One-time Charges

We support one-time payments, but our overriding focus is on recurring transactions.

To charge your customer any amount through Chargify, you need to have at least 1 subscription in place for that customer. The subscription is what associates the customer with a credit card.

For one time charges that happen once, or once in a while

  1. If you’re just going to charge your customer once in a long time, then you can define a product that only lasts 1 day (i.e. it expires after 1 day) and create a subscription that ties your customer to that product. The subscription dies (expires) quickly and it’s done. This is most applicable if you just want someone to sign up, then pay you a set amount of money, and then the relationship is pretty much over. See how to create a One-Time-Purchase Product.

For one time charges that happen often with the same customer

  1. If you will charge your customer from time to time, then it’s better to define a product that has a recurring billing period of, say, 1 month, but has a base recurring fee of $0. You can then subscribe your customer to that product, and just add charges to the subscription when it’s time to charge something. There are two ways to add charges to an existing subscription, as shown below:

  2. There’s an API call (as well as application element) for processing an instant charge. You can use either of these to generate an immediate credit card charge on the card on file for the subscription.

See how to process an Instant One-Time Charge, below.

  1. There are things called “Components” that may be very useful in your case. For instance, Metered-Usage Components are used to add charges to a subscription as your customer consumes units of something you’re selling. These get added up and billed at the end of the billing period for the subscription. Read about Components, here.

How to process a One-Time Charge

For “live” subscriptions (i.e. subscriptions that are not canceled or expired) you can execute an immediate, one-time (or “one-off”), or delayed charge of any amount.

To assess a One-time or Delayed Charge, navigate to the subscription detail page by clicking on the “Start Date” or on the “View” link in the Subscriptions listing. There, you will see a link to “Add Charge”.

A charge can be immediate by selecting “Charge now” or the charge can be delayed until the next billing by selecting “Accrue this charge until next normal renewal (date)” as shown below.


A charge is created by entering an amount (i.e. “10.00”) and a memo (i.e. “Additional charge for extra usage”).

Charge Options

  • Charge now: The charge will initiate a payment to be collected from the credit card on file for the subscription.
  • Issue Invoice Now: If you have invoicing enabled, this will generate an invoice, but not charge the card on file.
  • Accrue charge until next normal renewal: This will add a charge to the subscription, increase the balance, but not charge the card on file.

If the payment is denied, you will receive a message stating that the card was declined (or that some other error occurred at the payment gateway).

Using this feature is like swiping the Customer’s credit card – even if your customer has a negative balance (i.e. a credit) at the time you run the charge, using this feature will still capture the payment from the credit card on file. Options will be added in the future that allow you to alter this behavior, but this will always be the default.

IS this charge taxable?

  • No: Tax will not be applied
  • Yes: Tax will be applied and calculated based on the shipping or billing address based on your tax settings.

Authorize.Net users notice

If you are connected to the Authorize.Net gateway, any commas (“,”) you include in the memo will be removed before the transaction is submitted.