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

If you're a Netflix subscriber on its 'Basic' plan, you'll have to pay £3 more a month (£36 a year) to watch without adverts at the lowest price. The streaming giant dropped the plan for new users last year, but it's now being scrapped for existing subscribers too. 

We explain what's happening below, plus how to save on streaming.

Netflix subscribers will have their basic plan access revoked

Here are the key need-to-knows: 

  • Got the basic plan? You'll be automatically moved to the 'Standard with adverts' plan. This is because the basic plan is being discontinued. It was axed for new and rejoining customers in July 2023. 

  • Standard with adverts costs £4.99 a month compared to basic at £7.99. So you'll be saving £3 a month (£36 a year). BUT you'll now see ads before and during selected TV shows and films. Netflix says you can expect to see "a few short ads per hour," though it aims to place them during natural plot breaks. You may also no longer be able to access some TV shows and films.

  • When you'll be switched varies. Netflix began moving subscribers off its basic plan in April, though the process is still ongoing. We've asked for an end date and we'll update this story when we know more.

  • Don't want ads? The cheapest ad-free option is 'Standard' costing £10.99 a month. That's £3 a month (£36 a year) more, though you may want to wait until your basic plan is due to end to make the most of the lower subscription price. Also check if you can save by sharing an account with a friend or family member that lives with you. With standard, you can watch on two screens at once. So, getting one subscription and splitting the cost means you'll both only pay £5.50 a month.

  • If you live with two or three others who use Netflix, you can save even more by splitting the 'Premium' plan. This is £17.99 a month, so you'd pay £6 a month or £4.50 a month each. You'll be able to watch in ultra HD, too.

How Netflix's plans compare

See the table below for Netflix's available plans, plus their key features:

Here's how much Netflix's available plans cost

Plans Standard with adverts Standard Premium
Monthly cost £4.99 £10.99 £17.99
Devices you can stream on at the same time Two Two Four
Ad-free viewing? No Yes Yes
Picture quality Full high definition (1080p) Full high definition (1080p) Ultra high definition (4K+HDR)
Can you download to watch offline? Yes – on two devices Yes – on two devices Yes – on six devices
Can you add users outside your household? No Yes – one for £4.99/month extra Yes – two for £4.99/month extra each

Read our Netflix hacks for full info on how to stream as cheaply as possible.

Unhappy about the move? Ditch – and maybe switch

If you're unhappy about the shake-up and no longer want to stick with Netflix, your options are to:
  • Cancel Netflix penalty-free at any time. Log in and select 'Cancel Membership' in the membership and billing section – you'll be able to keep using Netflix as normal for the remainder of your billing period.
  • Check for cheaper alternatives. Other big streaming services offer cheaper monthly ad-free subscriptions. For example, Disney+ is £7.99 a month (but can be cheaper, see Disney+ deals), Amazon Prime's video-only plan is £8.98 and Apple TV+ is £8.99. See our top streaming services comparison.
  • Use free trials to watch over two months of top shows and films. Some streaming services give free trials, including 30 days of Amazon Prime Video and seven days of Apple TV+, 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 £25 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 cancelling it and moving on after you've seen what you want. See our tips on how best to jump between streaming services.

For full help, you can read our TV MoneySaving tricks guide.

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