It's official: there are too many subscription services.
Streaming has never been more voluminous between Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax, and Paramount+. And with all your favorite tv shows and movies spread across streamers, your monthly bills can get out of hand very quickly.
Then there are memberships for services that appear free, like Uber Eats and Seamless, but which now offer the premium services Uber One and Seamless+, which guarantee free delivery for a monthly price.
How can you maximize these new services without breaking the bank? We talked to some experts to help you improve your bottom line without sacrificing your favorite show or delivery spot.
Amazon Partners With Grubhub
Are you an Amazon Prime member? Then, you canÂ get a free yearÂ of Grubhub+.
Amazon recently partnered with Grubhub to give current Prime members a free year of the new premium subscription service – an annual value of $120 – that functions similarly to Uber One and Seamless+ in that it offers diners free or reduced delivery and exclusive membership perks.
While some of us remember when delivery was a free service with only the expectation of tipping, diners today are accustomed to a gratuity, a delivery fee, and a service charge, making ordering out very expensive. These membership perks reduce some of the cost of ordering out.
This partnership allows Grubhub to reintroduce itself to consumers. â€œThere have been brandingÂ issues that have hurt themÂ as weâ€™ve seen in market share data over the last year,â€ says Steven Fox, the CEO, and founder of Fox Advisors.
Working with Grubhub also enables Amazon to improve its image in the public eye.
Navigating the Amazon Dilemma
With inflation a regular source of strife for many Americans, the convenience of Amazon is alluring, despite the backlash the company sometimes faces.
Jeff Bezos recentlyÂ came under fireÂ after he returned from a leisure trip to space. â€œI also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this,â€ he said.
The digital marketplace – with an estimatedÂ net worth of over $438 billionÂ – has also faced criticism for its workplace conditions. After reports that theirÂ workplace injuries doubleÂ that of similar companyâ€™s facilities, Amazon has made efforts to reduce safety risks. Their robotics and advanced technology departments are currently working to improve safety conditions and reduce incidents by 50% by 2025.
The Grubhub deal isÂ another way to improve its image. â€œBeing able to give Prime members one year of Grubhub+ and no delivery fees from restaurants is our way of saying thank you,â€ said Amazon Prime Vice President Jamil Ghani.
What Other Deals Are Out There?
While HBO Max and Disney+ duke it out for dominance and Netflix tries toÂ stay afloatÂ amidst aÂ series of crushing blows, more Americans are streaming than ever before. Even as Covid-19 restrictions have virtually disappeared across the country, the average weekly time spent streamingÂ is up 18%Â compared to last year.
The list of unique program titles is at an all-time high, with over 817,000 titles to stream in the United States.
According to a studyÂ by Interpret, U.S. viewers subscribe to an average of 4-5 streaming services. 20% of consumers feel that they subscribe to too many video streaming services.
All those streaming subscriptions can add up fast, so itâ€™s important to see if you can get any of these services for free as part of the monthly services you already pay for to stay within your set budget.
T-Mobileâ€™s Magenta Max planÂ guarantees you a Netflix subscription, but Verizon offers the most bundling for your buck. With Verizonâ€™s Get More plan, customersÂ receive free subscriptionsÂ to Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+.
Ask the Experts
Besides bundles with cell phone providers, you can employ a few other tricks to save the most money on your subscriptions.
â€œAvoid automating your subscription payments,â€Â recommends Paul Sundin, finance expert, and CEO of Emparion. He advises against automatic payments because it makes you unaware of your monthly expenses. It can also give you more power over these services.
â€œBusinesses with a recurring revenue model consistently release pricing discounts and promos to attract more subscriptions,â€ explains Paul. â€œWhen you automate your subscriptionsâ€™ monthly payments, your money will leave your digital wallets before you can even take advantage of these price deductions.â€
Additionally, Paul recommends sharing subscriptions with friends and loved ones. And use a finance app. He suggests using Truebill. â€œTruebill allows you to negotiate lower rates for your current subscriptions and eliminate the ones you donâ€™t use anymore,â€ says Paul.
Credit Cards Offer Free Subscriptions Too
In addition toÂ cash-back incentives, some credit cards offer free subscriptions. We chatted with Jake Washburn, the owner of Win Win Home Buyers, toÂ get his recommendationsÂ for the best credit cards to offer subscription services.
â€œOne of my personal favorites is the Door Dash promotion on the Chase Sapphire card,â€ Jake told us. This deal gives you a year of Door Dashâ€™s premium service Dash Pass in addition to the cardâ€™s 60,000 bonus points andÂ other reward incentives.
He also recommends the American Express Platinum card. Beyond traditional perks, this cardÂ offers a $240 entertainment creditÂ that can be used to cover Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Peacock, theÂ New York Times, and Sirius XM.
With so many streaming and subscription services on the market today, managing your finances can be tricky. Finding subscription deals and bundles can help increase your bottom line so that you can stream and subscribe guilt-free.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Justin McDevitt is a playwright and essayist from New York City. His latest play HAUNT ME had its first public reading at Theater for the New City in September. He is a contributor for RUE MORGUE where he lends a queer eye to horror cinema in his column STAB ME GENTLY.