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HBO Max free trial: how to test the service today

HBO Max free trial

Finding an HBO Max free trial is particularly difficult right now, after the service ceased to offer introductory periods over a year ago. However, there are ways to save on your subscription. 

Whether you're bundling through Hulu, scouting through promo codes, or taking advantage of regular discounts available via HBO Max itself, we're showing you how to find those all elusive HBO Max free trials before you start paying the $9.99/$14.99 (opens in new tab) monthly HBO Max prices.

HBO Max officially stopped offering its free trial in December 2020, however there are a number of services offering the streaming site with other bundles that have trials themselves. That means you'll be jumping through a few extra hoops, but can still sample HBO's content without paying.

However, it's worth noting that there is currently a 20% discount (opens in new tab) across both ad-supported and ad-free tiers. That means you can pay $7.99 a month (rather than $9.99) for 12 months, or drop the ads for $11.99 a month (was $14.99). Hurry, though, you only have until January 25 to sign up for this offer.

Is there an HBO Max free trial?

As far as a direct option from the HBO Max website goes, sadly not. But there is another option for an HBO Max free trial that we'll detail below. It's worth noting that HBO Max has never been cheaper as it recently introduced a $9.99 a month (opens in new tab) ad-supported tier. If you'd prefer zero ads, the $14.99 a month (opens in new tab) tier is the one for you. either way, there's no lengthy contract nonsense here and you can cancel at any time. It's really shaping up to be the year's hottest streaming service too.

HBO Max seemed to stop its free trial option in late 2022, just before Wonder Woman 1984 came to the service as the first movie Warner released on it at the same time as the theatrical version. So if you wanted to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day you were just left with the $14.99 a month option. 

HBO clearly saw what was about to happen with loads of people wanting to just dive in for the free trial then bail a month later. And seeing as HBO Max is getting the likes of Suicide Quad, The Matrix 4, and the Dune remake this year we wouldn't expect the free trial to come back anytime soon. Give it a few months and there might be a particularly quiet period between cinema releases or the subscriber numbers need a boost, which could warrant a return of the HBO Max free trial. 

It's not out of the question, especially with competition heating up with streaming fans picking up Disney Plus bundles, or checking out the latest Peacock TV costs and Paramount Plus prices (the latter two still have free trials too). But like we mentioned earlier, there is still a way to get an HBO Max free trial.

HBO Max free trial for Snyder Cut

(Image credit: HBO Max)
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Try HBO Max via Hulu

HBO Max is available as an add-on to a bunch of cord-cutting streaming services, and you can even add it to Hulu's cheapest $5.99 a month (opens in new tab) tier. And you can still add HBO Max as an add-on to your Hulu subscription as a 7-day free trial. This option is open to both new and existing Hulu subscribers, including anyone signing up for a free 30-day trial at Hulu (opens in new tab).

Once the 7-days are up, HBO Max payments kick in at the same $14.99 a month payment as if you were going direct. As things stand, Hulu isn't providing the option of the $9.99 a month ad-supported version of HBO Max as a bolt-on. 

You'll be able to login to the HBO Max app and website with your Hulu login so you can enjoy complete access. If you try to browse via the Hulu app you won't see the full selection of content, especially the cinema movies, so do make sure to get the proper HBO Max app too. It's actually a very slick app to use already, we don't know why rivals like Prime Video (opens in new tab) are still such a mess to navigate through when it's been around for years.

So yes, a month of Hulu and a week of HBO Max, for free.

So there you have it, those are your best options to get an HBO Max free trial. It's not the most direct route, but most importantly, it is still possible to get it 100% free. So you can get one and watch Snyder Cut online for free - which is about as much as you should pay for that 4:3 nonsense. 

Whether you sign up directly via HBO or sideways on Hulu, you're still only on rolling one-month contracts, with no long-term commitments required. So you can keep it for a month or two if you like and see how many box sets you can get through and drop it whenever you want.

HBO Max free trial promo codes

As things stand, there aren't any HBO Max free trial promo codes doing the rounds. But if you sign up for a year instead of monthly payments you do save 16% on fees.

We'll update this guide if we hear otherwise on any sort of promo codes though, as you never know what might come along. Who knows, with any luck, we might see HBO throw in promotional promo codes with purchases of cheap items. That's right Warner Bros, pop some HBO Max free trial codes in Pringles already. You know it's a solid plan.

While you're here, if you're after a few discounted sports streaming options too, we've put together a few guides on the latest ESPN Plus costs and Fubo TV costs and packages too. 

Brendan Griffiths
Brendan Griffiths

Brendan is GamesRadar's former Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. He also spent time as the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar. He's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He also spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead. Nowadays you'll find him as the eCommerce Content Director for Future's mobile tech sites, Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central.