When your customers are ready to start paying you, a subscription can be applied to their Recurly account. This subscription will tell Recurly how often and how much to bill the customer.


Your subscriptions dashboard provides an overview of all accounts with subscriptions managed by Recurly. From this view you can sort your subscriptions by account, plan code, subscription status, subscription creation date, or next subscription invoice date. The filters on this view allow you to bucket accounts by subscription status for easy sorting. Categories overlap and are not necessarily distinct, e.g. the Live filter will return both Renewing and Canceled subscriptions.

All subscriptions.
Active subscriptions that are active and will renew after the current billing period.
Future Start
Subscriptions that will become active when the start date arrives.
Last Renewal
Subscriptions with limited renewals that will expire after the current period.
Subscriptions that will not renew after the current billing period.
Subscriptions that are no longer active.
Active subscriptions that are in a trial period.
Active subscriptions that are no longer in trial.

Creating Subscriptions

An account can be subscribed to a plan a number of ways:

Please see our getting started guide to see which integration method is best for your business.

To add a subscription using the admin console, open the customer’s account and click the Add Subscription button, then configure the following:

Plan Details

The subscription's subscription plan.
The subscription plan's purchase currency. Set to site's default currency.
The subscription's base price per billing period. The default price can be overriden here for an individual account.
Default: 1.

Plan Extras (Optional)

Setup Fees
If applicable, this fee will be charged to the customer at the beginning of their subscription
Add Ons
If applicable, these products will be rolled into a recurring subscription's invoice as separate line items.

Billing Details

In this section, merchants can select for a subscription to start immediately, or enter a future start date for the subscription. For subscriptions with a trial period, the subscription trial will start on this date. Merchants can also have a subscription bill indefinitely or for a set number of billing cycles. The subscription will cancel after the final bill cycle has been charged.

Collection Method

Charges the billing info on file for the account.
Generates a manual invoice. This is only applicable to merchants who have enabled the manual payments feature. When this collection method is selected you will have the option to assign a PO number, and will also be able to set the net terms for the invoices.

Multiple Subscriptions

An account may signup for multiple subscriptions, where each subscription is invoiced and billed separately. There are a couple of ways that Recurly supports multiple subscriptions.

To have the multiple instances of the same plan enabled for your site, please contact Please note that there is a 60 second delay when creating multiple of the same subscription per an account, unless you use the bulk flag via the create subscription API.

Modifying Subscriptions


Subscriptions can be modified via the admin console by clicking the More buttons associated with the subscription plan.

Subscriptions can be changed to modify the:

A subscription change can be issued:

For example, assume you have an account that subscribed to your Small Plan at $10/month on the 1st of the month. On the 15th of the month you submit an Immediate change to upgrade their subscription to the Medium Plan at $30/month. We will prorate their subscription, creating a $5 credit for the remaining portion of the Small Plan and a $15 charge for the remaining portion of the Medium Plan for an invoice total of $10. The invoice will be collected and their account will be charged immediately.

If you had issued the subscription change to apply at Renewal, the account would be invoiced for the Medium Plan on the 1st of the next month as expected without any proration.

Note: If a subscription has a pending change for the next renewal, any subsequent subscription changes will overwrite the existing one. Pending changes can be cleared by updating the subscription Immediately with no other changes.


A subscription that is canceled will continue through its current billing cycle. At the end of the current bill cycle the subscription will terminate and the customer will no longer be billed.

To cancel a subscription:

  1. Navigate to the account page.
  2. Click Edit under the Subscription.
  3. Click the Cancel Subscription.
  4. Choose the Cancel At Renewal option.

Note: If an account has a past due invoice in dunning, canceling the subscription will not stop collection attempts on that invoice. The invoice will need to be marked as failed in order to stop collection attempts on the invoice.

Additionally, if a subscription that is set to start in the future is canceled, the subscription will be deleted from the account and will not show up in the account’s subscription list.


A subscription that is terminated will expire immediately. At the time of termination you will be presented with several refund options (if applicable to the account’s last transaction). You may also terminate a subscription with no refund and then manually refund specific transactions.

To terminate a subscription:

  1. Navigate to the account page.
  2. Click Edit under the subscription.
  3. Click the Cancel Subscription button.
  4. Select the appropriate refund option
  5. Click Terminate Subscription.


A subscription that is canceled can be reactivated. This will bring the subscription back into an active, renewing state on the customer’s original bill cycle. An expired subscription cannot be reactivated; instead a new subscription plan will need to be applied to the account.

To reactivate a canceled subscription:

  1. Navigate to the account page.
  2. Click Edit under the subscription.
  3. Click the Reactivate Subscription button.


By default your subscribers are billed on the anniversary date of their subscription signup. If this date needs to change for any reason, a subscription can be postponed. A postponed subscription will receive no further invoices until the postpone date occurs.

When a subscription is postponed, the bill cycle date will be permanently modified for all future renewals.

No proration will occur. They will only be billed the subscription amount on their anniversary date.

To postpone a subscription:

  1. Navigate to the account page.
  2. Click Edit under the subscription.
  3. Click the Change Renewal Date button. This will allow you to modify the next renewal date. You can postpone to any date/time as long as it’s in the future.

Modification Enforcement

Some merchants may prefer to have their customers current on all payments before allowing a subscription upgrade or downgrade. Recurly allows this to be configurated on your Invoice Settings page through two different options:

Require successful transaction on upgrades When upgrading an existing subscription, require that the payment information on file process successfully in order to complete the upgrade. If the payment information is declined, the subscription will be kept on the original plan.

Require paid invoice to downgrade When downgrading an existing subscription, require that all invoices have been successfully paid in order to complete the downgrade. If any invoice is past due, the subscription will be kept on the original plan, and an error will be provided to the customer; “Your account is currently past due, please update your billing information before changing your subscription.”


If a subscription plan is altered, the changes will only impact new subscribers—your current subscribers remain grandfathered in at the subscription plan terms they agreed to at time of subscription signup. Price grandfathering does not apply to changes in bill cycle (ie, monthly to yearly), however, so changes to billing frequency should be made with a new subscription plan.