I accidentally provisioned resources that are not covered under the AWS Free Tier, and I was billed. How do I make sure I'm not billed again?

The AWS Free Tier covers many AWS services, but not all AWS services have a Free Tier offering. Additionally, there are limits to each service's Free Tier offering, and any resources that aren't covered by the AWS Free Tier are charged at the usual, on-demand rates for that service.

Find out why you're being charged

The AWS Free Tier covers each new AWS account for a year after its services are activated. After that, all resources on your account are billed at their usual, on-demand rates. There are two reasons why you might be charged:

  • Your account is still covered under the AWS Free Tier, but you're running resources that aren't covered by the AWS Free Tier. To avoid further charges, delete or terminate any resources that aren't covered under the AWS Free Tier.
  • Your AWS Free Tier period has expired, so your account isn't covered by the AWS Free Tier. To avoid further charges, delete or terminate any AWS resources that you don't want to be charged for.
    Note: Although all AWS Free Tier benefits expire after a year, some types of usage for specific services might be free indefinitely. Also, some services have free trial periods that aren't included under the AWS Free Tier promotion. For a list of AWS services' pricing pages, which include information on any free trial periods that service offers, see Cloud Services Pricing.

One simple way to determine if your account is still covered under the AWS Free Tier is to monitor the Top Free Tier Services by Usage table in the Billing and Cost Management console. If the table doesn't appear, your account is no longer covered under the AWS Free Tier. If the table does appear, you'll see some additional information about any services you're using that aren't covered under the AWS Free Tier.

Note: If the billing for an AWS service is divided by regions, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Free Tier benefits cover the aggregated billable total of your usage for all AWS regions together, not each region individually.

Review your bill

If your account is still covered under the AWS Free Tier, review your bill in the Billing and Cost Management console to see the services you're being billed for, and compare that against the list of AWS Free Tier offerings.

Most services will have a zero-dollar line item that describes usage that is covered under the AWS Free Tier, and a separate line item for any usage that's not covered. A non-zero charge for a service means some resources provisioned to your account are not covered under the AWS Free Tier.

If your account is no longer covered under the AWS Free Tier, you'll be billed at the on-demand rate for any resources you provision. Be sure to delete or terminate any resources that you don't want to keep or be billed for.

Terminate or delete any resources you don't want to be billed for

There are two ways to stop billing for AWS resources:

  • Terminate or delete the resources on your account. After you identify the AWS services provisioned to your account that are generating charges, terminate or delete those resources. For information on how to terminate or delete resources that aren't covered by the AWS Free Tier, find that service's documentation on the list at AWS Documentation.
  • Close your AWS account. If you no longer want to use AWS, close your account by following the instructions at How do I close my Amazon Web Services account? Any charges for the month to-date will be billed to your default payment method at the beginning of the following month.

Monitor your usage of AWS Free Tier resources

To help you proactively monitor your use of the AWS Free Tier, use the Top Free Tier Services by Usage table in the Billing and Cost Management console to gauge how much of the AWS Free Tier offerings you're using. You can also configure billing alarms to notify you when your usage exceeds the AWS Free Tier limits.


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Published: 2016-03-25

Updated: 2017-12-20