Best VPN for Flexible Payment Plans

Looking for a lifetime plan, a three-year plan, or an option to pay for 18 months? These virtual private networks offer that flexibility.
  • VPN Unlimited
    Monthly price
    $9.99/mo.
    Featured payment option
    Lifetime payment plan of $199.99
  • CyberGhost
    Monthly price
    $12.99/mo.
    Featured payment option
    18-month option for $3.15/mo.
  • TunnelBear
    Monthly price
    $9.99/mo.
    Featured payment option
    Free version includes 500 MB of browsing

While most VPN services let you pay by the month and decide whether you want to stick with them as a customer, there are alternatives. A few VPN providers provide flexible payment plans, and VPN Unlimited even lets you pay one fee (around $200) for lifetime usage.

Having this flexibility means you can save quite a bit on the monthly plan. For example, CyberGhost lets you pay for an 18-month plan that works out to only $3.15 each month. TunnelBear, one of our top picks for its interface and quirky mascot, offers the cheapest payment plan possible—there’s a free version that limits your downloads to 500 MB or less.

The one caveat here is that you will want to be pretty sure it is the VPN service for you if you decide to pay for a lifetime membership or sign up for multiple years. It’s a fair amount to spend if you lock into a long-term paid VPN plan but hate the service provider. We’ve selected our top-rated VPN services that also provide flexible payment options.

Best VPN services with flexible payment plans
BrandPriceFlexible payment feature Number of serversDetails
VPN Unlimited $9.99/mo.Lifetime payment plan of $199.9980+View Plans
CyberGhost $12.99/mo. 18-month option for $3.15/mo. 90View Plans
TunnelBear$9.99/mo.Free version includes 500MB of browsing 23View Plans

Data effective 6/12/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

1: VPN Unlimited

The most unusual paid plan we’ve found—pay once for life.

Here’s a big tip if you’re interested in unusual payment plans for a VPN service: there is one payment plan for VPN Unlimited where you can pay around $200 for lifetime usage. It reminds us a bit of the McDonald’s Gold Card or those frequent flyers who never have to pay for a flight (because they racked up so many miles). A VPN is not quite like McDonald’s, but it does mean your IP address is protected for life from hackers and identity theft.

VPN Unlimited plans and prices
BrandPriceFlexible payment feature Number of serversDetails
VPN Unlimited $9.99/mo.Lifetime payment plan of $199.9980+View Plans

Data effective 6/12/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Why we like VPN Unlimited

  • Only lifetime payment option we’ve found
  • Fair monthly price
  • High number of countries, though only 400+ servers

Want to know more? Read our full-length VPN Unlimited review.

2: CyberGhost

One of our top picks overall has an unusual 18-month pricing plan.

Flexible pricing plans come in a few flavors—we like the lifetime option with VPN Unlimited, but a second-best pick is CyberGhost for only $3.15 per month (when you pay for the entire 18-month term). For starters, that’s in line with the pricing you will see for other VPN providers if you pay for three years at once. CyberGhost happens to also be a top pick overall with a high number of servers and countries available.

CyberGhost plans and prices
BrandPriceFlexible payment feature Number of serversDetails
CyberGhost $12.99/mo. 18-month option for $3.15/mo. 90View Plans

Data effective 6/12/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Why we like CyberGhost

  • High number of countries and servers
  • Unusual 18-month payment plan
  • Overall top pick for VPN service

Want to know more? Read our full-length CyberGhost review.

3: TunnelBear

One of the only truly free plans for any VPN (not a trial version)

Flexible payment plans are nice, but TunnelBear offers the best plan we have found—it’s entirely free. In terms of flexibility, this means you can try the VPN and test out the interface, the connection speed, the high number of servers, and the extra features. (TunnelBear includes a free ad blocker as well for Google Chrome.)

Now, the free version is limited to 500 MB of bandwidth per month, and most of us will burn through that in one sitting. It won’t work if you’re using a VPN to stream Netflix, but it’s still a great way to see if the VPN meets your needs before paying for unlimited data and could work for a device you use less often.

TunnelBear plans and prices
BrandPriceFlexible payment feature Number of serversDetails
TunnelBear$9.99/mo.Free version includes 500MB of browsing 23View Plans

Data effective 6/12/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Why we like TunnelBear

  • Totally free version
  • Free ad blocker
  • Excellent interface

Want to know more? Read our full-length TunnelBear review.

Why bother with flexible payment terms?

You might already know about flexible payment plans, especially if you have ever tried to purchase a smartphone. For any reliable VPN service you need to protect your IP address, flexible payments mean you can decide how much you can afford each month and if you want to accept the risk of one larger payment for a much lower monthly cost.

A big point to make here is that every VPN service offers a monthly payment plan, but it typically costs three times as much as the annual or three-year plans. The underlying theme is that flexibility in how you pay means flexibility in which VPN you use to protect your internet connection and for how long.

Lifetime plan

We’re impressed by VPN Unlimited and its lifetime payment plan. In terms of extreme flexibility, it is about the most unusual and affordable way to pay—because after you register and pay the $200 fee, you never have to pay another dime. We don’t directly comment on the longevity of this VPN company and if it will still be around except to say it’s about as likely as any other VPN provider.

Choosing your VPN service

It’s handy that many VPN services do offer a trial version, and that’s an excellent way to find out if the VPN is worth your investment on a long-term basis. If you have any doubts at all, it’s a good idea to pay for the monthly service. After that, you have many options. Annual or three-year plans do lock you into the VPN client but cost far less. CyberGhost breaks the mold and offers an 18-month plan (we can only guess if it will expire at some point, but it provides almost as much flexibility as lifetime or free plans).

Recap: Which flexible payment plan works for you?

Flexibility means there are multiple ways to pay for a VPN service, including an 18-month or a lifetime plan, plus a free version with limited bandwidth.

  • VPN Unlimited: Only VPN service that offers a lifetime payment plan
  • CyberGhost: Very unusual low-cost 18-month payment plan
  • TunnelBear: Unique free VPN plan limited to 500 MB of bandwidth

Still not sure about VPN payments?

Additional contributors

Chyelle Dvorak