*Updated* Get $25 worth of magazine subscriptions for free from Zinio (you pick which mags, no credit card required)

For many nowadays physical printed magazines are a foreign concept. We prefer to get our fix via the web as opposed to printed media. Traditional magazine companies, obviously, suffer because of this change in consumer tastes. To make up for lost revenue, many popular magazines have gone online. To foster purchasing magazines online, multiple different “subscription companies” have popped up. Zinio is one of them.

Zinio is a company that aims to bridge the gap between magazines and web content by offering magazines in a digital format; users can purchase from Zinio many of the popular magazines they have come to know and love, typically cheaper than what printed versions of the same magazines cost. Once you purchase a magazine from Zinio you can read/view it in multiple different formats:

  • Online, via Zinio’s website
  • Offline on your PC or Mac
  • On your iPad or iPhone
  • On your Android device

Zinio in of itself sounds like a handy service if you are into magazines. What makes it even better is until 3/31/2012, all new registrants of Zinio gets free $25 credit to buy any magazine subscription(s) they see fit. (Zinio works on a pay-per-use model so registering on Zinio is completely free.)

[Note to parents: Zinio has an array of magazine choices; this includes some magazines you probably don’t want your kids to see or read. There is a “safe view” feature on Zinio but it is easily toggleable on/off and it doesn’t even block all the non-kid-friendly mags. I suggest either not letting your kids near Zinio or controlling access to the website.]

To get $25 worth of magazines for free, follow these simple directions:

  • Visit Zinio and register:

Update: It appears this offer may or may not be USA only. The official Facebook announcement doesn’t mention being USA only but dotTechies outside USA report this isn’t working for them. There may be a work around, though. Adrain reports if you click on the flag in the top-right corner and select the website for your specific country and then register, you can take advantage of this offer even while outside the USA. Good luck!

  • After you hit the create your own zinio account button at the registration page you will be asked to pick a trial subscription and set your e-mail preferences:

At this second step there are three things to keep in mind.

Firstly, the trial subscription is the standard trial everyone gets when signing up for Zinio. It is not part of the free $25 credit campaign Zinio is currently running. The $25 credit is in addition to the trial subscription you select while registering.

Secondly, by default Zinio signs you up to receive their newsletter. If you don’t want it, be sure to select “No, thanks, not right now.” from the right hand side at this step.

Lastly, all the settings on the right of this screen are completely optional. You don’t have to give Zinio your age or gender if you don’t want to.

  • Once you are done with step 2 and have confirmed your selection, you should see a screen similar to the following:

Once you are at the screen similar to the above (you won’t necessarily be shown PC Magazine — you will be shown the trial subscription mag you selected) you are done creating a new Zinio account. However, there are still a few more steps you need to do to take advantage of the $25 credit.

  • Check the inbox of the e-mail address you registered with. Look for an e-mail from Zinio Digital Magazines digitalmagazines@msg.zinio.com with subject of Surprise! Your $25 in Z-Bucks Have Arrived!. If you don’t instantly see this e-mail, check your spam box (mine was marked as spam by Gmail) and be patient: It took me about 24 hours to receive this e-mail. Once you find the e-mail open it and you should see a gift card code:

This gift card code is how you redeem the $25 credit. As mentioned in the e-mail you can use this code while checking out in your shopping cart; or, you can redeem the $25 credit without actually buying a magazine (yet) and have it attached to your account for use at a later date. To attach the $25 credit to your account go to the Gift Cards part of Account Settings, enter the code in the Gift Card Code box and hit the submit button:

After you submit the page will refresh. If you see a gift card listed on the screen…

…then you are good to go! You will be able to put the $25 towards any magazine purchases you make on Zinio.

One thing to note is the fact that the gift card code has a shelf-life of 30 days. It is not clarified if you must use the $25 credit (i.e. buy magazines) within 30 days or you must redeem the code and have it attached within 30 days. My guess is the latter, so to avoid losing the free $25, I suggest – unless you plan on buying magazines from Zinio right now – to attach the gift card to your account as described above.

Enjoy (responsibly)!

Thanks PCbasics!

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  • thaijay

    Was not offered a trail subscription on sign-up with ZInio. The page showed they thought my IP was in Singapore (I’m not, but I am also not in US). I even recieved a Welcome to Zinio Singapore in the mail.

    No other mail showed up (not even in spam) for several hours, so I assumed it was a US only thing.

    Finally popped my mail open again (a few days later) and found the coupon.

    As others have stated – YMMV – but do try it, maybe something will show up.

  • Ruchir

    “Welcome to Zinio USA” is subject line to every subscriber,wherever you live.And wait,you will get surprise soon as told by our Boss Ashraf.99% in spam folder.Search your mail like From: Surprise and in a second you will get it,faster if using Gmail.

  • jayesstee

    @Ashraf: Worked for me (UK based) late last night. Changing the flag to UK looses the offer, so I continued on the US page, chose the 3-issue PC Magazine option. After setting up an account and a (<10 min.) email, I was able to view my first downloaded copy. Thirty minutes max.
    Incidentally my email was headed: "Welcome to Zinio USA". Does this mean that they recognize my non-US status?
    Thanks for the info!

  • Ashraf

    @Jeremy: Glad to hear it! Odd, though, that it works via the USA website for you while you are in the UK when it doesn’t for others.

    You are welcome. :-)

    @Mr.Dave: Zinio sends multiple emails, so you may not be looking at the right one. Look for an e-mail with the subject of “Surprise! Your $25 in Z-Bucks Have Arrived!”. It can take a day or two to arrive and may arrive in your spam box. I know for sure this hasn’t expired yet because it is going to expire next year.

    You are welcome!

  • Mr.Dave

    I tried this evening and got registered with no problem, but the e-mail I received said nothing about a 25$ credit. Offer may already be over. The mags I wanted were all $39.95 so the $25 wasn’t enough anyway….

    Thanks for all the hard work on DotTech!

  • Jeremy

    I can confirm it does work from the UK if you click on the flag and choose USA.

    Thanks Ashraf.

  • Ashraf

    @Jyo: You are welcome!

    @Mark @Carolyn: I am sorry, the Facebook announcement didn’t mention it being USA only. Have you tried doing this by accessing the international version of their websites? Click on the USA flag at the top right. I can’t say for sure that will make it work, but its worth a try.

    @Jeffinprov: You are welcome!

    @Adrian: Cool! I presume you are not in the USA? Did you select a country website specific to yours? I don’t see a “Global” option.

    @Phil K: I understand your frustrations but no need to be so rude about it. o_O

  • Phil K

    Usual yank-only obsession from yank companies.

  • Adrian

    I got it by clicking on Global – USA at the top of the registration page =]

  • Jeffinprov

    This is great — thanks.

  • Carolyn

    I’m with Mark, I tried from Australia, and all I got was a welcome email from Zinio – no sign of a trial subscription nor a gift voucher code.
    Damn! Was looking forward to this nice little treat too. Never mind

  • Mark

    Thanks, but this probably only works in the US (or with a US-based proxy).
    I tried from the UK, and neither an offer for a trial subscription nor an email with a gift voucher code have appeared.

  • Jyo

    Thanks PCbasics and Ashraf! I prefer reading stuff (especially magazines) on actual paper so it doesn’t strain my eyes, but free is free!