Advertisement
Smart Buying

Break the Cycle of Recurring Subscription Fees

These apps track your regular monthly charges, and a couple will even cancel those you don’t want.

Maybe the meal delivery kits are piling up uneaten at $60 a week, or you no longer feel the need to pay $19.95 a month for a credit-monitoring service. Or maybe you never listened to Apple Music after the try-it-free offer converted to $10 a month. Neglected subscriptions or free trials that sneakily convert to monthly charges on your credit card statement can add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

Of course, you can (and should) scour your bank and credit card statements yourself for unwanted charges and take the necessary steps to cancel them. But if other priorities have put this task on a back burner—or you dread the inevitable sales pitch that often accompanies cancellations—a handful of services promise to do the dirty work for you, or at least give you a nudge with a monthly reminder of how much you’re paying.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Services that can help. Trim, Truebill and the basic version of Prosper Daily are free services that round up your regular subscriptions or recurring payments into a neat summary that you can see in the app or on a web dashboard. Trim and Truebill give you an update each month, and you may get more alerts if a recurring cost rises or falls or a new subscription appears.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

But identifying these pesky charges is only half the battle. What if you want to cancel them? Prosper Daily (formerly BillGuard) takes a Tinder-like approach, letting you swipe right on charges you accept and swipe left on those you don’t recognize or want to dispute. The company won’t dispute a charge for you, but you have the option of investigating further (such as searching for contact information via Google from the app) and flagging it as potential fraud to warn fellow Prosper Daily users.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Trim and Truebill take it a step further by canceling the subscriptions for you. If you spot a recurring charge you want to get rid of, you let them know (via text, Facebook Messenger, in the app or online). Both services will get in touch with the company. They will even sit on hold on the phone or send certified mail on your behalf.

Trim and Truebill recently expanded their money-saving services by flagging late-payment and overdraft penalties and offering to request a courtesy refund for you. (Truebill estimates that it is successful about one-third of the time.) Prosper Daily’s premium version ($9.99 per month or $83.88 for one year) partners with an identity-protection service to help you deal with potentially fraudulent charges.

In exchange for the convenience of these services, you’ll hand over your bank or credit card log-in details (but not card numbers), and sometimes any personal details required for cancellations, such as your billing address. They encrypt your log-in credentials, securely connect to your financial institution and have “read only” access to your accounts. Trim has two-step authentication if you use its texting service.

If you’d like to use these apps for their subscription-monitoring capabilities but are nervous about handing over your personal details, you can get tips on how to cancel hundreds of subscriptions at www.truebill.com/how-to-cancel.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally
careers

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally

A new chiropractor’s fledgling business plan to attract patients may sound reasonable at first look, but it’s actually against the law, and the same p…
June 30, 2020
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco
spending

13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco

You could be missing out on huge savings: Costco sells a limited selection of luxury goods at discounted prices, both in-store and online.
June 27, 2020

Recommended

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020
state tax

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020

Sixteen states are having sales tax holidays this year. If you plan your shopping around these tax-free periods, you can save big on back-to-school cl…
July 1, 2020
13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco
spending

13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco

You could be missing out on huge savings: Costco sells a limited selection of luxury goods at discounted prices, both in-store and online.
June 27, 2020
COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits
spending

COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, including how we spend money. Are you spending less right now? Many people are. Here’s how to make th…
June 17, 2020
24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money
spending

24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money

Traveling is fun and you can do it without breaking the bank — you just have to know where to go online first.
June 12, 2020