Content Hub

Content Hub


Website free trials – credit card payment up front vs at point of sale research results


It’s always good when you come across research that backs up your own beliefs. I am always very reticent to sign up to free trials on websites that ask me for my credit card details at the start of the free trial. The danger being that you decide you don’t want to use the product, but you’ve forgotten to diary date to cancel the credit card payment until it’s too late and the first payment is made. And it can then be quite difficult to untangle it after the event.  There have been many occasions when I would have liked to trial something, but have pulled back from doing it when I realise I need to give my credit card details, for this very reason. who work with customers providing customer insights from on-line data have conducted research looking into the impact of asking for credit card details up front or at the point of sale to see if there is any difference in the conversion rate.  They found, very convincingly amongst their SaaS (Service as a Software) customers, that the conversion rate doubles if you only ask for credit card details at the end of the trial.

  SaaS conversions

Credit card details on sign-up

No credit card details required on sign-up







Converted to paying




Paying users retained

after 90 days



% conversion



Not only does the conversion rate double, but the retention rate after 90 days is double too, showing that people will cancel their order more often after having had to give their credit card details in advance.

The full report can be found here

If you offer free trials via your website, it may be worth testing this too. Try it both ways and see if you get a difference in your conversion and retention rates.