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Billing Models

Recurly offers four core billing models that can be used in different plans or combined within a plan.

Fixed Recurring

The fixed recurring model bills a set amount upfront on a recurring basis. This model does not have a concept of quantity.

EXAMPLES

  • Digital Content: Netflix charges $7.99/month
  • Box-of-the-Month: Birchbox charges $10/month or $110/year
  • Video Conferencing: GoToMeeting charges $39/month

HOW TO SETUP THIS MODEL

In its most simple version, this model is a plan with just a base recurring charge. If you are using our Hosted Payment Pages you will want to keep "Editable Quantity" not selected, so your subscribers do not have the ability to set a quantity at sign-up.

You may want to incorporate fixed-price add-ons, which are additional recurring charges you can include in your plan as either required or optional fees to your subscribers. For example, you could include an optional fixed-price add-on for "premium support" that bills each month in addition to your base charge.

Learn more about Plans & Add-ons.

Seat-Based

The seat-based model bills a price per quantity upfront on a recurring basis. This model best represents billing per user/seat for time based access.

EXAMPLES

  • CRM: ZOHO charges $20/user/month
  • Customer Support: UserVoice charges $45/agent/month

HOW TO SETUP THIS MODEL

The seat-based model is a plan with a base recurring charge and the ability for the customer to select a quantity. If you are using our Hosted Payment Pages you will want to select the "Editable Quantity" checkbox, so your subscribers have the ability to set a quantity at sign-up.

If you have a per seat/user charge separate from a base recurring charge, you can use fixed-price add-ons with editable quantities.

Learn more about Plans & Add-ons.

Usage-Based

The usage-based model bills a variable amount at the end of the billing cycle. The variable amount is determined by usage measured over the billing cycle.

EXAMPLES

  • Phone Service: AT&T charges $30/month for 2GB and $15/additional 1 GB/month
  • Car Rental: Zipcar charges $7/month plus $7/hour of driving time

HOW TO SETUP THIS MODEL

The usage-based model is a usage-based add-on in a plan. You can define a "price per unit" or a "percentage of an amount". Once customers subscribe, usage is recorded through our API and rolled up into an invoice at each renewal.

Learn more about Usage-Based Billing.

One-Time

EXAMPLES

  • IoT: Nest charges $199 for a camera and $100/year for video history
  • Gym Membership: 24 Hour Fitness charges a $149.99 setup fee and $49.99/month membership

HOW TO SETUP THIS MODEL

One-time charges can be incorporated in plans in two different ways. Each plan can have one set-up fee. This is great for the 24 Hour Fitness example above or any traditional one-time service fee.

If you have one-time physical products, like the Nest example above, you can either use the plan set-up fee, or create adjustments that get bundled with the subscription sign-up. To use adjustments, in your checkout flow, create an adjustment on the account for the physical product right before you allow the subscription sign-up to go through. This will allow the adjustment to be included on the same invoice as the subscription.

Learn more about Adjustments.

If you are interested in one-time purchases, separate from a subscription, use our Transactions API for an all in one endpoint.

Billing Models

Recurly offers four core billing models that can be used in different plans or combined within a plan.