Annual memberships creator overview

  • Updated

With Patreon, you can offer patrons yearly membership access. You receive one yearly payment from patrons cutting down on patron processing fees and payment method upkeep.

Article content:

Annual membership eligibility

  • Creators must already offer charge upfront billing or enable subscription billing to collect the yearly payments upfront.
    • Learn more about switching to subscription billing to find out if this billing model will work for you.
  • Creator page must have been launched at least three months ago.
  • Creator account must have a well-established payment history, including at least $200 earnings/monthly in the previous three months.

Note: These criteria may be subject to more restrictions based on medium and location.

How does annual membership work?

Patrons signing up for an annual subscription will pay for a year upfront, with VAT, Sales Tax, or GST (if applicable) included. Their yearly membership will renew automatically on the 1st after 12 months from their initial join date. You receive full payment, minus applicable fees to Patreon.

For example, a patron signs up annually on July 8th and pays for an entire year upfront. Their membership auto-renews on August 1st of the following year unless canceled and on August 1st every year after that.

Start offering annual membership

As long as you meet the criteria above, you can start offering annual memberships today — here’s how:

  1. While on your creator page, click on the Edit your page button
  2. Click on the Getting paid link from the menu bar
  3. If you meet the criteria, you’ll have the option to enable annual memberships for patrons in the Payment schedule section of the page
  4. (Optional) Once you’ve enabled annual memberships, you’ll be able to set a percentage discount for patrons who choose a yearly plan. Patrons are locked into their annual price when they join; however, you can adjust your percentage discount for future patrons whenever you’d like. Offering a limited-time discount is a great way to promote your page and encourage retention!

Existing patrons can switch to an annual membership at any point. We’ve included a section below to help you with sample messaging to help you spread the word about yearly memberships.

How do I manage my annual patrons?

You can continue to deliver benefits to all patrons on a monthly cadence. When a patron joins with an annual plan, they’ll show as active on your Relationship manager for an entire year. Their last charge date will be the date they joined.

How to filter by annual patrons:

  1. Click on the Patrons button from the left navigation bar, then click on the Relationship manager option
  2. From here, click on the Filters button
  3. Scroll down to the Charge frequency section and click the checkbox for Annually

You can download the CSV report of your Relationship manager to break down annual versus monthly subscriptions.

Managing benefits on Patreon

If you use Patreon’s benefits delivery tool, here’s what you need to know about annual patrons:

  • Annual patrons populate on your benefit lists that they are eligible for when they sign up.
  • Annual patrons appear on your monthly benefit lists just like monthly patrons. Since they’ve paid for the year in full, they’ll be eligible for any benefits you offer for that year.

Reviewing my annual membership earnings

Let’s break down how to review your annual membership earnings on each of your income reports.

Earnings dashboard

When a patron subscribes annually, their payment is available to you in their join month. Your earnings from their yearly membership will be listed on your Earnings dashboard, in total, in their join month as well. We do not report your earnings across other months within the year; just the annual patrons join month.

Patronage dashboard

Annual patrons are only counted as New and Paying on your Patronage dashboard in their join month. After their initial sign-up month, we won’t include them in subsequent months as new or paying. We do this to avoid potential confusion about earnings when compared to your other income reports.

Pledge growth dashboard

Your Pledge growth dashboard records yearly memberships as a new pledge in the patron’s sign-up month. The patron’s membership will not populate in other months on your pledge growth report.

Let existing patrons know that they can go annual!

We’ve put together messaging you can use to let existing patrons know that you now have annual membership as an option.

Sample post or message copy

Post Title/Subject Line: Pledge annually and save!

Hi everyone,

You can now choose to pay for Patreon on an annual basis. It’s a great way to show your support to me, and in return, you’ll get a discount of [x months free] when you do. In addition to reducing transaction fees, you’ll help me create quality content faster and reduce the chance your credit card declines in the future. Optional: Lock in this discount now before it ends!

For existing patrons, the following steps will help you switch over your pledge to annual.

  1. Log in, hover over your profile icon in the top right corner, and select Manage  memberships
  2. From your Active Memberships page, click Edit next to the pledge you want to change
  3. Select the Annual option (if available) on the checkout page
  4. Click the Update button. You’ll be charged upfront for the discounted price

New patrons, visit my Patreon page, where you’ll have an annual option below your chosen tier’s “Join” button.

Check out this help center article if you have any questions about how it works.


Sample social copy

Now is a great time to join my Patreon, where you can get [x months free] when you pledge annually! Check it out here [link to creator page].


What happens when a patron edits their annual membership?

If a patron increases their annual subscription, they pay the difference to upgrade their membership. They instantly get access to content and benefits for their new membership. Their year membership term extends 1 year from their upgrade date.

At the moment, patrons won’t be able to downgrade or decrease the amount of an annual membership.

Patrons have membership access for the remainder of their term. Once their year of membership ends, they’ll no longer have access to your Patreon posts or other benefits, like Discord.

Do my patrons have to pay annually?

When you offer annual memberships, your patrons get to decide between a yearly or monthly subscription. About 1/3 of patrons we surveyed prefer to pay annually.

What if I prefer monthly payments instead?

Creators who enable Annual Membership haven’t experienced a significant decline in monthly revenue; on average less than 5% of monthly payments switch.

What if I change my tiers or content?

Remember, these patrons are the real MVPs and are choosing to support you for a year. They’ll be with you through changes in your offerings and content. And as a backup, refunds are no problem with our prorated refund tool. We recommend communicating any changes you plan with Patrons ahead of time - they appreciate the transparency.

What if patrons cancel in a year?

We notify patrons before their next yearly charge, so there are no surprises. Annual patrons are as much as 50% better for your growth due to monthly patrons canceling or having a declined payment over a year.

How do refunds of annual memberships work?

As long as you have the funds to cover the refund, you can refund an annual patron at any time. Here’s a helpful guide to support you with refunding: Refunding annual patrons

Can I issue partial refunds?

Yes! You can issue annual patrons a full refund or a partial refund equivalent to the remainder of their subscription price. Partial refunds are only an option for patrons who have paid yearly.

If I refund an annual membership, will the patron still have access?

  • If you refund the patron in full: The patron will immediately lose access to your patron-only content for their tier. They can repledge if they’d like; however, they’ll be subject to a new payment as per their new terms.
  • If you issue a partial refund: The patron will have access for the remainder of the month. Since the partial refund includes the remaining subscription, but not the month you refund, their access ends on the 1st of the following month.
Note: Patreon reserves the right to remove funds from a creator’s balance under certain circumstances, for example, where the patron unintentionally pledges the money or if we have reason to suspect fraud, other illegalities, or violations of our Terms of Use. We also reserve the right to change the disbursement schedule to mitigate risk or terminate the program after honoring the existing plans.

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