Free Trials Aren't Free if You Forget to Cancel. Here’s How to Avoid Paying (2023)

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Free trials are an excellent way to test out products and services before shelling out your hard-earned money. After all, who can resist testing a new streaming service, such as Paramount+ or YouTube TV? But you may not want to keep your subscription once the free trial is over.

Trials last for only a limited period before you need to decide whether to commit or cancel them. If you’ve finished testing a service and don’t wish to continue, here’s how to cancel your subscription so you can avoid being charged.

Consider the Cost Before Signing Up for a Free Trial

Signing up for a free trial is a great way to test out a product or service without spending any money. But they can end up costing you if you’re not careful.

Even if you think you’ll definitely cancel the service before your free trial is over, be cautious about signing up for something that doesn’t fit into your budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a service only to have no choice but to cancel it because you can’t afford it. And you don’t want to overdraft your account in the event that you don’t end up canceling in time.

In addition to hoping you don’t cancel, companies also want to make sure they actually get paid. Though a free trial shouldn’t cost you anything, you may see a pending charge or pre-authorization on your account, which is basically the company’s way of verifying that your account is legit.

Avoid Paying for Subscriptions When Your Free Trials End

One way to avoid going past a subscription’s free trial period is to cancel right after signing up. You won’t have to worry about remembering to do it at the end of the week or month or whenever the trial ends.

However, it’s important to note: Do this only if the company will continue providing the service through the end of the trial period. Some don’t and will cut you off as soon as you submit your cancellation. Then you’ve wasted the opportunity to test out the service.

Using a virtual credit card is another tactic to avoid paying for subscriptions past the trial period. Virtual credit cards are credit card numbers issued by some banks, credit card companies and independent financial companies. (You don’t actually get a physical card.) These virtual cards often are restricted to a one-time use or have a short expiration period, which makes them favorable to people signing up for free trials.

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Then there’s always the strategy of simply canceling your free trial right before it ends. Set a reminder (or two) to cut your ties with the service before payment becomes due.

Most companies aren’t going to send you a reminder that your free period is about to be over (though Mastercard requires some merchants to do so). Mark your calendar, set an alert on your phone or do whatever you need to remember to cancel.

Pro Tip

Regularly review your monthly bank statements or credit card statements so you can catch any unexpected charges — like a subscription you forgot to cancel.

Make sure you read over the cancellation policy when you sign up for a free trial. Some companies require you to submit cancellation requests a day or two before the start of the first billing period. Generally, when you log into your account, there’s an option to cancel under the section for billing or subscription management. There will probably be multiple prompts to convince you not to cancel, but don’t let them sway you.

How to Cancel 15 Popular Free Trial Offers

We browsed the cancellation policies of several popular services to get instructions on how to cancel their free trials. In every case, make sure you complete all the steps to confirm your cancellation. Lots of companies send email confirmations.

These guidelines are based on canceling directly through each service. Canceling a trial you acquired through a third party — for example, a free HBO trial you signed up for through your cable provider — may require different steps.

1. How to Cancel an Adobe Free Trial

Here are the steps to cancel a free trial of Adobe.

  1. Go to and log into your account.
  2. Under your plan, click the “Manage Plan” button.
  3. Select the reason you want to cancel and hit “Continue.”
  4. Follow the instructions on your screen.

2. How to Cancel an Amazon Prime Free Trial

According to the terms and conditions for Amazon Prime, you have three business days from when your free trial converts to a paid membership to get a full refund, provided you haven’t used any of the Prime benefits during that three-day period.

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However, to cancel your trial before it switches to the paid version, visit this page and click the “End Membership” button.

3. How to Cancel an Ancestry Free Trial

According to Ancestry Support, your free trial ends automatically once you cancel it, even if additional days were remaining in the trial period. Cancel Ancestry’s free trial by following these steps.

  1. Log into
  2. Select your name or username in the top right corner and click on “Account Settings.”
  3. Go to the “Membership” section and click “Cancel Subscriptions.”

4. How to Cancel an Apple Music Free Trial

Cancel your Apple Music free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Visit the Apple Support webpage.
  2. Click “Cancel a Subscription.”
  3. Choose “Apple Music,” then select “Cancel Subscription.”

5. How to Cancel an Apple TV+ Free Trial

Cancel your Apple TV+ free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Go to and log in to your Apple account.
  2. Click on the account icon, then select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down to “Subscriptions” and choose “Manage.”
  4. Select “Cancel Subscription.”

6. How to Cancel an Audible Free Trial

Here’s how to cancel your free trial of Audible.

  1. Log in to your account at
  2. Go to “Account Details” and then “Account Settings.”
  3. Click on “Cancel My Membership.”

7. How to Cancel an Avast Internet Security Free Trial

See the steps below to cancel your free Avast trial before you get charged.

  1. Log into your Avast account.
  2. Click on the “Subscriptions” tile and click “Unsubscribe” for the subscription you want to cancel.
  3. Click “Continue” when asked if you’re ready to unsubscribe.
  4. Select a reason for unsubscribing and then click “Unsubscribe.”

See here for additional instructions on how to cancel if you signed up using a different order distributor.

8. How to Cancel a FuboTV Free Trial

Cancel your FuboTV free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Go to and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the profile icon, then select “My Account.”
  3. On the “My Account” screen select “Subscription and Billing.”

9. How to Cancel a Hulu Free Trial

According to Hulu’s terms and conditions, your service may end immediately upon cancellation. Follow these steps to cancel.

  1. Visit and log in or open the app on your computer or mobile browser.
  2. Choose the “Cancel” option under the “Account” page.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

10. How to Cancel a Paramount+ Free Trial

Cancel your Paramount+ free trial by following the steps below.

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  1. Go to and click on your username.
  2. Click on the “Account” option.
  3. Scroll down and click “Cancel Subscription.”

11. How to Cancel a PlayStation Now Free Trial

Cancel your PlayStation Now free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Go to the “Account Management” page for PlayStation.
  2. Choose the “Subscription” option from the left-hand menu.
  3. Select “Cancel Subscription” next to “PlayStation Now.”

12. How to Cancel a Showtime Free Trial

Follow these steps to cancel your free trial of Showtime via your web browser.

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. Go to “Account Settings” from your profile icon.
  3. Click on “Your Account” and then “Cancel Your Subscription.”

See here for information about how to cancel your subscription through third parties.

13. How to Cancel a Starz Free Trial

  1. Log into from your web browser.
  2. Click on the user icon in the upper right and select “Settings.”
  3. Select “My Subscription” and then “Cancel My Subscription.”

If you’ve started a Starz subscription via a third-party provider, check out the “How Do I Cancel?” guide on Starz’s website for additional information.

14. How to Cancel a YouTube Premium Free Trial

Cancel your YouTube Premium free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Go to the Google Support page.
  2. Hit the “Cancel Now” button.

15. How to Cancel a YouTube TV Free Trial

Cancel your YouTube TV free trial by following the steps below.

  1. Go to and sign in to your account.
  2. Go to “Settings” and then to “Membership.”
  3. Choose “Manage” and then click on “Cancel.”

Check out Google’s support page for additional information about canceling on an Android or Apple mobile device.

Nicole Dow is a former senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Michael Archambault is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.


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What happens if I forget to cancel a free trial? ›

If you don't cancel on time, you'll be charged. Usually, you have to give your credit card number for a “free trial.” That way, the company can charge you if you don't cancel before the trial period ends.

How can I avoid getting charged for a free trial? ›

Avoid Paying for Subscriptions When Your Free Trials End

One way to avoid going past a subscription's free trial period is to cancel right after signing up. You won't have to worry about remembering to do it at the end of the week or month or whenever the trial ends.

Can I dispute a free trial charge? ›

If you have been wrongly charged for a free trial offer, first try working it out with the company. If that doesn't work, call your credit card company to dispute the charge and ask that they reverse it.

Will they take money off your card if you cancel a free trial? ›

If a trial is cancelled, they'll simply return the figure they held back into the account, which often appears as a 'refund'. The refund in this case is from your bank (not from us) as the money never actually left!

How many people forget to cancel free trials? ›

A survey found that 42% of consumers forgot they are still paying for a subscription they no longer use. Many of those happen after you get enticed by a free trial for an online streaming service or a monthly subscription service for clothes or personal items, and then you forget to cancel it after that trial is over.

Is it illegal to not be able to cancel a subscription? ›

A California law that went into effect July 1 is aimed at making it easier for customers to cancel their subscriptions online. The law states that customers who accept an automatic renewal or continuous service offer online must be able to cancel the service online.

Why did I get charged a dollar for a free trial? ›

Customers might notice a small pre-authorisation (e.g. $1) on their account or credit card statement. Some financial institutions temporarily place a small $1 pre-authorisation on your card as part of their card validation process.

Why do I need money on my card for a free trial? ›

Why do you need to enter your payment info for something that's supposed to be free? The simple answer is that companies want to be able to charge you for a subscription immediately after your free trial expires.

Why do free trials require a credit card? ›

To win new customers

Free trials are considered a customer retention strategy. They're hoping that you'll decide to continue with their service after the free trial is over. When your card number is already attached to your account, there is no disruption of service, and the payment is seamless.

Can I dispute a charge that I willingly paid for? ›

Disputing a credit card charge

Bad service and service not rendered are also eligible reasons to dispute a charge, even if you willingly made the purchase. For example, if you purchase something online that shows up broken, your credit card issuer can assist with getting your money back.

What happens if I falsely dispute a charge? ›

What happens if you falsely dispute a credit card charge? Purposely making a false dispute is punishable by law and could lead to fines or imprisonment. You could face legal action by a credit card issuer or the merchant.

How do I dispute a charge I didn't make? ›

How to Dispute Credit Card Charges
  1. Fraudulent Charges: Contact your credit card's issuer and ask them to remove the charges and issue you a new card.
  2. Billing Errors: Contact the merchant first and ask them to fix the error, then send a dispute letter to your credit card's issuer if needed.
Apr 22, 2022

Will Cancelling a debit card stop subscriptions? ›

If a recurring payment has already received authorization it will be processed and paid. However, if a recurring payment has not received authorization and is activated while your debit card is turned off, the recurring payment will be declined.

Can you cancel your credit card to avoid paying? ›

Call your credit card issuer to cancel and confirm that your balance on the account is $0. Mail a certified letter to your card issuer to cancel the account. In this letter, request that written confirmation of your $0 balance and closed account status be mailed to you.

Why was I charged for a subscription I canceled? ›

Some merchants will issue a test charge, before submitting the final charge, as a way to ensure the payment method is valid and there are funds to cover future expenses. The test charge might still show up after you have cancelled your subscription. These usually go away in a day or two.

What app automatically cancels free trials? ›

The DoNotPay app's latest feature gives you a crafty digital credit card number you can use to sign up for free trials around the web and never get charged. Every time you sign up for a free trial of any kind, you're forced to take stock of your outlook on life.

Can you dispute auto renewal charges? ›

Yes, you can dispute an auto-renewal charge.

Why do free trials exist? ›

By giving consumers a free trial, the company allows users to see the product for themselves rather than having to buy to test it out. It's more likely that a customer would want to test the product out when they are given an opportunity to assess it without any cost.

What is the hardest subscription to cancel? ›

Gym memberships are among the hardest to cancel because they don't typically have an opt-out method on their websites. In general, you have to state in writing that you wish to cancel your membership.

Is a subscription agreement legally binding? ›

Before the stock sale is complete, both parties must sign a sales contract that's legally binding. This is called a corporate stock agreement or corporate subscription agreement.

Can I block a subscription payment? ›

Yes, you can block a company from charging your credit card. You do this by contacting your bank and either revoking authorization for the payment or requesting a stop payment order.

Why is Google charging me $1? ›

If you just created a Google Payments account to make your first purchase or added a new card to your Payments account, you may see a $1 charge. This is to make sure your card is valid. It'll be removed and you won't be charged.

How do I convert my free trial to paid? ›

You can use retargeting campaigns to nurture and support the customer during the trial period and encourage them to convert by:
  1. Reminding them when their free trial is going to end.
  2. Offering them a limited-time discount for signing up.
  3. Offering an extension to their trial period.

Why do I get a random $1 charge on my debit card? ›

The takeaway: Those funny little $1 charges that keep popping up on your credit card account are usually nothing to worry about, and they should disappear before you're required to make a payment. Just be sure not to ignore any unauthorized $1 costs that stick around. Those could indicate a problem.

Is free trial really free? ›

Free trials are offered to customers for free for a short period of time, so they can try it out. So, yes, it is free. However, most free trials require you to cancel before the free trial is up or the credit card you put on file will be charged for the use of the product or service.

Are card fees illegal? ›

Are Credit Card Surcharges Legal? If you're wondering if it is legal to charge credit card fees, the short answer is yes. The practice of surcharging was outlawed for several decades until 2013 when a class action lawsuit permitted merchants in several U.S. states to implement surcharges in their businesses.

Is it OK to use a fake credit card for free trial? ›

When you use a fake credit card, you are committing credit card fraud – it is illegal! Even if the card gets declined, you could still get in trouble with the law for intent to defraud in many jurisdictions.

Is a credit card basically free money? ›

While some may look at credit cards as “free money,” in actuality your credit limit is a loan that is subject to an APR (otherwise known as interest) that will be charged to you as the cardholder if you don't pay off your balance at the end of a billing cycle.

Is it illegal to use virtual credit cards for free trials? ›

While it is not the end of the world if you try to use a fake card for free trials, it is considered credit card fraud. If you have concerns about your info getting leaked, consider using virtual credit cards instead.

Can I deny a charge on my credit card? ›

Whether there's an error, fraudulent charge or dissatisfaction with the goods or services provided, you have the right as a consumer to dispute a credit card charge. Credit card charges can be disputed by calling the card issuer, and some credit cards allow you to submit disputes online or by mail.

What if someone used my debit card but I have it? ›

If an unauthorized transaction appears on your statement, but you did not lose your card, security code, or PIN or had any of them stolen, you should still notify your bank or credit union right away.

Do credit card companies actually investigate? ›

Credit card companies dedicate millions of dollars annually to catching and preventing fraudulent transactions in their customers' accounts. Credit card companies investigate fraudulent activity and may forward the results of their investigation to the closest law enforcement agency.

How far back can I dispute a charge? ›

You generally have at least 60 days to dispute credit card charges when there's a billing error or fraudulent transaction, and 120 days if you have a complaint about the quality of goods or services.

Will locking my debit card stop a payment? ›

Lock your debit card

Locking your debit card will prevent transactions with your debit card until you unlock it. Keep in mind that this won't prevent automatic bill payments or other scheduled transfers from occurring.

How do I stop paying my credit card legally? ›

No, you really can't get rid of credit card debt without paying. Filing bankruptcy for credit card debt will indeed lets you escape credit card debt. But if you're asking, “How can I get rid of credit card debt without paying anything to anybody?” the answer is still: You can't!

Can I tell my bank to block a transaction? ›

You can contact your bank and place a stop payment order on the recurring transaction. Generally, a stop payment order is only good for six months. To stop payment, you will need to notify your bank at least three business days before the next payment is scheduled to be made. Notice may be made orally or in writing.

What's the worst that can happen if you stop paying a credit card? ›

The longer you go without paying, the more likely you are to rack up fees, damage your credit score, see your interest rate soar, be harassed by debt collectors, and even face legal issues.

Is it better to cancel a credit card or just never use it? ›

It is better to keep unused credit cards open than to cancel them because even unused credit cards with a $0 balance will still report positive information to the credit bureaus each month. It is especially worthwhile to keep an unused credit card open when the account does not have an annual fee.

Will it hurt my credit score if I don't use my credit card? ›

Bottom Line. If you don't use a particular credit card, you won't see an impact on your credit score as long as the card stays open. But the consequences to inactive credit card accounts could have an unwanted effect if the bank decides to close your card.

Will you be charged if you cancel a free trial? ›

After you sign up for a free trial

Your free trial offer has a time limit. Once the deadline to cancel passes, you may be on the hook for more products or services and more payments. Monitor your credit and debit card statements. That way you'll know right away if you're being charged for something you didn't order.

What percent of people forget to cancel subscription? ›

A survey found that 42% of consumers forgot they are still paying for a subscription they no longer use. Many of those happen after you get enticed by a free trial for an online streaming service or a monthly subscription service for clothes or personal items, and then you forget to cancel it after that trial is over.

Will deleting an account stop a subscription? ›

No, the subscription needs to be canceled first, and then you may delete the account. Deleting the account will not cancel the subscription automatically. You can easily cancel your trial or monthly subscription. Below are two different ways you can cancel it.

What happens after 7 day free trial? ›

After 7 days, you'll be billed for the subscription plan you opted for when initially signing up, If you cancel before the 7 day free trial ends, you won't be charged.

How do I cancel my 7 day free trial of After Effects? ›

You can cancel your trial or individual plan (purchased from Adobe) through your Adobe account page. Sign in at Select Manage plan for the plan you want to cancel. Select Cancel your plan.

Can you cancel a free trial before it ends Apple? ›

If you signed up for a free or discounted trial subscription and you don't want to renew it, cancel it at least 24 hours before the trial ends.

How do I cancel my 7 day free trial on an app? ›

Manage your subscriptions on Google Play
  1. On your Android device, go to your subscriptions in Google Play.
  2. Select the subscription you want to cancel.
  3. Tap Cancel subscription.
  4. Follow the instructions.

Can you dispute an auto renewal? ›

Yes, you can dispute an auto-renewal charge.

What happens after 14 day free trial Monday? ›'s trial is for a period of 14 days. Once your trial expires, you may purchase a subscription.

What happens if I dont pay my subscription? ›

Credit charges accrue throughout the month and you OWE the credit card company the total at the end of the month. That is a legal debt and you must pay it. If you don't, they will just sell the account to a collection agency. They are the ones who hound you night and day until you pay.

How do I cancel my prime 7 day trial? ›

Cancel the Prime Free Trial

Here's how you can discontinue your free trial. Sign in to your Amazon account using your phone number, username, email address and password. Log in to the account. Once you have entered your account, hover over to Manage Your Prime Membership and click on the Cancel Free Trial link.

How do I cancel my 7 day free trial quizlet? ›

To cancel auto-renewal through your Android device if you paid on the Quizlet website
  1. Select. (Account).
  2. Select. (Settings gear).
  3. Select Manage subscription.
  4. Select Cancel auto-renewal.
  5. Select Yes, finish canceling.

How do I cancel my lifetime 7 day trial? ›

Please sign in to your account at Once logged in, click your name in the upper right corner of the page and navigate to 'My Account. ' You will see a link to cancel, or cancellation instructions for the billing platform where you signed up.

How do you unsubscribe from an app before free trial ends? ›

Tap your profile picture or initials, then tap Subscriptions. Select the app you want to cancel and choose Cancel Subscription. To see all the apps you're paying for on an Android, do this: Open your device's Settings app.

How hard is it to cancel Apple TV free trial? ›

You can also open the Apple TV app or App Store on your mobile device. Tap your account icon in the upper right, then select Manage Subscriptions or Subscriptions. At the Subscriptions window, tap the Apple TV+ entry and choose Cancel Subscription. Tap Confirm to proceed with the cancellation.

How do I cancel my ESPN +7 day free trial? ›

How do I cancel my ESPN+ service on web?
  1. Click or tap Log In.
  2. Click or tap Manage.
  3. Click or tap Cancel Subscription.
  4. Confirm your cancellation when prompted.

How do I cancel my simple free trial? ›

On iOS:
  1. On Android:
  2. On both iOS and Android, scroll all the way down and click on Settings and account details: ...
  3. On the next screen, tap the Manage Subscription button one more time.
  4. You will be redirected to your profile page. ...
  5. After confirming a reason for cancellation, you will receive a confirmation message:

How do I cancel my Monday free trial? ›

To cancel your account, please use the web version of Click on your profile picture and choose "Admin" from the menu. Select "Billing" from the menu on the left and then click "Cancel my account" at the bottom right-hand corner. You will be asked to select a reason for canceling from the drop-down list.


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