earns commissions from some of the providers we list on our site. Learn more  

You May Be Qualified to Save More on Your Cable Bill

  • Cable TV bills can cost more than $100 per month, and they seem to rise every year.
  • Savvy customers can take advantage of a wide range of discounts.
  • Military members, veterans, senior citizens, and low-income individuals are among those who may qualify for special savings.
  • Not eligible for a special discount? Try negotiating your own deal directly with your ISP!

Jump to a Discount

Cable TV providers are constantly coming out with new deals and promotions to bring in more customers. Just turn on the TV, open a newspaper or simply visit their website, and you'll find ads for different packages at reduced prices. What you might not know, though, is that some providers offer special discounts that aren't usually advertised.

These cable provider discounts can be available year-round, or strictly on a case-by-case basis. Some can save you just a little each month, while others can net you a fair amount Some discounts are stated outright, while others you have to ask for. So, what are these discounts and how can you get them? Here's everything you need to know:

Military Discount 

In order to thank those who have fought for our country, many companies give back by offering discounts or rewards to military members, active duty and veterans, as well as their families. The trick is that you have to ask. Most TV providers do not advertise the perks they have for military members unless you plan to bundle internet and TV. For example, Verizon Fios and AT&T advertise their military deals, but they apply to internet or mobile plans. The discount will carry over if you decide to bundle, but you may still be able to get a discount if you only want TV. Your best bet is to contact the provider you want directly and ask what discounts they can offer you.

If you are interested in learning more about these discounts, contact the provider's customer service department. Here is more information on military discounts.

College Student Discount 

If you are a current enrolled college student with a valid student ID, you may be eligible for a fairly significant discount on your cable package. College student unions will usually negotiate deals with local providers like Xfinity and pass on the discounts to students. Students who live off-campus can still receive major discounts from providers like Spectrum or Mediacom. Recent events encouraged these providers to extend their low-income internet plans to college students—the low-price of these plans can give you more room in your budget to get a cable TV plan.

Check with your school's student union office to find out if there are any deals available for you or find more information on student discounts here.

Senior Citizens & Low-Income Discount

Giving discounts to senior citizens is also a fairly common practice for companies. Most times companies lump their senior citizen discount with their low-income discount. Again, these discounts may be limited-time offers and will vary depending on the provider and the package you choose, as well as the area in which you live. If you are looking to save big, be sure to ask about the Spectrum Internet Assist plan.

Low-income households can get discounts directly from the federal government thanks to the Lifeline program. Members of the Lifeline program can get a discount on phone and/or internet service depending on the provider. There’s also the Connect2Compete program offered by Cox and Mediacom where eligible households can get internet for about $10 a month. Both providers waive the monthly equipment fee and initial deposit for families in this program.

Employee Discount 

A lot of companies, especially large corporations and government organizations provide their employees with special discounts. Cable TV is no exception. These discounts are usually set up through an employee discount program, which can be exclusive to the company or include numerous affiliated companies. To find out if your company offers a discount program or any other discounts in general, check with your human resources department.

Membership Discount 

Members of certain associations and affiliations may also qualify for a cable TV discount. Groups like AAA, AARP, Lion's Club, work unions, and alumni associations are sometimes able to work out deals with certain providers. Again, not all branches will offer the same discount, since the deals are usually negotiated on a case-by-case basis. So, if you want to find out what options are available for you, it's best to check either with your group's home office or with the specific cable provider you are interested in to see what they can give you.

Loyalty Discount 

Some providers offer discounts to long-time customers who have stayed with the company for years. If you realize you’re paying more for a package that doesn’t offer as much as the newer, cheaper ones, don’t be afraid to talk to a customer service representative and explain your situation. The trick is to not budge and stand your ground, because more often than not they’ll transfer you to a qualified professional with the authority to give you discounted rates.  For example, DIRECTV has a customer loyalty team that addresses your situation and offers lower bills and even free channels, so be sure to be firm about what you want.

Make Your Own Discount 

If you don't happen to qualify for any of the above-mentioned discounts, don't worry. You always have the option to try to negotiate your own deal. With all the various options, promotions, packages, and bundles available through any one provider, customers often pay a variety of prices for the same service. Go ahead and see if you can cut yourself a better deal.

It would be best to talk directly to a retention specialist, who are people that are trained to persuade you to stay, or at least not cancel your services. They’re the ones responsible for taking cancellation requests and will do everything they can to keep you as a customer. Asking to speak to the manager or supervisor won’t get you anywhere since they’ll be more short with you than a representative, and they’re not gaining commission from your sales. Retention specialists usually come into the call when you threaten to discontinue their service, so if you’re really unsatisfied with what you’re paying for, a little bluffing won’t hurt. Ask if there are any other deals available or if there's any way to waive some of the service or installation fees. Also, if another provider is offering a different discount, don't be afraid to ask if they can give you a comparable deal. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

Whether you're able to land a discount or not, it's important to look at the overall offer to see if it's worth it. Most cable TV deals are geared toward drawing in new customers, so the signup and starting prices they give you will always be low, then they hit you with a significant price increase further down the line. Before signing any paperwork, make sure to go over the entire contract. This will ensure that you're saving as much money as possible. Check out which cable TV providers are available in your area.