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Hulu free trial: There's no trick to getting your initial free service — just sign up!

Disney+, Hulu and ESPN icons on Apple TV
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Hulu has a free trial. That's true whether you're talking about the Hulu on-demand service — which has more than 35 million accounts in the United States — or Hulu With Live TV, which adds another 4 million onto that total.

In other words, 40 million account-holders can't all be wrong.

And they've all got one thing in common — they almost certainly all took advantage of the Hulu free trial before they started paying their monthly subscription fee.

And that's an important thing to remember before you go looking for any new streaming service — whether or not it's got a free trial.

The good news is that most do. And that includes Hulu. Here's everything you need to know about taking advantage of that Hulu free trial.

How to get your Hulu free trial

The secret to getting a free trial with Hulu is that ... there is no secret. There's no trick. There's no special code or three things you have to know or one website that's going to tell you exactly how to unlock the magic of the Hulu free trial.

It just exists. And right now it's good for a full free month.

When you initially sign up for a Hulu account, you're going to fork over a little information. You name, an email address, and some payment info. That's all standard stuff, whether you're truly using the Hulu free trial as a way to feel things out, or if you're fully intending on using Hulu for what it's intended, and paying your fees in the process.

It's all right there on the first button you see on the Hulu website — "Free trial." Or "Get the first month free." Nobody's trying to trick you. Nobody's making you jump through any hoops. If you're signing up for Hulu, you're going to get that free trial.

And that's true whether you're getting the most basic of Hulu services — the $5.99 option that includes advertising with the on-demand content — or if you're going for the $11.99-a-month plan that gets rid of most advertising. It's also true if you're opting for Hulu With Live TV for $64.99 a month — and it just so happens to be the most popular live TV streaming service in the United States

They all have free trials.

The Hulu plans as of May 2021

(Image credit: Screenshot)

The two catches about the Hulu free trial

OK, there actually are two things you need to know here. First is that the Hulu free trial is mostly for new sign-ups, but also for "eligible returning live TV subscribers." That's int he fine print, and it's just something you should be aware of.

Second is that Hulu is owned by Disney, and Disney is real big on upselling you to what's known as the "Disney Bundle." That gets you Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ for a single price. And you can get it with the ad-supported Hulu service for $13.99 a month, or the ad-free Hulu experience for $19.99 a month — or even with Hulu with Live TV for $72.99 a month.

MORE: Try Disney+ on Apple TV

And you know what? Those are all good deals that will save you money over buying the services separately, essentially getting you three services for the price of two. (And in the case of the bundle with Hulu With Live TV, you're getting those other two services for just $7 more than what the live service costs in the first place.)

But what they don't include is a free trial.