Your Netflix Subscription is About to Get More Expensive

Your Netflix-and-chill date is about to get a little more costly.

Mashable first reported that the online media streaming company is raising the price of both its mid-level and premium subscription plans by November. MagnifyMoney confirmed details of the price hikes with a Netflix rep on Thursday.

The mid-level, ‘standard’ plan will rise one dollar to $10.99 a month, while the price of the company’s ‘premium’ service will rise to $13.99 a month from $11.99.

The silver lining: Subscribers to the “basic” $7.99 plan will not see a price increase. If you happen to be reading this from another country, you are safe, too, as prices are only rising for U.S. customers.

When will my bill rise?

Existing customers should receive an email this month letting them know they will see a rise in their bills starting November. The company says it will begin sending out notifications Oct. 19. New subscribers will be charged the new prices immediately.

Under its FAQs, Netflix states it sends users an email a month before their next billing date to inform them of a price change whenever these occur. The company also displays a message with price-change details when users sign in.

Netflix has three subscription tiers. What a user pays comes down to how many screens they would like to be able watch at once. All of the plans allow users to download titles onto their mobile devices.

$7.99 — Basic

Users can only stream what they are watching on Netflix on one device at a time, and in standard definition. Users may download titles on one device.

$10.99 — Standard

Netflix’s standard plan lets users stream content  on two devices at once and in high definition if it’s available. This plan also lets users download titles to two phones or tablets.

$13.99 — Premium

At the highest tier, users may stream Netflix’s content on four devices at a time. They can also view shows and movies in high definition or ultra-high definition if it’s available. Those subscribed to the premium plan can download content on up to four devices.

Why is the price going up?

Netflix last increased its prices October 2015. The company justified the price hike in a statement on Thursday, saying it has “added a downloading feature, introduced interactive content, announced a robust slate of new content (including films) and have continued to improve the member experience.”

The company issued the following statement to MagnifyMoney:

From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce new product features and improve the overall Netflix experience to help members find something great to watch even faster.

Over the years, Netflix has continued to expand its business internationally while simultaneously beefing up its exclusive content, produced in-house. So far in 2017, the company has announced exclusive content deals with big names like Shonda Rhimes and Adam Sandler, among others. The company also recently completed its first acquisition when it purchased the comic book publisher Millarworld in a deal estimated to have cost between $50 million and $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. All of that activity isn’t cheap.

Netflix is poised to spend nearly $6 billion on content alone, in 2017 and company execs say it plans to spend another $7 billion in 2018.

In addition to increased spending, Netflix is seeing competition from new and existing companies, as activity in the streaming space grows. Apple, for example, reportedly plans to spend $1 billion on original content in 2018, and — just this summer — Disney announced plans to launch its own streaming service in 2019, end an exclusive distribution deal with Netflix and pull some of its content from that service.

And let’s not forget Amazon. Business Insider reports that the internet giant is likely to spend $4.5 billion on video in 2017.

Besides that, older, well-established media giants are finally cashing in on the cord-cutting trend and launching their own services. AT&T a year ago announced its DirecTV Now service that offers consumers 100+ channels for about $35 a month.

Users questioned the Netflix increases on social media. Some users stated they would end their subscriptions, while others questioned whether Netflix would increase the quality and availability of content with subscription prices.

A previous 2011 price increase cost Netflix an estimated 800,000 subscribers. Back then, the company announced it would charge different prices for its DVDs-by-mail and streaming video plans. Time will tell if they face similar backlash this time around.

The bottom line

The prices for the middle and premium tiers are going up, which may bother anyone who shares their Netflix account with other people. But, at the basic level, Netflix’s offering is still cheaper than those offered by many of Netflix’s competitors.

For example, Hulu’s commercial-free plans start at $9.99 and HBO’s popular streaming service, HBO Now, costs $14.99 each month.

The price of Netflix’s basic plan also hasn’t changed since its 2010 launch.

 

The post Your Netflix Subscription is About to Get More Expensive appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

How Your Netflix Obsession Could Get You Scammed

People in a rush to get back to binge-watching their favorite shows are the prime focus for this scam targeting Netflix users.

A new scam targeting Netflix users is being reported by a cyber-security company that says the scammers are trying to get credit card and other personal information.

FireEye Labs first reported the phishing scam earlier this week, saying customers should be wary of any emails asking them to update their Netflix member information. Netflix had not posted any guidance for customers on its blogs nor released an official statement at the time of this writing, but a representative sent us this: “Members who want to learn more about how to keep their personal information safe against phishing scams and other malicious activity can go to netflix.com/security or contact Customer Service directly.”

According to the FireEye Labs report, a link in the email being sent to Netflix members looks like an official Netflix web page but is not legitimate. The page asks users for:

  • The name on their credit card
  • Their credit card number
  • Card expiration date
  • 3-digit security code; and
  • Social Security number

According to FireEye, the email looks very realistic, and the phony site mimics the Netflix homepage, as you can see in the screengrab FireEye published in its report:

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 11.58.02 AM

According to FireEye, the phishing sites it referenced in its report are no longer active, but new scams like this pop up often. It’s important for consumers to know these things exist and be very careful about sharing sensitive personal or financial information.

How to Protect Yourself From Phishing & Other Scams

There are some standard best practices when it comes to protecting yourself from scams on the internet. These tips for better internet security are a good place to start. In a nutshell, it’s always a good idea to be suspicious, especially if a company is reaching out to you through email or text message. And until you’ve confirmed that the email, text or even phone call are legitimate, it’s wise to never give out personal data like your credit card or debit card numbers, date of birth, address or, worst of all, your Social Security number.

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you can monitor your credit scores for free by using Credit.com’s free credit report snapshot, or by paying for a complete credit report monitoring service, which includes your full credit report and daily alerts to monitor your credit.

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The post How Your Netflix Obsession Could Get You Scammed appeared first on Credit.com.

Netflix Just Made It Easier to Save Cellphone Data When Streaming Its Movies

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Being able to Netflix and chill just got a bit easier thanks to a new tool unveiled by the company this week.

According to the streaming TV and movie provider, a new default setting will enable customers to stream about three hours of content per gigabyte of data, or about 600 Kilobits per second. Netflix claims this will boost video quality, but the real takeaway is that the change could help cellphone users avoid a high monthly phone bill due to too much data use.

“Our testing found that, on cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees,” Netflix said in a blog post. “If you have a mobile data plan with a higher data cap, you can adjust this setting to stream at higher bitrates.”

To set your cellular data usage, select App Settings from the Netflix iOS or Android app’s menu, pick Cellular Data Usage and switch off the automatic default. From there, you can select a higher or lower data usage setting that works with your mobile data plan; there’s even an unlimited option.

Saving on Your Cellphone Bill

Exceeding data caps is a sure way to rack up fees and hamper your budget. To get your usage in line, consider negotiating with your service provider to downgrade your plan or going elsewhere.

You may also be able to escape certain fees or pay lower rates for your cellphone service if you have a good credit score. (You can see where yours currently stands by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.) If your credit is in rough shape, you may be able to improve your score by disputing errors on your credit report, paying down high credit card balances and limiting credit inquiries in the short-term.

You can find some more cellphone hacks that can save you money here.

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Friendly Reminder: Your Monthly Netflix Bill Is About to Go Up

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Remember a while back when Netflix was a total bro and let current subscribers keep their lower monthly subscription rate instead of charging the higher rate that new customers received? That’s changing next month.

In 2014, Netflix raised the price of its monthly standard streaming plan from $7.99 to $9.99, and existing customers rejoiced when they were allowed to keep their $2-a-month savings. But the clock has run out on that savings and in May, many subscribers who were grandfathered in will join the newbies at the $9.99-a-month rate.

Let’s crunch the numbers on that. Previously, a year’s worth of Netflix cost standard subscribers $95.88 a year. The new rate will be $119.88 a year. To put that in context, an Amazon Prime subscription, which includes a collection of free streaming video as well as other Amazon perks, is $99 a year. Netflix competitor Hulu charges users $7.99 a month ($95.88 a year) for its limited commercials plan and $11.99 a month ($143.88 a year) for its no commercials plan.

While the price increase won’t necessarily break the bank for many consumers, analysts reportedly expect a small percentage will unsubscribe due to the shift.

Monthly subscriptions are often a place consumers target when they’re re-evaluating their budget needs or want to pay off debt, especially if they aren’t making the most of the offering. If you do cancel, be sure to keep an eye on your credit card or debit card statements and make sure the charges don’t continue — a good rule of thumb for canceling any regular subscription charge to your credit card. Monitoring your financial accounts can also help you spot fraud and potential identity theft. You can also monitor your credit scores — you get two credit scores for free every month on Credit.com — to spot signs of identity theft as well.

More Money-Saving Reads:

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