Netflix stealth price hike as it axes “Basic” plan

New customers either pay more or put up with adverts

Yet another big change from Netflix, which once more will make it more expensive for most users. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Netflix Basic?

This Basic level of membership is the one I’ve always felt offered the best value for money. At £6.99 a month you can stream in HD (at 720dpi) and download to your device to watch offline, paying £4 less a month than the next level up.

The only downside is you could only stream on one device at any time, so it’s not great for sharing with others. However, May’s crackdown on account sharing, which saw the introduction of “Extra Members” for an additional charge (of course), means that you can’t share any level of Netflix.

So unless you lived in the same household where different family members stream or download different shows at the same time, or you desperately want full HD (1080dip) or UHD (4K), then the Basic tier is the winner.

I also think it’s a marginally better option than adding an Extra Member subscription to someone else’s account. Though £2 more a month, Basic offers more flexibility and control of your account.

What has happened to Netflix Basic?

As broken by the Cordbusters website, Netflix has removed this Basic tier for all new customers, and it’s no longer available for existing subscribers to switch to.

So you’ll instead have to choose one of the other ways to get access – some cheaper but with restrictions, and some more expensive. I’ll come back to these in a moment.

The good news is that any existing customers already signed up to the Basic plan can stay on this level until you cancel your subscription or change your membership level.

What are the alternative Netflix plans?

With Netflix Basic no more, there are three different levels of subscription, along with the previously mentioned Extra Members.

PlansPrice (per month)Simultaneous streams
Netflix Extra Member (added to Standard or Premium)£4.991
Netflix Standard with Ads
£4.99 2
Netflix Standard
Netflix Premium£15.994

As you can see, it is possible to pay less than Basic via Extra Member or Standard with Ads.

The Extra Member plan is £4.99 a month, but you can only get this if it is added to an existing Standard or Premium plan held by someone else. This plan works a lot like the Basic plan as you can only stream and download on one device, but the big difference is there is only one profile within the plan.

For the same price will get an additional stream if you choose the Standard with Ads plan, though as the name suggests is does come with adverts shown during your programmes and films.

Alternatively you can opt for Standard at £10.99 or Premium at £15.99. The big difference between these two is the number of simultaneous streams, though you do get 4K picture quality with the latter.

Already on Netflix Basic? Should you keep or cancel?

Andy’s Analysis

If you’re currently on the Basic plan, the lower price might tempt you to keep paying even while you’re not watching, just to keep this cheaper price on your account.

Though there’s a logic there, it could end up costing you more in the long run. As with all streaming services I think it’s impossible to get value for money from more than one streaming service at any time. But it’s also very likely that you’ll want to catch shows elsewhere at some point in the year.

So I think it’s better to simply cancel your Netflix when you’ve run out of things to watch, and rejoin later on when you’ve exhausted other services or really want to catch something new on Netflix.

Even if you pay £10.99 a month for Standard, as long as you don’t have this for more than nine months in the year, it’s still cheaper than a year of Basic at £6.99

The key exception is those getting Netflix bundled in with their Sky or BT TV package. These are the Basic tiers as standard (you might have upgraded) and sometimes, if you got a decent deal when signing up or haggling, might be costing you less than the RRP of £6.99.

Saying that, I still think it’s better to ditch traditional pay TV services like Sky and Virgin as you’ll be paying over the odds in most cases for channels you probably don’t watch.

Which Netflix plan is best value for money?

With Basic gone, I think the choice is now between being an Extra Member at £4.99 or the Standard plan at £10.99

I can’t stand commercials so Standard with Ads isn’t for me, while Premium feels like overkill for all but the busiest and most Netflix obsessed households.

If you don’t need multiple streams yourself, and don’t mind having a single profile (the algorithm is always a bit off anyway), then Extra Member nudges itself in the lead as you’ll save £6 over Standard.

The issue you might have is finding someone who is still paying for Standard or Premium, and is happy to add you as their Extra Member. And even if you do, if they decide to cancel or pause their subscription then your plan will end at the same time.

Ultimately I think Netflix know this, and though there’s the appearance of choice at lower prices, in reality the Standard at £10.99 is the tier that most people will probably end up using.

3 thoughts on “Netflix stealth price hike as it axes “Basic” plan

  1. I’m totally lost, this article is confusing for a new user!

  2. Brian Sutherland July 27, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    You can still get the basic hd at £6.99 plan even as a new user.
    Sign up for the plan with adds £4.99
    Go to you account and look to upgrade, there is an upgrade to the basic hd plan at £6.99
    I have done this for two accounts

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I wasn’t going to sign back up to Netflix cos it’s so expensive now, but decided to try this and I was able to get Basic this way too.


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