I'm on a free trial but it shows my card has been charged?

Why your credit card provider might show a charge during your trial period on TrustAds

Your TrustAds' 7-day trial is 100% free.

You will not be charged during the trial period and if you continue on with us, you'll only be charged based on the membership plan you've chosen - never for those 7 days. If you choose to cancel before your trial ends, you'll never be charged by us.

So why is my credit card statement showing a charge?

Occasionally customers report that their credit card provider is showing a charge on their card during the trial period. When this happens, we have not charged you - and no money has left your account - it's to do with how your credit card provider handles active card checks.

Active Card Check

Our payment processor, Stripe, will run an active card check on your card when you sign up for a trial.

This helps Stripe to verify your identity, and checks that the card you have signed up with is active (i.e. not fake or expired). This ensures both our software and our customers are protected from malicious or spam sign ups.

Depending on your credit card provider, this active card check might show up in your account as a charge from us. This might be a figure such as $0.01 or the full first payment you'd make after the trial ends (based on the plan you are trialling).

If you see this, no money has left your account. Your credit card provider has simply recognised that you're due to potentially make that payment after 7 days, so they display this on your account in a pending or holding state.

If you cancel your subscription, they simply update the record and remove this charge. If you choose to stay on with TrustAds, this charge becomes official, and is transferred from your account on the first day of your paid subscription.


This is common with SaaS trial subscriptions, as well as everyday things like petrol/gas, grocery shopping and utility bills.

American Express often show charges like the above with a status of 'Pending' in your statement. If a trial is then cancelled, it is removed entirely. If a paid subscription is entered into, it becomes an official charge. They'll then update the payment date/actual cost if applicable.

Monzo (or other online banks that send push notifications) will often send these active card checks to your phone as though they are an actual charge. Again this may be a nominal amount, such as $0.01 or the full amount.

On these debit accounts, they sometimes put the charge into a 'holding state' where it's not accessible - but it has not actually left your account. If a trial is cancelled, they'll simply return the figure they held back into the account, which often appears as a 'refund'. The refund in this case is from your bank (not from us) as the money never actually left!

Still have questions?

You can find out more about pending transactions here: https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/customer-service/faq.pending-transaction.html or feel free to Get in touch!

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