Money Saving Tips
February 25, 2020

How Much Does Netflix Cost?

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated February 28, 2020

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Reader Question: I have the DVD delivery part of Netflix now, how much would it be to just get the streaming?

Answer: The simple answer is $8.99 to start. Netflix’s pricing can be confusing, which largely has to do with their changing business model. They started as a DVD delivery service that let you rent DVDs and return them via the mail without any late fees. Now they are primarily an online video streaming service that allows you to watch shows via the Internet. So how much does Netflix cost monthly? Here’s a quick breakdown.

Best Netflix Alternatives

RankStreaming ServiceKnown ForMonthly FeeExpert Rating
1HuluOverall Streaming$5.99/month★★★★★
2Amazon StreamingOptions$119/year★★★★★
3Sling TVLive TV$30/month★★★★
4fuboTVCable-like experience$54.99/month★★★★
5Philo TVChannels$20/month★★★★

Best Netflix Alternatives

RankStreaming ServiceFee
1Hulu$5.99/month
2Amazon Streaming$119/year
3Sling TV$30/month
4fuboTV$54.99/month
5Philo TV$20/month

Streaming only: This is the service that Netflix is now promoting the most and works really well with the Netflix App for streaming on any device. It starts at $8.99/month and very easy to sign up for. You can even get a 1 month free trial. Netflix offers different streaming packages depending on what you are looking for. Here is a breakdown of each:

  • Basic ($8.99/month): This is the bare minimum for Netflix. You can only stream on one screen at a time and you can only get SD, no HD option is available.
  • Standard ($12.99/month): This option allows you to stream on at least two screens at a time and you can watch in HD.
  • Premium ($15.99/month): The most inclusive plan, this allows you to stream on at least four screens at a time, and not only can you stream in HD, you can also stream in 4k Ultra HD when it is available.

Netflix streaming cost vs. Amazon streaming cost

Alternatively, if you sign up for Amazon Prime, which is $119 for the year, you can get much of the same content to stream for free, as well as the option of renting and buying movie and TV shows, in addition to other Prime benefits like free 2-day shipping. You can also stream through the new Amazon Fire TV, which will allow you to stream Netflix as well. You can get a free trial of Amazon Prime here.

What does streaming mean? It basically means that you can watch TV shows or movies from your TV, phone or tablet via the Netflix website or a Netflix app. Netflix also has streaming capabilities on devices like Amazon Fire TVRoku, Xbox, tablets, Playstation, Internet-ready TVs and other devices.

DVD only: Netflix is actually very secretive about the fact that you can still order just their DVD service. Their main website only promotes either streaming or streaming and DVD delivery combined. But if you go to DVD.com, you can actually order just the DVD service. The DVD only service is also $7.99/month, and will deliver your selected DVDs within one business day. Once you are done with them, you can send them back and get the next DVDs that you selected.

DVD Delivery + Streaming: If you already have the DVD delivery service from Netflix’s past, you pay $8.99/month for the service, depending on how many DVDs you receive each time. If you want to add the streaming service, you can add it for the same price, $7.99, which will bring your total to $16.98. Why have both? The DVD delivery service actually has a lot of titles that the streaming service does not have, so you get more of a choice if you order both.

No matter which pricing model you choose, you can sign up for 1 month free trial for Netflix to check it out and see how you like it.

The short answer is four people. Recently, Netflix has cracked down on people sharing their Netflix login by limiting the number of devices that can be streaming at one time. For the Basic plan, you can only stream on one screen at a time. The Standard plan allows for streaming on two screens at a time. The Premium plan lets four people stream at a time. The loophole to this is obviously that this only limits streaming at any given time. You can give an unlimited amount of people access to your login, but only four will be able to stream at any given time if you have the most expensive package.

$15.99. That is the cost of Netflix’s Premium package, which allows you to stream in 4k Ultra HD for shows and movies that were filmed that way. It also allows you to stream on four screens at a time.

What’s the difference between HD and 4k Ultra HD?

The difference basically comes down to quality of the picture. 4k Ultra HD is the newest improvement in picture quality, and the quality difference between the two is really significant. It is considered to be four times better than HD quality. The problem is that you have to have a 4k Ultra HD television (or other screen) to watch anything available in that option. Also, most shows and movies haven’t been shot in the new quality yet, so your options are limited.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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