5 ways to save on Netflix

3 Creative Ways to Save More Money

Whether it's shows on other networks or their own originals, Netflix is one of my favorite services for cutting the cord. If you're a fan, too, with some creativity you could save money on your Netflix subscription.

Here are just a few of my favorite Netflix hacks.

1. Share an Account

Wait a minute — Netflix lets you share? CEO Reed Hastings has said in the past that account sharing was a positive thing, so they must be.

In fact, the company's different packages are set up with sharing in mind. Their Standard Package allows you to watch Netflix on two screens, and their Premium Package lets you watch on up to four screens. You can also create up to five profiles on each account, so you could easily share one Netflix account with four people, each with their own profile, and never notice a thing. (Keep in mind, though, depending on your subscription package, you may find it frustrating to share if you can't get on Netflix because everyone else is watching at the same time.)

While you won't be able to split the bill, one solution is to have everyone buy gift cards and put them toward the account.

2. 'Pause' an Account

Expecting not to use your Netflix account for a few weeks or a few months? You can "pause" your membership. In the past, you could put an actual Hold on your account, effectively pausing it and the billing for a period of time.

Netflix has done away with that feature, but you can still "pause" an account by canceling it. (To do so, just go to your Account information, and click the Cancel Membership button under Membership & Billing.)

Netflix will save your account information for 10 months. To restart your membership, log back in and update your payment information. It's a few extra steps, but if you aren't going to use your account for a while, why pay for it?

3. Buy Netflix Gift Cards on Discount

If you're willing to jump through a few hoops, you can search gift card marketplaces for discounted gift cards to stores that sell Netflix gift cards, like Target.

Target gift cards are often available for 4% to 5% off, and Target sells Netflix gift cards. Four percent to 5% off a Netflix subscription may or may not be worth your time — but hey, every penny counts.

When researching marketplaces to buy gift cards, be sure to review their buyer protections. Buying gift cards online can be tricky, but many marketplaces are mature and offer protections such as 100-day guarantees. Be sure those are in place before making a purchase. For more info on how to play it safe online, you can check out our tips here.

RELATED: 7 things you wouldn't think to do with a gift card

7 things you wouldn't think to do with your gift cards
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7 things you wouldn't think to do with your gift cards

1. Use it to pay bills. 

No, don't stuff your cards back in the odds-and-ends drawer and wait for a better time to spend it. Depending on the card and the retailer, you can use your balance to pay for stuff you'd normally pay for – even your bills, if your gift is a debit card from a bank. Take the money you would have spent on groceries or gas and put it in the bank instead. You may even be able to convert your card to cash and save a step. Check the terms and conditions.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

2. Sell them. 

In recent years, a bunch of websites have sprung up that buy and sell gift cards at a discount. Buyers can save a little money on gift cards for gifts or purchase goods and services. Sellers can convert their cards to cash to use however they'd like. Prices on these exchanges fluctuate with demand, and some cards are more desirable than others. But if you don't mind taking a little cut on the value of your card, they're a decent option. Be sure to shop around before buying or selling – prices vary across exchanges. Here are a few options: GiftCards.com, Cardpool and GiftCardRescue.com.  

(Photo: AOL)

3. Trade them with your friends and colleagues. 

If you trust your friends and co-workers to tell the truth about the balances on their cards, set up a trading circle to match cards with recipients. Will you take two of my Applebee's for one of your AMC Theatres?

(Photo: Getty)

4. Track the balance. 

After a couple of lattes and a scone, just how much is left on that Starbucks' gift card? You can usually discover the balance by visiting the issuer's website, or you can use an app like GoWallet to scan your card (or cards) and let it track the balance for you. GoWallet also offers a gift card exchange.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

5. Carry them in your smartphone. 

You can spend your gift cards using GoWallet, too, which is a lot more convenient than carrying them around. Apple Passbook and Google Wallet can do this for you as well.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

6. Donate them. 

Even if your card has a partial balance, most charities will happily accept it. If your preferred charity does not, check out CharityGiftCertificates.org where you can choose a charity to donate the card to. Gift Card Giver also distributes cards to nonprofits and those in need.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

7. Regift them. 

If your card is in good condition inside and out (no partial balances!), you can thoughtfully re-gift it to someone else. You may not like to shop at Macy's, but for someone who does, that unused gift card cluttering your desk drawer will soon be happily spent.

(Photo: Shutterstock)


4. Choose the Right Plan

In previous years, Netflix had a whole litany of packages, and many members paid for plans they weren't using. Nowadays, Netflix has streamlined everything. However, you still could be on a plan that's more than you need.

Netflix offers three plans — Basic, Standard and Premium. Basic is the cheapest and lets you watch on one screen in Standard Definition. If you aren't sharing your account and don't care about picture quality, you might want to get the Basic package and not pay for HD. On the flip side, if you're on Premium and don't need four simultaneous screens and Ultra HD, why pay $2 more for Premium?

Review the different packages and make sure you're paying for the one that's right for you.

5. Don't Miss Your Favorite Shows

This last tip is less about saving money on a subscription and more about getting the most value out of your account. Use third-party sites to help you find what's new and what's about the expire on Netflix. One site for finding the best in new-to-Netflix shows is Instantwatcher.com — their Expiring+Upcoming section is great for (as you'd expect) titles that are leaving or coming to Netflix.

Happy binging!

While you're at it, check out some of the most influential movies for entrepreneurs below.

Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs
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Inspirational movies for entrepreneurs

The Social Network

Based on the true story of Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates and co-founders, this movie shows us how one idea can go from a thought in casual conversation to a world-dominating platform.

This film also brings to light the drama and behind-the-scenes tensions that arise when setting out to begin a new business or venture. We learn through Zuckerberg's faults in the movie that you must stay cognizant of your actions and the way that you treat people, or you may damage relationships with those closest to you. 

Photo credit: Facebook


If this picture queues the iconic theme song to start playing in your head, you're not alone. Rocky is the ultimate underdog story, one that can inspire even the most experienced of entrepreneurs.

When being called up to fight world champion Apollo Creed, Rocky sees an opportunity and does everything he can to make the most of it.

Through physical strength, Rocky exemplifies true mental strength that has us all rooting for him and the people, quite literally, in his corner. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Jerry Maguire

In a classic awakening of the conscience, sports agent Jerry McGuire decides to write a letter to his entire company about how the hunger for deals and a profit are making it easy for everyone to lose sight of who they are.

This gets McGuire fired, and he must start his own business. With only one star football player under his management, McGuire learns what it really means to love what you do while still being able to sustain an income and sense of morality. 

Photo credit: Facebook

Forrest Gump

This classic has so much to teach us about believing in ourselves, believing in others, and how there is literally no one who can tell you what you're capable of doing other than yourself. 

As someone who's mentally disadvantaged, Forrest lives a life that's anything but limited and does it all with a smile. His determination is admirable, and at the very least, this movie will remind you to never give up on the things you want the most. Mental fortitude is the most important thing.

Photo credit: Facebook

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods is the girl you can't help but root for, right from the opening scene at the start of this movie. After getting her heart broken by her long-term boyfriend (whom she thought would soon be her fiancé), she learns that he'll be attending Harvard Law school in the fall.

Determined to both get him back and prove to him she's more than just a dumb blonde, Elle works harder than she's ever worked before (with the help of everyone she knows and loves), gets accepted to Harvard and finds herself on the defendant side of a high profile court case that forever changes her life and career.

Elle teaches us how to pool our resources and connections to get to our goals. The film also reminds us about how important friends and family are to have as a support system when you're taking on an endeavor that most people expect you to fail at.

Plus, she shows us that the seemingly impossible can become possible if you're willing to smile through it (and maybe if you put on a little pink!)

Photo credit: Facebook

Charlotte's Web

A classic tale of friendship and trust, Charlotte's Web will always inevitably give you all the feels. It reminds us all that by being kind and by simply being someone's friend, you can make all the difference.

The people who find the most success and get to where they need to be are the people who care deeply for others and expect nothing in return.

The film, as does the novel, can make anyone see that the relationships we build along the way become the best investments that we make.

Photo credit: Facebook

The Intern 

This 2015 movie starring Robert DiNero and Anne Hathaway is feel-good film about a 70-year-old retiree named Ben Whittaker who, recently widowed, is looking to come out of retirement for something fun to do. When he sees a posting for am"senior internship", Ben believes he's the perfect fit.

Ben works under the owner of a fashion website (played by Hathaway) and the two form an incredible, honest bond. Their friendship shows that the most successful partnerships and ventures come from the most unexpected places. 

It's a nice reminder that hard work, positive mentality and kindness will always be in style, no matter how old or young you are. 

Photo credit: Facebook


[Editor's Note: If you're looking to save on traditional cable services, you may want to check your credit. A good credit score can help you qualify for better prices on a plan. You can see where you stand by viewing two of your scores for free each month on Credit.com.]

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