I'm a big fan of Star Trek. Not quite cosplaying and going to conventions but I enjoy the shows.
I've enjoyed everything from TNG onward – including the much-maligned Enterprise series (I enjoyed that too) – and so I was excited when CBS announced they'd be bringing the series back.
Yet, when CBS announced a few years ago that the Star Trek: Discovery would only be on their CBS All Access streaming service – I passed.
Then, when they announced a show with Picard a short while back? OK CBS, now you got me.
That led me to my next question… is there a way to watch it for free?
Not 100% but there are free trials and a way to get it for free, at least a little while.
You can time your free trial and binge any show you want. CBS All Access releases episodes on a weekly schedule, unlike Netflix which releases them all at once (Disney+ also drips them out like a traditional TV series).
To watch a show for free, you'll just have to wait until the last week of the season to sign up.
Limited Time Offer: One Month Free
For a limited time, CBS is offering a free one month trial if you use the code FORYOU. This is active as of 2/14/2021.
They seem to add a new code every few weeks. 🙂
It works for either plan, so if you're just doing the free month, you might as well avoid the commercials!
Then remember when your month ends because you'll be billed at the regular price ($5.99 or $9.99). This is still a great way to see if it's worth it for you, a whole month of shows for free rather than the regular 7-day trial!
What You Get with CBS All Access
CBS All Access has 10,000 episodes on demand from some of the most popular shows on TV today. Shows like NCIS, God Friended Me, Hawaii Five-O, Seal Team, Survivor, Late Show, Young Sheldon and soap opera stalwarts The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. You also get a ton of shows in the archives like Cheers, Gunsmoke, Frasier, Family Ties, Happy Days, Macgyver, all the previous Star Treks (DS9, Enterprise, TOS, TNG, and Voyager). It's really a huge catalog of classics.
You also get the live broadcast, which includes NFL on CBS.
They also have several originals that are available only on CBS All Access:
- No Activity
- One Dollar
- Star Trek: Discovery
- Star Trek: Picard
- Star Trek: Short Treks
- Strange Angel
- Tell Me A Story
- The Good Fight
- The Twilight Zone
- Why Women Kill
- Limited Commercials – $5.99 per month
- Commercial Free – $9.99 per month
If you are willing to pay for a full year, the price drops a little:
- Limited Commercials – $59.99 per year (~$4.99 per month)
- Commercial Free – $99.99 per month (~$8.33 per month)
How does this compare to CBS All Access' competitors?
Not favorably! Which is why they have streaming exclusives.
Netflix has a huge catalog and starts at $9 per month without any commercials. Hulu has an advertisement-supported plan at $5.99 per month and a no-ads version at $11.99 per month, so CBS is slightly cheaper. But Hulu has content from a lot of different networks, not just one.
All Access Streaming Free
One place you can check is with your existing cable provider – you may be able to get CBS All Access's streaming Live TV option for free. You will have to set up an account and link your cable provider to know whether that's the case.
CBS All Access Free Trial
The standard promotional offer for CBS All Access is a free 7-day trial. Everyone can get this offer.
From time to time, they have offered a longer trial or a discount when paired with other services. But at the moment, a week is all they offer. If that changes, we'll update this post with the latest information.
CBS All Access is not the best streaming service out there but if you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery or Star Trek: Picard, it's the only game in town. I also recommend checking out our list of the Best Online Streaming Services for more ideas.