Microsoft provides free trial Azure subscription for 30 days, I created a free trial subscription with one of my personal Microsoft live account. This is best option for an individual to start exploring Azure, you just need a Microsoft account, if you do not have one, you can always go ahead and sign-up one on

Below are different options Microsoft provides for setting up Azure subscription account for learning purpose. These options are bounded to some credit limits, hence cannot be used for testing/production workloads. We can use these options for your dev/test learning and exploring different facets on Azure.

See below details for each of these options.

One time free trial option for individuals

You can sign-up for your free subscription on this link.

On Azure sing-up form, your credit card information would be required, no worries, this is just for verification purpose, Microsoft is not going to charge you anything extra unless your go convert your account to Pay-As-You-Go model.

 For more details, take a look at this link.

Visual Studio Professional - Subscribers

Steps to activate your Azure subscription if you already have Visual Studio Subscription, you can check with you organization if there is any subscription available.

Step 1: Click on Activate button on this link.
Step 2: Login with your company email ID or whatever email if is associated with your subscription account
Step3: Fill up basic details form and that’s it, you ready to go.

MSDN - Subscribers

When we first set up our monthly Azure credit, we are not required to provide a credit card. Even if we choose to store a credit card in our account, you automatically start with a $0 spending limit—so there is no risk of any charges, until we’re ready.

To activate your Azure portal account, click on activate button on this link, and login with your MSDN subscription account (email ID attached to your subscription)

Visual Studio Enterprise, BizSpark, MPN – Subscribers

If you are Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers, activate your Azure account on this link
If you are Visual Studio Enterprise (BizSpark) subscriber, activate your Azure account on this link
If you are Visual Studio Enterprise (MPN) subscriber, activate your Azure account on this link

You can see complete list of Azure subscriptions options and offers on this link