Office 365 hack: get auto renew bonus month without paying more

“I followed your advice and bought another year of Office 365 Home cheaply to extend my subscription.  Microsoft offered an extra month if I turned on auto-renewal so I took that offer.

Accidentally, I discovered how to make sure the full price renewal doesn’t happen.  My credit card details saved with Microsoft became invalid when my bank switched cards so MS can’t charge but the auto-renew option is on, so I got the extra month. 

Even though my subscription has another year to run, I get emails asking me to fix my credit card details.  No problem, I made a rule to shunt them into Junk Email.”    –  Neil T,  Vancouver.

Neil is right, if the saved payment details in your Microsoft account won’t work then Microsoft can’t automatically charge full price for an Office 365 renewal.

A changed credit card number isn’t necessary. Card details with a past expiry date should be enough.

Get 13 months of Office 365

To get the extra month of Office 365, turn on automatic renewal when it’s presented with the ’13 months’ offer. The extra month is added just for selecting automatic renewal, there’s no obligation to pay the higher auto-renew rate.

The Microsoft emails to fix the payment details seem to happen for Neil because the company tried to charge an automatic renewal, which didn’t work because the credit card charge failed.  The payment failed emails should stop because Neil’s Office 365 expiry is now over a year away, but they continue.

Avoid the annoying emails by renewing before Microsoft tries to charge automatically. That means extending your Office 365 plan at least 3 weeks before the official expiry date.