All about Free Trials
Hi, here at trialforfree.com I have been searching and writing about all the best free trials on the internet, and thought I would take time to recap on what I have found, what is available, what to be aware of and anything else I think it is important to know when signing up for free trials with your payment details.
Types of Free Trials
Firstly, what type of services offer a free trial. Now a days most services offer some sort of free trial. This could be product or subscription products. However, many products are moving to low cost trials rather than free products. The marketing theory and phsycology behind free trials demands a payment option, so either having someone sign-up where card details are needed, or, buy a cheap product.
On occasion we have had free trials that require no payment details to receive. We quickly find that these trials do not last very long due to low customer retention.
Movies and TV
There are so many options that we have had to break it down into either further categories.
- Video on Demand – these offer a library of movies and shows to watch at any time
- Cord-cutting – these offer live Tv channels that are intended to replace your cable or satellite tv.
- Network streaming – large networks such as HBO will make their content available live and on demand through a free trial service.
- Sport – as it says on the tin, streaming your chosen sports.
- Mixed – some services then mix these two services
- Disney – 7 days
- Curiosity Stream – 7 days
- Shudder – 7 days
- Britbox – 7 days
- Amaozn Video – 30 days
- Sundance Now – 7 days
- Mubi - 7 days
- Brown Sugar – 7 days
- Netflix – 30 days
- Fandor – 7 days
- Acorn TV – 7 days
- Indieflix – 7 days
- Horror Tv – 7 days
- Screambox – 7 days
- Fearfactory – 7 days
- Broadway HD – 7 days
- Gaia – 7 days
- Pantaya – 7 days
Fairly self-explanatory and most music streaming trials offer much the same content as users expect much of the same songs from chart toppers to classic tunes.
- Tidal – 30 days
- Napster – 30 days
- Apple music – 30 days
- Amazon music unlimited – 30 days
- Amazon Prime – 30 days
- Deezer – 30 days
- Playster – 1 month
Online gaming platforms offer trials to. However do not expect to find the latest Xbox or Playstation games on these. They are mostly online games for the PC or Mac user. My own feedback on these type of trials is they are not as good as Movie trials. The simple reason is with stremaing services you will have access to the best movies and shows such as Marvel and Hollywood hits, but with gaming trials you don't exactly get the best of the gaming world such as Grand Theft Auto or Mario.
Education trials can vary from music and dance videos for toddlers to writing apps for adults. Pretty much every online self-teaching service will offer a free trial period.
Two main categories for reading books online
- E-books for devices such as kindles or Kobo
- Audiobooks, so you don’t actually have to read books anymore
Audio books seem to become more popular than actual books, so more free trial services are appearing.
- Kindle Unlimited - 30 days
- Audiobooks.com – 2 books
- Audible – 2 books
- Audiobooks now – 30 days
- Scribd – 30 days
- Blinkist -7 days
- Kobo – 1 book
- Playster – 1 month
- Bookbeat – 14 days
- All You Can books – 30 days
- Perlego – 14 days
- Epic – 30 days
Product free trials
Real physical products often needing to be sent to you by post.
Premium and industry standard software will mostly offer 30 day trial for users. However, these companies can struggle with those users who know how to hack these programmes and overcome the free trial to make it last forever.
Other free trials include services allowing you to build your family tree or even free professional credit scoring for a month.
The best free trials
- Philo TV – available to US customers this service cuts the need for cable or satellite TV. I have chosen this as a top trial as it is a low cost service compared to its competitors. Complaints are far and few between.
- audiobooks.com – essentially identical to Audible, however most people have already used their audible free trial, so give this a shot.
- Kobo – another audiobook platform identical to audible in terms of what it offers, except it’s cheaper!
- Hulu – one of the big free trials, but still very good with lots to offer
- Shudder – one of the best niche streaming services available. Plenty of great horror movies and a live tv channel.
- Tidal - Probably the best music streaming software, with pretty much the same price and content as competitors such as Spotify and Apple Music with the addition that it offers the highest quality music files to play through large music systems.
- Disney + - the newest major free trial. We must include it. The sheer amount of hit movies this service can offer is mind blowing.
Free Trials I wouldn’t worry about trying...
- Playster – I have written a review which you can see in full details, it just offers very little content (but safe)
- NBA TV – only because you are better off going for NBA League Pass (but safe)
- NFL Network – only because you are better off going for the NFL Game Pass (but safe)
- Acorn Tv - Poor content compared to its main rival Britbox (but safe)
- Video Stripe – possibly a scam
Cancelling free trials
To constitute a free trial the user must be able to cancel the service before the service is up without any charge. However, you must be aware of the wording, some may say 30 days free without the word trial. Or they do not advertise any kind of free trial but instead do not bill you for 30 days. We have seen both these scenarios.
Some might say 1 month free but its the 2nd month you get free or they just take the cost of 1 month across a yearly subscription bill.
The thing to remember is whatever the scenario you can cancel any service even if you must go straight to your bank. Find more on cancelling free trials here.
Should I avoid free trials?
I have built a small living off free trials, so I am going to say no as a biased answer. However, why would you avoid them? Sure it is easy to forget to cancel and before you know it you have a dozen monthly payments coming from your bank account!
If you are organised and strict then this does not have to be the case. We have at time of writing this 39 free trials for streaming movies and tv alone. That’s a lot of free TV to enjoy. In fact you may not have to pay for TV or movies for a whole year if you just signed up and remembered to cancel.
There are trials that we avoid and recommend you avoid to. For example, Video Stripe is a streaming service that makes no sense to us and charge radically and has quite bad content. In addition to that there appears to be many duplicate proxy sites to Video Stripe. This to us is a clear indication this is a group of people trying to make a quick buck off foolish punters. Always working on the edge of the law.
Look, I have done my best to make finding good free trials easy. This website is full of legit trials only. Although some are better than others they all work.
Should I read the small print?
If it’s on this website, then I have done this for you. Legitimate services will typically do what they say on the tin. Various advertising authorities will often punish services that try to be sneaky so do not worry too much about small print. Plus, who has the time to read this anyway?
Are Free Trials really free?
Well yes? They rely on you not cancelling and rolling into the billing period to get paid. Just cancel them and your sorted.
Can I get a free trial more than once?
It is possible yes. Every service will have a different criteria which would normally entail checking its database for any duplicate emails, paying method or address. Some services may allow another free trial after a certain amount of time.
Another way of getting multiple free trials is signing up to the same service but on different platforms. For example, HBO is available…
- Directly at the HBO website
- Through Amazon Channels
- Through AT&TTV
And HBO is not the only one. I would recommend going through Amazon Channels seeing what services you can get a 7 day trial through Amazon and then once you’re done with that you can go directly to the services own website and start all over again!
List if Amazon channels this will work on…
What if a free trial is not available In your location/country?
Generally speaking, this means it has no rights to operate where you are, however, there are ways round this. You will be met with two main obstacles, the geolocation of your internet connection and the payment details needed.
- Geolocation – You can easily overcome this with a VPN service which puts your internet location through a different location, so it appears you are somewhere else. The great news is there are loads of free trials for VPN services which can help you with this, check out ExpressVPN.
- Payment details – So if you have overcome your location issue next you will be met with the payment details you have to enter for free trials. The most obvious solution (if you are lucky enough) is to see if a close friend or relative has a bank account you can use in the given country needed. If not, then some services (mostly streaming services) offer Gift cards. That’s right services such as HBO offer gift cards you can use o pay for your subscription. This may not work on all services but have look round and see what you can find.
Can I extend a free trial?
Not really, I have not seen this option and I have made it a job, if you have any knowledge of how to do this please make a comment below.
Why do companies offer free trials?
They will give you the usual marketing BS about seeing how great the service is and that you will never want to quit and that’s why they are so confident. But in truth it is ways to get your payment details and get you on their billing scheme. Don’t be beaten and just cancel your free trial before time is up?
Why are you having to call a number to cancel your free trial?
They are trying to make it difficult for you so you do not cancel. Yes this tactic really works! Either be persistent or don’t sign-up in the first place. On tiralforfree.com I have done my best to instruct you how to cancel each free trial. If it only says ring them up then just avoid if you don’t want the hassle, there are plenty of other free trials to enjoy.
Free trial location availability
One thing that is obvious is that the only time you will need to check the availability of a free trial is if it is Movie or tv streaming. Rule of Thumb most other services ar avalable globally. Or at least in the English speaking world.
Death of the Netflix free trial?
This is so big I have to mention it! As of December 2019 Netflix has cancelled its free trial for UK users. It has obviously become the only streaming service so big and confident it feels as if it does not need to offer this anymore!
This is probably in a testing phase and if they conclude it successful then expect the same worldwide!
What I have learnt from free trials
Not all services are made equal. Even if 2 services are of the same price and the advertisements promise much, sometimes smaller services lack what the large companies can offer. If it is an established service then chances are you will get more for your money.
This is not always true though. Some of the best free trials are those that focus on a niche within an industry. For example Shudder is a Horror Niche for Movie streaming and as it concentrates on one service it offers more within that niche than say Netflix.
I’d say as a rule of thumb if a service you have not heard of is offering as much as one of the major players at a lower cost then it is probably lacking some serious amount of content. For example we found Playster is offering a lot of services in its free trial, however it does not have a great selection of movies, books or games.