Stripe supports changing existing subscriptions without having to cancel and recreate them. Some of the most significant changes you might make are:
- Changing the billing cycle
- Upgrading or downgrading the subscription price
- Canceling or pausing an active subscription
Some changes automatically create a new invoice. Use the pending updates feature with these changes so that the updates are only applied if the new invoice is successfully paid.
You can also alter subscriptions by updating the parameters normally used when creating the subscription. For example:
- Applying discounts
- Using trial periods
- Setting quantities
- Adding taxes
- Setting payment methods
The most complex aspect of changing existing subscriptions is proration, where the customer is charged a percentage of a subscription’s cost to reflect partial use. By default, the following actions result in a proration:
- Changing to a price with a different base cost
- Changing to a price with a different billing interval
- Adding a trial period to an active subscription
- Changing the quantity
Proration ensures that customers are billed accurately, but a proration can result in different payment amounts than you expect, which may be confusing. Also keep in mind that prorations are never automatically refunded to a customer nor immediately billed, although you can do both manually. When applying changes to existing subscriptions, discounts don’t affect the resulting proration line items.
Prorations only apply to charges that occur ahead of the billing cycle. Metered billing isn’t subject to proration.
You can preview a proration to view the amount before applying the changes.