My 7 favorite subscription services
To be fair, these are the only services I have an annual subscription to. Still, I really believe each is worth the fee!
This list is more personal than prescriptive, but I hope others with similar hobbies might find a useful recommendation or two.
My favorite. I know there are plenty of free chess apps out there (Lichess in particular comes to mind), but I love Chess.com's suite of features: lessons, puzzles, tournaments, drills, and plenty of content with grandmasters and other people in the chess space.
Such a fantastic resource. Blinkist basically summarizes books, speeches, and other written works and reads them aloud as digestible "blinks". A work of Plato's can be summarized and digested in 15 minutes. Blinkist has been an easy way for me to get exposure to all the classics without devoting the massive amount of time needed to read all of them.
This is especially worth it if you have the couple plan or the family plan, because it becomes very cheap. I love listening to ad-free music, and Spotify does a great job of adding more music all the time and updating its features. For instance, now I can see the lyrics to songs in foreign languages.
4. Independent news sources on Substack
I like these a lot more than cable, for so many reasons. In addition to what are perhaps obvious reasons for wanting to stay away from cable news, I get to support independent journalists, I can consume content in different formats (e.g. reading it or listening to it), and I don't have to pay for cable fees.
I like Netflix because I have the family plan and benefit from the cheap rate. Plus, I think Netflix has better foreign-language content than any of the other streaming services. But take this rec with a grain of salt because there are a lot of strong opinions in this space.
6. Scott's Cheap Flights
If you buy an annual subscription during the Black Friday Sale, it only costs $25 per year for the entry-level tier. You get access to tons of cheap fares originating at your home airport(s), mistake fares, and content catered to frequent travelers.
7. Your preferred credit card
This could also be considered a membership fee, rather than a subscription service, but I think the lines are blurred. I definitely advocate for paying for a credit card if your financial situation permits it. People might be put off by the annual price, but many cards cost less than $100 per year and you receive access to numerous perks. I get much more value out of my credit cards than I pay in with my yearly fee.