Financial Advice

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.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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