Reserved Instances provide you with a significant discount (up to 75%) compared to On-Demand Instance pricing. 

Reserved Instances provide you the ability to maximize your level of savings by purchasing the Reserved Instance that meets your business’s needs.

  • Term: AWS offers Reserved Instances for 1 or 3 year terms. Reserved Instance Marketplace Sellers also offer Reserved Instances that have all the same operating qualities as AWS’s Reserved Instances, but terms that can range from 1 month to 36 months (depending on available selection).
  • Region: Reserved Instances are available in all AWS regions. Reserved Instances are also available in Amazon VPC and Dedicated Instances.
  • Operating System: Reserved Instances can be purchased for Amazon EC2 running Linux/UNIX, SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft SQL Server platforms.
  • Payment Options: You can choose between three payment options when you purchase a Reserved Instance. With the All Upfront option, you pay for the entire Reserved Instance with one upfront payment. This option provides you with the largest discount compared to On-Demand Instance pricing. With the Partial Upfront option, you make a low upfront payment and are then charged a discounted hourly rate for the instance for the duration of the Reserved Instance term. The No Upfront option does not require any upfront payment and provides a discounted hourly rate for the duration of the term.

If your needs change, you can request to move your Reserved Instance to another Availability Zone within the same region, change its Network Platform, or, for Linux/UNIX RIs, modify the instance size of your reservation to another size of the same instance type at no additional cost. (Certain conditions apply, click here for more details.)

Reserved Instances provide a capacity reservation so that you can have confidence in your ability to launch the number of instances you have reserved when you need them.

Reserved Instances are easy to use and require no change to how you use EC2. When computing your bill, our system will automatically apply Reserved Instance rates first to minimize your costs. An instance hour will only be charged at the On-Demand rate when your total quantity of instances running that hour exceeds the number of applicable Reserved Instances you own.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace provides you with the opportunity to sell Reserved Instances if your needs change (i.e. want to move instances to a new AWS Region, change to a new instance type, or sell capacity for projects that end before your Reserved Instance term expires).

Reserved Instances provide you with a significant discount (up to 75%) compared to On-Demand Instance pricing. There are three Reserved Instance payment options (No Upfront, Partial Upfront, All Upfront) that enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price.

The following table displays the Reserved Instance Prices available directly from AWS. In addition to Reserved Instances for Linux/UNIX and Windows operating systems specified below, we also offer Reserved Instances for Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Amazon EC2 running Microsoft SQL Server. Dedicated Reserved Instances are also available.

*This is the average monthly payment over the course of the RI term. For each month, the actual monthly payment will equal the actual number of hours in that month multiplied by the hourly usage rate. The hourly usage rate is equivalent to the total average monthly payments over the term of the RI divided by the total number of hours (based on a 365 day year) over the term of the RI.

**Effective hourly pricing is shown to help you calculate the amount of money that a Reserved Instance will save you over On-Demand pricing. When you purchase a Reserved Instance, you are billed for every hour during the entire Reserved Instance term that you select, regardless of whether the instance is running or not. The effective hourly price shows the amortized hourly cost of the instance (this takes the total cost of the Reserved Instance over the entire term, including any upfront payment, and spreads it out over each hour of the Reserved Instance term).

If you purchase a large amount of Reserved Instances in an AWS region, you will automatically receive discounts on your upfront fees and hourly fees for future purchases of Reserved Instances in that AWS region. Reserved Instance Tiers are determined based on the List Value (non-discounted total price) for the active Reserved Instances you have per AWS region. A complete list of the Reserved Instance Tiers is shown below:

Reserved Instance Volume Discounts

*Total List Value of Reserved Instances

Upfront Discount

Hourly Discount

Less than $500,000



$500,000 to $4,000,000



$4,000,000 to $10,000,000



More than $10,000,000

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For example, as soon as you have aggregated active Reserved Instances with a List Value totaling more than $500,000 in a single AWS region, you will automatically receive a 5% discount on both upfront and hourly fees for all future Reserved Instance purchases in that AWS region, and those discounts will continue to apply to new Reserved Instances as long as you continue to qualify for the discount tier. For an in-depth example, please visit the EC2 Reserved Instances FAQ.

Please note that Reserved Instance purchases of Windows with SQL Server are not included in the computation of volume tier discounts. Also, due to the scale of Microsoft licensing fees, volume tier discounts are not available for Windows with SQL Server Reserved Instances. Reserved Instance Marketplace purchases do not qualify for the volume discount but the prorated remaining list value for these purchases will count towards your volume discount status.

To learn more about Reserved Instance Tiers, please visit the “Understanding Reserved Instance Tiers” portion of the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

With do-it-yourself options such as collocation or managed hosting, you know that your servers are always available. Reserved Instances provide the same capacity and cost savings, but with greater flexibility and less effort.

Direct costs of do-it-yourself solutions include hardware, facility fees, and maintenance. Doing it yourself requires dedicated support resources within your organization, which result in additional indirect costs and distraction to your core business. When you do-it-yourself, you only have access to a set number of physical servers; any hardware problems result in costly repairs and lost time. Additionally, if your needs change you are stuck with costly hardware that may sit idle or underutilized.

Reserved Instances transfer responsibility for these support activities to Amazon EC2, leaving you free to focus on your business. In the event of a hardware issue, you can re-launch your instance immediately without additional costs. With Reserved Instances you maintain flexibility because you have the option to modify your Reserved Instance or sell it on the Reserved Instance Marketplace for cash if your needs change.

For information, tools, and resources to compare the costs of Amazon Web Services with IT infrastructure alternatives please visit the AWS Economics Center.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace allows you to sell your Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances to other businesses and organizations if your needs change (e.g. you want to move instances to a new AWS Region, change to a new instance type, or sell capacity for projects that end before the term expires). You can also browse the Reserved Instance Marketplace to find an even wider selection of Reserved Instance term lengths and pricing options sold by other AWS customers. Amazon EC2 Instances purchased on the Reserved Instance Marketplace offer the same capacity reservations as Reserved Instances purchased directly from AWS.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace provides a number of benefits that make it easy to buy and sell Reserved Instances:

  • Set Your Own Price. You can choose the upfront price you set for the Reserved Instances you sell, and automatically reduce that upfront price over subsequent months.
  • Money Back. Once your Reserved Instance sells, you will receive an ACH wire transfer from Amazon Web Services to the account specified when you registered for the Reserved Instance Marketplace.
  • Greater Reserved Instance Selection. Businesses can now shop the Reserved Instance Marketplace to purchase Reserved Instances outside the standard one-year and three-year term lengths that AWS offers.

Each Reserved Instance sold on the Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace will be charged a service fee of 12% of the total upfront price. Reserved Instances can be sold after they have been active for at least 30 days and once AWS has received the upfront payment.

For more detailed information on how to buy and sell Reserved Instances, please see How to Purchase Reserved Instances and the Reserved Instance Marketplace pages.