A method and system for providing subscription services, particularly subscription television services, involving transmissions from a remote location to a subscriber location for which payment is required for access. A cost signal containing a cost or charge associated with the transmissions is transmitted from the remote location, and a credit preferably is stored at the subscriber location. The magnitude of the charge contained in the cost signal is compared with the magnitude of the stored credit, although it need not be if cost is accumulated as in one disclosed embodiment, and access by the subscriber to the transmissions associated with the cost signal is enabled in response to the relative magnitudes of the charge and the stored credit. The magnitude of stored credit is modified by the magnitude of the charge if the subscriber chooses to access to the transmissions by the subscriber. Also, credit data associated with a payment made by an individual subscriber is transmitted from the remote location and the stored credit at the location of the individual subscriber is modified in response to the transmitted credit data. An indicator on the subscriber's decoder is automatically energized at the end of a billing period to inform the subscriber that payment is due. Upon receipt by the station operator of the payment and crediting of the payment to the subscriber, the indicator is automatically extinguished. The disclosed impulse purchase capability is particularly useful in a pay television system involving transmission for which payment for access is pre-arranged at a fixed level and transmissions for which payment for access is not pre-arranged at a fixed level.