16 Ways to Get Free Magazines Online (or in the Mail)

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While digital content is up-to-the-moment and relevant, magazine articles and photographs can be much more indulgent and creative. And you don’t have to pay a lot for a subscription. A surprising number of sources can help you find free magazines.

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Thanks to smartphones and tablets, reading books, surfing websites, and even keeping up with the latest news is easier than ever.

But what about magazines? How do they fit in now that so much of our content is digital?

According to a survey by Mequoda, two-thirds of Americans still read magazines. In fact, of the adults surveyed, 70% had read at least one print magazine in the last 30 days. About half had read two or more print magazines in the last month.[1]

While digital content is up to the moment and relevant, magazine articles and photographs can be much more indulgent and creative. Think about a great bridal spread or an exciting fashion editorial. The vibrant colors and glossy pages all contribute to consumers’ continued love for print magazines.

And you don’t have to pay a lot for a subscription. A surprising number of sources can help you find magazines for free.

7 Ways to Get Free Magazines Delivered in the Mail

Believe it or not, you can get free or cheap magazines by mail every month. You can also find free magazines at local spots like the library or maybe even the doctor’s office. Between discount magazine sites, reward points, and BOGO offers, you might never have to pay for a magazine again.

1. ValueMags

valuemags featured free magazine section
Source: ValueMags.com

You can buy discount magazines on ValueMags, and you can also earn reward points to get totally free magazines. The MagPoints loyalty program awards points for visiting ValueMags, taking paid surveys, and participating in partner offers. Once you earn enough points, you can redeem them for magazines.

In addition to reward subscriptions, ValueMags offers free online or print subscriptions to a handful of magazines including People, Outdoor Life, and more. All you have to do is create a ValueMags account

If there’s a paid subscription you have your eye on, check Rakuten for 20% cashback at ValueMags and other deals on Time, Marie Claire, ESPN Magazine, and other publications.

2. RecycleBank

RecycleBank’s mission is to work toward waste-free communities. It rewards people for recycling at home, but note that you can only earn points if your community’s recycling service is a RecycleBank partner. You can also earn points by taking RecycleBank’s classes on leading a more sustainable life or answering the questions of the day.

Once you’ve earned points, you can trade them in for magazine subscriptions. RecycleBank offers reward subscriptions to magazines like Backpacker, Country Living, Cosmo, and more. Pay attention to the terms and conditions of the rewards, as some do expire.

3. Mercury Magazines

Looking for a way to level up in your professional life? Mercury Magazines offers totally free magazine subscriptions. All you have to do is complete a form with some information about yourself and your professional life; then you’ll see a list of business magazines that are available to you.

The free publications listed on Mercury Magazines make money by selling advertising. Since advertisers often want to target specific groups, you need to be a magazine’s target group to get your free subscription.

You’ll receive your first magazine in the mail within 10-12 weeks of completing the Mercury Magazines survey.

4. Freebizmag

Freebizmag has collected a library of business resources, including free business magazine subscriptions and free trade magazines. Check out Freebizmag’s special deals for free subscription offers to magazines like Boating World and Tennis Magazine.

Information sources include free eBooks, white papers, and more. You can search for topics that are relevant to your work. Freebizmag has information on everything from agriculture to IT.

5. Gift subscriptions

Do you have some birthdays to buy for coming up? Purchase a subscription for your friends and family, and you might be able to get a free magazine subscription as well. The free offer might be for the same magazine or for a magazine owned by the same publisher. Either way, it’s a steal.

6. Coupons

You can often find coupons for magazine subscriptions. Check out coupon websites and bloggers’ social media accounts. You could also visit magazine publishers’ sites to see if they’re offering any discount magazine vouchers. Be sure to keep your eye open for coupons and deals around the holidays.

If you’re new to couponing, it’s easy to learn how to start couponing, so dive in and see what kinds of magazine coupons you can find.

Other Places to Get Free Magazines

It’s fun to get free magazines in the mail, but that’s not the only way to get them for free. You can also read plenty of free magazines online or in person.

7. Capital One Shopping

CapitalOne Shopping Magazines
Source: CapitalOne Shopping

Capital One Shopping rewards users for shopping at your favorite online store. It features deals on magazine sites like Magazines.com and Magazine Store. You can also find offers for bookstores that sell magazines. Get low prices and rewards for subscribing to titles like National Geographic and Food Network. 

All you have to do is register for Capital One Shopping and then search for its magazine offers. You can also earn rewards points for buying magazine subscriptions that you can later redeem for gift cards.

Related: Capital One Shopping vs. Honey

Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the CapitalOne Shopping extension using the links provided.

8. Groupon

Offers on Groupon change all the time, but be sure to browse the site before subscribing to a new magazine. Groupon offers print subscriptions for 75% or more off, so it’s definitely worth checking out. This is a great way to get heavily discounted subscriptions to magazines like Wired, Men’s Health, and National Geographic.

To activate your subscription, you need to buy the voucher on Groupon and then redeem it on the magazine’s site to start your subscription. Keep in mind that Groupon’s offers don’t last, so scoop up interesting offers quickly.

9. Google Books

On Google Books, you can find free digital magazines online. Just go to Google books and search for magazines. Once you’re on the magazine’s site, you can search for the particular publication you’d like to read. It doesn’t have too many popular selections, but if you’re interested in a niche topic, you might find a magazine you like.

10. Flipster

Flipster is an app that lets you use your library card to read magazines your library subscribes to. To get started, download the app and start reading for free. Flipster is a completely free way to read magazines without going to the library.

If your local library doesn’t offer Flipster, it may have a similar app for reading magazines. Ask a librarian or visit your library’s website for details.

11. Waiting rooms

Reading the magazines in a waiting room helps pass the time while you wait for your appointment. If you start reading a magazine that you really like, ask the staff if you can bring it home. The worst they can say is no. The office might have so many magazines that it’s happy to offload a few of them to you for free.

12. Freecycle

Freecycle is a collection of over 5,000 groups from around the world, bringing together people who are giving away items and looking for free items. Each group has its own set of rules and volunteer moderators manage individual groups. Search the Freecycle site to find a group near you. Once you find one, scan the listings for someone giving away magazines.

You can also post a “wanted” request in the group, looking for people who have magazines to give away. Someone might have a stack of magazines on their coffee table looking for a new home.

13. Amazon

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, you can access discounted subscriptions to major magazines. Amazon also offers free 30-day access to many popular magazines like Cosmo, Wired, and Shape. You can try any number of magazines for 30 days, but you will pay for a subscription if you don’t cancel before the end of the 30 days.

Amazon also offers cheap magazine subscriptions to Prime members. You can also subscribe to magazines at a deeper discount by opting for the Kindle version. A print subscription will cost more, but you’ll still get print discount magazines as an Amazon Prime member.

And generally, if you subscribe to the print version, you will get access to the Kindle version as well.

Related: 6 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

14. Magazine websites

Many magazines, like People or Rolling Stone, publish a lot of content on their websites. If you’re looking for free content, this could be a great way to do it. The publisher’s site might also offer a good deal on the print or digital version of the magazine if you want more.

15. Your local library

Most local libraries subscribe to a selection of magazines. If you don’t usually keep magazines, check out your favorites from a library near you. If you enjoy keeping the magazines or using them for projects, ask the librarians what they do with older issues. They may be willing to sell magazines to you for cheap.

16. Find a BOGO deal

Many magazines, like Real Simple, offer a Buy One, Give One offer. Renew your subscription or buy a new subscription and send a second subscription to a friend for free. If you and your friends want to subscribe to the same magazine, team up and split the cost of one subscription. You’ll both get 50% off.

Related: 20 Ways to Get Free Stuff Online

Your Reading Habit Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

If you’re able to find a lot of free magazines, you can really read a lot of content. That’s awesome, but what should you do with the magazines when you’re finished reading them? You definitely don’t want them to sit around taking up space.

Instead of just recycling or throwing away your old magazines, get creative. Can you pass them on to a friend or relative who might like to read them? Maybe the magazines can go to a shelter or retirement home? You might be able to donate them to a prison as well (just check the prison’s donation rules first). Be sure to ask before you donate magazines since some places don’t accept them.

You could also use old magazines for your own creative pursuit. Cut out recipes to create a book of your favorite recipes. Use pictures to create a vision board or home improvement ideas. Kids also love cutting up magazine pages and using them for art or school projects.

And, if you can’t find a creative use for a magazine, you can always recycle it.

Cat Alford

Cat is the go-to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Cat was named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, and over the past few years her writing and financial expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications like The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News and World Report, and many more.

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