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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

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Featured Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.