5 Reasons to Sign Up for HBO Max

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  • The basic plan comes with HD content and multiple streams.
  • New Warner Bros. movies hit the service shortly after theatrical release.
  • Huge content library includes new releases, popular franchises, and originals.

HBO Max is quickly growing into a must-have streaming platform.

HBO has been a paid content service for years. But it wasn't really until the birth of its latest iteration, HBO Max, that it became a serious contender in the streaming wars.

And a contender it is. HBO Max has been steadily gaining ground -- and subscribers -- since its launch in mid-2020. While it's still not hitting Netflix numbers, HBO Max is definitely taking its share of the market. Which makes sense. Whether you're looking to cycle your services or just want something new, there are a lot of good reasons to get an HBO Max subscription.

1. Stream HD for less than Netflix

Netflix may be the most popular streaming service -- but it's also one of the hardest on your bank account. And it keeps getting worse: the last few years have seen repeated increases in the cost of a Netflix account. HBO, on the other hand, hasn't had a price hike in years, even when it added tons of extra content in its transition from HBO Now to HBO Max.

In fact, HBO added a less expensive tier when it added new content, offering an ad-supported option for $9.99 per month. While you'll deal with limited ads, you'll also get HD streaming on up to three devices at once. Skip the ads and unlock 4K content for just $5 more.

A basic Netflix plan also comes in at $9.99, but you only get standard definition streaming, and you can only stream to one device at a time. If you want HD streaming with Netflix -- or the option to use two devices at once -- you're looking at a whopping $15.49 per month. And access to 4K content will run you $19.99 per month.

What's more, HBO Max offers a discount for paying annually instead of monthly. This can drop your cost to about $8.33 per month for the basic version, or $12.50 per month for ad-free. This option makes HBO Max significantly less expensive than Netflix no matter which plan you get.

2. Watch new movies weeks after theater releases

Throughout the pandemic, HBO Max was THE place to see the latest movies without having to risk getting chummy with the virus in a movie theater, thanks to a hybrid release model that saw new Warner Media movies hitting HBO Max the same time they hit the big screens -- without the $30 price tag Disney+ added to its new releases.

Although 2022 won't be quite the same -- most movies won't be released to HBO Max until after they've debuted in theaters -- the wait will still be significantly shorter for HBO Max users than everyone else. Most major Warner Media hits, including the new Batman and the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, will be available on HBO Max six to eight weeks after their theatrical release.

One of the big things we saw with the launch of HBO Max was the addition of a ton of huge franchises. For example, HBO Max users can binge watch the entirety of Friends in one glorious 90s-themed weekend. You'll also find other popular sitcoms like Big Bang Theory, The Middle, and The Nanny.

HBO Max has a pretty solid kids line-up, too. Not only is it the streaming home of Sesame Street -- including a back catalog of thousands of hours of muppety goodness -- but you'll also get access to a veritable treasure trove of Looney Tunes cartoons going back decades.

But these are all the tip of the iceberg, really. Disney+ may have the rights to Marvel content, but HBO Max has DC, including major films from Superman to Birds of Prey, as well as television shows old and new. If you want to stream black-and-white classics, HBO Max is probably the best major subscription service for you, thanks to its partnership with Turner Classic Movies. At the other end of the spectrum, HBO Max also boasts hubs for both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

4. Quality original content

It's easy to fill a list of the big entertainment franchises you can find on HBO Max, but that list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the big names HBO itself has produced.

Game of Thrones may not have had the most popular ending, but it took over the proverbial airwaves for years. And Sex and the City is still so popular HBO brought it back for a sequel.

It's not all history, either. HBO Max is also doing a pretty decent job of keeping the original-content train rolling. Its originals are a blend of comedy, drama, action, and even kids content.

5. It's a solid single-service option

With such a comprehensive catalog, HBO Max arguably has something for everyone. You can find everything from kids content to classic sitcoms to brand-new movies. This makes HBO Max a solid option for a single-service household. And if you decide to keep HBO Max year-round, the annual pricing knocks off a significant chunk of the cost.

How to save on HBO Max

While HBO Max doesn't offer an all-access free trial, you can check out episodes of some of its most popular series for free online or through the app. You won't even need to make an account or give out credit card information.

Once you're ready to sign up, be sure to check for credit card deals. You can frequently find discounts or rebate offers in the issuer shopping portals like Amex Offers or Chase Deals. You should also check out the best cards for streaming services to make sure you're maximizing your credit card rewards.

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