You may know some of these free trial hacks if you’ve been trying different offerings for some time.
Lots of companies offer trials to prove to you that their products or services are worth the money. They expect you to subscribe after the trial period is over as they’re confident that they’ll convince you its worth keeping.
You could save money by using trials and get a jump-start on a project you’re just beginning. But there are hacks to get you even more out of these free trials.
For example, you could cancel your cable bill and get an entire year or more of free TV, movies and entertainment just by doing free trials alone. You could set up an income stream by starting an online store with a free trial and start earning before you even have to start paying.
Here are 14 free trial hacks that I’ve collected and I’m now sharing with you. Feel free to share your own in the comment section below the post.
1. Get More Trials with Multiple Email Addresses
Some free trials ask you for only an email address while others need you to submit your credit card information to proceed.
Using a different email address to take a second trial usually works for both options if you want to get more free time.
This hack is more useful, believe it or not, if you have to submit billing information along with your email address. In this case though, the company would normally use your billing info to deter you from getting a second trial. To get around this, see hack #6.
With offers that only let you submit your email address, they can afford to as their product would normally get you a trial where you’ll lose more if you were to change your account. For example, Shopify allows you to create an online store with no credit card required. If you built your store using the free trial, it would not make sense to start a new account since you’d have to start from scratch and lose your progress on your first store.
But, if you needed to, you could start multiple new free trials by using a new email address each time.
2. Look For Other Options for Multiple Free Trials
With a lot of free trials, you would not be able to do this unless you’re dealing with offers in the streaming movies and TV space.
Different platforms exist where you can sign up and a streaming channel is available with content and billing done directly through them.
For example, if you want to stream Showtime content, you can get a free trial directly through their website or on other platforms like Amazon Prime Video channels, on The Roku Channel, YouTube TV, Hulu, Apple TV, FuboTV, SlingTV and more.
With the 8 different ways I listed for you to get a Showtime free trial, this means you can start a free trial for Showtime every time one expires. You’ll most likely have to start a free trial or be an existing subscriber of the platform that carries the streamer.
The point here is that you can look for opportunities to get multiple free trials of the same offer. You don’t have to do them all back to back especially if you want to try something else or wait until there’s a show you want to see carried exclusively by that streaming network.
3. See If There Is a Longer Free Trial Period
Most companies offer a standard trial period, usually 7-30 days but occasionally they may offer a longer trial period with or without a catch.
Paramount Plus normally gives you 7 days to try them out but during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season they gave users a full 30 days to watch for free. No catch – it was their gift to viewers who wanted to stream their content.
Sometimes checking for coupons can get you longer free trial periods rather than direct pricing deals. And some third party companies even offer longer trials to partner products as bonuses when you try their own product.
4. Create an Email Address Just for Free Trials
If you plan on getting a lot of free trials maybe to compare different products, you should consider getting a separate email address just for this.
This would prevent your main inbox from getting cluttered with email, new, discount offers and more from free trial offers that you’ve tried.
You’ll also be able to easily see important information regarding your free trials such as billing dates, expiry reminders and more that might otherwise get buried in your regular email. Furthermore, you’ll have one extra email address you could use if you needed to try the same offer twice.
5. Use a VPN To Unblock Free Trials
Some services may not be available outside a particular region. If you aren’t located where the offer is available then you will not be able to get a free trial.
Most movie streaming services are available inside the US and Canada which means if you’re not within this location then you’re out of luck for a free trial or subscription.
To get around this you can use a VPN to unblock these geo-restrictions and get a free trial.
HBOMax, for example, is available outside the United States but doesn’t offer more than a 7 day trial. However, the content available may vary from what’s available to US viewers. In the US, there is not free trial directly using the website but you’d need a VPN to unblock Hulu, YouTubeTV and anywhere else offering a trial to HBOMax.
Since starting this website, I’ve used a free trial and subscription to PrivateVPN to do many free trials and to stream a lot of content not available where I’m located.
6. Use Other Payment Options To Try Again
While you may be able to use a different email address to get a second trial, some companies use your billing info to determine if you’re a new customer or not.
If you’d like to get a second trial, see if the offer has options for paying such as credit card or PayPal. Most of them do and you can just use your credit card the first time and then use your PayPal the next time with a new email address.
When credit card is the only option, try using a debit or pre-paid card or even a different credit card than the one you used the first time.
7. Cancel Immediately After Signup
Forgetting to cancel your free trial and then getting hit with a subscription charges is one mistake people make when signing up for free trials.
In addition to reminding you when your free trial is about to end, many companies let you cancel any time and allow you to use the service until the trial ends. When the trial ends, you wouldn’t be billed even if you forgot the expiry date.
Whenever there’s a ‘cancel anytime’ policy, it’s best to just cancel right after you signup. This way, you wouldn’t have to remember at a later date to do so. You’ll be able to check out the product or service without having to worry about getting auto-charged when the trial ends.
Be sure to read the fine print though as some services end immediately after you cancel them. FuboTV is an example of this and you’d be better off just setting a reminder for these types of offers.
If you decide later that you would like to subscribe, the decision to give the company money is entirely in your hands and you can just go into your settings for most products and services and resubscribe.
8. Cancel Anyway (Even If You Plan On Paying)
Even if you do plan on paying, you should complete the free trial period first but it’s also a good idea to cancel anyway.
Most companies do not want to see you go and will do anything to save you as a subscriber. This includes giving you a deal or discount to keep you subscribed after your free trial.
ABC Mouse costs $12.99/month but you can get one of their best pricing of $45/year when they run special discounts during the holidays for example. Even during Cyber Monday, their deal was for $45/year.
When you cancel during the free trial, you’ll encounter a surprising offer that gets you ABC Mouse for only $29.99/year which works out to be around $2.50/month compared to $13/month. If you didn’t try to cancel anyway, you would never have come across such a sweet deal.
The only catch is that you’re likely to be charged immediately so be prepared and read the fine print when claiming these offers.
9. Take The Deal With No Free Trial
Sometimes, taking the deal with no free trial works out to be so much better than just taking the free trial.
For example, as I’m writing this post, Prime Video has a limited time offer on all of their channels where you can subscribe for 99 cents a month for two months before you get charged the regular subscription pricing.
There is no free trial though. The normal free trial period for Prime Video channels is 7 days.
I don’t know about you but 99 cents for an entire month is better than a 7 day free trial and then a subscription charge. In a case like this, you get so much more value when you take the deal with no free trial.
10. Set a Calendar Reminder
It’s better to use hack #7 and cancel just after you signup but you can always set a calendar reminder so you remember to do it.
When you start a free trial, the company will normally give you some info about when you trial expires. They’ll give you the exact date and how much you’ll be charged. Take note of this info so that there are no surprises.
You can easily set up a calendar reminder on your phone’s calendar app or even old school by noting it on a physical calendar where you’ll see it when the time comes.
Most companies also send you an email reminder when your trial is about to expire but you shouldn’t rely on this too much. You want to keep as much control as things like spam filters and inbox clutter can keep you from getting this timely message.
11. See If There is a Referral Program
Do you want to be rewarded with even more free time for telling your friends about a particular free trial?
Some companies have referral programs that let you share a unique link with your friends or social media followers. Whenever one of your friends join through your link, you get a reward such as more free days or even cash.
For example, Blinkist allows you to signup for free or start a premium subscription with a free trial. They also have a referral program where you can invite your friends and you’ll get 7 days of unlimited access. The more people you invite, the more you’ll be able to get unlimited use of Blinkist for free.
Skillshare is another company with a referral program. When you refer a friend to Skillshare, they’ll get a month of membership for free (like a free trial), and you’ll be credited with a free month when your referral pays their subscription.
Using referral programs are an easy way to get a reward or even offset the cost of paying for a membership but there can normally be catches. Some require that you’re a paying subscriber while others require that your referrals complete an action other than simply signing up.
12. See If There Is an Affiliate Program
Even better than referral programs are affiliate programs. Most companies have them and you can be rewarded with a fixed cash amount or percentage of any sale you send them.
Be sure to search the footer or the site for a link that says “Affiliate Program”, “Affiliates”, “Partners” or something similar. The resulting page explains how their program works and what you can earn for telling others about the product or service.
PrivateVPN for example has both a referral and an affiliate program. Their referral program rewards users with points that they may apply to their account to receive free days of service. The affiliate program on the other hand pays you up to 50% of whatever those same referrals subscription bill amounts to.
Not all affiliate programs work the same. Sometimes you’ll need to join a third party network where you’ll get access to more affiliate programs and sometimes the company let’s you join the program right on their website. One thing they all have in common though is that you can sign up for free.
To make money with affiliate programs, just get your unique link and tell people about the free trial or the product/service. This could be in a blog post, a review on YouTube, Facebook or anywhere you can post your link.
Be sure to read the affiliate programs guidelines, rules and requirements so you know what you can and can’t do.
This is a great way to offset costs and essentially get the product/service for free as you can potentially make way more that you’re paying. To learn more about affiliate marketing consider signing up for a free affiliate marketing course with a site like Wealthy Affiliate.
13. Ask for an Extension
This may not work every time but if you need more time than the free trial gives you, it may be worth contacting support and just ask for more time.
You probably wouldn’t get more time from trials that ask for your credit card info. There’s a better chance of getting an extension from the trials that just ask for an email address where you’re creating something.
A great example of this is Americommerce, a website you could use for building an online store. They give you 14 days to try the service and if you need more time, you can just contact the account rep they assign to you.
14. Find The Right Time To Start Your Free Trial
Try to strategize and find the best time to start your free trial. This allows you to get what you want within the time-frame your free trial allows.
For instance, you may want to see all the episodes of a new show people are talking about on HBO Max. Since you’ll only have 7 free days, consider waiting until the show is about to end to start your trial. This way you’ll get to watch all the past episodes and the finale before your trial ends.
If you have three platforms (see hack #2) where you could start a trial for the same offer, you could start the first trial way earlier. Then carefully time your remaining trials where you’ll be able to watch the last episode.
Use these free trial hacks to save money and get more out of free trial offers. You may not be able to use them all but there’s at least one hack here you’ll be thankful you now know about.
Do you know any free trial hacks that you’ve successfully used before? Share it in the comments and I might add it to the post.