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Patreon Changes

12/13/2017: Important update: Patreon is backing off of their proposed changes. I’ve struck through the affected portions of the post/email below. My move to my own alternative is not changing, as it was already in the works for technical reasons.

Recent changes to the Patreon fee structure have caused several folks to drop their support of Ask Leo!. Honestly, I can’t fault those who’ve done so. The change was unexpected, and has hurt many Patreon users — artists and patrons alike.

I have an alternative.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Here’s the message I sent to my Patreon patrons earlier today.

Hello Patrons!

Once again I want to thank you deeply for your support of what I do. That you would do so is very humbling, and very much appreciated.

Patreon has announced a change in their fee structure, and I’ve had a couple of questions about it. I also have an alternative, should you be interested. Please read this entire message.

How it works today: when you pledge via Patreon, you pay them, and then they pay me.

The short version of their announced change is this: you’ll pay Patreon a little more, and I’ll get a little more, though I believe my increase won’t be quite as much as your increase.

As I understand it, it’s all to do with the costs of credit card processing and Patreon’s funding of their operations. Nothing underhanded, and completely above board.

Now, I want to be clear: you don’t need to do anything. If you do nothing your patronage will continue, albeit at a slightly higher cost to you.

On the other hand…

As it turns out, for a variety of reasons I’ve been planning a shift away from using Patreon. I won’t get into all the details, as they’re mostly technical. It’s also nothing against Patreon. They provide funding for an amazing number of artists and other service providers who wouldn’t have pragmatic, viable alternatives.

I’ve just determined I can provide a more streamlined experience for my patrons and customers if I “do it myself”.

“Do it myself” means: when you pledge using The Ask Leo! Store, your pledge goes directly to me. Period. Rather than paying Patreon who then pays me, you support me directly.

It’s the same model, with the same benefits, just run though my own shopping cart instead of theirs.

The differences?

  • No additional fees. What you pledge is what you pay. Period.
  • Better customer support. My one frustration with Patreon is that I can’t help you quite as directly as I would like to. Now I can.
  • I might get slightly more of your pledge – I only pay credit card processing, and I think my rate is somewhat better than what Patreon has quoted. And neither you nor I have Patreon’s cut to pay.
  • Both monthly and annual pledge options. An annual option has been a frequent request, and perhaps the largest motivation for my looking into this change in the first place.
  • Automatic “Ad Free” Ask Leo! for all pledges. I can’t do anything “automatic” with Patreon – it keeps my assistant busy :-).

There are also changes coming in the future (much more streamlined benefit delivery, and fewer accounts for you to deal with), but Patreon’s recent change just made it clear that now is time to let you know about this as an option.

You can do either of two things:

It’s totally up to you, but I wanted you to be aware of what the changes mean, and that I’ve set up an alternative that cuts out the middle man.

As always, regardless of which you choose I deeply appreciate your ongoing support. To be honest, knowing you’re here is an important part of what keeps me motivated, as well as keeping Ask Leo! available to everyone.

With much, much gratitude,


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19 comments on “Patreon Changes”

  1. Hi Leo, I didn’t see an option for a one time donation. I would be more inclined to do that than an ongoing monthly obligation to worry about.
    Thanks for all the info you provide.

  2. I’d like to make a one-time contribution, but I don’t want to set up an(other) account. I’m perfectly okay with entering my credit card info, but not with another account where I have to remember a complex, unique password (yes, I know about LastPass). Is there a “guest” option?

  3. I’m not quibbling about the three bucks — the tips are worth the diff easily along with super fast response to queries – but after I dropped Patreon (I think it worked – not sure), I went to the suggested site and could not find a way to sign up for the same two buck level. Only 5 smackers. But it all goes where it should

    • Actually if you’re one of the folks “grandfathered in” getting Tips at the $2 level (that was a change made close to a year ago now), sign up for $2, and drop us a line or leave a comment with your purchase. We’ll make sure that you keep getting what you signed up for way back when. :-) And thank you for your support!

  4. Hi Leo – many thanks for the annual option.

    As I am in the UK, it would have been prohibitively expensive in bank charges to pay a small dollar amount monthly. However I am happy to pay annually.

    Keep up the great work – and as we say on this side of the pond, Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy & Prosperous New Year!


  5. Hello. Leo.
    I registered again to Patreon, but there was also a previous case, “Please cancel registration”
    There was a message.

    To become a patron in another way, do you have to buy latte or beer (though it was certainly charity …) in one case?

  6. I’ve tried to change my password because I didnt remember it. But when I enter the new and re-entered passwords, the system says that the words are not the same. I tried multiple times to enter the new password but it always comes up that the words are not the same and with being able to unhide it, I cant see what’s going on…

  7. Hi Leo!

    Great stuff. Been reading for at least a decade so, yes, you provide continuing value that I am grateful for. And well written, too: clear, concise, sense of humour. That’s why I always read emails from you.

    And now, a suggestion: How about a lifetime subscription option?

    My lifetime, not yours… Though…

    Sincere best regards!

  8. I didn’t see anything about “ask leo” charging my paypal acccount every month automatically instead of my making a monthly transaction manually. Is this available or do I have to give you my credit card number or is this not available at all?

    • Patronage is a subscription — monthly or yearly — and you do need to either provide a credit card or paypal account to make that transaction. For the record I do NOT get your credit card number — my payment processor (stripe) does.

      You can make one time donations here:, but you’ll still need to provide some form of payment information.



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