It doesn’t matter if you are moving into your first apartment or finally cutting the cable cord, when you want a way to watch the best movies in the world with an easy and reasonable monthly subscription service, you just about have to have a Netflix account. When you sign up there is a bonus waiting for you that you might not expect – the first month is absolutely free.
The free full first month trial offer is a fantastic deal. For one thing, while it is almost certain you are going to get a lot of value from your Netflix membership, there is always a bit of hesitation when it comes to trying something new. If you are cutting the cord, for example, you might want to try different streaming video services to see which ones you want to subscribe to and which ones you would rather not join. Netflix gives you a free month to see how much you will like theirs, and you don’t even need a free code.
All the same, there might be some questions you need to consider before signing up for a deal even when it is a good as this one. Let’s look at some of those right now.
Who is eligible for a free trial?
Not everyone qualifies for the free Netflix trial period. Here is how you can know if you do or not. Just answer one simple question:
“Have you had your own Netflix membership within the past ten months?”
- If the answer is “no,” then you qualify for the free trial offer.
- If the answer is “yes,” I’m sorry to tell you, but you are not eligible. This offer is for customers that are brand new or returning after a long period of time. Netflix keeps you in their records for ten months after you cancel service with them.
The good news about that, if there is any, is that if you are coming back to Netflix within ten months of previously cancelling your membership, all of your account information including individual profiles, settings, and viewing lists will be waiting for you when you re-subscribe. It’s not as good as free, but it does make finding those favorite movies and TV shows when your old profile is still there.
How will you pay for Netflix?
It might be something you didn’t think you had to consider before you get to the screen asking for your billing information, but if you are under the impression that the only way to pay for Netflix is a credit card, well, you may very well miss out on a payment method that will work better for you. Let’s take a quick look at all the ways a Netflix membership can be funded.
Credit, Debit, and Pre-paid Cards
It is true that the most common ways people pay for a monthly subscription at the service is by a major credit card. Netflix accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards, debit cards, and pre-paid cards. On the last one, be sure you have enough balance on it to cover at least the first month when it bills.
I would bet that almost as many people pay through monthly draws on their PayPal account. PayPal is a great way to use a credit card without having to re-enter all of your personal information, or for the convenience of using your checking account without having to enter routing and account information.
Android smartphone users can open up additional payment methods by using your account at the Google Play store to fund your Netflix subscription.
- Simply download the Netflix app from Google Play and open the app.
- Once the app is opened, select the “Join Free for a Month” option and the prompts will lead you through the process to set up a membership.
With Google Play, digital content and other app purchases can be funded with the usual credit card or PayPal options as well as Google Wallet and your mobile carrier if you are on the AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular networks.
The Netflix membership you sign up for on your mobile device is good on all other devices, like your game console, television, and home computer.
Apple iPhone users can do pretty much the same through iTunes Billing services as Android users do through Google Play. Just download the Netflix app from the Apple App store, open it up, and choose to “Join Free for a Month.” The prompts in the app will take you through the sign up process from there.
If you are a customer of Comcast, you can sign up for Netflix and pay through XFINITY billing. Use the instructions provided by your cable service to do that.
Netflix Gift Card
If you received a Netflix gift card recently, you can use it to fund your membership. This is also a good option for people that prefer to not use any kind of online payment method. You can go to your local grocery or discount store and buy the Netflix gift card the reason you Netflix gift card with cash. This is also a good option for folks that don’t use credit or debit cards.
What membership level do you need?
This is the big decision, and it takes a little more thinking through than it seems at first look.
Netflix offers three membership plans:
- Basic is $7.99 monthly,
- Standard is $9.99 monthly, and
- Premium is $11.99 monthly.
Most people look at the screen number and base their decision on that. We will go over those right now plus explain what the screen number means.
- The Basic plan allows one screen,
- The Standard plan allows two screens, and
- The Premium plan allows four screens.
Now, the number of screens on your plan does not have to equal the number of screens in your house. If that were the case, Netflix would have to offer plans with up to a dozen or more screens. No, what the screen number means is screens in use at one time.
For example, you may have three TVs, two computers, and two smartphones but there are only two of you in the household. Chances are you will be fine on two screens. If you are the only person on your account, you may watch it on three different televisions, a PC and a smartphone, but the one screen plan is sufficient for your needs.
Unless you have an HD or Ultra HD television, that is. That’s because the different plans also have different levels of viewing quality.
- The Basic plan offers standard definition viewing only,
- The Standard plan adds basic high definition viewing, and
- The Premium plan is the only one with Ultra HD streaming available.
That means, if you want to watch the selections Netflix has available in Ultra HD on your Ultra HD television, you will want the Premium plan even if you only need one screen at a time.
I know that we just went over each element of the three membership levels in detail, but here they are in a handy table for quick reference:
|Standard Definition (SD) only|
|Above SD plus High Definition (HD)|
|Above SD, HD, plus Ultra HD|
When do you want to be charged each month?
This may matter a lot to you if your income is set on a certain day of the month. If you want to be sure that your Netflix subscription is taken out on a certain day all the time, be sure to subscribe on the day.
You cannot adjust the billing date once you start your subscription, so if this matters to you, be sure to sign up on the day that fits your budget and scheduling around other bills.
How to join
Now, it is time to sign up for your free month of Netflix.
- Go to www.netflix.com.
- Choose “Join Free for a Month.”
- Next, you will review the viewing plans available and select the one you decided on per the information presented above by clicking on the blue box with the pan name (Basic, Standard, or Premium).
- Next, you will enter your email address and create your password. Netflix makes the last part of that really easy – no requirement of caps and lowers, numbers, special characters, and that sort of thing just four characters or more of your choice.
- Now it is time to choose enter your billing information and set up a payment method. Yes, it’s a free trial, but they don’t want you to have interrupted service by not having your billing data entered in time for the second month renewal.
- If you have not had a membership in the last ten months, this will go through smoothly and your Netflix service will be available to you immediately.
- If Netflix finds you in their records, you will not get the free month. You can go ahead and pay for it, or click out and see if you get a free month trial offer email in a day or two (sometimes it happens).
- You might want to set a reminder of some sort a day or two before the free trial expiration date so that you can evaluate the service and, if you don’t like it, cancel your account before the next month bills.
And that’s all there is to getting the free month of Netflix on a trial account. Use it to gorge on movies and binge on TV shows to your heart’s content. Thanks for reading!