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How to cancel auto-renewal on subscriptions

Like many people, you likely have multiple subscriptions set to auto-renew monthly, quarterly or annually. These might be subscriptions to online magazines or newspapers, streaming content services, subscription boxes or merchant services like Amazon Prime. While these are all valuable services, losing track of your subscriptions is easy until you see the charge on your monthly credit or debit card statement.

With high inflation, you might be looking to pare down these costs to save some money each month. Here’s how to stay on top of your subscriptions and quickly cancel the ones you don’t need anymore.

Keep track of all your digital subscriptions.

Even relatively small periodic fees can make a big dent in your disposable income. While some of your subscriptions are necessary, it’s a good idea to stay on top of everything you’re paying for and what you’re using.

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Make a list and review it monthly or quarterly.

Add new subscriptions right when you sign up and cross out any you cancel.  Review the list periodically to ensure you are using and enjoying everything you are paying for.

Get an app to help you track.

There are several free apps that will do the tracking for you, including TrackmySubs.com and Subby.com. Both have free and paid versions and will notify you when a subscription payment is coming up and when a price changes.

Check your Amazon digital subscriptions.

If you’re a Kindle enthusiast or subscribe to recurring deliveries, you likely have recurring charges for Amazon products such as magazines, newspapers, Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited, or for repeat purchases. Avoid these unwanted charges by scanning your account’s digital content page every month.

Review your account statement(s).

Once you’ve done all the above, make sure you’re not missing any other subscriptions by going right to the source–your bank account. There should be enough information in your account statement to track where regular charges come from, but if not, contact your financial institution’s customer service department.

Canceling unwanted subscriptions.

Once you’ve decided that a subscription is no longer necessary or worth the cost, you’ll want to cancel it before the next auto-charge is processed.

How to cancel an in-app subscription.

Some auto-renewal subscriptions may be set up to be billed via Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Both platforms make it easy to check what services are being billed through them and to cancel your subscriptions.

For Apple devices, such as iPads and iPhones, take the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then select your Apple ID (where your name is at the top of the screen).
  3. Then select Subscriptions.
    • This will give you a list of current subscriptions and their next billing or expiration date.
  4. Tap on any subscription and follow the prompts to cancel that subscription.

For Android devices:

  1. Open the Google Play app.
  2. Select Menu, then Subscriptions.
  3. Select the subscription you want to cancel and then select “cancel subscription”.
    • If you use multiple emails with Google (and thus have more than one Google account), you may have to sign out and sign back in with another email to access the list.

How to cancel subscriptions billed to a debit or credit card.

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The easiest way to cancel your automatic renewal subscription is at the source of the charge, such as with Google Play, Amazon or the vendor itself. However, if your best efforts to contact the source of the charge fail, you can report future charges from the vendor as fraudulent to your card issuer. The bank, credit union or other card issuer will investigate the charge on your behalf.

Take control of your subscription costs.

Auto-renewal subscriptions make life easy, but they can get out of control quickly if you don’t monitor them or cancel those you are no longer using. Keep your subscriptions under control by ensuring you know exactly which are active and whether or not you want to keep them. For additional information on saving money, budgeting and more, explore the Financial Advice content on our OnPoint blog, or consider signing up for financial counseling through our partner GreenPath Financial Wellness.

 

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