Just when we thought Netflix’s inexpensive, ad-free ‘Basic’ tier was history, a surprising discovery promises a revival – there’s a workaround that might just reinstate your affordable ad-free Netflix viewing.
Last week, we broke the news on a massive shift in Netflix’s pricing landscape – the scrapping of the cheap ‘Basic’ tier in both the UK and the US, for new subscribers.
The sweeping change seemed to nudge subscribers towards the ‘Standard with Ads’ plan, painting a grim future for those craving affordable, uninterrupted streaming.
But don’t give up just yet. We’ve found a little-known way around this change, that lets you still enjoy the benefits of the ad-free ‘Basic’ tier, even if you’re a new subscriber.
This “trick” works in both the UK and the US, but you’ll need to act quickly – Netflix could close this loophole anytime.
Therefore, if you want the Basic plan without ads, you should probably try this method soon (see full instructions below).
Netflix’s Major Pricing Shake-Up
As we reported previously, Netflix’s cancellation of the ‘Basic’ tier was seen as a significant development in the streaming world.
Up until last week, Netflix’s ‘Basic’ tier was priced at £6.99/month ($7.99 in the US) and allowed viewers to enjoy Netflix’s expansive content library on one screen and in HD (720p) quality, free of ads.
Then, Netflix announced that “The Basic plan is no longer available for new or rejoining members”.
With the discontinuation of the Basic tier, the new default low-cost tier became the ‘Standard with Ads’ plan.
So, as of this writing, these are Netflix’s official plans for new subscribers in the UK:
- The Standard with Adverts Plan at £4.99/month – lets you stream content in Full HD (1080p), on 2 devices at a time, with adverts.
The Basic Plan at £6.99/month(Discontinued) – lets you stream content in HD (720p), on only one device at a time, without adverts.
- The Standard Plan at £10.99/month – lets you stream content in Full HD (1080p), on up to 2 devices at a time, without adverts.
- The Premium Plan at £15.99/month – lets you stream some content in UltraHD (4K), on up to 4 devices at a time, without adverts.
It’s important to note existing subscribers won’t be affected by this change, for the time being – if you’re already subscribed to Netflix’s ‘Basic’ tier, you’ll stay on it for the foreseeable future, with your monthly price staying the same.
And yet, many of Netflix’s subscribers saw the move as Netflix pushing the ad-supported plan and predicted the end of low-cost, ad-free viewing on the platform.
But we’ve discovered that might not be the case – for now.
The Backdoor To Netflix’s Basic Tier
Here’s the surprising twist: there’s still a way to sign up for the seemingly cancelled ‘Basic’ tier, both in the UK and the US.
When you sign up and pay for the ‘Standard with Ads’ tier, you can later navigate to your account page and choose ‘Change Plan.’ There, you’ll find the ‘Basic’ tier still listed as an option for a paid upgrade.
How To Upgrade To Netflix’s Basic Tier
1. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription, sign up for the ‘Standard with Ads’ plan (£4.99 or $6.99 per month).
2. Go to your Netflix ‘Account’ Page (This should be done on a browser, and not on the Netflix app)
3. You will see ‘Standard With Ads’ as your ‘Plan Details’. Click on ‘Change Plan’.
4. You will then see the ‘Basic’ plan as one of the options you can switch to, at £6.99 / $7.99 per month. Choose that.
As mentioned, this currently works both in the UK and the US –
5. Once you confirm – your plan will switch to Basic immediately, and you will no longer have to watch adverts.
6. Changing to a higher-priced plan takes effect immediately, so you will stop seeing adverts.
At that point, according to Netflix, since they’re a prepaid service, “your billing date will change based on the remaining balance of your last payment”.
This means that if you signed up today and changed to the Basic tier, your next billing date would be moved up a few days, to compensate for the pricing change. But you can later change your billing date again, if you wish.
The logic of this workaround might seem counterintuitive, subscribing to a cheaper ad-supported plan and then upgrading to a more expensive, ad-free option.
But it appears that Netflix is only blocking direct new subscriptions to the ‘Basic’ tier, not upgrades from other plans.
However, it’s important to note that this could be a temporary oversight on Netflix’s part, and they might pull the option anytime. As of now, though, the workaround remains functional.
And – since Netflix is not making any changes for existing subscribers – once you snag the ‘Basic’ tier, it’s yours to keep for the time being, as long as you don’t cancel it (or change your plan again).
Basic Tier Sticking Around… But For How Long?
This workaround allows subscribers who prefer an affordable ad-free Netflix experience to continue enjoying their favourite shows and movies without interruptions.
It’s also a beacon of hope for those who were worried that the end of affordable ad-free viewing on Netflix was near – though as mentioned, this may be a temporary workaround.
We’ve reached out to Netflix to ask whether there’s a planned end date for this ‘Basic’ loophole – and will update this article if they respond.
For now, if you’re looking for an ad-free Netflix experience at an affordable rate, take advantage of this workaround while you still can.
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