Keeping track of your magazine subscriptions

I enjoy reading magazines related to my hobbies, for trends and inspiration. But sometimes I get overwhelmed by renewal notices. Keeping track of the expiration dates for my magazine subscriptions can get confusing, especially when I get multiple renewal notices for the same publication.

Sound familiar? Well, here are a few tips to help keep track of magazine subscriptions.

  • Keep a running list of your magazine subscriptions, including account numbers and expiration dates. Since this information is included on most magazine mailing labels, simply clip the label and add it to your list. That way, when you get a renewal notice, you can check the expiration date and decide whether to renew or wait.
  • If lists aren’t your thing, contact the magazine publisher directly – or check the magazine's customer service site for account information and renewal prices. And remember, it never hurts to negotiate the price or shop around for a better deal.
  • Understand that a renewal notice is NOT a bill or an invoice. Some renewal notices may look like invoices or bills, even though the fine print says otherwise. But a renewal notice is simply a reminder about when your subscription expires.
  • Know who you’re dealing with. Renewal offers may come from magazine publishers directly or from third-party companies (unrelated to the publisher) that buy subscriber lists to solicit renewals. Third-parties may charge much more for renewals than the publisher. Your best bet: Call the publisher using the phone number on its website or in the magazine to find out if it sent the solicitation and what it charges for renewal.
  • Consider auto-renewal and payment. Then, you don’t have to rely on renewal notices at all. If you do this, remember that paying with a credit card gives you better fraud protections. Also remember, however, that with auto-renewal your subscription will automatically renew until you cancel the subscription.

Have some tips of your own? Feel free to share them here.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I like this website

i like to read the magazine helpful tips. thanks

One BIG caution: DO NOT subscribe with a credit card! If you ever want to unsubscribe, you'll have a heck of a time. A friend of mine's Mom wanted to discontinue her subscription to "Reader's Digest". However, they put her thru "H" because they kept renewing through her credit card. Just this year, I dropped "Alabama Heritage". I took out a 2-yera subscription last year. Surprise! They sent me a renewal notice THIS year. Yeah, I've lost that year, but I would have anyway.

My bank offers so-called ShopSafe numbers, whereby you create a new credit card number online which acts like a subaccount to your regular credit card. It is valid only for the merchant of your choosing. You may limit the dollar amount and also the time period for which it is valid.

Hi IMP, can you tell what bank offers this ShopSafe option? I watch out for many elderly seniors and this option would be great for some of them. Thank you!

I've had the same problem keeping up with auto charges on my iPhone apps. For those you have to login to the app's website with your login and password. I run into app subscription renewal problems when I get a great offer from a third party vendor for maybe a year free - app auto renewed the subscription for $79! There was no billing or renewal notice AND I couldn't cancel once the auto renewal had charged..the best I could have done was login in and cancel the auto renew so I wouldn't have had an almost $100 surprise! I don't know if this is legal not to allow people to cancel so app subscriber beware!

If you use an electronic calendar, add the expiration date to your calendar. Also include an entry to renew that subscription about 1 to 2 months prior to the expiration date. This will allow you enough time to decide if you want to renew and to seek the best renewal terms.

Haave notified a magazine three times about stopping the subscription but we continue to keep getting the magazine

As long as they don't charge you for it, either read it or throw it away. They can't require that you pay for something you have not requested.

Does anyone really believe this information provided is something useful,instead of: people pretending to be useful.. Next we'll see a subject line: Is your house cold?? Followed by,turn on the heat and close the windows and doors... Gimme a break.... Do people require this kind of help??

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