SaaS Free Trial With Or Without Credit Card? Here’s How To Choose

27 Jan 2023 | Mobile App Development


Free trials for SaaS products have become a necessity for many companies. It is no longer trouble for many providers to choose between offering a free trial or not, but what’s the headache nowadays is deciding how to deliver their free trials. 

With more news of companies taking advantage of free trials to get users’ credit card information, more users are now keener with companies that request their CC info for their free trials. New reports further show that the number of such companies is becoming higher, and the victims who may be your ideal users may fail to join your free trial products based on their previous experiences. 

Therefore, more companies have a lot to weigh as more users find it a big deal and a weighty consideration to share their credit card information. So, a free trial with a credit card or without it? This verdict is becoming a more challenging question each day, but we will discuss everything that you need to know today in this article. 

Free Trial Without Credit Card vs Free Trial With Credit Card 

The first step you need to take is to get your priorities right. Asking yourself if you will be better with fewer quality customers or with more unqualified leads.  

In this article, we will share the benefits and drawbacks of each side and the suitability of each plan for different businesses, for you to see which is more favorable for your company. 

We will also share more tips for each strategy for you to see how best you can tailor your option to be ideal for your situation. 

SaaS Free Trials Without Credit Cards: When To Choose 

SaaS free trial without credit card is where you do not require new users to give you their credit card information before they have used your products and services. 

There are several reasons why you would like to pick up this option. As we said, setting priorities right is the first step. So, what goals do you prefer to achieve with your free trial? 

Here are a few goals you can fulfill with a free trial with no credit card: 

Who is this suitable for? 

If you are a startup with fresh products on the market, you may consider opting for a free trial with no credit card. 

A free trial with no credit card can be ideal for you if you also prefer more quantity of users over the quality of your signups. That way, it pays to make it easy for new users to join. 

If you need more data and feedback for your products, you need to reduce barriers to mass signups by not asking for a credit card upfront.  

For instance, introducing beta products that may be undergoing development can work better if you do not ask for credit cards for your free trials. That way, you will avoid more angry customers or refunds. More so, you will get more valuable insights from the input of your more users that can improve your products. 

Finally, if you don’t care about a higher revenue per user, this model will be ideal for you. Sometimes, your products are more profitable with more unqualified leads than with fewer quality leads, so it pays to encourage more signups without qualifying them earlier on.    

Benefits of free trials without credit cards 

Lower entry barriers 

No credit card for trials gives a lower entry barrier for new users, leading to more signups. 

Higher conversion rates 

Easy signups can lead to higher conversion rates, and higher conversions mean more profits. 

Lower rates of refunds 

When more customers test your products before providing their payment information, they are less likely to purchase by mistake. Users will only buy if they will see value in your products. 

Lead to more trust 

When customers find value in your free trial, they’ll be more grateful for your generosity in allowing them to access your product without any down payment. And so, they will trust you more. 

Disadvantages of free trials without credit cards 

Pro Tips 

SaaS Free Trials With Credit Cards: When To Choose 

The free trial with credit card strategy is where you require new prospects to give you their credit card information during the signup and before accessing your products and services. 

Who is this suitable for?  

Free trials with credit card is ideal for SaaS business owners who need to: 

  1. Get just a few high-quality leads every month because they sell expensive products 
  1. Ensure maximum revenue per user 
  1. Minimize trials by tire kickers 
  1. Qualified leads for better trial to conversion rates 
  1. Have the shortest sales cycles as possible 

Benefits of free trials with credit cards 

Lead qualification 

As part of a crucial sales process, it is always good to determine the customers who will be more likely to buy your products after the free trial. Asking for credit cards earlier on is the easiest and the most effective way to qualify your leads. 

Easier conversions 

Prequalified leads to higher conversion rates, which means more businesses from a smaller group of users. 

Less bad leads 

users who sign up to your products without clear needs and does not understand your business offers are the tire kickers. These are the bad leads, and they are less likely to buy your products. Luckily, asking for a credit card will ensure that it provides a barrier to such leads, so they will less likely opt for a ride for the hard work of providing their credit card details. 

Fewer Overall Leads 

Fewer overall leads reduces your operating costs. It reduces all the tiring work of dealing with leads who may never be the good clients that you had in mind. Few but quality leads are better than more but unqualified. 

Shorter Sales Process  

When you ask for credit card info during signups, you’ll not need to ask it again when the user wants to transition from trial to paid subscription. 

Disadvantages of free trials with credit cards 

If you made your marketing so juicier than what the actual product can do, soon, users will find out the truth after they get past the signup boulder of providing their payment information. 

If they do not like your product after the trial or just don’t want to upgrade, and your cancellation process is too complicated or confusing, they won’t enjoy such experiences. 

So, they can share their experiences with their friends and family or with your prospects on social media and review sites. That would ruin your reputation, surely. 

Maybe your refunds are not instant, also. If they were billed already or the customers forgot to cancel their subscription before the trial ends, it can lead to more disputes or more angry customers. 

It is extreme because most of your users are serious customers who need your services and take their time to provide the extra details of their credit cards before trying your services. 

So, their expectations are much higher than if you had not asked them this early. If your products or services do not live up to their expectations, it can be worse. It’s a subtle difference, though, but it has a huge impact. 

Pro Tips 

Which One Should You Choose? Credit Card Or No Credit Card for a SaaS Trial? 

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the verdict here, we believe that your choice will depend more on how straight your priorities are. From what we have discussed, pick a free trial strategy that aligns with your company’s and product’s needs. And then, be ready to deal with its drawbacks. 

Whatever you choose, never forget the main reason for giving a free trial in the first place: to let your customers experience the actual value of your products. Therefore, tailor your free trial in a design that will be truly beneficial for your users, regardless of your free trial strategy. 

Whether you will choose a free trial with a credit card or a free trial without, we hope that this article has provided some value throughout the process.