Spectrum Hidden Fees (Internet, TV, Voice, & Mobile)

This guide will cover the hidden fees for Spectrum internet, cable TV, mobile, and more. Read along to learn more.

Before getting a service, I always want to know about hidden fees. I’ve compiled all these fees for Spectrum. That way, you won’t have surprises on your bill.

The types of fees I’ll cover include the following:

Let’s get to work.

Charter Spectrum Internet Hidden Fees

Extra fees for charter Spectrum home internet include [1]:

Modem or Gateway LeaseFree
Advanced WiFi Service$5.00/mo.
Spectrum WiFi Pods$3.00/mo. per Pod
Data Overage ChargeNo Charge
Spectrum TV Essential$24.99/mo.
Spectrum residential internet fees.

The Advanced WiFi service is their router rental. You pay $5.00 monthly to rent an 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) router. It’s nothing special, either.

The best features you’ll find include managing devices on your Wi-Fi network. For instance, pull a prank on your spouse and disconnect them from the internet remotely.

Don’t do this.

You’re better off buying a third-party router. I discuss how to shop for a good one in a separate guide.

The WiFi Pods only work for homes over 3,000 square feet. They help extend your Wi-Fi’s range to cover dead zones. You’ll achieve the same results with mesh Wi-Fi routers.

Getting those will save you $8.00 monthly (for the pod and router price). We have a guide that covers mesh Wi-Fi routers in depth. To help you decide whether they’re worth it.

Spectrum has no hard data cap. Thus, you don’t need to pay data overage fees. Providers who enforce this ridiculous cap will usually charge $10 per additional 50 gigabytes (GB) you use over the cap.

Why is there a TV plan listed with internet fees?

Spectrum TV Essentials is a streaming live television service. It’s only available as an add-on with Spectrum internet-only plans.

The plan allows you to watch 60 channels through the Spectrum TV app. It’s honestly the only way to watch Spectrum TV I can recommend.

Learn more about the Spectrum TV app by checking out this guide.

What happens if you cancel your Spectrum plan and don’t return your equipment?

Spectrum Unreturned Internet Equipment Fees

Failure to return Spectrum internet equipment on time will result in these fees:

Spectrum Wireless Router$76
Spectrum WiFi Pod$64
Spectrum unreturned internet equipment fees.

Return your leased devices within 15 days of canceling your service or equipment plan. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay one of the unreturned equipment fees.

If you can prove that you had COVID-19, or had to quarantine, Spectrum will extend the window to return the equipment to 60 days. So long as a doctor can verify you had it [2].

Spectrum will extend the window to return the equipment to 60 days

The source I linked states the page is for Hawaiians. Their other equipment returns page doesn’t specify this policy [3]. If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of Americans outside Hawaii, contact Spectrum customer service and ask if this policy applies to you.

I talk about returning Spectrum equipment in a separate guide.

For now, let’s cover all Spectrum’s home internet plans.

Spectrum Residential Internet Overview: Pricing & Speeds

Here are Spectrum’s cable home internet plans [4]:

TierPromo. PriceSpeed (DL/UL)Best For
Internet$49.99/mo.300/10 MbpsGaming & Video Streaming
Internet Ultra$69.99/mo.500/20 MbpsLivestreaming & Remote Work
Internet Gig$89.99/mo.1,000/35 MbpsFast Video Game & File Downloads
Internet Assist$17.99/mo.30/4.0 Mbps1 Device Streaming 4K Video
Spectrum 100Free100/10 Mbps4 Devices Streaming 4K Video
Charter Spectrum residential internet plans compared.

Here’s a summary of important tidbits for Spectrum home internet plans:

  • Access thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Free antivirus software
  • Contract free

Here’s a summary of essential tidbits for Spectrum home internet plans:

  • Access thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Free antivirus software
  • Contract free

I sound like a broken record because I’ve typed this many times. But don’t consider the antivirus software as a selling point. It’s only usable on Windows OS and isn’t a viable alternative to Windows Defender.

Read a different piece to learn more about the free Wi-Fi hotspots.

With Spectrum cable internet plans, you’ll also awaken a new power. The ability to use Spectrum Mobile. It’s a low-cost carrier I’ll talk about later.

Spectrum Internet Assist and 100 Mbps internet are only available to low-income households. To qualify for these plans, someone must participate in specific government benefits programs.

Spectrum 100 Mbps internet is accessible if you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). I talk about requirements and how to apply elsewhere.

None of these plans also enforce a bandwidth cap.

Does Spectrum Enforce a Data Cap?

Charter Spectrum doesn’t enforce a hard data cap on residential internet or mobile plans.

That means you could download Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 through Steam (125 GB) without eating up 1/10th of your bandwidth cap [5]. And you don’t have to worry about data overage charges.

With that saved money, you could afford Spectrum cable television services.

Spectrum Cable TV Hidden Fees

Extra optional services Spectrum offers for TV customers include:

Cloud DVR Plus$9.99/mo.
Broadband TV fee$21/mo.

Spectrum TV add-on services.

The broadband TV fee will vary by region. My research suggests that people will pay around $21 monthly on average. There’s 1 way to avoid this fee.

Get the Spectrum TV Essentials add-on with Spectrum internet packages.

The Cloud DVR Plus fee is optional. Pay it if you want to record TV without needing a DVR receiver.

Do you want more channels?

Spectrum TV Channel Packages & Costs

To get additional channels for Spectrum TV plans will have these prices:

Entertainment View$12/mo.
On DemandVaries
Sundance Now$6.99/mo.
Gaiam TV$6.99/mo.
Playboy TV On Demand$19.99/mo.
AMC Premiere$4.99/mo.
Acorn TV$6.99/mo.
Adult 3-Pack On Demand$29.99/mo.
Real On Demand$15.99/mo.
Manhandle On Demand$15.99/mo.
TEN On Demand$15.99/mo.
Hustler On Demand$15.99/mo.
Penthouse On Demand$15.99/mo.
Spectrum TV channel package prices.

If you’re a sports fan, the next section will better suit your needs.

Spectrum TV Sports Channel Package Costs

Available Spectrum sports channels include:

TV PackagePrice
Sports View$6.00/mo.
NHL Center ice$69.99
NBA League pass$99.99
Fox Soccer$10/mo.
Charter Spectrum sports channel packages compared.

Sports View comes with many sports channels. I’ll give you a link to my channel lineup guide when I cover Spectrum’s television services.

For now, I’ll cover premium channel pricing.

Spectrum TV premium channel package prices

If you want premium channels on Spectrum TV, expect to pay these rates:

Spectrum premium channel rates.

You won’t receive any discounts for bundling Spectrum premium channels. The same goes for the next batch of channel packages I’ll cover.

Spectrum TV International Channel Prices

Some Spectrum international channel rates include:

TV PackagePrice
India view$19.99/mo.
India view premium$29.99/mo.
Punjabi view$4.99/mo.
Latino view$12/mo.
Jade world view$24.99/mo.
Korean view$12.99/mo.
Vietnamese view$9.99/mo.
Spectrum international channel packages.

Moving onto equipment fees.

Spectrum TV Equipment Hidden Fees

Spectrum television equipment will come with these costs:

Spectrum HD TV Box & Remote (Per Device)$9.99/mo. Each
Apple TV 4K$9.99/mo. Each for 18 mo. or$180 (one-time)
Secure Connection$1.00
DVR Service Package (2 to 4 DVR Receivers)$19.99/mo.
DVR Service (1 DVR Receiver)$12.99/mo.
Fees for Spectrum TV equipment.

No matter the Spectrum TV plan, you must rent an HD TV box or an Apple TV 4K. The Apple TV box will save you money after more than 18 months.

So long as you intend on staying with Spectrum for a long time.

Otherwise, you could get a third-party TV box and rent the CableCARD. Going this route will prevent you from accessing On Demand video and Pay-Per-View. If that doesn’t make a difference, Spectrum provides information regarding compatible devices here.

Failing to return the above equipment will result in nasty fees.

Spectrum Unreturned TV Equipment Fees

If you don’t return Spectrum television equipment, you’ll need to pay these rates:

Tuning Adapter$130
Spectrum Receiver$97

Unreturned equipment fees for Spectrum TV equipment.

Spectrum doesn’t have a different equipment return policy from their internet equipment one. Refer to what I said about the internet equipment policy to learn more.

Let’s discover all the cable TV packages Spectrum offers.

Spectrum Cable TV Overview: Pricing, Features, & More

Here are the television packages Spectrum TV offers:

TierPromo. PriceChannels
TV Select$59.99/mo.125+
MI Plan Latino$39.99/mo.145+
Spectrum TV Select + Latino View$71.99/mo.200+
TV Basic$9.99/mo.65+
TV Choice$44.99/mo.100+
Spectrum cable TV packages compared.

Spectrum’s website only displays the TV Select and Mi Plan Latino packages. However, their channel lineup and rate card pages mention the TV Basic and Choice plans.

My research suggests that availability will vary by area with the latter packages. Contact their customer service to see whether these plans exist. I haven’t been able to get a straight answer.

All Spectrum TV packages give you access to the Spectrum TV app. It allows you to stream supported channels on unlimited devices simultaneously (at home). And 2 on the go.

I will talk about this app more in a separate guide. If you were to want to use only the app for TV, you’d need to buy a home internet plan, then add Spectrum TV Essentials to your cart.

The plan removes the need for a TV box. And eliminates the broadcast TV fee.

What channels do all these packages have?

It’d take forever to list them here. You’ll need to check out a separate guide I put my blood, sweat, and tears into.

Spectrum Internet users will also unlock a cellular plan. Check out what fees come with that service.

Spectrum Mobile Hidden Fees

Spectrum’s cellular services come with these hidden fees [6]:

Activation Fee$10
By The Gig Additional Data$14 per GB
International Calling (From The U.S.)Up To $0.47 Per Min.
International Calling (From Abroad)Up To $0.17 Per Min.
International Data (While Abroad)Up To $0.04 Per Megabyte
International Texting (While Abroad)Up To $0.02 Per Message

Spectrum mobile hidden fees.

You don’t need to pay for SIM cards. And Spectrum will pay up to $500 to buy you out of your current contract [7]. The contract buyout also applies to Spectrum internet-only plans.

The amount you’ll pay for phones through Spectrum will vary by model. You’ll also need to consider sales tax, shipping fees, and APR.

Spectrum allows you to bring your own devices. So long as they work with Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks.

Those with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) phones can trade in their devices and get the hardware’s trade-in value plus a bonus. To put toward a Spectrum phone. The bonus value you get will depend on the model you buy.

I will go more in-depth in a separate guide.

International talk, text, and call rates will vary by the country you’re in or contact. Refer to the above guide I linked for more information.

For now, see whether Spectrum Mobile is worth getting.

Spectrum Mobile Overview: Plans, Pricing, & Soft Data Caps

Spectrum’s cellular plans are as follows:

TierPriceSoft Data CapSpeed After Exceeding Cap
Unlimited$29.99/Mo. Per Line30 GB Per Line1.0 Mbps (DL) 512 Kbps (UL)
Unlimited Plus$39.99/Mo. Per Line20 GB Per Line1.0 Mbps (DL) 512 Kbps (UL)
By The Gig$14 Per Gb5 GB Per Line256 Kbps (UL & DL)
Spectrum mobile plans compared.

These contract-free cellular plans use Verizon towers. You’ll have some of the country’s best 4G LTE coverage. Including in rural areas.

If you’re adding less than 4 or fewer lines to your mobile plan, get Verizon’s coverage without paying exorbitant fees.

The soft data caps aren’t the best, though.

Earlier, I talked about Wi-Fi hotspots. These can help reduce the strain you put on your line’s data allowance.

I’ve talked about Spectrum’s services enough. Let’s get into the juicy finale of this guide.

Other Spectrum Hidden Fees & Taxes

Random fees you may need to pay for Spectrum’s various services include [8]:

Additional Bill Copies$1.99
Insufficient Funds Fee$25
Late Fee (45 Days Past Due)$8.95
Phone Payment Processing (Charter Assisted)$5.00
Self-Installation Fee$19.99
Reconnection Fee$4.99
Professional Installation$49.99
Business License FeeVaries
California Advanced Services FundVaries (CA only)
California High Cost Fund-AVaries (CA only)
California High Cost Fund BVaries (CA only)
Ca Relay Service And Communications Devices FundVaries (CA only)
California Teleconnect FundVaries (CA only)
E911 ChargeVaries
E911 Equalization SurchargeVaries (TX only)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) FeeVaries
Federal Universal Service Fund (USF)Varies
Police And Fire Protection FeeVaries (WI only)
Public Education And Government ChannelsVaries
State Access Restructure FundVaries (MI only)
State Telecommunications Relay Service ChargeVaries
Telecommunications Access FundVaries (MI only)
Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance FeeVaries (IL only)
Telephone Assistance PlanVaries (MI only)
Telephone Right-Of-Way FeeVaries
988 SurchargeVaries
Spectrum hidden fees.

Most of these fees will vary by location and service. Because Spectrum doesn’t provide quantifiable data, I can’t do the same. We’re left guessing how much these fees will affect our bills.

I suppose it’s better to know they exist than to find them by surprise.

No matter the plan, you must pay the self- or professional installation fees.

None of the plans I mentioned account for these taxes:

  • State
  • Local
  • Local gross receipts
  • Gross receipts
  • Federal excise
  • County

All the above taxes will vary by your ZIP code and service.

Moving on.

Spectrum Contracts & Cancellation Fees

None of Spectrum’s services have contracts. Thus, they don’t have cancellation surcharges.

The fees you must worry about regarding cancellations are unpaid balances, phone payments, and leased devices.

Here’s a fee that may surprise you.

Spectrum TV, Internet, & Bundle Prices After 12 Months

All Spectrum’s TV and internet plans will change into the following rates after a year of service:

TierPromo. PricePost Promo.Percentage Increase
Internet Ultra$69.99/mo.$94.99/mo.30%
Internet Gig$89.99/mo.$114.99/mo.24%
Internet Assist$19.99/mo.NA0%
TV Select$59.99/mo.$79.99/mo.25%
MI Plan Latino$39.99/mo.$54.99/mo.27%
Spectrum TV Select + Latino View$71.99/mo.NA0%
TV Basic$9.99/mo.NA0%
TV Choice$44.99/mo.NA0%
TV Essentials$24.99/mo.NA0%

Spectrum new and existing customer prices compared.

The only way to get new customer rates again is by negotiating with their retention department. I cover these tactics and more in a separate piece.

For now, let’s see what happens when you bundle these services.

Spectrum Bundle Fees

Spectrum doesn’t charge specific fees for bundling its services, but you should consider all the costs that will come with the bundled services.

Here’s an example of fees you’d need to pay for bundling cable TV and internet:

  • HD TV box rental
  • Wireless router rental
  • Broadcast TV fee
  • Professional installation or Activation fee (for one service)
  • Unreturned equipment costs
  • Channel package prices
  • Standard pricing: price after 12 months

Spectrum doesn’t offer discounts when bundling their TV, landline, and internet services. But they do when bundling mobile, Advanced WiFi, and internet. I emphasize this further in a separate guide.

FAQs: Spectrum Hidden Fees

Keep reading to find commonly asked questions about Spectrum hidden fees.

How Much Does an Extra Spectrum Cable Box Cost?

Spectrum charges $9.99 monthly per additional cable box you add to your TV plan.

Does Spectrum Charge You for Their Modem?

You don’t have to pay anything for a Spectrum internet modem.

How Much Is Spectrum DVR Monthly?

Spectrum’s regular DVR service (incl. 1 DVR receiver) costs $12.99 a month. Their Cloud DVR Plus is $9.99 monthly.


Spectrum has ridiculous fees for its TV, internet, and landline services. For instance, the $19.99 self-installation fee.

Many of the mentioned costs are add-ons. But others require you to buy third-party hardware to avoid them. For instance, wireless routers.

I didn’t cover Spectrum’s services much in this guide. I recommend diving further into other Spectrum-related guides I wrote. To familiarize yourself with their services.

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Spectrum Offer

300 Mbps plans for $39.99/mo
$ 69
  • Enough for a familly
  • High availability
  • No data cap