Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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How to stop recurring subscription payments in your PayPal account [illustrated]

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Hand stopping blocks from falling over

Here is how to stop your recurring subscription payments in your PayPal account. For example, suppose you purchased a magazine subscription and paid using PayPal. Now you decide that you want to stop that subscription, but you can't find out how to do it. Here's how you can simply end those automatic payments, all from within your PayPal account. This extra safety feature is why I only use PayPal to pay for my subscriptions, because I know I can cancel it easily inside my PayPal account later if I need to. If a retailer doesn't offer PayPal, I simply don't buy their product - I'll either find an alternative or manage without it. PayPal basically gives you an extra layer of protection.

First of all though, rest assured that legitimate retailers will always provide a way for you to cancel your subscription at their end of things. Usually you would do this by logging into your account with them and selecting the option to cancel, or by contacting customer service. However, even legitimate retailers don't always make it immediately obvious how to cancel a subscription, and that is one of the reasons I recommend stopping payments from inside your PayPal account. Even if you do cancel your subscription with the retailer themselves, I highly recommend also stopping it at the PayPal level as described in this tutorial.

Who this tutorial is for

First off, this tutorial is only for if you paid your subscription using PayPal. I know that sounds obvious, but just to clarify, if you paid the retailer by directly typing in your credit card numbers into the payment field, then you'll need to talk to the retailer instead to stop your subscription payments. If you paid by PayPal though, let's move on.

How to cancel automatic subscription payments in PayPal

So, let's assume you've gone ahead and purchased your subscription using PayPal. Then, after you purchase your magazine (or whatever it was), you decide you don't want the recurring payments, and you want to stop. Here's what you do in a step-by-step illustrated guide. It's best done on a computer or laptop than on the phone app.

Your screen layout may look slightly different at your end of things depending on the size of your browser window and what menu options you have available, but the steps will still be the same.

1. Log into your PayPal account and click on the gear icon at the top right

Screenshot of PayPal account showing gear option

You screen should look like the image above when you log in. Click on the gear icon at the top right.

2. Click on the "Payments" tab

You'll see a bunch of options in a menu below the gear icon, as shown in the image below.

Screenshot of PayPal account showing menu options

Click on "Payments"

3. You will arrive at this screen; click on the "Manage Automatic Payments" button

Your screen will now look like this:

Screenshot of the automatic payments screen in PayPal

Click on "Manage automatic payments"

4. Look on the left at the list of places where you have a billing agreement

You'll see something like the pic below. Look at the list of retailers on the left.

Important: don't panic if you see a lot of stuff there!

Some of these retailers have what's called a "billing agreement" with you on PayPal and not an ongoing subscription. A billing agreement may have happened when you shopped online one time at a store. Some stores take PayPal the regular way and so you won't see them listed here; others create a 'billing agreement' that basically makes it easier if you shop there again. So don't worry if you see more retailers there than you expect; some of those will just be billing agreements, and that's normal.

Screenshot of PayPal account with billing agreement list shown

While you're in this part of your PayPal account, it's a great idea to see if there's anything other retailers on that list on the left which you want to get rid of besides whatever subscription you wanted to delete. Don't worry, you can still shop normally again at any of those places with PayPal even after you cancel it here. Great, huh?

As you can see in the image above, the pizza place I order from is listed there. I'm OK with that, but I'd like to delete a bunch of other places where I don't shop so often. In this case, I wanted to delete my Minecraft Realms subscription payment, which in my case is the one that says "Microsoft Corporation".

Close up screenshot of automatic payment retailers in PayPal account

In this case I'm clicking on Microsoft Corporation because that's where my Minecraft Realms subscription came from which I want to cancel.

6. Then click on "cancel" in that retailer's payment info

When you click on that retailer on the left, an option to cancel will come up, as shown in the next image:

Screenshot of PayPal account showing billing agreement with retailer and option to cancel

Then click cancel.

7. Agree to cancel it and you're done!

When you press cancel, a confirmation window will come up to check that you really want to do it. So long as you selected the correct company from which you wanted to stop the subscription, then agree you want to cancel the billing agreement and you're good to go! Now they can't charge you anything more.

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