A little-known trick might get you two extra months of Microsoft 365 Personal or Family for no charge.
All you do is try turning off automatic renewal of a Microsoft 365 Family (formerly Home) or Personal plan. Microsoft really wants people to use ‘recurring billing’ because it’s very profitable. So profitable that Microsoft will offer a freebie to discourage disabling automatic renewal.
How to get two free months
Go to https://account.microsoft.com/services/microsoft365/billing using the Microsoft account that purchased the Microsoft 365 consumer plan.
That will show the Microsoft 365 plan and some billing options.
Or it might look like this:
Click on ‘Turn off recuring billing’.
You’ll see dire warnings about the eventual consequences of turning off recurring billing – don’t believe it.
You will NOT lose Microsoft benefits right away. The warning says ‘..at the end of your current subscription cycle’ not immediately.
That message is all true but worded and formatted to scare people off cancelling their recurring billing.
If a Microsoft 365 plan is truly about to expire, there are email and ‘in app’ warnings. Possibly also a ‘grace period’ after the expiry date.
Scroll down to the bottom of that page to see the offer.
“We’re offering two extra months of Microsoft 365 Family at no additional cost to help you work and learn at time”
Choose the option ‘Extend for two months’. Then you’ll be asked to confirm.
Wait a few moments and the plan extension should be confirmed.
The Microsoft system isn’t perfect and you might see this message.
All you can do is try again later. There’s no indication of what the problem is … a system problem or some unstated reason why your Microsoft 365 plan won’t be extended.
No harm in trying
Even if the cancel recurring billing offer doesn’t work, there is no harm in trying.
Whatever happens, your existing Microsoft 365 plan, benefits and expiry will continue unchanged.
Leaving recurring billing on doesn’t stop you from buying a cheaper, matching Microsoft 365 plan to top up an account. That’s the ‘Have a prepaid card or code for Microsoft 365 …’ option on the Billing page.
Some readers have reported via our Feedback page different results when they tried cancelling Microsoft 365 recurring billing. The result for US customers seems to vary for no apparent reason.
Some are offered two months, others just one month. One report of no free months offered, just switching to monthly payments.
Our best guess, Microsoft is testing responses to various offers.
Give it a go
As they say ‘your mileage may vary’. This offer might not last (especially if too many people use it!) or be available to all Microsoft 365 customers.
We know it’s offered to US and Australian based Microsoft 365 customers but can’t confirm it’s available in other countries.
Please let us know your experience. Does the offer appear for you? Does the expiry extension actually work or do you get the ‘We ran into a problem’ message? Which country is your account based in? As always, Office-Watch.com keeps all feedback confidential.