Offer a trial period

Use a trial period to let subscribers try your product at a free or discounted price before regular billing cycles start. Once the trial period ends, the regular billing period for the subscription begins. You can have up to two trial periods per plan.

The following sample requests show how to offer trial periods. Use these samples to adjust your code when you create a plan.

Example: music service

This example sets a trial period with the following characteristics:

  • $0 for the first month.
  • $15 per month following the trial period.
curl -v –X POST https://api.sandbox.paypal.com/v1/billing/plans \
-H "Accept: application/json" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <Access-Token>" \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "PayPal-Request-Id: PLAN-18062020-002" \
-d '{
     "name": "Premium Music Plus",
    "description": "A premium plan with music download feature",
    "product_id": "PROD-5RN21878H3527870P",
    "billing_cycles": [
        {
            "frequency": {
                "interval_unit": "MONTH",
                "interval_count": 1
            },
            "tenure_type": "TRIAL",
            "sequence": 1,
            "total_cycles": 1,
            "pricing_scheme": {
                "fixed_price": {
                    "value": "0",  
                    "currency_code": "USD"
                }
            }
        },
        {
            "frequency": {
                "interval_unit": "MONTH",
                "interval_count": 1
            },
            "tenure_type": "REGULAR",
            "sequence": 2,
            "total_cycles": 0,
            "pricing_scheme": {
                "fixed_price": {
                    "value": "15",
                    "currency_code": "USD"
                }
            }
        }
    ],
    "payment_preferences": {
        "auto_bill_outstanding": true,
        "payment_failure_threshold": 1
    }
 }'

Example: online tutorial service

This example sets a trial period with the following characteristics:

  • $0 free trial for the first week.
  • $5 per week discounted trial for the next 3 weeks.
  • $10 per week following the trial period.
curl -v –X POST https://api.sandbox.paypal.com/v1/billing/plans \
-H "Accept: application/json" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <Access-Token>" \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "PayPal-Request-Id: PLAN-18062020-003" \
-d '{
     "name": "Music Tutorial Premium Plus",
    "description": "Offering a premium music tutorial with download feature",
    "product_id": "PROD-5RN21878H3527870P",
    "billing_cycles": [
        {
            "frequency": {
                "interval_unit": "WEEK",
                "interval_count": 1
            },
            "tenure_type": "TRIAL",
            "sequence": 1,
            "total_cycles": 1,
            "pricing_scheme": {
                "fixed_price": {
                    "value": "0",
                    "currency_code": "USD"
                }
            }
        },
        {
            "frequency": {
                "interval_unit": "WEEK",
                "interval_count": 1
            },
            "tenure_type": "TRIAL",
            "sequence": 2,
            "total_cycles": 3,
            "pricing_scheme": {
                "fixed_price": {
                    "value": "5",
                    "currency_code": "USD"
                }
            }
        },
        {
            "frequency": {
                "interval_unit": "WEEK",
                "interval_count": 1
            },
            "tenure_type": "REGULAR",
            "sequence": 3,
            "total_cycles": 0,
            "pricing_scheme": {
                "fixed_price": {
                    "value": "10",
                    "currency_code": "USD"
                }
            }
        }
    ],
    "payment_preferences": {
        "auto_bill_outstanding": true,
        "payment_failure_threshold": 1
    }
 }`

See also