Maximize Your Savings in 2024: The Financial Benefits of Choosing Annual Plans Over Monthly Subscriptions

10 min read
Erica Chiang
December 6, 2023

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As someone who's always on the lookout for smart ways to manage finances, I get excited about finding ways to get 20% off on subscriptions with cancellation hacks. But I couldn’t help but wonder, if that’s the case, why I don’t take advantage of the annual subscriptions that many subscription services offer. Why am I not taking advantage of these significant savings that are right under my nose?
This question lingered in my mind, leading me to dig deeper. My goal was to figure out why many of us (not saying all) don’t take advantage of these deals. Could committing to annual plans instead of monthly ones really make a noticeable difference in our finances? This article is a culmination of my findings and experiences, a journey through the numbers and beyond, exploring the real value of annual subscriptions. I’ll share my discoveries and insights, hoping to guide you towards smarter, more economical choices for your subscriptions in 2023.

Are Annual Subscriptions Actually Discounted?

Before diving into the tools and strategies to determine whether opting for an annual subscription is the right choice for you, it's crucial to understand the landscape of subscription-based services and their pricing models. With the proliferation of subscription services in various sectors, from entertainment and fitness to software and education, the question arises: Do annual subscriptions genuinely offer significant discounts compared to their monthly counterparts?
To shed light on this, I embarked on an extensive research journey, analyzing hundreds of subscription services across different industries. The goal was to uncover not just the availability of annual subscription options, but more importantly, the extent of discounts they offer, if any. This exploration is vital because it sets the stage for understanding the potential financial benefits of committing to a longer-term subscription plan.
Below, you'll find a detailed breakdown of various subscription services and the discounts they provide for their annual plans. This comprehensive overview serves as a crucial resource in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of annual subscriptions and can guide you in making more informed decisions about where and how to invest in subscription services.


Plan Name





247SportsVIP Membership$9.95$107.40$12.0010%
305 Fitness305 At Home$29.99$179.00$180.8850%
AcorntvAcorn TV$6.99$69.99$13.8917%
AdobeCreative Cloud All Apps (Individual)$82.49$659.88$330.0033%
Alo MovesAlo Moves$12.99$129.99$25.8917%
Amazon MusicUnlimited Prime$9.99$99.00$20.8817%
Amazon PrimeAmazon Prime$14.99$139.00$40.8823%
Amazon PrimeAmazon Prime - Student$7.49$69.00$20.8823%
Apple Fitness+Apple Fitness+$9.99$79.99$39.8933%
Bet+Premium (with Ads)$5.99$54.99$16.8923%
Bet+Premium (No Ads)$9.99$94.99$24.8921%
Blizzard EntertainmentWorld of Warcraft$14.99$155.88$24.0013%
BloombergDigital Access34.99$299.00$120.8829%
BlubrryStandard Statistics$5.00$50.00$10.0017%
BoomerangBoomerang Premium$5.99$44.99$26.8937%
BrainlyBrainly Plus$10.00$39.00$81.0068%
BrainlyBrainly Tutor$29.00$96.00$252.0072%
Business InsiderInsider$12.95$149.00$6.404%
CanvaCanva Pro$14.99$119.99$59.8933%
CanvaCanva Pro for Teams$29.99$300.00$59.8817%
Course HeroPremier (student)$39.99$119.40$360.4875%
Course HeroTrio (student)$24.95$143.40$156.0052%
CourseraCoursera Plus$59.00$399.00$309.0044%
CricutCricut Access Standard$9.99$95.88$24.0020%
CuriosityStreamSmart Bundle$9.99$69.99$49.8942%
CVSCVS Carepass$5.00$48.00$12.0020%
DC UniverseStandard$7.99$74.99$20.8922%
Disney+Disney+ Premium$13.99$139.99$27.8917%
DocuSignBusiness Pro$65.00$480.00$300.0038%
Dreamstime750 Monthly Image Downloads$219.00$2,028.00$600.0023%
DropboxDropbox Plus (For Individual) 2TB$11.99119.88$24.0017%
DropboxDropbox Plus (For Individual) 3TB$22.00$216.00$48.0018%
DropboxDropbox Essentials$22.00$216.00$48.0018%
DropboxDropbox Family$19.99$203.88$36.0015%
DropboxDropbox Business$24.00$240.00$48.0017%
DropboxDropbox Business Plus$32.00$312.00$72.0019%
DropboxStandard + DocSend$83.00$600.00$396.0040%
Electronic ArtsEA Play$4.99$29.99$29.8950%
Electronic ArtsEA Play Pro$14.99$99.99$79.8944%
EnvatoTeams (team of 2)$58.00$348.00$348.0050%
EnvatoTeams (team of 3)$74.50$447.00$447.0050%
EnvatoTeams (team of 4)$91.00$546.00$546.0050%
EnvatoTeams (team of 5)$107.50$645.00$645.0050%
Epidemic SoundPersonal$17.99$119.88$96.0044%
Epidemic SoundCommercial$39.99$299.88$180.0038%
ExpressVPNExpress VPN$12.95$99.84$55.5636%
FORWARD__SpaceVirtual hub$34.00$340.00$68.0017%
GithubCopilot for Individuals$10.00$100.00$20.0017%
Google OneBasic$1.99$19.99$3.8916%
Google OneStandard$2.99$29.99$5.8916%
Google OnePremium$9.99$99.99$19.8917%
Google PlayGoogle Play Pass$4.99$29.99$29.8950%
Google WorkspaceBusiness Starter$7.20$72.00$14.4017%
Google WorkspaceBusiness Standard$14.40$144.00$28.8017%
Google WorkspaceBusiness Plus$21.60$216.00$43.2017%
Insight TimerMember Plus9.9959.9959.8950%
LegalShieldIndividuals and Families$29.95$299.40$60.0017%
LiveXLiveLiveOne Plus$3.99$35.88$11.9625%
MaxWith Ads$9.99$99.99$19.8917%
MaxUltimate Ad-Free$19.99$199.99$39.8917%
MediumUnlimited Access$5.00$50.00$10.0017%
MicrosoftMicrosoft 365 Family$9.99$99.99$19.8917%
MicrosoftMicrosoft 365 Personal$6.99$69.99$13.8917%
Motor TrendMotorTrend+$5.99$54.99$16.8923%
NamecheapStellar Shared Hosting4.48$44.88$8.8817%
NamecheapStellar Plus Shared Hosting6.48$68.88$8.8811%
NamecheapStellar Business Shared Hosting9.48$108.88$4.884%
NamecheapNebula Reseller Hosting$19.88$214.56$24.0010%
NamecheapGalaxy Expert Reseller Hosting$39.88$442.56$36.008%
NamecheapUniverse Pro Reseller Hosting$58.88$670.56$36.005%
NamecheapPulsar VPS Hosting$9.88$82.56$36.0030%
NamecheapQuasar VPS hosting$15.88$154.56$36.0019%
NamecheapMagnetar VPS Hosting$28.88$298.56$48.0014%
NamecheapXeon E3-1230 v5 Dedicated Server Hosting$61.88$685.88$56.688%
NamecheapXeon E-2236 Dedicated Server Hosting$71.88$813.88$48.686%
NamecheapXeon E-2234 Dedicated Server Hosting$69.88$711.88$126.6815%
NamecheapDual AMD EPYC 7282 Dedicated Server Hosting$259.88$2,930.88$187.686%
NamecheapEasyWP Starter$6.88$48.88$33.6841%
NamecheapEasyWP Turbo$12.88$94.88$59.6839%
NamecheapEasyWP Supersonic$19.88$114.88$123.6852%
NamecheapXeon E3-1241 v3 Dedicated Server Hosting$67.88$754.88$59.687%
NamecheapXeon E-2136 Dedicated Server Hosting$87.88$968.88$85.688%
National Football LeagueNFL+$4.99$39.99$19.8933%
National Football LeagueNFL+ Premium$9.99$79.99$39.8933%
Nexus ModsPremium$6.90$69.20$13.6016%
Norton360 Select$17.99179.99$35.8917%
Obe FitnessObe Membership$24.99$169.99$129.8943%
P.volveStreaming Membership$14.99$149.99$29.8917%
PandoraPandora Plus$4.99$54.89$4.998%
PandoraPandora Premium$9.99$109.89$9.998%
PandoraPremium Family$14.99$164.89$14.998%
Paramount+Paramount+ Essential$5.99$59.99$11.8917%
Paramount+Paramount+ with SHOWTIME$11.99$119.99$23.8917%
Peacock TVPremium$5.99$59.99$11.8917%
Peacock TVPremium Plus$11.99$119.99$23.8917%
PelotonPeloton App One$12.99$129.00$26.8817%
PelotonPeloton App+$24.00$240.00$48.0017%
PicsartPicsart Gold$13.00$60.00$96.0062%
PicsartPicsart Pro$15.00$84.00$96.0053%
PlayStationPlaystation Plus Premium$17.99$159.99$55.8926%
PlayStationPlaystation Plus Extra$14.99$134.99$44.8925%
PlayStationPlaystation Plus Essential$9.99$79.99$39.8933%
PluralsightSkills Standard Individual$29.00$299.00$49.0014%
PluralsightSkills Premium Individual$45.00$449.00$91.0017%
PostmatesUber One$9.99$99.99$19.8917%
QuizletQuizlet Plus$7.99$35.99$59.8962%
RingProtect Plan Pro$20.00$200.00$40.0017%
RingProtect Plan Basic$3.9939.99$7.8916%
RingProtect Plan Plus$10.00100$20.0017%
Rocket MoneyRocket Money Premium$5.00$47.99$12.0120%
ShopifyShopify Basic$39.00$348.00$120.0026%
ShopifyShopify Advanced$399.00$3,588.00$1,200.0025%
ShudderShudder Unlimited$6.99$71.88$12.0014%
ShutterstockFlex 10 Credits (image)$29.00$299.00$49.0014%
ShutterstockFlex 25 Credits (image)$59.00$599.00$109.0015%
ShutterstockFlex 50 Credits (image)$99.00$989.00$199.0017%
ShutterstockFlex 150 Credits (image)$149.00$1,499.00$289.0016%
ShutterstockFlex 350 Credits (image)$169.00$1,649.00$379.0019%
ShutterstockFlex 750 Credits (image)$199.00$1,999.00$389.0016%
ShutterstockVideo 25 Credits$59.00$599.00$109.0015%
ShutterstockVideo 50 Credits$99.00$989.00$199.0017%
ShutterstockVideo 150 Credits$149.00$1,499.00$289.0016%
ShutterstockVideo 350 Credits$169.00$1,649.00$379.0019%
ShutterstockVideo 750 Credits$199.00$1,999.00$389.0016%
ShutterstockMusic  Unlimited Subscription Essential$19.00$199.00$29.0013%
ShutterstockMusic  Unlimited Subscription Premium$49.00$499.00$89.0015%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 10 Credits$29.00$299.00$49.0014%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 25 Credits$59.00$599.00$109.0015%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 50 Credits$99.00$989.00$199.0017%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 150 Credits$149.00$1,499.00$289.0016%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 350 Credits$169.00$1,649.00$379.0019%
ShutterstockMusic Flex Subscription 750 Credits$199.00$1,999.00$389.0016%
SkypeSkype Number$6.50$52.26$25.7433%
SkypeInternational Calls (US Subscription)$2.99$30.50$5.3815%
SquarespaceCommerce Basic$36.00$324.00$108.0025%
SquarespaceCommerce Advanced$65.00$588.00$192.0025%
Sundance NOWSundance Now$6.99$59.99$23.8928%
The AthleticSucscription$7.99$71.88$24.0025%
The ClassThe Class$40.00$400.00$80.0017%
The Daily WireInsider$14.99$156.00$23.8813%
The Sculpt SocietyThe Sculpt Society$19.99$179.99$59.8925%
The Washington PostAll-Access Digital$16.00$120.00$72.0038%
The Washington PostPremium Digital$17.00$170.00$34.0017%
Thrive MarketThrive Market Membership$12.0059.95$84.0558%
Tracy AndersonFree Trial + TA Online Studio$90.00$808.50$271.5025%
TreehouseCourses Plus$49.00$490.00$98.0017%
TwitterTwitter Blue Web$8.00$84.00$12.0013%
TwitterTwitter Blue iOS and Android$11.00$114.99$17.0113%
ViveportInfinity Standard$12.99$107.88$48.0031%
WhoopWhoop Membership$30.00$239.00$121.0034%
Word PressPersonal$9.00$48.00$60.0056%
Word PressPremium$18.00$96.00$120.0056%
Word PressBusiness$40.00$300.00$180.0038%
Word PressCommerce$70.00$540.00$300.0036%
Xponential FitnessXponential Plus$29.99$119.88$240.0067%
YouTube MusicPremium$10.99$109.99$21.8917%
Youtube PremiumYoutube Premium$13.99$139.99$27.8917%
ZipcarZipcar Membership$9.00$90.00$18.0017%
ZoomZoom One Pro$15.99$149.90$41.9822%
ZoomZoom One Business$19.99$199.90$39.9817%
ZoomZoom One Business Plus$25.00$250.00$50.0017%
ZoomZoom Rooms Licenses$49.00$499.00$89.0015%
ZoomZoom Rooms Enterprise$49.00$499.00$89.0015%
ZoomZoom Whiteboard$2.49$24.90$4.9817%
ZoomZoom Whiteboard Plus$7.00$70.00$14.0017%
QuickBooksSimple Start$18.00$194.00$22.0010%
This data not only highlights the prevalence of annual subscription discounts but also provides a clear comparison of the savings one can achieve by opting for an annual plan over a monthly plan. With this information at hand, you can better assess whether the upfront commitment of an annual subscription aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle needs.

The Only True Balancing Act for Deciding Between an Annual vs. Monthly Subscription

When it comes to choosing between annual and monthly subscriptions, the decision often boils down to a balancing act between cost considerations and the flexibility to opt-out. The primary distinction between these two options is essentially paying a premium for the liberty to cancel each month. This flexibility can be crucial for certain users, and understanding who benefits most from monthly subscriptions is key to making an informed decision.

Paying Monthly: Who Does It Suit Best?

  1. New Users Testing the Waters: For those who haven't fully committed to a subscription service, a monthly plan offers a low-risk opportunity to test the waters. This is particularly relevant for services that involve a change in routine, such as gym memberships, wellness and meditation apps, or even meal delivery services. Trying a new subscription on a monthly basis allows users to gauge if the service truly fits their lifestyle and needs before making a longer-term commitment.
  2. Users Seeking Financial Flexibility: Monthly subscriptions appeal to users who prefer breaking down payments into smaller, more manageable amounts. This approach aligns with the model used by companies like Affirm and Klarna, which have successfully tapped into the consumer preference for 'buy now, pay later' options. By spreading out the cost, users find it easier to integrate the expense into their monthly budget without feeling the pinch of a lump sum payment.
While the allure of lower annual rates is undeniable, monthly subscriptions offer a level of flexibility and financial pacing that can be more aligned with the needs and preferences of certain users. Understanding these nuances is crucial in making a choice that not only saves money but also aligns with personal circumstances and lifestyle preferences.

3 Questions to ask to decide on paying monthly or annually?

Deciding whether to opt for a monthly or annual subscription can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. As someone who's been there, I want to share some personal insights and the right questions to ask yourself to make this decision a bit easier.

1. Are You Bought into the Product?

Think about your relationship with the product. Is this your first time trying it out? Did you make the most of the free trial? How well do you know the subscription's features and benefits? From my experience, jumping straight into an annual subscription is rarely a good idea. The risk of the subscription not meeting your expectations is just too high. If you're not fully convinced or familiar with the product, steer clear of the annual plan. But if you're nodding your head and saying, "Yes, I know this product inside out," then let's move to the next crucial question.

2. How Often Do I Use This Product? Is It Seasonal?

Now, let's get real about usage. It's not about how often you think you use the subscription, but how often you actually do. Is your usage tied to specific seasons or events, like TV show releases, classes, live shows, or sports seasons? For instance, if you're training for a marathon, does it make sense to have a Strava premium subscription all year round? If your usage is sporadic or seasonal, the annual plan might not be the best fit. However, if you're a regular user, it's worth considering the next aspect.

3. Are You Making Assumptions About Your Usage?

Here's a little story from my own life. I once had a Solidcore Unlimited subscription costing $240 per month. In my head, I rationalized that if I attended at least 10 classes a month, it would be cheaper than paying per class. But here's the catch – I rarely took full advantage of this 'unlimited' aspect. Why? Because it required me to think about attending classes daily, essentially altering my routine. This experience taught me a valuable lesson: Don't overestimate how often you'll use a service based on optimistic assumptions. It's essential to realistically assess your usage patterns before committing to an annual plan.
When it comes to choosing between monthly and annual subscriptions, it's all about understanding your usage, commitment to the product, and being honest with yourself about how often you'll really use the service. By asking these questions, you can make a decision that aligns with both your lifestyle and your wallet.

The Rule of Thumb for Choosing Annual vs. Monthly Plans by Industry

Navigating the world of subscriptions can be tricky, especially when deciding between monthly and annual plans. Based on my analysis of ScribeUp data and industry trends, here's a rule of thumb for different sectors to help you make the best choice for your lifestyle and interests.

ScribeUp's User Subscription Commitment Duration


Subscribed Over 1 Year

Subscribed Less Than 1 Year


TV Streaming Services: A Staple in Entertainment

When it comes to TV streaming services, the data speaks volumes. An average of 65% of ScribeUp users consistently subscribed to Netflix, and 45% to Hulu for more than a year. This trend suggests a strong, ongoing engagement with these platforms. Most users find that a couple of well-chosen streaming services provide a vast majority of their desired content. Therefore, if you're a regular consumer of movies and TV shows, opting for an annual plan with your preferred streaming services is a smart move. It's not just about cost savings; it's about securing your access to entertainment that you know you'll enjoy throughout the year.

Music Streaming Services: The Rhythm of Consistency

Looking at music streaming services, the data is equally telling. Around 70% of users maintained their Spotify subscriptions for over a year. This high retention rate indicates that music streaming services are not seasonal but an integral part of daily life for many. If you're someone who can't imagine a day without your favorite tunes and podcasts, and if the service offers an annual option, it's a no-brainer to lock in for the year. The convenience and the joy of uninterrupted music make it a worthwhile investment.

Productivity Tools: The Foundation of Daily Life

In the realm of productivity, tools like 1Password show very little churn. A significant 76% of ScribeUp users had 1Password for over a year. This high retention rate is understandable. Once you've invested time in setting up a tool that manages something as crucial as your passwords, the thought of switching is daunting. If a productivity tool becomes a cornerstone of your daily routine, going for an annual plan is not just cost-effective; it's a way to ensure continuity in your workflow.

Health and Wellness: Tread Carefully

The health and wellness sector, however, tells a different story. Only about a quarter of users maintained their ClassPass subscription for more than a year. This statistic is a stark reminder that fitness interests can be fleeting. Many of us start the year with great enthusiasm for fitness, but life happens – injuries, changes in routine, or simply losing interest. My advice? Be cautious about locking yourself into a year-long commitment to a gym or fitness studio. Flexibility is key in this sector, as your fitness needs and preferences might evolve over the year.
In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between annual and monthly subscriptions, consider your usage patterns, the nature of the service, and your personal commitment to it. While annual plans can offer cost savings and convenience in some industries, they might not be the best choice in others where your interests or needs are more likely to change.

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