This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Signing up for a free trial to test a product is a great way to see if something is a good fit for you. Think Birchbox, Barkbox, Loot Crate, Bespoke Post, or Dollar Shave Club. These types of subscription services for physical products is a booming industry.  The free trial is great if the product turns out to be something you want. However, we have all run into the issue of forgetting to cancel those free trials before they get converted to a subscription. Often times after that trial is converted over to a subscription figuring out how to cancel the subscription can be more complicated than solving a Rubik’s cube.

MasterCard wants to help. The company has announced new policies for merchants that offer free trials for their products. The new rules will require merchants to confirm with the customer that it’s ok to bill them for the new subscription at the end of the free trial period. This notification — via email or text message —  must include the transaction amount, payment date, merchant name, and most importantly clear instructions on how to cancel the subscription.

African American woman laying in bed online shopping with laptop. (Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)
(Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

In addition to requiring the merchants to get permission before converting to a subscription and billing the customer, MasterCard is also requiring that customers receive monthly receipts via email or text for their subscriptions. Again these monthly communications must include the amount being billed as well as clear instructions on how to cancel. To make it easier for consumers to identify these charges on their statements, merchants will be required to include the merchant’s website or phone number of the store where the cardholder made the purchase.

Requiring merchants to send detailed billing each month for subscriptions will be a huge benefit for consumers.  It can be easy to forget that you signed up for a trial until the item arrives at your door or you see the item on your statement. Those statement items can then be hard to decipher as well. The new rules will make it easy for you to identify exactly what the charge is for, and with monthly receipts with cancellation instructions, eliminate those recurring charges for products you don’t want or need.

Mastercard says the new rules will take effect April 12.

H/T: Engadget

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter here: https://thepointsguy.com/mailing-list/

Featured Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

LIMITED TIME OFFER: 70,000 Miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $980

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2x miles on AA purchases plus 2x miles at gas stations and at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers and car rental merchants. Get your first checked bag free.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Designed for businesses
  • For a limited time: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases in first 4 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line*
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.