Spectrum Internet Price Changes Over 13 Months
The chart below shows how Spectrum pricing changes between the 12-month promotional discount for new customers and the final standard rates active as of 2021.
The cost of Spectrum’s base internet-only plan, Spectrum Internet, starts at $49.99 per month and goes up 40% after the first 12 months, to a final “standard” rate of $69.99 (before equipment costs). For comparison, their Spectrum Internet Ultra plan starts at $69.99 and rises 36% to a $94.99 final price. Their fastest internet-only plan, Spectrum Internet GIG, goes 18% up to a $129.99 final price, compared with the lower $109.99 per month introductory rate.
All these plans have a $5 per month WiFi router lease on top of the price, except for the GIG plan which includes the router for free. You can remove this fee if you purchase your own router, but doing so voids some of your tech support services.
Depending on your plan and area, you may see a $10-15 promotion added automatically in the second year, in which case you don’t reach the full “standard rate” until year three.
To summarize, the standard rate (final price) of each Spectrum internet-only plan, including the WiFi router fee, is:
- Spectrum Internet (100 Mbps plan) standard rate: $74.99/mo.
- Spectrum Internet Ultra (400 Mbps plan) standard rate: $99.99/mo.
- Spectrum Internet GIG (940 Mbps plan) standard rate: $129.99/mo.
Update: $10-15 second-year intermediary promotion
Starting in 2020, some customers have reported seeing a $10 discount added to their bill in month 13, when the sign-up promotion ends. This has the effect of creating a "stepping stone" between the promo rate and the final price, so that you don't reach the promotion-free final rate until year three. This also makes it difficult to reactivate the promotion by calling to negotiate a lower rate with Spectrum, since their policies prohibit "stacking" more than one promotion per line of service.
If you do not see this on your bill automatically, consider calling Spectrum and requesting the promotion — which adds up to $120 in savings over the course of the year. You can see my guide on accessing call-center promotional rates here.
You can also cancel Spectrum internet fairly easily, since most internet-only plans have no contract terms. When you call to do so, they're likely to offer a discount to keep you on board.
Spectrum TV Package Prices After First Year Promotion Expires
Spectrum is extremely cagey about the standard rate for their TV plans, partly because local broadcast fees, receiver leases, and other miscellaneous costs can cause the price to vary substantially depending on what market you live in.
In this comparison, I’m evaluating the base cost of service before programming and TV equipment fees, fees for HD service, etc.
|Plan Name||Speed||Channels||Promotional Discount Price (New customers)||Standard Rate (Existing customers)|
|Double Play Select||100 Mbps||125+||$89.98/mo.||$143.98/mo.|
|Double Play Silver||100 Mbps||175+||$114.98/mo.||$168.98/mo.|
|Double Play Gold||100 Mbps||200+||$134.98/mo.||$188.98/mo.|
The cost of Spectrum’s base TV and internet double play bundle, Double Play Select, starts at $89.98 per month, including both the internet and TV discounted rate. The price rises 60% to $143.98 in month 13.
Looking at their larger TV package tiers, the Double Play Silver bundle starts at $114.98 and goes up 47% to a $168.98 final price. Their largest TV bundle, Double Play Gold, starts at $134.98 for 100–200 Mbps internet and 200+ channels. It rises 40% after 12 months to a $188.98 final price, before broadcast and equipment fees.
As with internet-only plans, the TV bundle plans feature a $5 per month WiFi router lease, as well as network fees, sports fees, receiver fees, and etc. These are difficult to estimate without knowing a specific service address. (View their official rate card by address here.)
To summarize, the standard rate of each Spectrum TV bundle after 12 months is:
- Double Play Select (125+ channels): $143.98/mo.
- Double Play Silver (175+ channels): $168.98/mo.
- Double Play Gold (200+ channels): $188.98/mo.
Why Does the Price of Spectrum Go Up After 12 Months?
While promotional pricing schemes can be frustrating as a customer, they are fairly standard in the cable and internet service industry.
Comcast, RCN, Cox Cable, and even well-liked local ISPs like Sonic all use promotional pricing to bring new customers on board. Providers who charge flat rates with no new-customer discount look more expensive when advertising, which can hurt their efforts to compete for market share.
As a rule, flat-rate pricing for internet service is only practiced by “startup” internet companies like Starry or Google Fiber, who differentiate heavily on being as different from standard cable as possible (no fees, no variable pricing, no hidden upload rates, etc).
The biggest issue with promotional pricing is that customers often don’t understand that the price they get for the first year is a promotion, not the actual rate for service. Since many cable companies use third-party call centers, affiliates, and other outsourced customer acquisition methods, it’s often in the interest of the salesperson or website to downplay the final price.
When comparing Spectrum plans, as a consumer, it’s important that you check the fine print before you purchase anything. If buying on the phone, do not provide payment until you’ve reviewed the terms for your service in writing.
Ultimately, there’s not much to do about price rises with Spectrum — even when you’re on the final rate, they reserve the right to raise prices across the board as needed to preserve profits. In fact, they’ve done this several times in the past five years, and have further increases planned for the end of 2020.
Summary: Average Price Comparisons for Spectrum Plans
In summary, the important price when comparing Spectrum plans isn't the promotional price — it's the average price over 2+ years and the final price after new customer promotions expire.
Here's a breakdown of the average price over two years for each Spectrum plan:
Internet-only average prices over two years
- Spectrum Internet (100 Mbps plan): $60/mo.
- Spectrum Internet Ultra (400 Mbps plan): $82/mo.
- Spectrum Internet GIG (940 Mbps plan): $120/mo.
TV bundle average prices over two years
- Double Play Select (125+ channels): $117/mo.
- Double Play Silver (175+ channels): $142/mo.
- Double Play Gold (200+ channels): $162/mo.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of Spectrum after 12 months?
Spectrum advertises a base internet price of $49.99 per month, but this increases by $20 to a standard rate of $69.99 after the first year of service. In some cases, a $10–15 second-year discount may be applied automatically for Spectrum customers, likely to discourage call-ins about discounts. Most customers lease a router from Spectrum as part of the service, effectively increasing the price an additional $5 per month.
What is the standard rate for Spectrum internet?
The standard rate for Spectrum's 100–200 Mbps internet tier is $69.99, with a new customer promotional price of $49.99. This is before the $5 per month WiFi router leasing fee. Spectrum's Ultra 400 Mbps plan has a standard rate of $94.99 per month, while the standard rate for the 940 Mbps gigabit GIG plan is $129.99 (router included).
How much does Spectrum really cost?
The actual prices for Spectrum internet-only service range from $69.99–129.99 per month. Promotional rates for new customers start at $49.99 per month. All plans except the most expensive GIG plan do not include the WiFi router, meaning customers need to either elect to lease it for an additional $5 per month or purchase their own router. The highest standard rate for Spectrum internet-only service is $129.99 per month, for the GIG plan.