Are you one of those people who has a house full of magazines? If so, you know reading magazines can be an expensive pass time. But we found dozens of sites that give you free magazine subscriptions.
A Frugal Habit
Reading magazines can actually be a frugal habit. Depending on the type of magazines you like, they can be filled with great money saving tips and frugal recipes.
Reading magazines is also an excellent way to keep yourself occupied without spending much money. It’s certainly cheaper than going to a movie or out for a drink.
But we can help you make that frugal habit a free habit!
It’s a Niche World
If you’re interested in it, there is a good chance there is an entire magazine devoted to it, sometimes more than one. While doing the research for this article, I came across magazines about marlins (the fish, not the Florida baseball team), flying, sailing, arthritis, and even Legos!
I’m not interested in marlins or any other kind of fish apart from what they taste like, but I was tempted to sign up for the free subscription to Marlin Magazine just to see what types of articles and advice were in there.
It’s the Ads
You might wonder how these publications make money if they’re so willing to give away subscriptions. Magazines and newspapers don’t and really never have made the bulk of their money from subscriptions or sales of individual copies.
The way they make money is through the advertisements they publish. That’s why when you get that 1,000 page September issue of Vogue, there are 100 pages of editorial content and 900 pages of ads. It’s also why so many publications have gone under in recent years. Digital advertising doesn’t pay as well as print advertising did.
Newspapers were hit especially hard with the advent of Craigslist. When is the last time you looked in your local paper for a job or an apartment? Exactly. No one does that anymore because we all go on Craigslist where those kinds of classified ads are free (in most cities) to publish.
A Few Small Strings
While these offers are indeed for free magazines, sometimes there are a few small strings attached.
You may need to take a short survey, which is nothing new to those of us who use Survey Junkie to make a little passive income. Some sites require some demographic information like your gender and age or the type of industry you’re employed in.
You may receive some marketing emails so you might want to create a separate email to sign up for these offers, so your regular email isn’t inundated.
Not all of the free subscriptions offered are for an entire year worth of issues. Some only offer one magazine as a trial. If you like it and want to continue receiving that particular magazine, you will have to pay for a subscription.
Some sign-up forms will ask if you would like to purchase a subscription to another magazine or take advantage of various special offers which cost money. To get your free subscription, just click the “No” or “No Thanks” box and continue on.
Never enter your credit card or checking account information in order to sign up for a free magazine subscription or free anything else. A lot of times instead of being completely free, an offer can be for a free trial.
You may have every intention of canceling before the free trial period ends but life can get in the way and the next thing you know, you’re paying for something you don’t really want.
1. Free Trade Magazines
Freetrademagazines.com is another site offering free magazine subscription based on your occupation. You can choose from magazines like Construction Business Owner Magazine, Printing News Magazine, and American Salon Magazine.
You will be asked a series of questions regarding your work and preferences for receiving your subscription. You will also be asked if you would like to receive emails and offers from Freetrademagazines.com partners. You can easily opt out or use a separate email address.
Are you trying to live more green? Then RecycleBank can offer you some incentive in the form of free magazine subscriptions. The site is free to join.
You can earn points with RecycleBank by doing things like recycling (subject to availability and participation in local areas), by going onto the site and reading information that will teach you how to live more sustainably, and pledging to do things like hanging a reusable tote bag alongside your coat to fill with recyclable cling wrap so you don’t forget to recycle it.
You earn five points for each pledge you make.
You can also earn points by taking quizzes that test your knowledge about green practices like what kinds of metal can be recycled curbside. I chose the three correct choices out of six which took about five seconds and earned five points! You even get points if you don’t pass the quiz!
The threshold to cash in points for free magazine subscriptions is really low! You can get a one year, 12 issue subscription to Money Magazine for just 125 points and a two year 20 issue subscription to Country Living for 300 points.
There are other rewards available too. For 150 points you can receive a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $30 or more at Bed Bath and Beyond. You can also donate points to schools and non-profits.
I love this site. People should be rewarded when they do good things, and Recyclebank does that. I also love that it’s a teaching tool. We could all stand to learn how to be a little greener. If you do use your Recyclebank points for free magazine subscriptions, be sure to recycle them when you’re through!
3. Rewards Country
Rewards Country is a loyalty program that allows you to Rewards Bucks when you shop online, participate in surveys, and complete product reviews for Rewards Country affiliates.
You can sign up for an account, but it can take up to two weeks for your membership to be confirmed. When it is, you will be notified via email.
Rewards Bucks add up fast! You will receive $5 just for signing up, some of the surveys which take about 15 minutes to complete are worth $5, when you make an online purchase with an affiliate of $15 or more, you’ll earn $5, you can earn $2.50 when you register with an affiliate partner, refer a friend to Rewards Country or an affiliate partner, or enter a Sweepstakes hosted by an affiliate partner.
At the $15 rewards level, you can get a free one-year subscription to a participating magazine so it’s fast and easy to reach that level with Rewards Country.
RewardSurvey is offering a free magazine subscription just for creating an account and answering a survey that is twenty questions in length.
Once you’ve done that, your account will be credited with $20 which is enough to cover the cost of most of the subscriptions available and depending on the magazines you choose; you could even get two subscriptions for that much.
At the $10 level, you can choose from five-year lone magazine subscriptions including Essence, Golf, and Travel and Leisure. At the $20 level, you can choose from nine-year-long magazine subscriptions including Autoweek, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly.
Surveys are sent directly to your email, and you can log into the site and take them directly. New surveys are added weekly.
5. Mercury Magazines
Mercury Magazines matches magazines to subscribers based on the industry they work in so you’ll be asked some general questions about your employment, specifying the category and a few sub-categories so the company can tailor the magazine offers for you.
Based on my answers I was offered two magazines Oracle and Rough Notes. I selected Oracle. I was then prompted to answer seven more questions about the type of work I do.
The site then asks for contact information, and that’s the end of the process. It takes 10-12 weeks for the first issue to arrive.
That is if you qualify. The publishers of the magazines Mercury offers have their own criteria for deciding who gets free subscriptions and Mercury has no control over that; they’re sort of a clearinghouse the publishers use to collect demographic information.
Not all publishers will inform you that you haven’t met their criteria.
So while magazine subscriptions through Mercury are indeed free, you are not guaranteed to actually receive them.
RewardsGold is a site that lets you earn points for doing things like taking surveys, taking part in special promotions, and shopping with RewardsGold partnered retailers. The site is free to join.
When you sign up, you can earn points valued at $10 for making an account, registering with a RewardsGold approved partner, entering sweepstakes, referring a friend who signs up for an account, completing one survey and making a purchase of $25 or more with a participating retailer.
Retail partners include Amazon, AT&T, CVS, and Footlocker and several others. The threshold to redeem points is higher than it is for Recyclebank but you earn many more points per task. Surveys typically earn 250 points as do friend referrals.
A one-year subscription to Essence magazine is 1,000 points, 1,400 for a year of Sports Illustrated, and the same for a year of Wine Spectator.
Currently, there is a sign-up bonus that will net you a free subscription to your choice of one of nine magazines including the three I mentioned, Spanish language People, Golfweek, and Cigar Aficionado.
To redeem the free magazine subscription, sign up for an account, refer one friend who does the same, complete one survey and one product review. If you’re already a member, you can still take advantage of the offer by referring one additional friend.
ValueMags offers free and discounted paid magazine subscriptions. Currently, there are 13 free magazines to choose from including Afar (a travel magazine), Bridal Guide, and Men’s Health. It takes 6-10 weeks to receive your first copy.
The site also allows you to earn points for doing things like merely visiting the site which will earn you five points, playing games which earns a variety of points and referring friends which is worth 50 points.
You can redeem points for magazine subscriptions. A year of Health Magazine is 1,500 points, and Martha Stewart Living is 2,800. You can also redeem points for other things like a $25 gift card to Restaurants.com for just 400 points.
ValueMages also offers printable coupons for offers like $1 off Dial soap and body wash, $2 off Oxyclean products, and $1 off Quaker Oats.
e-Rewards is a survey site where companies can collect market research. You can only join the site by invitation from one of e-Rewards partners. You can create a login and if one of the partnered companies extends an invitation, you can join the site and begin participating in surveys.
Surveys are sent directly to your email address, and you can also go to the site to participate in surveys.
You can exchange your Opinion Points for magazine subscriptions. You need a minimum of $10 to redeem. Magazines start at the $15 level and include Smithsonian Magazine and Coastal Living. At the $20 level, they include Allure and Trave land Leisure.
You can also exchange points for gift cards to retailers like Best Buy, Starbucks, and Denny’s.
FreeBizMag gives away free subscriptions to qualified users who complete a short survey. The surveys are sponsored, and the results are shared with the sponsor who then pays for the subscription on your behalf.
The type of free magazine subscription offers you’ll receive depend on what industry you work in as is the case with Mercury Magazines. If you don’t qualify for any of the current offers, you will receive an email when one that fits your profile becomes available.
FreeBizMag offers some very niche magazines covering a wide array of industries. Some of the choices include Global Finance, Logistics Managment, Military and Aerospace Electronics, and Human Resource Executive. You’ll receive your first copy in six to eight weeks.
FreeBizMag may contact you with other offers, magazine publishers, and other third parties may as well so this might be something you use a separate email account for.
10. More Free Magazines
There are other places to get free magazines. You can always ask for a subscription to your favorite magazine as a gift from friends and family. A fun way to score some free magazines and spend time with people is to host a magazine swap.
Everyone brings a stack of magazines and you can all trade. Maybe have everyone bring a dish to share too, make a whole night of it.
You might not want to commit to a year-long subscription. It’s dangerous for me to subscribe because for some reason I have trouble throwing away magazines, and before I know it, every flat surface in my house is covered in them.
Some magazines will offer you one or more free trial issues. A lot of these sites will require that you enter credit card information to charge once the free trial period is over so be sure to cancel before that if you don’t wish to continue receiving the magazine.
You can read magazines for free at the library and any place with a waiting room like doctor’s and dentist’s offices and hair salons. If you belong to a professional organization, you may be eligible for free magazine subscriptions.
NEA (National Education Association) members can choose two free magazine subscriptions from a selection of 40 well-known magazines.
I really prefer to read a hard copy of a magazine; it’s relaxing to curl up with a new magazine at the end of the day. But if you don’t mind reading digital magazines you might be able to “borrow” them from your local library. You can read the latest issues and back issues as well.
Magazines are a great way to learn about new products, keep up with current events, find new recipes, and get tips on everything from DIY projects to how to improve the quality of your sleep.
Now you know where you can access lots of great magazines without making a dent in your budget. Happy reading!