I am sure many of you just like Warren Buffett agree reading goes hand in hand with investing. The more you read and think, more you expand your circle of competence. Reading, especially business and finance news helps you gain knowledge and keep a tab on issues companies face daily. Some of the best sources of good unbiased financial information comes from Wall Street Journal(WSJ subscription), Barron’s and other publications.
However they are not free anymore. Both WSJ & Barron’s subscription cost about 19$ and 10$ per month after discounts. That’s a whole lot of money to get good financial news. Plus after discounts end, prices go up a lot!
I like free. I have found a very legal way to get physical/print access to WSJ and Barron’s subscription for 0$. In this blog post we will discuss how you can use your airline miles to get free access to WSJ and Barron’s subscriptions using a service called MagsForMiles. I hope you will like this post just as much as the one about getting Motley Fool subscription at a steep discount.
But first I wanted to give a short review of both sources.
Wall Street Journal Subscription Review(WSJ)
WSJ is published daily (except on US national holidays and Sunday’s). It has great analysis of day to day news. Its like a traditional newspaper having standard sections like:
US News: With info on hurricane Dorian and rise of online sports betting recently as examples.
Political: Things like election candidate coverage for upcoming sections.
World News: For e.g. Brexit, Argentina crisis & Hong Kong protests.
Life & Arts: I rarely read this. But you get the idea.
Sports: 1 page section on latest happenings in sports.
Opinion/Editorials: Most recently articles on electric vehicle subsidies & Air BnB bills in various state parliaments on short term rentals.
The above sections are about the first 18 pages and have some financial info sprinkled in between. I usually read some topics in each section which I like or am interested in.
Then comes the biggest section
Business & Finance: This is 10 pages of pure business and financial news of top quality journalism. I read mostly all stories in this section. Some examples from most recent issues include Europe’s unrelenting quest to tax tech companies, P&G’s tide dry cleaning business etc. to name a few.
It’s great service to keep you updated with current events and news in business, financial & non financial world.
Barron’s Subscription Review
Unlike WSJ, Barron’s is published only once weekly. It also is heavily focused on investing. Infact they do not have sections other than finance and investing.
They publish 1 very detailed (about 5 pages) article on some sector or a company every issue. For e.g. their issue dated Sept 2nd 2019 had a detailed analysis on drugs using mRNA to cure diseases and companies in that space. They waked through the basics of the technology, discussed pros & cons, feasibility of technology etc. That’s some very great info right there!
It focuses more on fundamentals and long term trends about industries. You can very easily pick out 2-3 ideas and the do your own research by just reading Barron’s every week. They also have a market week section which discusses companies that were active during the week. It tries to give good profiles on what companies are doing. To be honest I find Barron’s really helpful to grow my circle of competence. I almost read every article from Barron’s subscription every week.
How to get WSJ subscription for free?
So we are going to use our unused airline miles to get this. Even if you flew 2-3 flights in last 2-3 years, you probably have some airline miles in your frequent flier account. Most of the time these airline miles just expire and go to waste. Not anymore! I recently came across this site called magsformiles. It allows you to exchange your miles for subscription to a wide variety of newspapers and magazines. Once you head over to its site,you notice you can use most US airline miles:
1. Select your airline to start
I went with American Airlines, since its miles were expiring for me.
2. Choose your subscription
I went with the 304 issue WSJ subscription for 3200 miles. There was also an option of 228 issues for 2700 miles. You can choose whichever one you like. Next hit Add to Bag as shown below:
Once you hit check out, it will ask you if you are a current Wall Street Journal subscriber. Hit no and please make sure you are not currently subscribed to WSJ. If you are this offer may not be for you. Although from my research, I did come to know some people who cancelled their existing subscription for which they were paying and started this subscription a week later.
Once you hit No, you will be taken to a page where you would enter your first name, last name address where your subscription will be delivered and in my case, my AA Advantage loyalty number. Please enter information correctly since it will be used to match your loyalty record and your address to confirm subscription. Then hit Place Order.
Also notice the red underline at the bottom says your order will be processed in 6-12 weeks. But do not fret. My order was processed and I got my WSJ subscription first issue in about 2 weeks.
4. Get Confirmation and avoid addons
Once you hit place order, on the next page, you will get a confirmation followed by asking to enroll in other subscriptions for 2$ and enabling auto enroll.
Now all these guys are trying to do is get your cc number. Do not give it or choose any other offers under any circumstances. You do not need to give your credit card to get your wsj or barron’s subscription. You can simply click no thanks as shown below. Your order for wsj subscription is already completed.
5. What Next?
Just wait. Since this is almost a free way to get WSJ or Barron’s subscription, this is an obvious drawback. You might have to wait for 2-4 weeks in my opinion. Personally, I started getting WSJ delivered to me on my doorstep every morning 2 weeks after I ordered it. Here is the pic of the first one:
How to get Barron’s subscription for free?
Its literally the same process. Same as WSJ subscription described above. As you can see MagsForMiles also has Barron’s subscription as an option. Its 1900 miles for 52 issues. 1 a week for the whole year.
I did the whole process a second time. I entered a second email address just to be safe. Other details were the same. I started getting my Barron’s subscription delivered after about 2 weeks of ordering it.
What happens after subscription expires?
Now this is mostly uncharted territory. Mine only started in last month so I am not too sure. But in my research from various blogs, several people mentioned MagsForMiles might send some renewal offer maybe ask for money etc. I would just reject all those. I did see some people were able to use different airline miles (for e.g. use Delta miles if you used American first year etc. ) a couple of weeks after current subscription expired to order a new subscription again.
Some people just let their subscription expire and start a new one using spouse’s account.
There is also an option to gift subscription, maybe you can ask your friend/relative to start one using their account and you return the favor.
I also came across their sister site MagsForPoints . Its the same as MagsForMiles, but offers even hotel points to use towards a subscription. Maybe using this to subscribe might work with a second year Barron’s or WSJ subscription.
All techniques above for starting a new subscription for second year are things I found in my research. I can only test it myself next year when my current subscriptions expire.
How in the world is this legal ?
So let’s see why this method is legal from horse’s mouth itself. Here is a url to the company that owns MagsForMiles & MagsForPoints. Looks like Synapse is a marketing company which is probably doing lead generation for big publishers. I suspect they have a deal with Dow Jones Company (yes they own both WSJ and Barron’s) to bring them high quality subscribers and give an introductory offer which is free! Its absolutely up to your discretion to continue the subscription into the second year using whatever renewal MagsForMiles sends you or not.
Please share your experiences if you tried to order WSJ or Barron’s subscriptions using this method and how it went for you below in comments section. I am sure it will help out the community.
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Disclaimer: The above is just my experience expressed in the article. Your experience may differ and I am not liable for it in anyway. This article is just for informational and entertainment purposes. Also I have no affiliation with any of the parties mentioned in the article. I do not get paid for any subscriptions you buy or gift. I just wrote this to help out the investing community get good news from reputable sources.