Money saving tips for all Office 365 customers when a price increase is about to happen.
There’s an opportunity to save some money by buying in advance of any price rise.
Office 2016 the real startup guide has a lot of detail about the cheapest ways to buy Microsoft Office and Office 365 subscriptions. This article is just a brief summary.
Up to five years
You can pay, in advance, for up to FIVE years of Office 365 Home or Personal.
Customers can pay for additional years of Office 365 (on the same plan) and apply them to an account at any time.
Maybe paying half a decade ahead is too much but, faced with a price increase, it makes sense to extend at the lower price. Perhaps for an extra year or two?
The five year rule is set by Microsoft.
What about Auto-Renewal?
Auto-renewal only applies when and if the ‘subscription’ gets near the expiry date. Microsoft aggressively pushes the auto-renewal choice because it’s the most profitable option for the company.
Many customers can, and do, buy more Office 365 annual subscriptions and apply them before the auto-renewal gets a chance to work.
Renew Office 365 anywhere
You do NOT have to renew Office 365 subscriptions directly with Microsoft. That’s usually the most expensive option.
Any legitimate purchase of Office 365 from a reputable retailer (online or physical) can be used to extend an existing subscription.
Of course, you have to buy the SAME Office 365 plan as you already have. It also has to be purchased in the same country as the current subscription (no foreign currency arbitrage is permitted).
When you purchase an Office 365 one year subscription, you get a ‘Product Key’. That unique product key is entered into your Office 365 account to extend your subscription.
If you buy in a store or have it delivered, you’ll receive a card. Inside that card is the Product Key.
Online, direct delivery options will either display the Product Key to you or direct your web browser to Microsoft to link the purchase to your Office 365 account.
Saving on Office 365 renews and extensions.
Three simple rules for saving money on Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal
Don’t buy from Microsoft
Rule #1 – Don’t buy from Microsoft. It’s the easy option, it’s also the most expensive.
Microsoft direct charges the highest price for Office 365 new and renewals.
Strictly speaking this should be Rules 1, 2, 3 and 4. It’s so important and so often ignored by people who just hand extra money into Microsoft’s already overflowing bank account.
Check out deals and discounts on Office 365
Rule #2 Better prices are available from reputable retailers both online and in-store.
Usually stores will have better prices on Office 365 plans than the official Microsoft price.
Office 365 Home usually has discount prices. Discounts on Office 365 Personal aren’t as keen but still better value than what Microsoft offers.
Despite what salespeople will tell you – buying Office 365 Home/Personal is the same thing regardless of who sells it. You’re paying for the all-important Product Key.
In many regions, Amazon has competitive prices on Office 365 subscriptions. It’s a good place to start any price comparison.
Rule #3 The usual warnings about online buying applies to buying Office 365.
If the price is ‘too good to be true’, it probably is. If you buy from Ebay, check that the merchant has a good and long-standing rating. Also make sure they’re selling Office 365 plans for the same country that you’re registered in.
Missed the date?
If you’ve missed the deadline for the old pricing, don’t despair. For the days and maybe weeks after Microsoft raises prices, there is probably ‘old’ stock available. More likely in physical stores than online.
Search for Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal selling at the pre-increase price. Microsoft doesn’t care what price you paid, provided it’s a valid Product Key.