Memberships are good things. They allow us to be part of exclusive clubs, carry exclusive credit cards, and partake of limited deals. Subscriptions are also good things, providing individuals with a service or a product. Sometimes they offer coupons or perks for members or subscribers only. However, membership and subscription-based fees can be sneaky, and if we’re not paying attention, we might get much more than we bargained for.
Are you an Amazon Prime member? Surprise! Prices are going up this year. According to many news outlets, prices for an Amazon Prime membership are rising from $119 per year to $139. If you’re a monthly subscriber, your fee will climb from $12.99 to $14.99, which means you’ll be paying out even more: about $180 per year. With this price increase, It will definitely behoove you to purchase the annual Amazon Prime membership if your usage of free shipping and streaming services make it worthwhile. Be aware, however, that if you’re no longer utilizing the Prime membership benefits; cancel and rejoin at a later time. Otherwise, you’ll be forking over more than needed.
Netflix is another company that’s raising membership rates. This report on CNBC states prices are going up for both the US and Canada. Monthly rates are jumping from $1 to $9.99 while the standard plan will see an increase from $13.99 to $15.49, and premium members will see a hike from $17.99 to $19.99.
Capital One cardholders can participate in their free service Eno, which monitors for free trials that are ending or when a recurring bill increases. Some introductory rates may begin at $9.99 per month but quietly jump to $29.99 or are no longer age-appropriate for your children.
Chase cardholders can also take advantage of their free service, the Saved Account Manager.
Credit Card Annual Fees
Do you have a few exclusive credit card memberships? You might want to check and see if any of their rates are going up this year. For instance, if you’re an American Express Platinum card holder, your rate will go up by about $150, from $550 per year to $695 per year, according to this article on Time.com. Does the dollar value of the benefits provided by this card exceed the price of the annual fee? You’re the only one who can determine if it’s worth it to keep this card in your wallet. If so, be warned, it will cost you even more of a pretty penny.
Out With the Old Subscriptions
If you’re like the rest of us, you probably became a member of all kinds of subscriptions during the pandemic quarantine of 2020. Now that you’re back to work and living your life, take stock of those subscriptions you might no longer need. Did you sign up for grocery delivery from multiple service providers? TV subscriptions such as Hulu, Netflix, or Disney+? Food delivery via UberEats or DoorDash? Eliminate duplicate subscriptions that were purchased when everyone was stuck at home, such as educational programs for remote learning or things that might be redundant or overlapping, such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc. Be sure to check your Apple Store and Marketplace subscriptions. Family share plans are perfect for eliminating duplicate subscriptions or consolidate those your family no longer needs. Determining what you no longer use or need will certainly help save a little more in your bank account.
Refuse to be Nickeled and Dimed
Forgetting about your subscriptions and memberships can nickel and dime you to death. It might not seem like a big deal to have a monthly $9.99 membership fee. But if you have 5 or more, they can add up to become a significant amount of money.
Keeping unnecessary subscriptions can also cost you by exposing your personal information, such as your credit card information, to hackers. A NetFlix account that’s infrequently used can be overtaken by other viewers, unbeknownst to you. It does you no good to frequently change your credit card numbers, either, as that doesn’t always stop recurring charges. If an older subscription fee is already established, most card issuers will let the charges go through. It’s best to cancel your subscriptions than try to outrun them or forget about them.
Don’t gloss over smaller subscription fees or keep memberships if they’re no longer relevant to your life. Otherwise you’re wasting your money on things that no longer matter. Save your ten bucks and buy yourself a coffee before your commute to work.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers can help you streamline your financial tasks and routines. Schedule a free consultation today and give yourself the freedom to joyfully and abundantly live life.