Best internet promos of December 2021 – CNET

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The top internet promotions for December are here. Sign up with these featured ISPs for free gift cards, streaming subscriptions and more.
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Fast speeds for a fair price make for the best internet deals, but most internet providers know they need to do a little more to earn your business. That’s where limited-time promotional offers and signup bonuses come into play, especially during the holiday shopping season. Gift cards are the hot item right now, but a free subscription to a premium service or other extras are available depending on the available ISPs in your area.
Below, we share our top picks for the best internet promotions during the month of December. These offers are subject to change and they do change often, so check back regularly to find the top internet promotions.
Read more: Best VPN of 2021
The shopping season is here and providers from AT&T to Xfinity are offering hundreds of dollars in gift cards that you can put toward your holiday gift-buying budget. Even Verizon Fios, which has historically come with some sort of free device in lieu of a gift card, has joined the mix with a gift card offer of its own. For December, Optimum, WOW and Xfinity take the top spot with gift card offers of up to $300, but new customers of AT&T, Frontier or Verizon Fios can also score a $200 gift card.
In addition to gift cards, free subscriptions to streaming services are also available from select providers, as are a free month or two of service. Read on for our breakdown of the best internet promotions you can take advantage of this December.
How to get it: Sign up online for Optimum 300, 500 or gigabit plans.
New customers signing up for Optimum internet 200Mbps, 500Mbps and gig plans will receive a $300 gift card along with free HBO Max subscription, valued at $15 per month. The gift card is the same across all plans, but the HBO Max offer varies by plan. Optimum 300 comes with HBO Max for three months, while Optimum 500 comes with six months of the streaming service and Optimum Gig includes a full year.
Read our Optimum home internet review.
 
How to get it: Sign up for the Xfinity Gigabit plan for a $300 gift card. Sign up for any standard Xfinity internet plan online to receive a free 4K streaming device.
Upgrading to a faster (and more expensive) plan isn’t always worth the added cost, especially if it’s more speed than you need, but Xfinity encourages you to take a second look at those faster plans with its incentives. Xfinity’s fastest cable internet plan, Gigabit, not only comes with the generous speed of up to 1,200Mbps but also a generous $300 gift card.
If you don’t need gigabit speeds but still want something for signing up with Xfinity, the provider is giving away an exclusive Flex 4K streaming device to all customers who sign up for an Xfinity plan of 50Mbps or higher. The Flex 4K device comes with dozens of preloaded apps like Netflix and Pandora, a voice remote and a subscription to Peacock streaming service at no extra cost.
Read our Xfinity home internet review.
 
How to get it: Sign up for a 200Mbps plan or higher and keep your service for a minimum of 90 days.
WOW offers gift cards of varying denominations depending on what plan you sign up for. The 200Mbps plan is the lowest one to come with a gift card ($100 in most markets). Upgrade to the 500Mbps plan for a $200 gift card or gig service for the grand prize of $300. In select markets, for example Chicago, the gift card amount may be lower, but you’ll still get some sort of monetary reward when signing up for any WOW plan 200Mbps and above.
WOW internet service also features low pricing, unlimited data and no contract requirements — perks that make the service worth checking out even without the gift card.
Read our WOW home internet review.
 
How to get it: Sign up for Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection. 
Verizon doesn’t usually do the gift card thing as its unique promos, not to mention plans and pricing, are typically good enough on their own. Even so, Verizon has joined the club with a gift card offer of its own for each of its Fios plans. 
New customers signing up for gig service can score a $200 gift card plus a free router and Wi-Fi extender rental, valued at $20 per month. Those signing up for the 400Mbps will receive a $100 gift card while the lowest speed, 200Mbps, also comes with the lowest gift card, $50.
Regardless of the plan and gift card, all new Verizon Fios internet customers will receive a year’s subscription to AMC Plus and Disney Plus — a total value of $164.
Read our Verizon Fios home internet review.
 
How to get it: Order any AT&T Fiber plan online. Order gigabit service to receive the HBO Max offer.
AT&T is known for frequently giving away gift cards, and this December is no exception. All AT&T Fiber plans — that’s AT&T Fiber 300, 500 and 1000 — come with a $200 gift card just for signing up online. The gift card offer is not available with AT&T Internet (a DSL-based service) or AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet.
In addition to the gift card, AT&T Fiber 1000 also includes a free subscription to HBO Max. This is no trial subscription, either: HBO Max is included at no extra cost for as long as you have the plan, an ongoing $15 per month value.
Read our AT&T home internet review.
 
How to get it: Qualifying customers in New York City will receive a $200 gift card and a bill credit for two months of service at the standard rate within the first six billing cycles.
RCN is one of the only major internet service providers to incentivize new customers with gift cards and two free months of service, but it’s only available in the New York area. 
Residents of other RCN service areas — Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley area in Pennsylvania — can still take advantage of RCN service perks such as free installation and unlimited data, but there’s currently no free service offer available.
Read more about your cable internet options.
 
How to get it: Sign up online for FiberOptic Gig Service. 
Like with Verizon Fios, Frontier’s gift card offers vary by plan. To get the max gift card amount, $200, you’ll have to sign up for Frontier’s most expensive plan, Gig Service. Even though it’s the most expensive plan, it’s a fairly good deal on its own, with a download speed of up to 940Mbps for $70 per month. On top of that, the gigabit plan comes with an Eero Pro 6 mesh Wi-Fi system included at no extra cost.
If you don’t need gigabit speed, Frontier FiberOptic 500/500 comes with a $100 gift card, but the 50/50 plan does not. Frontier DSL also does not have any incentives or special offers available at this time. The Eero Pro 6 offer is also not available with any Frontier plan other than gig service.
Read our Frontier home internet review.
 
How to get it: Be a new or returning customer who hasn’t had Kinetic service in the last 30 days and keep service for at least six months.
In select areas, Kinetic by Windstream is offering a free month of service for new or returning customers who have not had Kinetic service in the past 30 days. Other locations may not be eligible for any free service, but all new Kinetic customers can qualify for a $100 instant credit when signing up. 
If you can get a free month of service, don’t expect your bill to be zero. Taxes and fees, including the equipment fee (around $10 per month), still apply. Additionally, if you decide to cancel service before the six month mark, Kinetic may reverse that bill credit.
Read our Kinetic by Windstream review.
 
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Promotional offers are all well and good, but they shouldn’t be the sole consideration when choosing an internet service or particular plan. The best bang for your buck will often lie in the plan that delivers the speed you need for the lowest price. Anything extra on top of that, such as gift cards or free streaming services, is welcome, but if it enticed you into paying a premium for more speed than you need, the signup bonus may not have been worth it.
For example, let’s say you’re shopping for Frontier FiberOptic internet and are interested in the 500Mbps plan, which comes with a $100 gift card. Then you see the gig plan, which is $20 more per month, but comes with a $200 gift card. So after five months, the extra $100 you got with gig service is gone and you’re left paying $20 a month more for a plan that has more speed than you need. In short, always try to go with the best plan for your needs, not necessarily the plan with the highest instant gratification.
Other than the promos listed above, there isn’t much worth writing home about. Sure, some providers have lower introductory pricing or free install offers, but that’s so common among ISPs now that they could hardly be considered “promos.”
That’s not to say that other special offers aren’t available, they’re just not as heavily advertised or may not be available to all residential customers. When signing up for a new internet service, ask the internet provider what other special offer they can throw in for you.
Internet promos are often reserved for new customers or returning customers who have been away for more than a year. That’s not to say a lower price or a deal on upgrading to a faster speed isn’t available, though. Try calling your current ISP and ask what they can do to keep your business. It may get you nothing, but it could get you a lower rate, free equipment or something else that wasn’t advertised online. Hey, you never know, it never hurts to ask.

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