devices simultaneously with no impact on your monthly rate.
  • Multiple profiles and show recommendations: You can set up different profiles to receive custom recommendations, which is ideal for sharing the same account with family members or friends.
  • Parental controls: You can create a kids’ account and limit what they can watch as informed by ratings.
  • Brand hubs: Stream content from your favorite brand or entertainment company.
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Where Can You Sign Up for HBO Max?

You can complete the signup for HBO Max in a few easy steps: 

  1. Go to HBOMax.com/subscribe. 
  2. Select a subscription plan and a per-month or annual billing period. 
  3. Input the required information on the account form and select “create account.”
  4. Fill out your payment information, including any applicable promo code.

Check your email for a “verify your email address” notice and follow the prompts. 

You can also sign up for HBO Max with affiliated partners, such as Apple TV, Google Play, DirecTV and YouTube TV. Also, returning subscribers don’t need to set up a new account. Just use your HBO email and password on HBOMax.com/subscribe and sign in.

Final Take

HBO max is arguably one of the best streaming services for TV shows, series and movies. Regardless of your needs and budget, HBO Max has a plan that will suit you. Take your time to understand the HBO subscription plans and compare them with competitors so that you make the best choice.

FAQ

Stay current with plans and pricing by visiting HBOMax.com. Details can change frequently.
  • How can I get HBO Max for free?
    • Although HBO Max does not offer a free trial, you can use HBO Max free for the first three months with a qualifying DirectTV Stream package.
  • Is HBO Max included with Amazon Prime?
    • HBO Max is not included with Amazon Prime, but it is available through Amazon Prime Video. Accessing HBO Max through Amazon Prime Video still requires a subscription to HBO Max.
  • Are Discovery+ programs available?
    • Currently, HBO Max and Discovery+ are two separate streaming apps with their own content. But HBO Max and Discovery+ will combine into a new platform in spring 2023.

Lydia Kibet contributed to the reporting for this article.

Information is accurate as of Dec. 6, 2022, and is subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

​​A writer and editor with more than 100 book credits in the juvenile and young adult non-fiction format, Tom Streissguth has mastered the craft of explaining complex, difficult subjects clearly. His books have covered history, geography, economics, media and current affairs; he's also written biographies of historical figures for Lerner, Enslow, Facts on File, Greenhaven and other major educational publishers.
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