Chargebee Reviews: The good and the bad | 2024

Alvaro Morales

So, you want to know if Chargebee is the ideal subscription management platform for your SaaS business. 

In today’s piece, we’ll go a step further than most Chargebee reviews by giving you an in-depth look at what it offers, its pros and cons, who should use Chargebee, and who should steer clear of it. 

We’ll cover:

  • What is Chargebee?
  • What are its features and pricing?
  • What are Chargebee’s pros and cons?
  • Who should choose Chargebee and who should stay away from it?
  • Is Chargebee right for your business?
  • Chargebee alternatives

Let’s get started!

What is Chargebee?

Chargebee is a SaaS subscription management platform that helps companies manage everything from billing and invoicing their customers to tracking trials and resolving overdue payments. It’s like a one-stop shop for subscription-based businesses. 

To better understand what Chargebee is, we need to take a closer look at its main features.

Chargebee features

  • Automated recurring billing and invoicing: Chargebee helps eliminate manual tasks. It generates and sends invoices at designated intervals, facilitating the revenue collection process.
  • Detailed subscription management: Chargebee lets users track key details like start dates, plan changes, cancellations, and prorated charges with ease. The system allows for subscription updates and offers the ability to provide discounts as well. 
  • Adaptable trial management: Businesses can configure free or paid trials to introduce users to their product or service. Chargebee allows them to set trial durations and automate conversion to paying plans upon trial completion.
  • Wide range of payment gateway integrations: Chargebee integrates with various popular payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree. This lets businesses accept payments from customers globally and offer multiple payment methods.
  • Automated dunning management: Chargebee can send personalized email reminders for overdue payments, saving businesses the time and resources required to do it manually.  
  • Customer self-service portal: Businesses can access past invoices, update payment information, switch plans, and download receipts.

Chargebee pricing 

Chargebee offers a tiered pricing structure based on the company’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). Here’s how each of the pricing tiers works:

  • Starter plan: $0 / per month. It’s a pay-as-you-go model with no annual commitment. Once the business’s cumulative billing exceeds $250k, an overage fee of 0.75% is charged every month for all billing after that. 
  • Performance plan: $599 / per month. This is an annual commitment with discounts available if paid upfront. The same overage fee of 0.75% is charged monthly for all billing that surpasses a $100K monthly limit.
  • Enterprise plan: A custom quote is required. 

Chargebee pros

Let’s look at what users like and dislike about using Chargebee for their daily operations. We’ll kick this section off with the pros:

  • The user interface is frequently mentioned in Chargebee reviews for its ease of use, allowing for fluid navigation and operation.
  • Chargebee's dunning feature automates expired credit card collection, improving payment process efficiency significantly.
  • Its strong integration with other SaaS tools simplifies subscription management and billing processes. 
  • Features such as the development timeline and webhooks offer detailed insights and actions in subscription and payment scenarios, making it easier to manage complex subscription models.
  • The platform's robust support for offline payments caters well to businesses requiring flexibility in payment processing.
  • Chargebee automates recurring invoices and payments, reducing manual effort and minimizing errors, which is a must when working with a large customer base. 
  • Its responsive and helpful support team is often praised for its accuracy and speed when resolving issues.

Chargebee cons

On the other hand, some users say Chargebee isn’t exactly ideal for their billing needs. Let’s look at some of the cons:

  • Some Chargebee reviews show that users often struggle with the platform's ease of use, particularly when adding one-time purchases without transitioning them into ongoing subscriptions, leading to inaccuracies in reporting.
  • The customization options for email automation are found lacking by some users, who wish for more nuanced control over communication with their customer base. 
  • There isn’t a direct feature to cancel subscriptions and write off balances for customers who fail to update expired credit card information, making the process cumbersome and manual.
  • Limitations in data handling and reporting have been pointed out, with specific mentions of non-historized MRR and issues when ordering events that occur within a second of each other, complicating in-depth analysis.
  • Managing subscription changes, especially for future contract renewals and adjusting terms to match payment cycles, has been noted as difficult. This is coupled with a perceived lack of customizable customer insight reports.
  • Some users have reported issues with the platform's integrations and billing cycles, finding them less adaptable than expected and noting that plan price changes require clunky workarounds.
  • Most Chargebee reviews left by users mention bugs and quality issues, suggesting they need to make their product more reliable.

Is Chargebee right for you?

Knowing if Chargebee is the right tool for your business involves understanding its strengths, limitations, and your company's specific needs. Here’s a quick breakdown to help guide your decision.

Who Chargebee is good for

  • Subscription-based businesses needing global reach: For companies with recurring billing models that are expanding internationally, Chargebee offers tools for managing subscriptions and revenue operations across different regions, currencies, and tax laws.
  • Companies that prioritize integrations: Chargebee works with various payment gateways, accounting software, and CRMs, potentially simplifying your tech stack.
  • Organizations focused on churn reduction and payment collection: Chargebee provides dunning management, flexible subscription options, and a solid payment collection system for businesses seeking to improve customer retention.

Who should stay away from Chargebee and why

  • Businesses with simple or one-time billing needs: If your business model doesn't revolve around subscriptions or recurring payments, Chargebee might add unnecessary complexity to your billing system.
  • Startups or businesses with narrow budgets: While Chargebee offers a lot of features, they come at a cost. Small businesses or startups with tight budgets may find it challenging to justify the costs that come with their growing overage fees.  
  • Companies requiring highly customized billing models: Although Chargebee is adaptable, there are some limitations in terms of customization. Businesses with very specific, non-standard billing models should consider other options. 
  • Companies needing very granular, customizable reporting: If in-depth historical data, precise handling of near-simultaneous events, and highly tailored reports are critical, Chargebee's limitations may be a deal-breaker.
  • Companies needing easy subscription cancellations and write-offs: Businesses that prioritize quick and efficient cancellations and write-offs may find Chargebee's manual processes very time-consuming.

Chargebee alternatives

Here’s a quick list of Chargebee alternatives you should consider:

  • Orb: The overall best Chargebee alternative, with a user-friendly usage-based billing platform with detailed invoicing features.
  • Stripe: Well-rounded payment processing platform with subscription features.
  • Recurly: Developer-friendly subscription billing platform for complex recurring billing.
  • Sage Intacct: Accounting software with integrated subscription management.
  • Zoho Billing: Budget-friendly subscription management for Zoho users.
  • Maxio: Feature-rich platform for complex subscriptions and high-growth businesses.

For a more in-depth analysis, read our full article comparing Chargebee with its top competitors. 

Ready to solve billing?

Now that you’ve read our Chargebee review, you should have a better idea of whether it’s the right tool for the job or not. 

If you’ve decided to look for better alternatives, Orb stands out as one of the best options for your billing needs. 

Orb is a done-for-you billing management platform for highly complex usage-based and hybrid billing models. Orb’s suite of features edges out Chargebee on many fronts: 

  • Event ingestion capability: Orb is designed to handle a significantly larger volume of event ingestion compared to Chargebee. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses with high transaction volumes or those charging based on usage metrics.
  • Precision in invoicing: With Orb, companies have the advantage of invoicing with decimal points, a critical feature for businesses that charge fractions of a dollar. This level of precision is not found in Chargebee. 
  • Advanced tracking and reporting: Unlike Chargebee, Orb offers more detailed tracking and superior billing insights. This allows for a deeper understanding of billing processes and customer usage patterns, which is invaluable for strategic decision-making.

Still on the fence about Orb? Try out our demo and see how we can solve billing for you.

April 23, 2024

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