18 Best Streaming Services to Buy and Rent Movies

A streaming subscription gives you access to a wealth of films and TV shows, but some of us just want to watch what we want to watch. Maybe it's a new movie that has yet to hit streaming or a niche TV series you can't find anywhere else. Whatever it is, it's highly likely you'll find what you're looking for in one of the many video rental stores online.

In these online stores, you don't need to pay a monthly fee or, in many instances, even register an account. You simply pick a title, select your method of payment, and check it out. After that one-and-done transaction, you can watch and rewatch it to your heart's content. If it's a rental, you can have access to that title for as long as 30 days, and if it's a purchase, you can have that forever, that is until the studio's rights to the title expire. Depending on the platform, you can also stream many of these movies and TV shows in 4K UHD and Dolby Atmos. Just make sure you have a compatible device. So, without further ado, here are the best places you can buy and rent movies online. 

Our recommended five best streaming services to buy and rent movies:
Amazon Prime $8.99 Watch
Curzon Home Cinema free Watch
AMC Theatres On Demand free Watch
Vudu free Watch
DirecTV free Watch
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Amazon's premium membership program is an all-in-one bundle that includes access to the streaming platform Prime Video, more commonly referred to in this publication as “Amazon Prime.” A subscription entitles you not only to Amazon Prime's thousands of films and TV shows, but also to Amazon's delivery benefits, which include discounted fees, free shipping, and same-day delivery on select items. The membership bundle costs $14.99/month, but you can access the streaming service as a standalone for just $8.99.

Depending on where you live, access to Amazon Prime might differ. If you live in the US, UK, or Germany, you have the option of paying a yearly or monthly subscription fee for an Amazon Prime account. Users from the US, UK, France, and Brazil likewise have access to Amazon Prime's sports content which, depending on the season, may include live and on-demand coverage of basketball, football, and baseball events. Meanwhile, people in countries where Amazon is not operating may only be able to access it from a browser.  

In addition to on-demand streaming, you can rent or buy titles that are not on the service or purchase add-on channels like HBO, Starz, and MLB.TV to watch on the Amazon Prime platform. And apart from Amazon devices, the app is available on any mobile device, including iOS, Android, or Windows. The app also works on Apple and Windows computers, a wide range of TVs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles.

Price: $8.99/month

Free Trial: 30 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Changhong, Chromecast, Haier, Hisense, iOS, LG, Nvidia SHIELD, Panasonic, Philips, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung, Sharp, Skyworth, Sony, TiVo, Vestel, Vizio, Wii, Xbox

Features: 4k-compatible, ad-supported option, annual subscription, Dolby Atmos, multiple profiles, offline downloads, on-demand content, parental controls, picture in picture, spatial audio, up to three concurrent streams

YouTube's Movies & TV storefront (not to be mistaken with YouTube TV) allows you to rent and purchase thousands of films and TV shows. You can pick from the latest blockbuster releases, foreign films, award-winning staples, beloved classics, and even pre-order titles that have yet to be available elsewhere. A big draw here is that YouTube is already everywhere—it's a tab on your browser, an app on your phone, a channel on your smart TV—so renting, purchasing, and later on accessing a title is as easy as entering your credit card or PayPal details. And as a bonus, YouTube also has a lineup of free movies it lets you watch with ads. Granted, they're not as big or new as their rentable titles, but there are gems like Moonstruck and Cooley High hidden in there somewhere. 

Now, some things to note before heading to the storefront: you must be 18 years or older to watch these titles, and while buying a movie or TV episode allows you to access them indefinitely, you have only 30 days to start viewing a rental. Once you've started watching it, you usually have about 48 hours until it expires, but this can vary per title. YouTube also allows playback in HD and 4k, but these features are currently unavailable on web browsers. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Hisense, Hisense TV, iOS, LG Smart TV, Nvidia SHIELD, PlayStation, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung Smart TV, Sharp, Sony, Sony TV, Vizio, Vizio Smart TV, Website, Xbox

Features: 4k-compatible, ad-supported option, free, purchase, rent

Vudu is an on-demand streaming service that allows users to rent or purchase more than 200,000 new releases. Founded in 2007, it's one of the first companies to offer digital films in HD. Vudu's main strength is its ease of access and jam-packed catalog of movies and TV shows, but it also boasts free content, which they run on ads. In 2020, media and ticketing firm Fandango acquired Vudu and merged both companies' streamers into one. They decided to keep the Vudu name because of its large and loyal customer base. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, iOS, LG Smart TV, Playsation, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, TiVo, Vizio, Xbox, Xfinity Flex

Features: 4k-compatible, ad-supported option, free, on-demand content, rent

Suppose you're subscribed to one of Spectrum's many TV plans. In that case, you're automatically eligible for Spectrum on Demand, the platform's streaming service that gives you access to thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows. Now, in case you can't find your favorite title on the free service, you'll likely find it on Spectrum's pay-per-view store. Here you'll find the latest movie releases and network TV shows available to rent or buy. Like most TVOD platforms, Spectrum charges around $1 to $20 for each title (the price usually depends on their popularity and recency), and you can watch it as many times as you watch within a 24-hour period.

Price: Varies depending on your location and account history.

Features: on-demand content, pay per view, purchase, rent

Spamflix is a video rental service dedicated to showcasing the most offbeat and avant-garde films. The service prides itself on its absurd line-up of titles, which it claims will "surprise, shock, entertain and amaze" users. These genre films span borders and come from all parts of the world; upon purchase, which usually starts at $5, they will be available to watch for 72 hours or 3 whole days. Spamflix also offers themed film packs, online games, and for true-blue fanatics, an updated movie newsletter. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Android, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, Website

Features: on-demand content, rent

Like Vudu and Amazon, Row8 is a video rental service that gives users access to films that are currently screening in theaters and have yet to be available online. But perhaps unlike other rental services, Row8 prioritizes quality for quantity; it doesn't have as many titles, but it carefully curates its updated lineup, which is generally compromised of Hollywood blockbusters, indie darlings, and even some foreign films. The most interesting thing about Row8, though, is its "Movie Love Guarantee," which allows you to swap whatever movie you've rented or purchased for a different title within the first 30 minutes of viewing. This is to make sure that whatever you're watching, you're having a good time. Another nifty cost-saving feature? Upon your fourth rental or purchase, you get $1 off on all movies labeled "Home Cinema." It's worth checking out if you like watching the latest releases while saving a pretty penny. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Android, Apple TV, Google TV, iOS, Roku, Roku TV, Vizio Smart TV

Features: on-demand content, rent

No longer just a physical DVD kiosk, Redbox has expanded to become an online space where you can rent and purchase films and TV shows as well as watch live channels for free. Like Vudu and Amazon Prime, Redbox gives you access to a plethora of movies, including fan favorites and indie gems (these can cost anywhere from $2 to $5) and movies currently screening in cinemas (these usually cost more, around $20). Redbox also has a live TV streaming feature that you can access even without a registered account. Although most of the channels are not that notable, they cover the essential categories: news, sports, and entertainment.

Price: free for 18 channels available

Device availability: Android, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, LG, LG Smart TV, LG TV, Roku, Samsung, Vizio, Vizio TV, Xbox

Channel lineup: America's Test Kitchen, beIN Sports Extra, Billiard TV, Bloomberg, CBC News, Cheddar, Family Feud TV, Glory Kickboxing, Hard Knocks, Johnny Carson TV, Now This News, Outdoor America, Pac-12 Insider, Scripps News, Unsolved Mysteries, USA Today, Vogue TV, World Poker Tour

Features: 4k-compatible, on-demand content, purchase, rent

Google Play Movies & TV, or simply Play, is a video-on-demand store that allows you to rent or purchase various films and TV shows online. A rental can cost as low as $1 (these are usually TV movies and old films) while purchases can cost up to $20 (these are often blockbusters that are fresh from theaters). Play lets you watch on most major streaming devices, but you have to remember to log in with the same account you used to purchase the titles. On your smartphone, you can access the titles via the Google TV or YouTube app, while on your smart TV, you can use access them via the Play, YouTube, or Movies Anywhere apps. You can also watch them via the Play website but do take note that Play doesn't offer HD and 4k viewing on PCs.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Android, Android TV, Chromecast, Google TV, iOS, Roku, Roku TV, Website

Features: offline downloads, rent

Microsoft is most known for its computer and gaming services, but the tech corporation also has a streaming service under its belt. Microsoft's media store allows you to rent or purchase a host of films and TV shows, many of which are still up in theaters or being broadcast on network TV. The good news is that Microsoft often puts up sales and specials that slash prices up to half, and the even better news is that Xbox Game Pass holders are entitled to many of these discounts. So for instance, a Game Pass holder can pay just $7 for a film that costs $20 to rent. Now, the not-so-good news is that Microsoft's rental store is only available for Xbox and PCs and mobile devices that run on Windows. Anything outside of these devices, unfortunately, won't be able to access the store. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Windows 10, Windows 11, Xbox

Features: on-demand content, purchase, rent

Film lovers will be happy to know that they can rent (and in some instances, purchase) the latest indie and film fest darlings, as well as hard-to-find classics and international gems, with Kino Now. The platform is powered by the New York-based film company Kino Lorber, so it has more than a thousand titles to its name, all of which are carefully curated in playlists like "Cannes Winners," "New York Times Critcis’ Picks," "Visionary Black Directors," and "Women Filmmakers." They also have collections from visionaries like Jean-Luc Godard, Jafar Panahi, Jia Zhangke, Joanna Hogg, and Alfred Hitchcock. You don't need an account to start renting the titles, and you can pay using any credit card recognized in the US as it uses Stripe to process payments. Rented movies are available for seven days from the time of purchase. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku

Features: offline downloads, on-demand content, purchase, rent

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.