How to get best (cheapest) subscription rate for Time/Newsweek Magazines

I will share my experience on how I get best discount rate to get subscription from Times and Newsweek Magazines. It may also applies to other magazines, you can try and let me know :)

Background

Magazines are really cheap and affordable if you subscribes to them instead of buying it from bookstore or retail.  One can really save anywhere between 20% to (whopping) 75% for a yearly subscription, so each magazine you buy can actually pays for two. 

It all started when I received unsolicited subscriptions offers from Times, Newsweek, Fortune, and others many years ago. I ignored them several times until one day they sent me their best offer – 75% discount. I took the offer and started my subscriptions. 

Present days
It’s two years later when my subscriptions are expiring and they sent me notices to renew but at must lower discount – 55% to 65% for 3 years.  Although it comes with a (rather useless) gift, a 10% discount is quite a saving to fight for.  I found out that it still work the same way,  If you ignore these renewal offers until the very last week of your term, they may send you another offer which is again at 75% or better.

Practical Advice

  1. Wait until your term is expiring e.g. 4 weeks before and call your customer service
  2. Quote that you paid a better rate last term or would only renew if they can offer the best rate for next term
  3. Insist on 2) or call back at later time
  4. If the above doesn’t work, you need to decide whether you need the magazine or just simply let it lapse.  When it lapses, I am sure they will send you offers again.

Magazines doesn’t really rely on subscriptions to get money, Ads are their main revenue. In the United States, magazines are offered as low as 1.99 USD/year which basically doesn’t even cover the postage.  This just shows how they need a bigger and larger readership (auditable) to command higher ads revenue.

Now it’s your turn to try and let others know if you have the same experience.

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