It's great when a product, subscription, or service offers you a free trial. But often, you'll be asked to enter your credit card information so that you can be charged when the trial is over. We have a few tips to help you sign up for subscriptions responsibly and avoid surprise charges on your Step Card.

Check how long the trial is

Every service has a different free trial period so be sure to double check before you hit subscribe. Remember that you'll be charged as soon as the trial is over.

The trial period and billing cycle may be different

Each service has their own billing schedule which might be different than the length of your free trial. For example, Spotify might give you a 3 month free trial, but charge you for the whole year once the trial is up. Some services also let you pick if you would like to be billed monthly or yearly.

Be sure to check the billing schedule for the service before you subscribe so you don't end up with a big annual charge once your trial is up.

Remember to cancel early

Be sure to set a reminder to make a decision about membership before the trial period is up. You can decide to keep your membership and do nothing, or cancel before the end of the trial period. We recommend cancelling your trial at least a full day before it ends so that you have enough time to go through the cancellation process.

Here are a few ideas on how to set reminders:

  • Post-it note - stick one on your monitor or desk

  • Create a calendar event for the day before the trial is up

  • Use a reminder app - check out your device's app store for lots of options

I cancelled my subscription but I was still charged

Some merchants will issue a test charge for part of or the full amount before submitting the final charge. This is how they make sure that the card you entered has enough money to cover the subscription cost in the future. The test charge might still show up after you cancelled your subscription but they usually go away in a day or two.

If you continue to be charged after you cancelled the subscription, please contact the merchant. Step can not help you cancel your subscription or give you a refund.

Here's a list of common merchants and their contact information.

I want a refund for my subscription

If you want a refund for any reason from a subscription service, you'll need to contact the merchant. Because the merchant processed the payment, they're the only ones that can give you the money back. Step can't issue refunds for something you bought using your Step Card.

Read more about how to ask a merchant for a refund in this article.

Some final quick tips

  1. Trust your instincts. If it’s too good to be true, don’t sign up.

  2. Before you sign up for a free trial, research the company and read reviews. The Better Business Bureau is a great source of information.

  3. Don’t sign up if you can’t find or understand the terms and conditions. Pay special attention to pre-checked boxes, cancellation clauses, return policies, and any vague charges.

  4. If you go ahead with a free trial, keep all receipts, emails, or any other communication between you and the company

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