Getting Started

Building Blocks

Subscription Features



Billing Features


Payment Methods

Direct Debit Payments

Configuring Gateways

Fraud Management

Hosted Pages

Attach Additional Data


Open Source Resources

Other Features

API Integration

Third Party Integrations

Trial Management 

You can let prospects or buyers try out your product or service for a limited period before switching them over to a paid subscription. Trials are independent of the normal billing cycle and plan price.

Using Free Trial you can set the number of days an account can be on trial mode. Once the trial days are over, Chargebee automatically converts it to an active subscription and attempts to process the first payment.

Certain payment gateways do not support free trials and will charge accounts immediately, but if you are using gateways that do, you can specify the trial days and the charges will be applied accordingly.


You set the trial to 14 days for a plan

Sign Up Date: 1 Jan 2012

Trial days: 14

Billing Date: 15 Jan 2012

Can I extend a trial subscription? 

Yes. Trial days can be specified in the plan. If you need to change or extend a customer's trial days, you can do that by editing the subscription. Trials can also be extended through the API using "trial_end" in the update a subscription section. 

Collecting card info during trial sign up 

If you are using Chargebee's hosted pages you will have to collect card details on sign-up (as they come with card fields that cannot be disabled). If you are using the API on the other hand, you can choose to collect card details at sign-up or at a later time during the trial period. With either option, you have the flexibility of charging your customer at any time during the trial or when it is over.

Can a card be charged during trial? 

Yes. If a subscription is in trial and the card details are available, you can charge the card and change the subscription from trial to active immediately through the API.

Trial expired, no card info, what next? 

Once the trial is over, and it is time to charge the customer, the card information is needed. If Chargebee finds that there isn't a card on the subscription then it automatically moves the account to a canceled state. If the merchant provides freemium plans, they can change the plan to it.

What if the card info provided is invalid? 

After the trial period is over, Chargebee automatically tries to charge the customers. If the details of the card on file are invalid or incorrect, and the transaction fails, Chargebee will go through the dunning (retry) process.

We use the "Retry Settings" option to configure how often a charge needs to be attempted. Chargebee will try a maximum of 4 attempts after which you can either choose to cancel the subscription or mark the invoice as unpaid. You can try to attempt a charge manually at a later time if needed. This setting can be changed, and you can choose to reduce the number of attempts or to just cancel the account.

Extending trial on a canceled subscription 

If you need to reactivate a canceled subscription, you can do so. When you are reactivating the subscription, you can also set a new trial date for it. Once the activation is complete, the subscription will be in trial.

Can I create a paid trial subscription? 

You certainly can. What you can do here is sign up a customer with a trial plan and add a charge that will be invoiced immediately.


You can sign up a customer with a 14 day trial plan. Once you have created the subscription use "Add Charge" and charge them for say $2. The customer will be billed $2 immediately and after 14 days, the normal subscription price will be applied.

Note: When you want to sign up a customer for a paid trial, you need to have the card info.

Emailing customers who are in trial 

Yes, you can send emails informing them about the remaining days in their trial with options to upgrade to an active subscription. At the moment, emails are sent to trial users 6 days before the trial ends. Email automation and configuration on a user defined frequency will be included soon.

Changing to a plan with different trial days 

Switching plans during trial is certainly possible with Chargebee. The new plan configurations will override the existing one. If the new plan does not have trial days, credit card details need to be present on the subscription and the customer will be charged immediately.

If you are changing to a plan that has more number of trial days than your current plan, the subscription will automatically update it to the new plan and deduct the number of days already used.


Initial Plan Trial: 10 Days

Trial days used: 5 Days

New Plan: 30 Days

Trial Ends: 25 Days after new plan is started.

If the new plan has lesser number of trial days than the current plan, the customer will be invoiced immediately.


Initial Plan Trial: 14 Days

Trial days used: 10

New Plan: 5 Days

Trial Ends: Immediately

The new plan will update the subscription to be active and attempt to charge the customer because they have already used 10 days of trial and the new plan has only 5 days in it.