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Netflix axes cheapest ad-free plan for newbies – here's what you need to know

Netflix has axed its cheapest 'Basic' advert-free plan for new and rejoining subscribers. It means they'll now have to pay £4 more a month (£48 a year) to watch with no adverts at the lowest price. The alternative is to pay less but to put up with adverts. Below we've got everything both new and existing users need to know. 

The change comes weeks after Netflix cracked down on password sharing, introducing a £4.99-a-month extra charge for each person you share your account with outside your household. See our Netflix to charge an extra £60 a year if you share your account MSE News story.

If you're already subscribed to Netflix's Basic plan, there's no change

Netflix says if you're currently on its £6.99 a month Basic plan, your subscription cost won't change and you'll remain on it until you switch plans or cancel your account.

If you're a new or rejoining subscriber, you can no longer get Netflix's Basic plan

Netflix's Basic plan costing £6.99 a month has now been axed for new and rejoining subscribers, plus existing subscribers who are looking to switch plans.

It means your only options for ad-free viewing are Netflix's 'Standard' plan at £10.99 a month, which is an extra £4 a month (or £48 a year) over the Basic plan. There's also Netflix's 'Premium' plan, which costs £15.99 a month – an extra £9 a month (or £108 a year) compared with the Basic plan.

Alternatively, if you're happy to watch Netflix with adverts, you can pay £2 a month less at £4.99 a month – though Netflix says some movies and TV shows aren't available with this plan.

The table below details Netflix's plans that are now available, plus their key features:

How Netflix's plans compare

Plans Standard with adverts Standard Premium Basic (if you have it already)
Monthly cost £4.99 £10.99 £15.99 £6.99
Devices you can stream on at the same time Two Two Four One
Ad-free viewing? No Yes Yes Yes
Picture quality Full high-definition (1080p) Full high-definition (1080p) Ultra-high definition (4K+HDR) High-definition (720p)
Can you download to watch offline? No Yes – on two devices Yes – on four devices Yes – on one device
Can you add users outside your household? No Yes – one for £4.99/month extra Yes – two for £4.99/month extra each No

How can I save on the cost of streaming?

You can read our TV MoneySaving tricks guide and our Netflix hacks for full info on how to stream as cheaply as possible, but below are a few of our top tips.

  • Don't pay for more than one Netflix subscription in a household. While you have to pay £4.99 a month extra if you share with someone outside your household, if you pay for Netflix's Standard plan, up to two people living with you can watch at the same time on separate devices (if on the Premium plan it's up to four people). This means you'll likely only need one Netflix subscription for your household. Also remember that all of Netflix's plans can be upgraded, downgraded or cancelled at any time penalty-free without reason. 

  • Check for cheaper alternatives. Other big streaming services offer cheaper monthly ad-free subscriptions. For example, an Amazon Prime Video-only subscription is £5.99 a month, Disney+ is £7.99 a month (but can be cheaper, see Disney+ deals), and Apple TV+ and Paramount+ are £6.99 a month. See our top streaming services comparison.

  • Streaming newbie? Watch over two months of top shows and movies for free. Some streaming services give free trials, including 30 days of Amazon Prime Video and seven days of Apple TV+ and Paramount+ – but always remember to cancel before you're charged if you don't want to keep it. See free video-streaming trials.

  • Rotate between streaming services so you're not paying for more than one at a time. If you subscribe to Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Now Entertainment, it's at least £30 a month. Yet it's easy to pay £5 to £10 a month and still watch the top shows by paying for just one service, then when you've seen what you want, cancel it, move on to the next one, and do the same. We've tips on how best to jump between the streaming services.

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