Unwanted charges: How to avoid falling victim to surprise subscription renewal fees

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Signing up for a free trial may seem like no big deal until you forget to cancel and are being billed monthly for a service you no longer want or use.

A new survey from financial experts at BankRate found that 51% of U.S. adults with subscription services have received unwanted charges on their credit card bills.

Here are the expert tips to avoid them:

  • Track your subscriptions: Go "old school" and use a spreadsheet or similar tool to track subscriptions you're paying for.

  • Avoid the free trial trap: Signing up for a free trial? Set up a calendar alert to cancel a few days before the trial ends.

  • Turn off auto-renewals: For services that bill annually, it's easy to lose track. Turn off auto-renewal so you can choose to cancel before being hit by a big bill automatically.

  • If you already got dinged by an unwanted charge, try picking up the phone and contacting customer service to get it removed.
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