3 Reasons Why I Just Shuffled My Streaming Subscriptions
This week, my wife and I made quite a few changes to our entertainment subscription accounts. Specifically, this “great streaming service shuffle” involved three different platforms and a credit card perk. But why? Follow along as I share with you why we made these moves and (hopefully) came out on top.
Amex’s Digital Entertainment Credit is changing
Recently, my beloved American Express Platinum Card made some not-so-nice updates. The big one was that they completely blew up their authorized user fee structure — but a less noticed one involved the Digital Entertainment Credit. Starting in October, Audible will no longer be eligible for this $20-a-month credit (it was effectively replaced with The Wall Street Journal as an option). Seeing as my Audible Premium subscription uses up $15 of my credit each month, I had wondered what I’d use the credit for going forward.
That leads me to point number two.
Disney’s pricing is going up
We’ve been subscribed to Disney+ since Day One. Actually, many days before Day One since we signed up during the 2019 D23 Expo and got a deal on a three-year membership. Well, that finally ended last fall and we re-upped for another year after that. However, since then, a lot has changed.
First, Disney+ now has an ad-supported option. Furthermore, they really want you to go for that one — which is why they’re about to hike prices for the now-called Premium subscription (formerly known as “the normal one”) soon. Hearing that the service even inserts ads into the middle of movies, I cannot deal with going to a lower tier. At the same time, I also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the service.
The solution? Well, Disney just launched yet another version of their increasingly complicated bundle. This one is $19.99 a month and not only includes ad-free Disney+ but also ad-free Hulu. While we’ve also had a Hulu subscription for years, we’ve never sprung for the ad-free tier, so this feels like quite the luxurious upgrade.
Plus, since the Disney Bundle is included in Amex’s Digital Entertainment Credit, we’ll continue to be able to use up this card perk even with the removal of Audible. That’s an all-around win, I think.
But what did we do with our previous Hulu account?
We had two Spotify accounts (and those prices also went up)
This is a bit embarrassing to admit but, until yesterday, my wife and I each had our own Spotify Premium account. The core reason is simple: we wanted to be able to listen to our own music selections at the same time and have our own algorithms. And if you’re wondering why we didn’t just get the Spotify Duo plan which fills this exact need, I have two responses: 1) it didn’t exist when we first signed up and 2) that’s exactly what we just did now. What was the hold-up? Well, we were holding onto a legacy account option that included Hulu for the same price as regular premium (you didn’t see that coming, did you?).
So, with Spotify recently also raising their prices, the time seemed right to finally embrace the Duo plan. As a result, we’re now paying $14.99 a month for two accounts instead of $21.98. Actually, we’ll pay $10.99 for the next two months as my wife was able to take advantage of an offer that Spotify sent to her. Again, this is good news for us, even if the only reason we were paying more in the first place was our own stupidity.
Between finally fixing our silly Spotify situation, making the most of our subscription before an incoming price hike, and adjusting for changes to our Amex credit, I think our great streaming subscription swatch worked out pretty well. What’s more, I probably should mention that I opened my new Disney Bundle account using a Rakuten link that should net me $20 cashback. So, while we’re probably still paying more for entertainment than we should, for now, I’m satisfied with our rearrangement.