Do you love flipping through magazines? Want free magazines?
Perhaps you read every article, or maybe you simply prefer reading to TV. Regardless of how you enjoy magazines, they can get expensive. For example, if you pick up a copy of Vogue at the checkout lane at the grocery store, it will cost you $6.99.
While buying a few magazines won’t break the bank, purchasing just a few magazines a month will end up costing you hundreds of dollars per year. But, have you ever thought about requesting free magazines?
If you are looking to avoid the expense but continue enjoying magazines, there are several ways to get free and discount magazines. A free magazine subscription can make all the difference in your budget.
Get Free Magazines by Mail
You can get free or discounted magazines delivered to your mailbox each month. With the options below, you may never have to pay for a magazine subscription again.
The ValueMags website has several offers. The first that the site is known for is to purchase discount magazines. You can also earn rewards by purchasing discounted magazines to receive free magazine issues or full subscriptions. The points program is called MagPoints.
The MagPoints program allows users to take surveys and participate in partner offers in exchange for points. Once users have accrued enough points, they can redeem the points for magazines. However, there is an even easier way to earn free magazines.
In exchange for creating a ValueMags account, ValueMags offers users free online or print subscriptions to a select handful of magazines. These include People, Outdoor Life, and several other popular publications.
Users can subscribe to nearly any magazine via the ValueMags platform. However, the discounts will vary from publication to publication. Therefore, if you have your eye on a particular magazine, you may want to check the website around holidays or subscribe to their mailing list to be alerted when there are additional discounts offered.
When you sign up for freebizmag.com, you will be contacted via email when a new magazine is available. Freebizmag gives away free magazines to qualifying individuals who fill out a short survey for them. This is a more targeted version of a survey website in that the prize is defined for you.
The magazines available on freebizmag.com differ but are typically digital trade magazines. Most of the time, the magazines are not very popular, but users have been able to receive Good Housekeeping, PC World, Woman’s Day, Psychology Today, and more via this site.
Freebizmag.com also has a special offers page. This will allow users to purchase a magazine subscription at a discount. While users do not get their choice of free magazines, they can set their user preferences to be emailed when a magazine that they might be interested in becomes available for free.
If your community partners with RecycleBank for their recycling service, you can earn points towards free magazine subscriptions. If you need extra points to reach the one that you want, you can also take their sustainable life classes for points. Then, turn all of those points into free magazines!
4. Mercury Magazines
If you're looking to improve your professional work life, you can get free magazines from Mercury Magazines. All you need to do is complete a survey with some information about yourself and the work you do. They'll match you with a list of business magazines that you can subscribe to for freebies and receive within 10-12 weeks.
You may wonder how they make money. Well, Mercury Magazines makes its money by selling advertising to you. You'll be matched with magazines that you fall into the target group for, and they can try to sell you their product or service.
5. Online Surveys
There are several places online that you can take surveys in exchange for cash, gift cards, and other rewards. Survey companies behave as a middleman with businesses that need market research and individuals who want to earn money and other perks online. In exchange for taking surveys, users earn either points or cash value.
Then, when they reach a minimum threshold, they can cash out. The earnings per survey and minimum cash-out value vary per survey website, so be sure to do your research before committing to a survey site.
Many survey sites allow users to both earn points and cash out in different ways. For example, some sites will only allow users to take surveys, whereas others will have users open paid emails, watch videos, and test play games in exchange for a bit of money.
When it comes to cashing out, some websites will pay via check, PayPal, or allow users to use their points to redeem prizes on the websites. Magazines are common prizes on survey websites.
6. Gift Subscriptions
If you have people to buy holiday or birthday gifts for, then you might be able to get a free subscription. Many magazines will offer a buy one, get one free promotion.
Therefore, if you have similar interests to the people you are buying for, like a health magazine, fashion magazine, home magazine, or photography magazine, you might be able to receive a second subscription for free.
Influencer marketing is at an all-time high, and many magazine covers are working with individuals who have a strong internet following to create coupons and discounts for their followers. You might be able to find freebie websites or blogs that have a discount code for specific magazines such as Better Homes, Cosmopolitan, Oprah Magazine, Shape Magazine, Sports Illustrated, or Entertainment Weekly with no strings attached.
Get Free Magazines Online or In Person
While physical copies of magazines are great, you can also browse a digital magazine. There are several ways to get access to publications online or to get free copies of magazines that are only a few months old.
Rakuten is a website and web extension that pays users to shop online. When users make purchases online, they can earn cashback. All they must do is sign up for the website, add the app to their phone or chrome extension to their browser, and use the Rakuten platform to shop. Additionally, new users earn $10 to their accounts just for signing up.
Users earn cash that they can use to cash out or use to shop on the platform. When users shop on the Rakuten platform, they can use specific coupons that help them to make purchases for even less.
Therefore, they can purchase magazine subscriptions at a significant discount using money that they earned as cashback. This essentially makes the subscription-free to the user.
Groupon is one of the most common coupon websites. The coupons available are continually changing, but there are typically several magazine subscriptions available at a discount. While they offer plenty of print subscriptions, they also offer online access at an even bigger discount. This is because by accessing the subscription online, you eliminate the cost of printing and postage.
To activate your online subscription, you will need a voucher from Groupon. Therefore, you can purchase the subscription on Groupon’s website, then click the link provided to navigate to the webpage of the publication you purchased. You will be able to redeem your Groupon on the publication’s website and start browsing from there. Be sure to purchase an offer when you see it on Groupon as some offers only last hours or have a set number of available subscriptions.
10. Google Books
Google Books offers free digital magazines online. When you navigate to Google Books in your browser, you can filter your search by ‘magazines.’ Then, you will only see available magazines. While the website does not have many popular publications available for free, it is a helpful tool if you want to read on a specific topic.
Amazon Prime members can access discounted or free subscriptions. Most major publications are available at a discount. Amazon Prime offers a free 30-day online subscription to several popular magazines. These include Cosmo, Wired, and Shape. While Prime costs $119 per year, if you already have a Prime membership, the free and discounted magazines are simply an added perk.
Additionally, if you subscribe to the Kindle version of magazines, you can get them at an even deeper discount. This additional discount is available because it eliminates the additional costs of shipping and printing. It is very convenient as you can download a magazine in a matter of minutes rather than waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
Freecycle is a group of 5,000 private groups from around the world. The individuals who join the groups are giving away items and looking for free items. Each group has a set of rules, and they vary by group. You can search for groups in your area or by topic. Therefore, if you are in Miami and looking for magazines, you could search for both a Miami group as well as one for magazines.
To find a specific magazine, you can post a ‘wanted’ request in the group. Then, give the details of what you are looking for. This can be hit or miss, but it is always worth a try. For example, you might find someone who has a stack of the magazine you are looking for at home, or you might find someone who has a free second subscription as a ‘buy one get one free’ offer.
If you have a library card, you're in luck. This app allows you to read free magazines that your local library subscribes to. It's as simple as downloading the app to get started. You don't even need to leave the comfort of your home. Subscribers can read online magazines rather than a print magazine like Digest or Family Circle. Getting a free one sure beats buying a year subscription!
If your library doesn't offer Flipster, there's a good chance that they have a similar app that you can check out. You can as your librarian or visit the library's website for more details.
14. Waiting Rooms
Everyone is familiar with needing to pass the time while waiting for an appointment. If you're able to grab a magazine off of a table, you can read them for free. Those who are particularly bold may even ask to bring them home. What's the worst they can say? But, chances are that they have collected so many of them that they are happy to give it to you for free.
Many libraries have magazine selections in addition to books. If you are looking for a recent edition of a magazine, your library may have it. While it is challenging to check out magazines, you can go to your local library to browse it. When libraries receive a new edition of a magazine, they often give away their old copies. Therefore, you can purchase or have the old copies of your favorite magazines if you are willing to wait or them.
16. Magazine Websites
If you have a favorite magazine, you should try checking out their website. Magazines like Rolling Stone or People publish a lot of their content online as well. So, as long as you have internet access, you can read your favorite magazines for free or access a discounted digital version. But, if you're one of those people who just love flipping through a physical magazine, the publisher's site may offer you a discount on a print subscription.
17. BOGO Deals
Just like any other business out there, magazines love to increase their number of subscriptions. If you or a family member renew a subscription or buy a new one, check to see if they offer a BOGO deal. If available, it could allow them to gift you a discounted or free magazine subscription. Even better, if you and a friend like the same magazine, split the cost of the subscription and share it for 50% savings.
18. Borrow From a Friend
One of the easiest ways to get free magazines is to simply borrow them from a friend. You don't spend money out of your own pocket, and you can try out different magazines to find ones that you like. Leave the free stuff or free sample (if any) inside for the free magazines subscriptions owner.
Here are some topics and well-known magazines you can give a try:
- free business magazines or Entrepreneur Magazine
- diabetes self-management
- bridal guide and wedding magazines
- Celiac disease magazines
- Men's health magazine or women's health magazine
- Travel magazine
- Baby magazine
- Food Network Magazine
- HGTV magazine
- LEGO magazine
- Esquire magazine
- Popular science magazines
The list can go on and on! Just make sure to return the favor every now and again.
The Bottom Line
If you were to purchase a few mags a month from your local bookstore or café, you may end up spending a lot of money on something you could get for free. There are plenty of free magazine offers or free magazines available.
While it takes a little bit of extra leg work to earn free money or get free magazines, there are plenty of frugal options available to you. Try one of the ideas above or even sign up for sweepstakes to get a free magazine today. Watch out though – you don't want the magazines subscriptions to automatically renew after the free sample you've had!
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.