How am I billed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance-hours?

EC2 usage is calculated by either the hour or the second, depending on which AMI you're running.

When reviewing your EC2 usage, consider the following:

  • If your instance is billed by the hour, then you're billed for a minimum of one hour each time a new instance is started—that is, when it enters the running state.
  • If your instance is billed by the second, then you're billed for a minimum of 60 seconds each time a new instance is started—that is, when it enters the running state.
  • Instances that are in any other state aren't billed.

Note: If you purchase an EC2 Reserved Instance, the terms of your Reserved Instance contract can modify the way you're billed. For more information, see How do EC2 Reserved Instances work?

Here are a few examples for instances that are billed by the hour:

  • When you run one instance for 30 minutes and then terminate the instance, you're billed for one instance-hour.
  • When you run one instance for 10 minutes, stop the instance, and then start the instance again, you're billed for two instance-hours.
  • When you run two EC2 instances of the same type for 30 minutes each, you're billed for two instance-hours.

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Published: 2016-04-25

Updated: 2018-09-18