One of the down sides to monetizing Blogs and websites is, they try to capture as much of your contact information as possible upfront, including credit card details. I understand why, but it also operates on the assumtion mode or that you will forget that you signed up and gave all that information. Next thing you know you are paying for something you didn’t want anymore. I’m sure I’m over reacting but, I get miffed at sites that say the 1st month is free but give me your credit card information before we give you access.

I won’t name names because just about every site selling a service or product practices this model and it really needs to be re-thoughtout (is that a word?) further in my humble opinion. I rarely sign up for services that practice the credit card collecting up front, if it’s a trial then they can come back to me when the trial is about to lapse. These days trying before buying is an even better way to go, especially with the new Social Media environment claiming transparency practices.

In the day and age of transparency & trust, we should think about the message being sent when asking for credit card information on the marketing of ” The 1st Month is on Us”. If that’s true, let us sign up and try it, if we want it, come to us later and ask us to stay on and then ask a payment method. I know you think thats bad business, but really? I think the opposite, it would tell me you are so sure of your product and you are willing to lose me if its not a good product or service. Of course this doesn’t work with all products and services but, if you are offering a trial opportunity, then make it just that, don’t charge or ask for creditcard or payment method up front.

If it’s FREE! – Don’t ask for my credit card!

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.  


  1. Tyson on January 14, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    I agree with you about not asking for a credit card when it is ‘free’. The issue is that the cost of acquiring a customer is so high that companies would rather put the responsibility on the customer to deny service and charges versus making a few upset with request for a credit card. Most people feel they will go back and cancel in time, kinda like they feel they will pay off the ‘no payments the first year, interest free as long as you ha it paid off by end of year two’ purchase from Best Buy. Consumers have to be responsible, because the vendor has other things to do, like getting the next sucker.

    • Owen Greaves on January 14, 2010 at 8:44 AM

      Ya, I understand why but it’s not a good practice for the consumer.

      Thanks for commenting, I’m curious how people feel about this item.


  2. Chris Penner on January 14, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Sounds a little over the top. I know I sure won’t give out my credit card info unless I was absolutely sure that I wanted what I was buying?

    On the other hand I would be far more willing to give out personal information such as phone number, email, etc.

    You wonder if they would take out the credit card stuff if they would close more business. Because surely they would get more leads they just wouldn’t be quite as qualified. But more leads in the pipe means more closed sales/transactions.

    Thanks for bringing this up. Maybe we can change they way we all do business because of this.


  3. uberVU - social comments on January 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by OwenGreaves: New Blog Post: If It’s Free – Don’t Ask for My Credit Card!

  4. Rob on January 14, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    The iTunes store does this. Want a free mp3? You need an account which means you need a credit card.

    • Owen Greaves on January 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

      SHAZZAM! These businesses want it both ways.

      Thanks Rob

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Owen Greaves, Owen Greaves, Owen Greaves, Chris Penner, Tyson and others. Tyson said: RT @OwenGreaves: New Blog Post: If It's Free – Don't Ask for My Credit Card! […]