Don’t cancel your Apple TV Plus trial until it’s almost over

Illustrations by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple TV Plus launches today, and Apple has a pretty slick limited time deal: buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac, and you’ll get a free one-year trial of the company’s fledgling streaming service.

But there’s a catch: claiming the free trial automatically signs you up for a monthly subscription that kicks in once the free trial ends, which will continue to automatically renew until you cancel it. Try to opt out of the auto-renewal, and your free trial will instantly end, with no way to get whatever months you have left of the free trial back.

That means to make the most of your free year, you shouldn’t cancel the service until right before it ends. If you’re activating the free trial now, that means you’ll want to cancel no later than October 31st, 2020, to make sure that you get the full year without getting charged. (Apple says that customers have to cancel “at least a day before each renewal date.”)

In other words, if you’re giving Apple TV Plus a shot, make sure to set a reminder to cancel it in slightly less than a year from now, assuming you don’t want to keep paying.

Other useful things to know about the Apple TV Plus free trial:

  • Any new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac that’s “capable of running the latest iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or macOS” software that was bought after September 10th, 2019, from either Apple or an Apple-authorized reseller is included in the offer. You don’t need to have bought the latest iPhone 11 Pro to get the free subscription.
  • You get three months from when you purchased your device to set up the free one-year trial (or if you bought it before November 1st, three months from November 1st).
  • The free year trial is “available for a limited time only,” meaning that Apple can (and likely will) stop offering it at some point in the future.
  • The free trial — like a paid Apple TV Plus subscription — is shared across your entire Family Sharing group with up to five other family members. You can also watch up to six simultaneous streams, which means you won’t have to fight your family members to decide who gets to watch.
  • The flip side is that you’re limited to one free trial per Apple ID / Family Sharing group, so if everyone in your family bought a new iPhone this year, you’d still only get one free year subscription for everyone to share.

[“source=theverge”]