Why Do Free Trials Require Credit Cards? Here Are 5 Reasons

There’s a lot of great software tools that come with the ability to test them for free.

But why do free trials require credit cards? There are quite a few reasons for it.

Let’s talk about many of these reasons so you can better understand why it’s needed.

1) You Have To Put Your Credit Card For A Free Trial For Subscription Reasons

This is one of the biggest reasons when it comes to using a CC for a free trial.

Not many people realize this, but it’s actually a big benefit (when it comes to the customer).

Since I review a lot of online software tools (that have free trials), here’s an example.

Let’s say that you sign up for a sales funnel builder (ClickFunnels free trial example).

Helpful Note: This is something that helps create pages that you send traffic (visitors) to.

It comes with a free 14-day trial, and during most of those days, you created your pages.

Let’s look at two possible scenarios:

  1. You send a lot of traffic and everything flows perfectly after the 14-days.
  2. You send a lot of traffic and everything pauses and gets stopped at 14-days.

The first option runs smoothly because you added a CC when you first started.

The second option comes to a halt because a CC wasn’t required for a free trial.

To quickly summarize, adding a CC allows for no disruptions of service.

You wouldn’t want to waste time and money from everything being deactivated.

This is something that customers who take a ton of action will always realize.

And you didn’t plan on using the specific tool after 14-days?

You can always cancel before the time comes (I’ve never had a problem with this).

So that’s one of the biggest reasons why you’ll want to use a CC for a free trial.

Let’s move onto the next reason next.

2) This Type Of Free Trial Helps Bring In More Interested Customers

At the end of the day, you’re signing up for a free trial from some type of business.

A business is generally going to have two main goals:

  • Generate leads.
  • Turn those leads into customers.

However, by adding a card requirement for the trial, they get more interested customers.

This is something that many software tools have learned over the years.

Put yourself in the shoes of a business that offers a free trial for a quick second.

If a software company only needed an email for a free trial?

Then you’re going to get a ton of people who just want to mess around with the software.

  • The company will have to pay more for data and usage.
  • The company will also have to pay more for potential support.

I understand that these are costs that can certainly come along with creating software.

However, many of those users might not even have a card in the first place.

This allows for only people who are serious about using the software or service.

I don’t know about you, but I would be the same way.

  • It’s better to focus on 20 people who REALLY like what you have
  • As opposed to focusing on 80 people who don’t really care all that much.

It’s all about the 80-20 rule.

So those are two big reasons why a company might ask for a card during the signup process.

Here are a few other smaller reasons as to why this is needed.

3) For Verification Purposes

Adding a card is a great way to verify that someone is a real person.

Aside from that, it also serves as a way to verify someone’s age (if needed as well).

4) For Limiting The Amount Of Free Trials

Many software companies have learned over the years when it comes to free trials.

They figured out that there was the possibility of:

  • Someone signing up for a free trial.
  • The person would use it for the entire duration.
  • Then they would signup for free under a different email.

As I mentioned previously, this is something that can hurt the software company overall.

So by adding a card, they can reduce the number of free trials to one per person.

This goes hand-in-hand with the next reason.

5) For Eliminating Spam Signups

Have you ever gone to signup for something only to get one of those annoying captchas?

You know, the thing where you have to click on specific pictures that are on your screen?

These are used to help reduce the amount of spam and bots.

Otherwise, someone can just spam creating 1,000s of accounts (which is not good).

Things like that do happen, especially when it comes to creating bots.

And since bots (mostly) aren’t smart enough to create and enter CC numbers?

This can stop them like a brick wall.

That’s why you often see Captias during the sign-up process for getting a free trial.

Closing Words: Why Do You Have To Pay For Free Trials?

why do you have to pay for free trials

You normally don’t have to pay when it comes to signing up for a free trial, otherwise it wouldn’t be free.

So I want to conclude with a few options about how trials can normally work.

Here are a few examples:

  • You get a free trial by only using your email address.
  • You get a free trial by putting in your emails address and card.
  • You pay a small amount to get started with your trial (also uses a card).

These are three of the most popular options when it comes to starting any type of software.

Keep in mind, you won’t have to pay for a free trial up-front.

On the other hand, there are going to be some trials that cost a dollar or so to start with.

Once again, this is used to help in attracting the best possible customer for the company.

The Kartra trial is a great example of this, as it costs just $1 instead of being completely free.

Anyway, I hope that you can now see why many free trials tend to work this way.

Should you opt to start a free trial if a card is going to be needed?

It’s honestly going to be up to you, just make sure you look more into the company.

If they have a ton of customers, then there’s good chance that they are legit.

James Canzanella

A former personal trainer who went from unemployment to online business success. He's been marketing since 2012 and (still) enjoys lifting weights, listening to rock music, and relentlessly quoting movie lines.

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