I've heard various stories about unscrupulous business practices relating to recurring credit card payments, but this is a new one on me. I've been subscribing to Scientific American for a long time, and every May I've been making a $25 credit card payment to cover the coming year. This year I got a postcard from them saying that they would start making a recurring charge to my account every year. This, they say, is for my convenience and also has environmental benefits. To prevent the recurring payments from starting up, I had to call an 800 number on the postcard and opt out.
Is this legal in the US? Does anyone know of other magazines that do this and that can be named and shamed? Are there strategies for preventing this, other than scrupulously reading every piece of junk mail? If this is becoming common for magazine subscriptions, I guess I could make a practice of only paying for those by check. That, however, would obviate the purpose of the credit card, which is supposed to be convenience.