How Memrise Tricks You Into Spending Money

I've heard many times that some people are not using Memrise because it 'requires you to pay'. This is totally inaccurate, but many people think this because of the sneaky way Memrise presents their own courses. In this post, I want to show you how you can access Memrise for free, forever and find more courses to study from. 

What is Memrise? 

Memrise is a flashcard/gamified SRS (Spaced Repetition System) application that is mainly focused on acquiring languages, though they also have subjects such as history, art, and science. These days, many apps are free to download but have a paid subscription that unlocks all of their features. Memrise offers a limited free version on both their app and computer versions. With the free version, you are only allowed to learn new words and review old ones. 

This is an important distinction to make: the free version of Memrise allows you access to all courses and content in full, just not all the activities.

How do they trick people?

Here's the problem: if you go on the Memrise app and try to learn a new language, Memrise will only suggest it's own courses to you. There is a plethora of amazing, user created course content that you can only access on the computer (more on that later).

In the Memrise made courses, they will consistently try to push you to purchase the premium content they offer, like listening reviews. In the example below, I'm doing an intro to Spanish course, where I'm presented 2 options: Listening Skills or Unlock the Full Experience. There is also sometimes a section called 'Meet the Natives' that sometimes appears.

The trick is that clicking either of these will prompt you to pay, leading many people to either pay up or delete the app. This is NOT true.

Click the number pad looking sign on the right and simply choose from either 'Words and Phrases' or 'Classic Review' which is greyed out here since I haven't learned enough words to review yet. 

These, including Speed Review, will always be 100% free in all courses. The ones with a lock on them, and 'Difficult Words' will require you to pay. 

Whenever ads pop up with some kind of offer, which happens quite often, simply dismiss them by clicking 'Maybe later' rather than the promotion. 

How to access user made courses

All the user-generated courses are also completely free, and cover a far wider range of topics than what Memrise shows. For example, when I downloaded the app and tried to find a new language to learn, I couldn't find an Arabic course. Though Memrise does have one, they didn't promote it to me, meaning if I didn't use the website, I would have thought they simply didn't have one.

However, if you go to and click 'Discover', you can type in 'Arabic' or virtually any other subject, and find pages on pages of courses. These cover so much more than just the standard Arabic Memrise teaches, with courses like 'Levantine Arabic' or 'Egyptian Arabic', all for free.

Another unique feature of searching via the website is seeing how many other people are taking the course as well as how many hours of content is included in each. You can click the course, read a bit more about it, and see how many levels are offered. You can also click the name of the person who made the course by clicking the blue name next to 'by'.

Can I sync my Memrise courses from the website to the app?

Yes! Simply choose the course you'd like to learn on the website, and do 1 round of learning on your laptop/PC (which is usually around 5 new words). 

After this finishing the round, ensure you have closed out of the Memrise app completely on your phone, and then relaunch the app. It should appear on your list of courses just like any Memrise made course.

I really hope this post helps, I've seen so many people miss out on an incredible resource because of their tactics. I'll see you in the next post, and thanks for reading!