Changing Subscriptions

Learn how to change existing subscriptions. If you need help after reading this, check out our answers to common questions or chat live with other developers in #stripe on freenode.

Stripe supports changing existing subscriptions on the fly, without having to cancel and recreate them. The most impactful changes you might make include:

However, you can also alter subscriptions by updating the parameters normally used when the subscription is created:

The trickiest aspect of changing existing subscriptions is proration. A proration is where the customer is charged–or refunded–a percentage of a subscription’s cost to reflect partial use. By default, any of the following actions result in a proration:

  • Changing to a plan with a different base cost per billing interval
  • Changing to a plan with a different billing interval
  • Adding a trial period to an active subscription
  • Changing the quantity

Proration is Stripe’s way to ensure customers are billed an accurate amount, but a proration results in different payment amounts being made than you may expect, which can be confusing. Further, prorations are never automatically refunded to a customer or immediately billed, although both are steps you can take manually.

For the smoothest user experience, Stripe supports the ability to preview a proration before enacting it.

Next steps

Now that you understand how subscriptions can be changed and how proration comes into play, you may want to check out: