HBO Max free trial: how you can still get one with Hulu

Hands holding smartphone with HBO Max logo in landscape
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Audio player loading…

While HBO Max might be the streaming home for Friends in the US, it's unfortunately not there for you with a HBO Max free trial. While at launch new subscribers could sign up and not pay a thing for 7 days, this was quickly canned, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Disney Plus, who also got rid of their trial periods.

That said, HBO Max continues to expand into new territories, making the possibility of a HBO Max free trial potentially likely in the future. HBO Max is also known to offer a tempting discount on its plans every now and then, too, especially with the market for streaming services becoming ever more unstable in the current climate.

Whether you're in the US or elsewhere, we've detailed remaining ways to get a HBO Max subscription for free and watch some of the best HBO Max movies - including bagging a trial if you subscribe to Hulu. There are also a number of other cheap ways to access HBO Max content, so read on to find out more.


Is there a HBO Max free trial available?

Currently there is no HBO Max free trial.

At launch in the US in May 2020 until early December, the HBO Max free trial was available to help uncertain customers decide whether the fledgling streaming service was for them for 7 days. 

Much like the Disney Plus free trial prior to its release of Hamilton, the HBO Max free trial disappeared before the release of one of its biggest titles to date, Wonder Woman 1984,

While HBO Max has, in more recent times, launched in parts of Europe and Nordic countries, there's been no sign of a HBO Max free trial in new territories.

Olivia Cooke and Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)
(opens in new tab)

Are there other ways to get a HBO Max free trial?

Those in the US can still secure access to HBO Max for free if they sign up to one of Cricket Wireless' $60 unlimited plans (opens in new tab), with the ad-supported plan thrown in at no extra cost.

It's also worth noting, if you're signed up to Hulu (opens in new tab), you can add-on HBO Max to your Hulu plan and get a HBO Max free trial. Simply click on the icon on the top right corner, click Account and then Manage Add-ons. Here you'll see HBO Max and other add-ons, with a '1 week free trial' banner above it. Click on HBO Max and then click Review Changes to trigger your HBO Max free trial.

What's the cheapest way to get HBO Max without a free trial?

You can save 16% by committing to an annual plan rather than its monthly rate. For the With Ads plan you'll pay $99.99 a year (opens in new tab). Opt for 4K streams and offline viewing with the Ad-Free plan and paying $149.99 a year (opens in new tab)

Kayley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant season 2

(Image credit: HBO Max)
(opens in new tab)

Alternatively, you can significantly reduce that amount, or even get HBO Max for free if you qualify as a subscriber to HBO or HBO Now already. If you signed up via one of the providers listed here (opens in new tab), then hallelujah! You’ll have absolutely free access to HBO Max, too – just download the HBO Max app and sign in using your existing details.

And while the HBO Max free trial has gone for customers in the US – for now – potential subscribers can still check out some of their biggest shows for nothing. Just visit the Free Episodes (opens in new tab) section of its website to enjoy a small sample of their content: ranging from DC’s Doom Patrol, Game of Thrones, and Euphoria, to HBO Max Originals like Raised by Wolves, Love Life, and The Flight Attendant.

What can I watch on HBO Max?

Pure TV gold. It’s got everything HBO ever produced, including critically acclaimed hits, while also being the exclusive home to sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Some of its titles include:

It also hosts films from dozens of major studios. Paramount Pictures, MGM, and Warner Bros all make an appearance, which means viewers can immerse themselves in cinema classics from the Hollywood Golden Age (Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz) all the way up to contemporary blockbusters like 2019’s Joker, and the award-winning animation of Studio Ghibli.

You can also look forward to Succession season 4 and Euphoria season 3 in the future, as well as more imminently, House of the Dragon starring Matt Smith and detailing the GOT world 300 years before the original series.

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.

With contributions from