How can readers pay for a subscription on my Substack publication?

Subscribers can pay for your work using their preferred payment method.

Paying for a subscription using a credit card

At this time, we accept most major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. When readers subscribe to your Substack publication and land on your publication's  plan page, they'll have the option to select a monthly, annual, founding member, or free plan.

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If readers are using an Apple device, they may be presented with the option to pay via Apple Pay. If they'd like to pay by entering a credit card instead, they can select "Other subscription options".

Tip: If readers are signed into their Substack account and are subscribed to other publications, their credit card payment method will automatically be pre-filled.

Are there any fees for credit cards?

Substack won't charge the reader any additional fees. For the writer, we take 10% of each paid transaction. Stripe charges a credit card fee (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction fee) and a Billing fee for recurring subscriptions (0.5% for recurring payments). If you enable local currencies, Stripe may apply a 1% to 2% fee if currency conversion is required.

Paying for a subscription using a non-credit card payment method

New subscribers can pay for their subscription using alternative methods such as direct debit or paying directly via a bank's payment portal. These European payment methods include:

  • iDEAL
  • Bancontact
  • Sofort
  • SEPA direct

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Note: Not all new subscribers will be presented with an option to pay using these alternative methods. Subscribers who are presented with this option will also see a new subscription page.

When readers select a plan, they can click either "Card" and enter their credit card details manually or choose from four alternative payment methods.

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If a direct debit payment ends up failing within 5 business days, we'll email the reader that their payment was unsuccessful and that they've become a free subscriber. They'll have the option to subscribe again using a different payment method.

For publications that have this beta enabled, you may see changes on your Stripe dashboard. This includes customers with no payment history. These customers represent free subscribers who were shown the subscription plan options but decided not to become paying subscribers. 

Are there any fees for non-credit card payments?

Substack won't charge the reader any additional fees. For the writer, we take 10% of each paid transaction.

In addition, Stripe fees for these payment methods will apply. The fees are dependent on the country where you registered your Stripe account in. 

The following fees below are an example for a US Stripe account:

  • iDEAL: 80¢
  • Bancontact: 1.4% + 30¢
  • Sofort: 1.4% + 30¢
  • SEPA Direct: 0.8% + 30¢ capped at $6.00. Stripe charges $10.00 for failed or disputed SEPA Direct Debit payments.

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Note: Localized pricing is required for non-credit card payments and an 1% to 2% fee will apply for currency conversion.

I only want to accept credit cards– how do I disable the other payment methods for my new subscribers?

If your publication has been selected to test these non-credit card payment methods and you'd like readers to pay only using credit cards, head to your publication's Settings page. Scroll to "Local payment methods" and uncheck the box next to "Local payment methods."   

Can readers pay using a different currency?

As an owner of a publication, you're able to select a default currency in which you'll charge and collect payments from readers. Readers may not choose to be charged in a different currency. 

However, if you have localized pricing enabled on your paid publication, readers can select a subscription plan that'll show the price in their local currency. Localized pricing is available for the following locations:

  • CAD (shown in Canada)
  • GBP (shown in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)
  • AUD (shown in Australia)
  • EUR (shown in 20 Eurozone countries)
  • USD (shown in the United States; only applicable for non-USD publications)
  • BRL (shown in Brazil)
  • CHF (shown in Switzerland and Liechtenstein)
  • DKK (shown in Denmark, Greenland, and Faroe Islands)
  • MXN (shown in Mexico)
  • NOK (shown in Norway, Bouvet Island, Svalbard, and Jan Mayen)
  • NZD (shown in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and Pitcairn)
  • SEK (shown in Sweden)
  • PLN (shown in Poland)

Read more: Can readers pay for subscriptions using their local currency on Substack? 

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