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  • Little Birdie

We are a nation of subscription lovers

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

81% of UK households have at least one subscription and the average Brit spends £620 a year!



Figures from a Barclaycard Payments study revealed that in 2021 81% of UK households were signed up for at least one subscription and the average Brit spends £620 a year on them.

It’s no surprise that entertainment platforms such as Netflix are top of the list due to the vast amounts of ad-free content and must-watch movies, films and blockbuster shows available.



​Entertainment Platforms

46%

Food/ meal boxes

16%

Technology

14%

Beauty or grooming

12%

Books/ literature

11%

Flowers/ gardening

11%

Health

11%

Pets

11%

Restaurant meal kits

9%

Alcohol

9%

*Table Credit: Barclaycard

Consumers love that subscriptions actually help them manage their budgets each month, but this is only useful if you use the service you’re paying for! Shopping around for different deals, comparing subscriptions and cancelling the ones you don’t use is key to making sure you’re not wasting money.


Straightforward opt-out processes were cited as being very important when deciding on a subscription for 36% of customers, but unfortunately, this crucial functionality is not always as easy as it should be. That’s where we come in!


Little Birdie is on a mission to fight unused and overly expensive subscriptions, so we’ve put together some helpful hacks to make sure you’re not wasting your hard-earned dosh:

  1. Use a Virtual Credit Card. Services like Revolut and Mozoo offer Disposal Virtual Cards. These are great for signing up to free trials and one-off subscriptions as they can be easily blocked and disposed of in-app without affecting services linked to your main card number.

  2. Subscribe to services using the Apple Store and Google’s Play store: When doing so, you can easily cancel the subscription via apple and Google’s own portal, without having to contact the company. Plus, you’ll be able to see all your subscriptions in one place. The downside of this is that many products, particularly physical ones, are not available for subscription via the stores. You can use Little Birdie to manage these for you!

  3. Retention discounts and bonuses: Companies know it’s cheaper to keep current customers rather than win new ones, so they don’t want to see you go! Click through the cancellation flow on the subscriptions you do use to see if you could save big. For example, website builder Wix will offer 40% off if you pretend you’re going to cancel. There are many other offers like this that we cover in another blog post.

  4. Never-ending free trials: This is for Gmail users only but is a great trick to use variations on your main email address over and over without having to set up new accounts for each. Gmail has a cool feature where it will forward emails addressed to variations of your own address, as long as it contains the right characters. For example, exampleemail@gmail.com could be used for your first 1 month trial, but then you can also use e.x.a.m.p.l.e.e.m.a.i.l@gmail.com, or use the ‘+’ sign to create endless email addresses that will always end up in your own inbox. For example, exampleemail+netflixtrial@gmail.com will also come directly to the original exampleemail@gmail.com inbox, but the subscription service will see it as a new email address. Bingo! Just remember to always cancel the free trials or let Little Birdie do it for you!

  5. Hunt down referral codes: The saying in the savings community goes that if you pay full price for anything you buy online, you’re just subsidising those who’ve taken a few minutes to find a voucher. We all know about sites like Vouchercodes.co.uk and TopCashBack, but did you know there are growing communities on the likes of Reddit who will share referral codes if you ask? Sites like Homely Economics also have a list of community updated referral codes, or you could just ask your friends and family – you'll be doing them a favour, too!


Got any more subscription hacks? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll feature them in our next Subscriptions Hack blog!

Tired of supposedly ‘free’ trials costing you money and paying for subscriptions you never use? Sign up to get the Little Birdie app (it's coming soon!) and we’ll make sure you’re getting the best deals what what you use and not forking out for what you don’t.

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