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I just started playing World of Warcraft, I am on the Starter Edition, which allows you to level up to level 20. After you reach level 20 I know you need to buy the actual game, but when you buy the game to you also have to subscribe to it?

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Be aware of the restrictions once you fully purchase the game as well. – Resorath Jul 6 '12 at 1:27
If you are using a credit card for your subscription remember that it will automatically renew. Don't forget to turn that off if you want to stop playing. You turn if off by going to your account. If you buy a time card than you don't have to worry about that. – Samjus Jul 6 '12 at 14:22

Yes, you'll have to buy the game as well as subscribe if you want to keep playing past level 20. However, when you buy the game (for $20), you get a free month (normally $15).

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Ok, thank you very much. – Natalie Jul 6 '12 at 1:26

You can buy wow gamecards instead of subscribing if you don't want to (or can't) use a credit card to subscribe. You do have to have a credit card though to activate your account, which won't be charged if you cancel the subscription right away.

Quote from

Keep in mind that you are not billed for the first month of the game. Thus, if you want to set up your account immediately, you can use a credit card. Then you can easily change your payment method at any time during your free month, before your paid subscription starts.

Also you can find online stores that sell wow gamecards with a discount which can be a real money saver.

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If you plan on continuing to play: Yes, You can pay online for 15$ per month or go to a store (eg. Target) and buy a 60 day gametime card for around 30$.

If you wish to stop playing If you do not pay, then the account will stay dormant until you pay for more time.

If you are talking about paying immediately after you buy the starter pack You get a free month of gametime with the pack, but after it runs out your account will go dormant until you pay for more time.

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