I don’t know about you, but I like being 100% sure about my purchases.
There’s something comforting about being able to try before you commit.
In fact, I think you should be able to try out (pretty much) anything before you pay money for it.
Most people wouldn’t buy an outfit without trying it on first, or buy a car without giving it a test drive, so why should signing up for a product or service be any different?
The truth is, it shouldn’t.
Thankfully, there are online services that will let you try them out for free, so you can make sure their platform meets your needs before making a big commitment.
I’m here to tell you about 7 free trials you should consider.
|Free trial for the…||Service||Maximum length||Monthly membership fee|
|Movie buffs||Netflix||1 month||$9.99 – $16.99|
|Music lovers||Spotify||30 days||$9.99|
|Value shoppers||Amazon||30 days||$7.99|
|Creative souls||Photoshop||7 days||$9.99|
|Life-long learners||Audible||30 days||$14.95|
|History fanatics||Ancestry||14 days||$19.99 – $44.99|
|Career-minded||1 month||$34.99 – $99.99|
7 free trials you should try
Most free trials work the same – You need to create an account, often be asked to provide your credit card information, and in turn, you’re given access to the service for a set length of time, for free.
Your trial account will usually give you access to most of the available features, but can come with limits.
Regardless, your free trial should give you a pretty good idea of what the service has to offer, and can help you decide if you want to take the plunge or not.
Free trial for movie buffs and TV junkies – Netflix
Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that gives you access to more movies and television shows than you’d probably know what to do with.
While there are other streaming services available, Netflix has the biggest library, allowing you to watch a number of blockbuster hits, classic tv shows, and original content.
Whether you’re a movie buff or a TV junky, Netflix has something for everyone. But without an account, you won’t have access to any of their great content.
You have the option to sign up for 3 different plans:
And as far as the free month trial goes, Netflix tells users:
- you won’t be charged until after the free trial month,
- you’ll be reminded 3 days before your trial ends, and
- there’s no commitment – you can cancel at any time.
Depending on the account you sign up for, a free trial gives you up to $16.99 in savings.
Free trial for music lovers – Spotify
If you like getting lost in a haunting melody, a service like Spotify could be more your tune.
While Spotify does have a free service, there are some (rather annoying) limitations.
Personally, I don’t want to hear ads when I’m listening to music and if a song comes on that I don’t particularly like, having the option to skip it is really nice.
With a Spotify Premium account, you’ll have access to the following:
…and for your trial period, you’ll be given 30 days free.
You’ll be able to cancel your account at any point in those 30 days, and your account will just revert back to the free ad-based service when your promotional period is over.
This means you can sign up and cancel right away, so you don’t end up forgetting to cancel before your credit card is charged.
Free trial for value shoppers – Amazon Prime
If you’re a fan of online shopping, an Amazon account is a must.
Aside from their basic membership, Amazon also offers something called Amazon Prime.
This account will give you access to free 2-day shipping on millions of items, and who doesn’t want free, fast shipping?
That’s not all you get though. With a paid account, you’ll have access to thousands of movies and TV shows – including popular favourites and award-winning Prime originals, plus over 2 million songs to listen to, on-demand and ad-free.
With a free Kindle app, you’ll be able to read thousands of books, magazines, or comics on any device. And, through the Amazon Photos app, you’ll get unlimited photo storage to enjoy as well.
If you sign up for a free trial, you’ll get 30 days of the following features:
With all that Amazon Prime has to offer, 30 days might not be enough time to experience it all.
But if you’re not enjoying your free membership, you can cancel it at any time with the click of a button.
And if you forget to cancel and get charged, “paid members who haven’t uses their benefits are eligible for a full refund for the current membership period.”
Free trial for creative souls – Photoshop
If you’re a creative type and want to try your hand at digital art, a Photoshop membership might be something to consider.
Photoshop is a popular graphics editor that Adobe allows users to try totally free.
Simply download and install Photoshop and you can try it out for 7 days.
This free trial gives you the complete version, so you’ll be able to see all the features that Photoshop has to offer.
One nice thing about this free trial is that you don’t need to give you credit card information, meaning there’s no need to cancel your account if you’re not happy – and no surprise fees if you forget about it.
If you decide to sign up for Photoshop after your trial period, however, the following plans are available:
If photoshop isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can also head to the Adobe site to see what other programs you can try before you buy.
Free trial for the life-long learner – Audible
I love reading, but life is busy.
Finding the time to sit down and dive into a good book isn’t something I get to do often.
At least, I couldn’t before I found audiobooks.
I think audiobooks are amazing – like storytime for adults.
They allow you to adult while enjoying a good book. Whether you listen during your commute to work, when you’re working out at the gym, or while you’re cooking dinner, audiobooks are great for multitaskers.
Audible is a service from Amazon that allows you to download audiobooks and listen to them anywhere, anytime.
With a free trial from Amazon, you’ll get 30 days of free access and a credit that will allow you to download any book you want – regardless of the length or price of the book.
If you decide to keep your membership, you’ll be charged $14.95/month, and continue to get 1 credit every month.
While $14.95 might seem like a lot, audiobooks can be quite expensive. Complete collections that you would be paying close to $100 for (like this Sherlock Holmes collection) could be yours for one credit – i.e. $14.95.
You can also purchase books at anytime, and as a member, you’ll get 30% off the list price.
Plus, when you purchase an audiobook, whether with a credit or otherwise, it stays in your library forever – even if you cancel your account.
Speaking of cancelling, you can cancel your account at any time, just make sure that you don’t have any unused credits because they expire immediately when your account is cancelled.
Free trial for history fanatics – Ancestry
If you’re fascinated by history and love learning about where you came from, you should consider a trial membership to Ancestry.com.
This site will allow you to:
- look at old newspaper articles and military records,
- get access to birth, marriage, and death certificates,
- discover more about your ancestors,
- connect with other Ancestry members all over the world,
- organize, preserve, and share your family tree,
- plus much more.
Simply decide which trial you want, provide your credit card or debit information, and create an account to begin your historical journey.
Here’s a snapshot of the available plans:
To avoid getting charged, you’ll need to cancel your account at least 2 days before the end of your trial period – but maybe you’ll have so much fun with your discoveries that you’ll decide to keep your membership.
Free trial for the career-minded – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great service that connects people on a professional level.
Whether you’re a potential employee looking for a job, a business owner looking for networking connections, or a recruiter looking to hire, LinkedIn is the place to go.
Here are the membership plans that LinkedIn has available:
Each plan offers different features, and they range in price from $35 – $100, but you’ll get 30 days free no matter which plan you choose.
You’ll need to provide a credit card number to get your free trial, and if you don’t want to be charged, you’ll need to cancel at least one day before your trial period ends.
Hopefully, you’ll achieve your LinkedIn goal before your 30 days are up.
Don’t fall into the free trial trap
Whatever service you decide to sign up for, be careful not to fall into the “free trial” trap.
While free trials are great, companies that offer them are banking on 1 of 2 outcomes:
- you’ll love the service and stay subscribed, or
- you’ll forget to unsubscribe, and they’ll get at least one monthly/yearly payment out of you before you’re gone.
Both scenarios have happened to me.
There were a few times when I forgot to cancel, realized I was charged, and contacted the company to see if I could get my money refunded. And other times when I’ve kept the membership in hopes that I’ll use it eventually…
Before I knew it, what started out as a “free” trial turned into a monthly fee that I’m paying without really wanting the service being provided, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Curious how to avoid unwanted charges?
Here are a few tips to help you avoid falling into the trap and having unwanted charges show up on your credit card statement.
Read the fine print
The most important thing to remember when signing up for any trial is to read the fine print. Take note of when you need to cancel by to make sure you’re not charged.
Keep your eyes on your email
Many of these companies will send you an email reminding you that your free trial is up, so keep your eyes open for them.
Set a reminder
Set up a calendar reminder for yourself. This way you should be notified when your trial period is coming to an end and you’ll be able to cancel before you’re charged.
Contact customer service
If you still end up forgetting to cancel, don’t feel like you can’t reach out to customer service – the worst they could do is say no.
Credit cards that reward you big for the services you decide to keep
If you end up falling in love with one (or more) of these trials and decide to take the plunge, you should consider adding a credit card to your wallet that give you extra rewards for recurring bill charges.
In fact, the following credit cards will give you up to 4% cash back on your recurring bill purchases:
|Credit card||Cash back on recurring bills||Annual fee||Learn More|
|TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card||3%||$120 – first year free|
|Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite||2%||$99 – first year free|
|Scotia Momentum Visa||2%||$39|
|Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard||2% – if selected as a spending category||$0|
Simply set up the recurring payment and you’ll earn major cash back every month.
What free trial have you signed up for
Have you ever signed up for a free trial?
We’d love to hear about your favourite free trials.
Let our readers know in the comments below.