How to Save $100 a Year on Your Netflix Subscription

Okay okay, almost $100. About $96.

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 6.38.11 PM

I’ve had a Netflix account for a while, probably about three years. I’ve always found it to be a pretty good value, and at one point I had both the streaming and dvd options. I found that I didn’t use the dvd option that often and didn’t want to spend the extra money on a service I could use just as well with the streaming. So for maybe the past year and a half or so I’ve gone with only the streaming option, allowing me to watch movies from either a laptop, phone, tablet or on my television through a playstation.

I’ve signed up and used the free trials of Amazon and Hulu, and found them to be a good value as well. Overall I only feel the need to have one of these, and Netflix has so far won out. My bill is $7.99 per month, for unlimited streaming. Here’s how I got it down to zero.

I think Netflix is a great deal and for $8 I can watch all the movies and shows I want that are available. I have the basic cable that comes with the internet package, so this is more than sufficient. The cost for the year is just under $100, officially $95.88. The interface is simple and you can update your information and change your plans in just a few second on their website.

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 6.18.49 PM

But recently someone brought to my attention that Netflix allows multiple people to access one account. Not only that, but up to two users can access the account and watch movies at the same time. While Netflix may not super, actively promote this, it’s very clearly listed as an option when you check your account.

Up to two users can watch at the same time from the same account

Up to two users can watch at the same time from the same account

I spoke with my sister when I heard about this and she mentioned she knew all about it but never gave it a second thought. She has a larger plan that I do, hers includes DVD’s which she wants to keep, so I decided to cancel my plan and use hers. I tested it out, logged in as her and it works fine. We can both watch at the same time with no interruption or downgrade in service. I was never previously aware of this, as I hadn’t seen a need to go to my account settings on the website, so to me this is a very intriguing find.

Often when something like this comes up you’ll always hear the proverbial complaints from people about gaming the system or taking advantage of a loophole, blah blah blah. I typically reject these complaints as they’re usually from those a bit jealous they didn’t think of it first. It’s important to note though that this is not a “hack” at all or something you need to navigate around or a procedural rule to be bent and hope Netflix doesn’t notice. This is a normal part of Netflix’s accounting and listed right there on the website. Who knows, perhaps I’m the only Netflix user who wasn’t aware of this and it’s old news to everyone else. But for those unaware, you can cancel your Netflix subscription right now, piggyback on a friend’s and (in theory) spend absolutely nothing while getting a “free” Netflix subscription. You can save yourself nearly $100 and still enjoy all the same movies and shows you do now.

Recently Netflix announced they were experimenting with different pricing plans, options for just one person to view at a time and another for up to three. Right now it’s all hearsay, but it’s something they’re talking about.

Some of you may be saying, “It’s just 100 bucks for the whole year,” but who wouldn’t take $100 if someone offered it to you? $100 here and $100 there starts adding up to $1,000 here and $1,000 there. Every penny counts. And whether you’re looking to make an investment, learn a new skill or travel more, that extra $100 is a nice bonus.

Come on... Take it...

Come on… Take it…

So I know what you’re thinking, “Steve you’re only saving $100 because your sister is paying. Why not let her cancel the account and save the $100?” As I mentioned she’s got a DVD account so it’s easier for me to cancel and join on hers since I only use the streaming. But I do agree it would be best for both us to come out winners here. So I’m mailing her a check to cover roughly one year of 1/2 of what I would have paid, or roughly $48. So while I’m not saving quite $100, in theory I could be. And overall, I’m still saving $50, which is still something I will take without a second thought.

Netflix users, were you aware of this? Is this something you think you’ll be able to do to save yourself some additional cash?



  1. Jacob reaves
    August 26, 2014 / 1:18 am

    Steve just heard you on Tom Woods radio and remembered your name from back in the day from NSA. I am also a fellow MS Churner, Austrian, libertarian, christian, frugal miser.

    You could also buy a Netflix gift card online or thru a shopping portal. I have apple TV so I can buy iTunes gift cards at significant discounts for netflix

    • Steve Bierfeldt
      August 26, 2014 / 11:32 am

      Jacob great to hear from you. It sounds like you are speaking my language! I’m not as familiar with those gift cards, but would definitely like to learn more from you.

    • Steve Bierfeldt
      August 26, 2014 / 11:45 am

      Jacob, tried sending an email but it bounced back. Would love to hear more. email me at stevebierfeldt at gmail dot com