Capping custom pledges to the lowest tier available

Back in May 2019 -following Patreon’s suggestion to remove $1 tier- we have announced that tier $1 was going to be discontinued.
Despite having followed up with both PMs and reminders of all sort, we have noticed that many
patrons just don’t understand why they’re not getting any reward from editing their pledges down to $1.
This is causing confusion and it’s resulting in refunds requests and very unhappy customers.
We can’t even offer “access to feed” to them, because that would mean restoring $1 tier again.
So Patreon basically left us with three options:

  • 1 - stealing their money;
  • 2 - ignoring them;
  • 3 - kicking (blocking) them out;

Of course we’re not scammers, so none of them sounds like a valid option to us.
So here’s a very basic suggestion/request for you:

Editing down of pledges should be capped to the lowest tier available ($2 in our case).

Thanks in advance.


I second this as it would be great for many pages but only as an optional thing. (One of my patreon pages needs folks to have the ability to pledge $1 without a tier present.)


Makes perfect sense, and it’s ok: as long as they fix this, because it’s sort of harming the mutual trust we worked so hard to build in the past three years.
If there was a (non-kicking) way to renounce to those extra $1s we would eagerly sign for it, instead of keeping this ambiguous situation going.


May I suggest a fourth?

  • Restore the the $1 tier
  • Limit the number of people who can be on the $1 tier to the number of people currently on it plus 50% (so if there are ten people still on it the new limit is 15)
  • In the description of the $1 tier, edit in a very polite explanation that pledging $1 while not being on that tier is still not being on a tier and will not get a reward
  • Add a reward to your $2 tier that is easy to fulfill but high value to your members
  • Call the new, additional $2 tier reward the “Loyalty Prize,” meant for people who will stay with you

Then make a big deal of it and announce the new changes as a good thing! Your members have spoken! They want the $1 tier and you get it, but you have to keep the $1 pledges to a minimum because you need the cash to support your creation of new content. Apologize for the confusion, explain this is the compromise you’ve come up with, and you hope they’ll understand.

After all that, if they still leave and demand refunds, you might consider that they weren’t the supporters you want. That’s rough to say (and you definitely don’t want to say that to them in any way, shape or form), but sometimes you have to let members go if they won’t be satisfied, even after you bring back what they want and offer better rewards in the higher tier.

It’s up to you to decide if your members are worth the extra work to keep the ones that genuinely want to stay.


Hi Th_Mole, and thanks for taking the time to suggest this.

While I do appreciate your suggestion, I do agree with your bottom line too: I think that would be some extra work likely to make us looking like we don’t know what we’re doing (remove/restore loop, you know).

Speaking of which, I won’t probably stress/point out enough the fact that Patreon bothered arranging a stream about how “unprofitable” tier $1 was, while allowing custom pledges to be as low as $1.

I think that’s confusing.

Are $1 pledges “unprofitable” in the form of “tier” while turn out being “profitable” in the form of custom pledges?

I don’t understand.
I thought Patreon made certain calls basing on “creators best interests”, but I’m seriously starting to question both consistency and logic of such decisions.


Ah. Okay, I understand your point better now. Thanks for explaining that to me.

It’s probably a slip between the marketing minds and the coders at the Patreon offices. We can ask for limiting custom pledges to the lowest tier as a feature request. Was that what you wanted to begin with, when you started this thread?

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Absolutely, yes. That’s what I wanted, thanks.

I didn’t even know about this issue. So does that mean my patrons who subscribe for $1 are not getting any of the rewards I promised them? Not even access to my feed?

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How did I miss this?! Was there a blog post or message about the $1 tier I missed?

Hi @TheWorst, thank you for making this thread and coming back to the forum. I hope I have understood your situation correctly, please let me know if these answers don’t seem to fit what actually happened.

I wanted to first apologize for the confusion around this advice we provided. It sounds like we could have done a better job explaining the pros and cons of retiring your $1 tier and all that comes with such a decision. I’ve spent the last week sharing this feedback within the Patreon team and seeing what we can do to not create such confusion again.

The reason you’re in this tricky situation is because you deleted your $1 tier. Normally we always advise creators to retire the $1 tier, not delete it. This allows creators to still post to their $1 tier to ensure that patrons that joined this tier still get their benefits they signed up for, but new patrons will join the $2 tier and never know the difference. It’s clear that this was not conveyed clearly to you and I truly am sorry about that. I completely understand why this situation seems ambiguous and weird for both you and your patrons. Ideally that way patrons who want to upgrade and get the exclusive HD Images Pack can, but those who want to continue supporting you at $1 can so, and still see the things they wanted to see.

I’d love to offer to @TheWorst , and anyone else who would like it, the chance to join us for a video call to discuss this, answer all your questions, and see what we can do to make this situation better. We’d love to chat through this whole thing to learn more about what we can do to improve, both the livestream and the request to cap custom pledges to the lowest tier. If you would like that, let me know and I’ll find a time that works and get the right members of the Patreon team to join us.


@Sibuor this situation only applies when a creator wants to change their $1 tier into a $2 tier, and deletes the $1 tier causing those patrons to be marked as “no reward” as they are not assigned to any tier. As long as you still have your $1 tier and have not deleted it, your patrons will still see everything you post to that tier. Let me know if you still have any questions about this!

@timnash this was part of a live workshop series we ran back in May for free. You can see the ones available to watch again here:

Dear Mindy,

we understand and appreciate the efforts you guys put into this, and we don’t want to burden you any further with a video call only likely to take more of your valuable time away from more important and pressing issues.

However, if I understood correctly, retiring the $1 tier -instead of deleting it- wouldn’t fix the “editing down to $1” issue.
In addition to this, *"new patrons will join the 2 tier and never know the difference"* actually only sounds like a way to keep on providing the same content for 1 and 2$: it won’t probably be fair towards the new patrons who joined the 2$ tier, while also opening to a possible loophole: any 2$ patron would be able to edit down his pledge to 1$ and receive $2 tier full

So in the end, we don’t see a universe where delivering the same content to two different tiers would be fair to both tiers, as much as the “patrons only” option in posts visibility, which currently feels like gone for good: it’s gonna mix things up so badly it may result in showing content to tiers (or “off tier” patrons) not meant to access that content.

The only option we’re actually left with is pretending this loophole doesn’t exists, while hoping that none of the $1 patrons would share such information around.


Gah… I still miss my 50c tier.

I made well over $1k from it. Getting rid of low tiers isn’t nearly the benefit that Patreon believes it is if you run a per-creation campaign.

a 50c pledge to my campaign is the same as a $5 pledge to a monthly campaign.

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It’s no trouble at all, do not worry. Let me step back a bit and explain some things to make sure I understand you correctly.

Today anyone can join your Patreon either by joining a tier or making a custom pledge.

  1. If they join a tier, they must pay the minimum amount that the creator has defined. That means that the patron will be charged what the creator has deemed the right amount to be and they cannot access those benefits for less. If you try and enter a lower amount, you see this message:
  2. If a patron creates a custom pledge, they are opting to not support via a tier, and as such, do not get access to the benefits with it.
  3. If a patron joins at $3 tier level but then decides they only want to pay $1, they can edit their pledge to just be $1, however at that time it becomes a custom pledge and they are no longer in that tier nor get the benefits associated with it. These patrons will then be given access to all patron only posts or all public posts, but nothing else.

44%20AM 50%20AM

It sounds like you would like to ensure all pledges are capped at the lowest amount, in this example $3, to ensure that all patrons are in your $3 tier or above. This is a good request and one I’ve heard before, but for this situation you deleted your $1 tier and made a new $2 tier instead. As you deleted the $1 tier, those patrons won’t see any content tied to any tiers but will see patron-only posts. They have become custom pledges with no rewards. This is why we always try to recommend unpublishing a tier rather than delete as then you could have continued to post to the $1 tier (for the patrons who joined then but no new patrons could join) and the new $2 tier.

When you say “editing down a pledge” I’m not sure what you mean and why your patrons would have edited down their pledge if you were trying to encourage them to move from a $1 tier to a $2 tier? Hopefully you can clarify further there and my offer to chat still stands :slight_smile:

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@mindy, if a patron enters a custom pledge that falls between two tiers, will they have access to the rewards of the lower tier or does customizing automatically block them from rewards altogether?

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Hey @casey! No; if a patron makes a custom pledge in between tiers they will only have access to patron only posts. They could still get rewards if you deliver them via posts and every time you post you selected “All patrons”. However to be given access to any tier posts or benefits delivered via posts, they need to be in a tier. Hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Perfectly answered. Thank you. I’m going to reach out to those in ‘no man’s land’ and suggest they down pledge so they can get rewards. Would that be an issue for them, meaning, would they automatically start receiving rewards once their pledge matches a tier level?

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Yes - once a patron is in a tier they will be able to see the posts that are attributed to that tier. You could also run a special offer to help encourage folks to move into a tier - either up or down.

@TheWorst please let me know if you need any more help with this :slight_smile:

I also have issues with this. I retired my $1 tier after the last Patreon, and yet locked post still indicate that a non-patron can pledge $1 to unlock my content. This is not a great way to start a relationship with a prospective patron. I reached out to my product manager regarding this issue.

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Hi @Rob_Swift, thanks for the report. That is a current bug we’re aware of and hoping to fix. It’s one of those pesky issues that fixes and breaks but we are investigating it.