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Yes, Paramount+ Has a Free Trial and Here’s How It Works

Paramount Plus offers new subscribers a free trial, but how long they get for free is not the only point to be aware of before signing up.

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Paramount+ has a free trial and this allows consumers to test out the streaming service before having to make the first payment. Of course, there are some things to be aware of before giving Paramount Plus a try including how long the free period lasts, how the free trial actually works, and what happens once the free trial comes to an end.

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Paramount Plus can be a good option for individuals and households looking to get access to more shows and movies. While the streaming service does include Paramount Network content, it is important to note that Paramount+ and Paramount are not the same. Instead, subscribers get access to even more content than just Paramount shows and movies, including videos from a variety of other networks owned by ViacomCBS, such as CBS, BET, Comedy Central, and others.

Paramount+ offers a 7-day free trial to test out the service and irrespective of whether signing up to the Essentials or Premium plan. As long as the account setting up the subscription has not had a free trial before, they will be able to stream for one week without having to pay. In some cases, the free trial might be even longer. For example, Paramount+ has previously offered a one-month free trial. However, these extended free trials are few and far between with seven days the standard free trial length that new subscribers will be offered.

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What happens after the free trial

Regardless of the length, once the free trial has come to an end, the account will automatically switch to a paid subscription. One of the caveats of the free trial is that the account holder must provide a payment method before they can watch the shows, movies and other Paramount+ content for free. As the service already has the customer’s payment details on file, the cost of the first month will automatically be taken once the free period comes to an end.

How much they will have to pay depends on the subscription chosen when starting the free trial. For example, if signing up to the Paramount+ Premium plan to take advantage of an ad-free streaming experience during the free period, the consumer will automatically be billed the full $9.99 for the month. The only way to avoid the monthly payment being automatically taken is to cancel a Paramount+ subscription before the free trial ends. While those who have signed up to the service have up until the last day to cancel, it is worth noting that the Paramount+ free trial works on a 24-hour basis.

This is slightly different to how some other free trials work. To explain, if signing up on a Monday, and if the current trial period is seven days, then the free period won’t end at midnight on the following Sunday. Instead, the free trial will officially end at the same time on Monday that the consumer originally signed up to the service on the Monday before.

Free trial limitations

Besides a payment method needing to be added before a free trial can be started, and automatic billing being in effect, there are some other limitations that apply to the free period. One of which is gift cards. Consumers can actually purchase Paramount+ gift cards and either gift them to someone else or use them for their own subscription. However, the option of a free trial is not available when using a gift card as a payment option.

As is commonly the case with streaming services, the free trial is also only available to new subscribers. That is, first-time subscribers. Therefore, anyone returning to the streaming service, or signing up to Paramount+ with an account that’s already been linked to a subscription, won’t be able to take advantage of the standard free trial.

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Another limitation to be aware of is switching plans. Consumers do have the option of signing up to the Premium plan and taking advantage of the extra benefits before then switching to the Essentials plan to save on the cost before the first payment is taken. However, the act of switching immediately ends the free trial. This means the subscriber will automatically be charged for the first month as soon as they switch plans, making when they switch incredibly important when looking to maximize the free trial length.

Paramount+ free trial summary

Paramount+ does offer all first-time subscribers a free trial to check whether the service is right for them before having to pay. The standard free trial length is seven days although a longer free trial is sometimes available as part of a limited-time promotion. Unlike some other streaming services, the free trial is not only based on the day, but also the exact time of day. In this sense, a seven-day free trial lasts exactly seven days and down to the hour the subscription was set up.

The free trial is also available regardless of whether signing up to the Essentials or Premium plan, but switching between the plans during the free period will automatically cancel the free trial. That’s not the only limitation either. Automatic billing is in effect so subscribers will be automatically charged for the first month unless they cancel before the free trial ends. In addition, if using a gift card to start a subscription, the option of a Paramount+ free trial won’t be available.

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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