If you’re paying for magazine subscriptions right now, you could be missing out on an opportunity to save money. Many magazines are available for free; you just have to know how to get them.
To research this story, I signed up for a handful of online subscription services and called local libraries and booksellers to find out the best ways to get free magazines.
In this article, you’ll find three great techniques to secure free magazines, including digital subscriptions, monthly mailed releases and old copies.
This article was updated in June 2023 and I review it every six months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.
The Top 3 Ways To Get Free Magazines
I searched for free magazines online and signed up for as many free subscriptions as I could find.
Out of all the websites that didn’t ask for any payment information, ValueMags and RewardSurvey most reliably delivered on their promises of free magazines. A few libraries and local bookstores were also willing to donate free copies of old magazines, especially to teachers and parents.
For digital magazines, I found that ValueMags offered the easiest instant access to a selection of popular titles. Creating an account is completely free, and you won’t be asked to enter any payment information. You will, however, be asked for space in your inbox. When I signed up, I had to agree to receive periodic emails with offers and promotional marketing messages from ValueMags.
To get started, click the “Free Magazines” tab and browse the available selection. At the time that I signed up, there were seven featured free digital magazines to choose from: Bridal Guide, Entertainment, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Popular Science, Slam and The Red Bulletin. When I checked out the website again in June 2023, I found free magazines including Elle Decor, HGTV Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping and more.
Once I’d chosen a magazine, I clicked on it, entered my name and email address and a password to create an account. There was no limit to how many of the free digital subscriptions I could sign up for.
As soon as I clicked submit, the latest issue was instantly available online. I received a copy of the link in my email and saved in my online library.
ValueMags adds new issues and titles regularly, so be sure to check back often for the latest selections. Keep in mind that these magazines are only available digitally.
For traditional magazine subscriptions, RewardSurvey is a great option. Similar to other rewards sites, RewardSurvey offers points in exchange for taking surveys. When you first sign up, you’ll receive $30 worth of credit to put toward free magazine subscriptions.
When I created my free account, I was directed to an 18-question survey to earn those initial points. This particular survey was about mattresses. General questions included my age, gender, approximate household income, education level and marital status. Most of the questions were about the subject of interest.
Once I’d completed the survey, I was able to select free magazine subscriptions.
The entire sign-up process took less than 10 minutes. Once that was complete, I was able to choose from a selection of digital and traditional magazines equal to up to $30 worth of rewards points. Selections included Better Homes & Gardens, O Magazine, Men’s Health and more. When I checked it out again in June 2023, I saw selections including Time Magazine, Highlights, US Weekly, Elle and more.
I selected a few traditional magazine subscriptions that were available for free. They began showing up within a month. For the next two years, I regularly received the free magazines in the mail.
Note that you’ll want to select magazines that are available for reward points only. If there’s any price on the magazine in addition to the rewards balance, the total will show up during checkout. If not, you’ll just need to enter your shipping information and click submit.
You can earn more points through available surveys and redeem them for more free magazines or to renew the free subscriptions you already have.
3. Libraries and Local Bookstores
Your local libraries and bookstores may be willing to give you old copies of magazines for free before they’re recycled. If you need magazines in bulk for education or crafting purposes, or if you’re not worried about having the latest copy, this can be an especially great option for you.
Of course, there are up-to-date magazines available to check out or purchase at libraries and bookstores. But you may be able to get old copies for free to take home.
I called a few nearby libraries and local bookstores to ask about free magazines. Everyone I talked to seemed eager to help connect to the right people. Most of them were able to provide information on how to request copies of old books and magazines.
It isn’t a guaranteed way to get free magazines, but it never hurts to call and ask!
Whether you’re just looking to pass the time with some new reading material, hoping to stock your classroom with educational resources or hoarding magazines for future craft projects, there’s no reason to pay for a new subscription.
If you’re interested in getting digital copies available immediately and then regularly delivered to your email inbox, create an account with ValueMags. For traditional copies mailed to your home, take advantage of the initial points available at RewardSurvey. Lastly, for bulk or outdated copies, call your nearest library or bookstore to ask where their magazines go before they recycle them.
There are dozens of websites advertising free magazines, but be wary of creating an account or signing up for a subscription that requires your bank card information. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected renewal fees once that subscription expires.
Do you have experience with any of these free magazine websites? Let us know in our Clark.com Community!
- June 14, 2023: Updated magazine selections and availability