How to Avoid Getting Charged for Free Trials

Privacy.com lets you generate virtual credit cards and set amounts so you never get overcharged for a “free” trial.

I’m a huge fan of free trials, and I’m not one to turn down free stuff.

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Why companies offer free trials

Companies usually offer free trials hoping you:

  1. Love their product and become a loyal subscriber
  2. Forget to cancel your subscription after the free trial

The cost of the trial is usually such a small amount that you’ll feel like it’s a hassle to cancel. If i’m trying a new product, the last thing I want is to find out a month later that they charged me.

How to avoid subscription fees you don’t want

  1. Cancel immediately after signing up for the trial. Some companies extend the courtesy of canceling your subscription at the end of the trial period, even if you cancel immediately.
  2. If the company requires you to complete the trial period before canceling, set up a calendar invite to remind yourself to cancel.
  3. Privacy.com lets you generate virtual credit cards using your debit card to avoid reoccurring costs you don’t want.

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Privacy lets you create virtual cards to protect yourself from fraud and hidden charges. The service is free to use.

From Privacy.com about using them for subscription services:

Subscription Services
Lastly, let’s say you would like sign up for a subscription service. This is a perfect time to use a Privacy card.
If you plan on using the service for several subscription periods, it’s best to use regular Privacy cards and set the limits to ensure that you’re not paying for more than you want.
You also have the freedom to pause the card if whatever you’re subscribing to is piling up in your basement. If you’re sure you only want one of the subscription item, but you are forced into a subscription, you can also use a burner card.
That way, you’ll get your single subscription item, and the merchant won’t be able to charge you again after that first transaction is completed. Please note that a burner card will always let one transaction go through, so if you sign up for a trial and don’t intend to make a purchase when renewal time comes around, be sure to pause or close the card to make sure you aren’t charged.