Discounts for subscriptions
Redeem coupons to apply discounts to the subscriptions you offer. You can also use coupons to create promotion codes to share with your customers. Customers can redeem these promotion codes to apply discounts to their subscriptions.
You can use coupons and promotion codes to:
- Apply discounts to every invoice, only one invoice, or for a certain length of time
- Reduce invoice amounts by a percentage or a flat amount
- Apply discounts to every subscription a customer has or only specific ones
You can also define a coupon that a customer must redeem by a certain date, or that’s limited to a set number of redemptions across all of your customers.
To use discounts for one-time payments, see Add discounts for one-time payments.
To apply discounts to a customer or a customer’s charges, redeem coupons into discounts. Learn how to create and manage coupons in the following sections.
Create a coupon
Create coupons in the Dashboard or with the API:
Set eligible products
When you make changes to a subscription, any existing discounts are applied when proration is calculated. You can’t discount proration line items further on the invoice that’s generated.
Apply coupons to subscriptions
After you’ve created a coupon, create a discount by applying the coupon to a subscription. You can do this when creating the subscription or by updating a customer’s existing subscription.
You can still create a subscription when a customer doesn’t have a stored payment method if no immediate payment is required after you apply a coupon to it.
Apply coupons to customers
A coupon that you add to a customer applies to all subscriptions for that customer, including subscriptions added later. Add coupons to subscriptions instead of customers, unless you want to discount all recurring charges for a customer.
Apply coupons to Checkout
Apply coupons to subscriptions in a Checkout Session by setting the
discounts parameter in the API. To create a session with an applied discount, pass the coupon ID in the
coupon parameter of the
discounts array. This coupon overrides any coupon on the customer.
If you’re creating a subscription with an existing customer, any coupon associated with the customer is applied to the subscription’s invoices.
You can delete coupons with the Dashboard or the API.
Deleting a coupon prevents it from being applied to future subscriptions or customers, but it doesn’t remove the discount from any subscription or customer that already has it.
A coupon’s duration indicates how long the coupon is valid for. For example, a coupon for 50% off with a duration of 4 months applies to all invoices in the 4 month period starting when the coupon is first applied. If a customer applies this coupon to a yearly subscription during the coupon’s 4 month period, the 50% discount applies to the entire yearly subscription. In a monthly subscription, the coupon applies to the first 4 months. For a weekly subscription, a 4 month coupon applies to every invoice in the first 4 months.
If you’re configuring a coupon’s duration in the API, when you use the value
repeating you must specify
duration_in_months as the number of months that the coupon repeatedly applies to. If you set the duration to
once, the coupon applies only to the first invoice. If you set the duration to
forever, the coupon applies to all invoices indefinitely.
Redemption limits apply to the coupon across every customer. For example, if you limit the number of times a coupon can be redeemed to 50, you can apply it to your customers only 50 times. This can be one time each for 50 different customers, one customer 50 times, or multiple customers multiple times until the max of 50 times.
If you set a coupon to last forever when a customer uses it but the coupon has an expiration date, any customer given that coupon will have that coupon’s discount forever. No new customers can apply the coupon after the expiration date.
Promotion codes are customer-facing codes that you create for coupons. You can share promotion codes directly with your customers to use at checkout.
If you’ve implemented the customer portal and turned on promotion codes, customers can apply a discount when upgrading or downgrading their existing subscriptions in the portal.
Create customer-facing codes that are associated with a single underlying coupon. For example, FALLPROMO and SPRINGPROMO can both point to a single 25% off coupon.
Customize controls and limits on promotion codes by specifying eligible customers, first time orders, minimum order values, expiration dates, and redemption limits.
There are some restrictions to promotion codes.
- You can’t apply a promotion code with amount restrictions on the Customer object or on a subscription update API call.
- You can’t apply both a promotion code and a coupon at the same time to a subscription or a customer.
- It’s not possible to stack two or more promotion codes.
Create promotion codes
When you create a promotion code, it inherits the configuration of the associated coupon.
Promotion code configurations
By configuring the promotion code settings, you can customize the following:
- Which customers are eligible to use a promotion code
- How many times a customer can redeem a promotion code
- When a promotion code expires
- Set a minimum amount a promotion code can apply to
Limit by customer
Limit by first time order
Set a minimum amount
Add promotion codes to Checkout
Enable promotion codes with the API by setting the allow_promotion_codes parameter in Checkout Sessions. When
allow_promotion_codes is enabled on a Checkout Session, Checkout includes a promotion code redemption box for your customers to use.
Promotion code field at checkout
Alternative discount methods
Although coupons are the most common way to discount a subscription, you can also do the following:
- Add a negative customer balance to the customer.
- Add negative invoice items.
- Add a second price that is a cheaper version of a product’s usual price.
Of these methods, negative invoice items provide more detailed information as to what discount was created, when, and why.