Subscriptions Overview


With PayPal Subscriptions, you can bill customers for physical and digital goods or services at regular intervals.

Integration features

Use the Subscriptions API or Subscriptions Dashboard to:

  • Create plans that charge users a fixed amount at regular intervals, or based on the quantity to which they subscribe.
  • Offer your subscribers free or discounted trials to get more subscription signups.
  • Easily modify the price of your plans.
  • Accept currencies for over 250 countries.
  • Enable subscribers to upgrade and downgrade their plans or change the quantity to which they subscribe.
  • Automate payment recovery for failed payments.

Use the following to integrate using the Subscriptions API:

Note: You cannot integrate the Subscriptions API with the Billing Plans and Billing Agreements APIs.

To integrate using the Subscriptions Dashboard web interface:

  1. Log into your PayPal Business account.
  2. Navigate to All tools > Get Paid > Subscriptions.

Supported pricing plans

Subscriptions offers the fixed and user-based pricing models:

Fixed pricing plan

This simple, frequency-based subscription plan charges customers a fixed amount at a fixed frequency.

Use cases for fixed pricing plans include:

  • Video or music streaming services that charge a monthly or yearly fee.
  • Gym or club membership.
  • Box subscriptions, such as grooming, clothing, beauty, and food.

Quantity (user or seat) pricing plan

This plan charges subscribers by the quantity of goods or services that they subscribe to.

Use cases for user- or seat-based pricing plans include:

  • Service company offers remote tech support to small companies.
  • A software company charges for the number of software licenses.
  • Pet store offers a dog food subscription that charges customers based on the number of bags.

How a Subscriptions integration works

Subscriptions How-To

  1. Create a one-time subscription product and the plan(s) to offer to your consumers.
  2. Present the PayPal button to create a subscription using either the Subscriptions API or the PayPal JavaScript SDK.
  3. The button launches the PayPal Subscription experience.
  4. The buyer agrees and subscribes.
  5. The button calls PayPal Subscription API to create a subscription.
  6. You show subscription confirmation to the buyer.

Buyer consent flow with a PayPal account

  1. Buyer clicks Subscribe.
  2. Buyer logs in to PayPal.
  3. Buyer agrees to the subscription terms and subscribes.
  4. Buyer is redirected to the merchant page.

There are 2 ways for a buyer to sign up for a subscription without using a PayPal account:

Guest user flow using a debit or credit card

Buyer consent flow with no PayPal account

  1. Buyer clicks Create and Subscribe.
  2. Buyer enters card details, agrees to the subscription terms and subscribes either as a guest or by creating a PayPal account.
  3. Buyer is redirected to the merchant page.

Note: Guest subscription using a credit/debit card is supported only in US and CA at this time.

Direct card flow

  1. Merchant hosts the experience to collect card details.
  2. Buyer enters card details and subscribes.
  3. Buyer sees confirmation on merchant page.

Note: To become eligible to accept direct card payments for subscriptions, complete onboarding. Direct card payments are available only for non-3DS cards and for merchants in the US and AU at this time.


Complete a basic Subscriptions integration.