How Patreon billing works

  • Updated

A patron’s billing schedule depends on which billing model the creator has selected. With all of our billing options, patrons unlock membership access upon signup. There are currently four payment models that your creator may have chosen:

Creators who meet eligibility criteria can also enable annual memberships. For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the FAQ section below.

Subscription billing

With subscription billing, patrons pay when they join a creator’s membership and renew monthly on that same date on UTC. Please note that you may be charged up to 24 hours beforehand due to time zone differences. 

If you join a creator’s membership on the last day of the month, your payment date will be on the last day of the next month. For example, if you join on January 31st during a leap year, your next charge date will be February 28th. You’ll be charged on the 28th of each month moving forward.


Learn more about subscription billing here: Subscription billing FAQ.

Monthly charge upfront

Charge upfront is a billing model where patrons pay upfront to join the creator’s page, granting access to the creator’s backlog of content on Patreon. After the first payment, patrons pay on the 1st of each month on PT for the month of access.


Feel free to read through our guide on charge upfront billing to learn more.

Monthly (non-charge upfront)

Monthly (non-charge upfront) is a billing method where there’s no payment needed to join and unlock membership access. Patrons pay on the 1st of each month on PT for any access they had the previous month.


Per creation

Per creation is a billing model where patrons pay their pledged amount per paid post the creator makes after they sign up. Patrons can set a monthly maximum number of posts they’ll pay for, but they’ll get access to any paid post made beyond their maximum.

Patrons pay on the 1st of each month on PT for paid posts published the previous month.


We retry declined payments even if the patron cancels or downgrades their per creation membership. Patrons can find a complete record of payments in their Billing history.

Annual membership

Annual membership is a billing option where patrons pay upfront to unlock access to a creator’s back catalog and an entire year of membership.

  • If the creator uses subscription billing, patrons will be charged upon signup and yearly on their join date on UTC.
  • If a creator uses monthly charge upfront billing, then patrons are charged when they join and yearly on the first of the month on PT, a year after the initial join date, and on that date every year until canceled.


Frequently asked questions

How will Patreon charges appear on my statement?

The names of creators you support will not be included in your statement. Your payment will be processed as Patreon and listed as one of the following line items:

Credit card

  • PATREON* Membership
  • CKO Patreon* Membership

If my payment declines, can I just cancel it?

If the creator uses monthly charge upfront billing, then, yes, you can cancel if your payment declines, and we will not retry your payment. This is because charge upfront payments are for the preceding month.

If the creator uses per creation or monthly (non-charge upfront) billing, we will retry your payment even if you cancel or decrease your membership. If your membership is active on the 1st of the month, you can expect your payment to process.

What happens when I cancel my membership?

Creator's billing model What happens when you cancel
Subscription billing

If a patron cancels before their next billing date, they retain their membership access until the next billing date (which depends on your join date). 

Due to timezone differences, we recommend canceling at least 24 hours before your next billing date if you don’t want your bill to renew. 

Monthly charge upfront  If a patron cancels before the 1st of the month, they won't be billed. They'll retain their membership access until the next billing cycle.
Monthly (non-charge upfront) If a patron cancels before the 1st of the month, they won't be billed. Their membership access ends as soon as they cancel. 
Per creation When a patron cancels a per creation membership, we process any pending bills on their account. The patron's access ends as soon as they cancel. Patrons can check their billing history before canceling for any pending bills. 
Annual membership If you cancel your annual membership before your next charge date, you'll retain your membership access for the remainder of the year you paid for. You'll lose membership access after your next billing date. 

What happens if I upgrade?

Creator's billing model When you upgrade
Subscription billing

When patrons upgrade to a higher membership level their billing date does not change. They'll be charged the outstanding amount immediately and get access to the higher tier membership for the remainder of their billing period.

They'll be charged their upgraded membership amount on their next billing date.

Per creation

When a patron upgrades a per creation membership, they instantly unlock access to the higher membership. Their higher pledge applies to future paid posts made up to their monthly max.

We won’t exceed your monthly limit, so you may not be billed for additional paid posts. If you want to ensure a creator gets your increased amount, you may want to increase your monthly limit for the month.

Monthly charge upfront When patrons upgrade a charge upfront membership, payments already made for the month are credited toward the upgrade, and they pay the difference.

The patron pays their higher membership amount on the 1st of the month.

Monthly (non-charge upfront)

Patrons who upgrade a monthly (non-charge upfront) membership immediately access the higher membership.

There’s no charge to upgrade, and the patron pays their higher membership amount on the 1st of the month.

Annual membership

When a patron upgrades an annual membership, a pro-rated amount of what they’ve already paid is credited, and they pay the remaining upgrade cost.

When you update an annual membership, it extends your term for a year from that date.

What happens if I downgrade?

Creator's billing model When you downgrade
Subscription billing

If a patron downgrades, they'll remain on their original tier until the next billing date. They'll have access to the downgraded tier membership on their next billing date. 

Per creation

Decreasing your membership will not change the amount of any pending bills already posted to yourBilling history.

Your lower amount will be applied to future paid posts if your monthly limit has not already been met.

Monthly charge upfront

Downgrading your membership does not affect the current month’s membership access. Since you’ve already paid for the month upfront, downgrading affects your membership renewal on the upcoming first of the month.

We recommend downgrading closer to the end of the month for a smooth transition.

Monthly (non-charge upfront)
If you decrease your membership, your access is instantly limited to the new (lower) tier that you've subscribed to.
Annual membership

At the moment, there’s no way to downgrade your annual membership tier. You can, however, join a lower tier after your year membership has ended with a slight workaround.

You can cancel your membership near the end of your year term and then re-pledge at a lower-tier option once the year has passed.

I think I was overcharged — how can I check?

If you believe that you’ve been overcharged, the first thing to do is check your payment statement with your Billing history on Patreon. Going through a few months of billing months may help you confirm where the additional amount is coming from — declining bills that process later can be alarming if you don’t know what it’s for.

If you have separate charges on your payment statement that don’t add up, you may have more than one account triggering charges. Please log out and then use password reset. You can enter other email addresses you own outside of your known account. If you get the message that we’ve sent you a password reset link on one of your other emails, you also have an account with that email address.

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