Mastercard Is Changing the Way Free Trial Services Work

Mastercard Is Changing the Way Free Trial Services Work

January 18, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Free trial offers are everywhere, from streaming TV services to identity theft monitoring. But most of these “free” programs automatically collect payment at the end of the trial period. If customers forget to cancel service before that time, they may be charged for an unwanted subscription.

Mastercard is aiming to change this practice. The credit card giant announced a new set of rules for merchants. Merchants who have free trial programs will now be required to notify customers at the end of their trial period.

Merchants will need to send cardholders an email or text with the amount that will be charged, the payment date, and detailed instructions on how to cancel payment. Merchants must also provide cancellation information for every payment made thereafter. The merchant’s website and/or phone number will be listed on the credit card statements so consumers can quickly follow-through with questions.

Mastercard’s existing Zero Liability policy protects customers from unauthorized charges. If an unauthorized transaction appears on the bill, the cardholder may dispute it through Mastercard and receive a reimbursement, when applicable.

Earlier this month, Mastercard revealed a new logo design that no longer features the company’s name. Mastercard aims to turn attention away from the “card” aspect of their services as digital services grow in popularity.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 18, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee, Bonus Offer, Cash Back
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time