HBO NOW is currently available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Macintosh. This article covers how to save over $1 a month on your HBO NOW subscription.
HBO NOW is one of the best streaming services available. Although it is somewhat buggy and needs some user interface refinements, it is HBO. The content is the most important thing. Even though it costs almost twice as much as Netflix or Hulu Plus, you get what you pay for. I find myself spending most of my evenings watching HBO NOW.
At $14.99 a month, HBO NOW is expensive, but it costs about the same price as subscribing to HBO with a TV provider. Don’t let the price dissuade you. Take the free trial and decide for yourself. You may find it is worth the price. HBO offers great movies, original programming and sports. The quality of content exceeds what Hulu Plus and Netflix have to offer. You can save more than $1 a month on HBO by using discounted iTunes gift cards and subscribing to HBO NOW with iTunes.
Start HBO NOW Free Trial With iTunes
First, sign up for HBO NOW using iTunes. Starting the trial directly on Apple TV is the easiest way to go. Simply go to the HBO NOW channel and follow the on-screen instructions. If you don’t have an Apple TV, install the HBO NOW app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Once installed, launch the app and tap “Start Your Free Trial With iTunes”. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Once your free trial is over, you will be billed via your iTunes account. This doesn’t cost extra. In fact, you can save money by subscribing to HBO NOW using iTunes. If you wish to cancel HBO NOW after the free trial (and before you are billed), please read “How to Turn Off iTunes Auto-Renewal Subscriptions“.
Buy iTunes Gift Cards at a Discount
Buying iTunes gift cards at a discount will save you at least $1 a month on HBO NOW. There are a few places to buy discounted iTunes gift cards, but Costco always seems to have them on sale. Costco sells $100 worth of iTunes gift cards for $94.49, which is a decent price. You can save even more depending on your membership and payment method.
You save the most if you have a membership that offers a 2% rebate. You can get this by upgrading to the Executive membership or using the Costco American Express credit card. The latter only requires a regular membership. You can save even more by ordering them online, if you have a rewards credit card. So, for example, if you buy $100 worth of iTunes gift cards online with an Executive membership and a 1% reward credit card, the cards only cost $91.73. There is no tax (in store and online) and shipping is free. Keep in mind, you don’t get the extra 3% rebates from Costco and your credit card company right away. In the end, you are saving about 8% on iTunes purchases.
Now let’s look at how these savings apply to an HBO NOW subscription. The service costs $14.99 per month. If you are paying $91.73 for $100 of iTunes gift cards, you are saving 8.27%. Applying this discount to the $14.99 HBO NOW monthly subscription price, the new, discounted price is $13.85. You save $1.14 every month by using discounted iTunes gift cards. This means you save $13.68 a year, which is almost the price of one month of HBO NOW.
You can see how the savings add up in just a year. You almost get a free month of HBO NOW when you pay with discounted iTunes gift cards. You can do even better. Sometimes iTunes gift cards are sold at a 15-20% discount, but this is rare. It usually happens around Christmas time. It’s a good opportunity to stock up on iTunes credit.
Once you have bought your iTunes gift cards, they are very easy to redeem. There are a few ways you can do this, but the easiest way is to use an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Simply launch the iTunes Store and scroll down to the bottom of the main screen. Tap on the Redeem button and then follow the directions. The iTunes Store app will instruct you to peel off the label and use the camera to scan the code. It just works! Trust me, this is the best way to do it. You don’t want to type in that long code manually.
Once your cards are scanned in, you will see your balance. iTunes will always deduct purchases from your balance until you run out, then it will bill the credit card associated with your iTunes account. Keep an eye on your balance and remember to buy more iTunes gift cards when you are running low.