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How to Find and Cancel Subscriptions

Written by Allison Martin

Allison Martin is a personal finance enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience, Allison has made a name for herself as a syndicated financial writer. Her articles are published in leading publications, like Banks.com, Bankrate, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and Investopedia. When she’s not busy creating content, Allison travels nationwide, sharing her knowledge and expertise in financial literacy and entrepreneurship through interactive workshops and programs. She also works as a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) dedicated to helping people from all walks of life achieve financial freedom and success.

Updated May 12, 2024​

4 min. read​

Subscriptions can seem affordable at the time of purchase, but as you subscribe to more and more services, these small costs can start to increase. Hence, it is important to keep tabs on what you’re actually paying for, ensure these costs make sense, and cancel subscriptions that are no longer of use to you.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to find and cancel subscriptions to create more wiggle room in your budget. It also discusses a service you can use to help simplify the process.

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Understanding The Need To Cancel Subscriptions

Canceling subscriptions can be a smart financial move, particularly when they no longer align with your needs or budget. Doing so creates wiggle room in your spending plan that allows you to focus on other pressing financial goals.

The Pros And Cons Of Subscription Services

Pros

  • Convenience: Subscriptions offer a continuous supply of products or services without the need to manually place new orders.
  • Customization: Many subscriptions cater to your preferences, which means you receive tailored content or items.

Cons

  • Over-commitment: You might subscribe to more services than you use, leading to unnecessary expenses that eat away at your hard-earned money.
  • Lack of usage: If you don’t regularly use the subscription, you’re essentially wasting money on a dormant service or product you don’t actually need.

How Subscriptions Affect Your Finances

These charges can sneak up on your bank account, especially if you’ve forgotten about an ongoing subscription or a free trial that has rolled over into a paid plan.

Subscriptions can distort your perception of spending. Instead of one-time payments, you’re committing to a recurring expense. Be aware of how these may impact your ability to save or allocate money to other priorities.

How To Find Out What Subscriptions You Have

Before taking steps to cancel your subscriptions, you need to identify the services to which you are currently subscribed.

This can be done by gathering all of your subscription information and using tools such as Experian BillFixer™ to help identify subscriptions linked to your financial accounts.

Gathering All Subscription Information

You can do this by simply checking your email. Search for terms like “subscription,” “billing,” or “renewal” in your email accounts. This should bring up any subscription-related emails.

Also, look through your bank statements for recurring payments. Be sure to check both checking accounts and credit cards. Look for names of companies you recognize as subscription services. If you use payment services like PayPal or Apple Pay, log in and review the transaction history for recurring charges.

Also, consider using Experian BillFixer™, which can analyze your bank and credit card statements to find recurring charges. The service requires account information. Visit the website to learn more about this product and other offerings from Experian or to get your credit score for free.

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Manual Tracking Of Your Subscriptions

To keep control of your subscriptions manually, you’ll want to set up a system that’s both thorough and easy to maintain.

Begin by gathering all your subscription information. Check your email, bank statements, and app store settings for evidence of recurring charges.

Next, create a document to keep track of all the details. Include columns for the service name, content provided, cost, billing cycle and renewal date.

Also, thoroughly check your credit card and bank statements monthly. Look for any subscriptions and update the document. Dedicate a set time each month to do this so it becomes routine.

Using Subscription Tracking Tools And Apps

Leveraging subscription tracking tools and apps is both practical and effective in managing your subscriptions. These services come in various forms, each with its own set of features to help you keep tabs on your current subscriptions.

How To Cancel Subscriptions

Here’s what you need to know about canceling subscriptions.

Recognizing Which Subscriptions To Cancel

Review your bank and credit card statements to identify subscriptions you might have forgotten about or no longer need. Prioritize those with higher fees or ones you haven’t utilized in several months for cancellation.

How To Cancel Subscription Via Email

Sometimes, a simple email can be enough to cancel a subscription. Compose an email to the company’s customer service with your account details and a clear request to cancel. Keep a copy of this correspondence as proof – you may need it at a later date.

How To Cancel Subscription Via Website

Most online services offer a direct link to cancel subscriptions in your account settings. Look for sections labeled ‘Billing,’ ‘Subscriptions,’ or ‘Membership’ to find the appropriate option to end your plan.

How To Cancel Subscription Via Phone

To cancel over the phone, gather your account information beforehand and call the company’s customer support. Firmly but politely request subscription cancellation and note the representative’s name and the time of the call for reference.

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How To Cancel Mobile App Subscriptions

If you’ve subscribed to services via mobile apps, you will need to cancel them through the respective app store.

To cancel subscriptions on Android devices:

  • Open the Google Play Store.
  • Tap on your profile icon.
  • Select Subscriptions.
  • Find the subscription to cancel and follow the on-screen instructions.

To cancel subscriptions on iOS devices:

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > Subscriptions.
  • Tap the subscription you want to manage.
  • Choose ‘Cancel Subscription’ or ‘Cancel Free Trial’ at the bottom.

Each streaming service has distinct steps to help you manage subscriptions. Below is an overview of instructions for popular services.

Subscriptions On Netflix

To manage your Netflix subscription, sign in to your account and select the Account section.

Under the Membership & Billing section, click on Cancel Membership. Confirm your decision by selecting Finish Cancellation.

Your ability to watch content will continue until the end of your billing period.

Subscriptions On Amazon Prime

For Amazon Prime subscriptions, go to Your Account and then navigate to Prime Membership.

Here, you can review the details of your current plan. To cancel, click on End Membership and follow the steps that are prompted.

Note that if you have not used any Prime services, you may be eligible for a refund.

Subscriptions On Spotify

If you wish to cancel your Spotify subscription, you’ll need to access your account page.

Under Your Plan, select Change Plan and then scroll down to Cancel Premium. Click on Yes, Cancel, and your account will revert to the free service after your current subscription term ends.

Your playlists and saved music will remain intact.

Conclusion: When Subscriptions Are Worth Keeping

In assessing your subscriptions, consider the value you receive relative to the cost. If a subscription consistently delivers content you enjoy and use, it might be a keeper. Otherwise, it might be in your best interest to break up with your service provider and use the funds elsewhere.

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FAQs About Subscription Cancellations

Are There Any Fees Associated With Subscription Cancellation?

Generally, you will not incur a fee for canceling a subscription. However, some service providers might apply fees if you cancel before the end of a contract period. It’s vital to read your service’s terms and conditions for any mention of cancellation fees or penalties.

How Long Does It Take To Process A Subscription Cancellation?

The time it takes to process a cancellation can vary. Most online subscriptions are typically processed immediately. For others, especially those involving contracts or services billed in advance, it might take up to a billing cycle to reflect the cancellation.

What Happens To Your Data And Account Details After You Cancel A Subscription?

After cancellation, your account remains inactive. While some of your data might still be stored, your access to the services will cease. Providers may retain your information due to legal obligations or for a certain period according to their privacy policy.
For refunds on any prepaid but unused services, check the company’s refund policy. You might be entitled to receive pro-rated refunds depending on the service provider and the length of the subscription.

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