I plan to use a particular instance configuration for steady-state workflows over a long period of time. Should I purchase a matching Reserved Instance to lower my average hourly bill for this instance over the long term?

Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances are designed to help you save money on steady-state workflows that will be running over the long term. When you purchase a Reserved Instance, you can pay upfront to reserve capacity, which can result in significant savings if you're running a matching instance for the entire duration of a month.

Some Reserved Instance payment options require an upfront payment to activate. The more you pay upfront, the lower your effective hourly rate will be.

For general guidance on deciding whether Reserved Instances are right for you, see Should I purchase more Reserved Instances to cover my on-demand usage?

For detailed pricing information for EC2 Reserved Instances, see Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances Pricing.

If you decide to purchase a Reserved Instance, see How do I activate a Reserved Instance on my account?

If you want to save money running an instance on a short-term basis, consider placing a bid for a Spot instance instead.

Reserved Instances cannot be canceled, but some Reserved Instances can be modified, subject to certain restrictions. For information about the available types of modifications, see Can I modify the terms of my EC2 Reserved Instance?

If you have access to a US bank account, you can list a Reserved Instance you own for sale on the EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace at a price you define. When the Reserved Instance is sold, you receive the proceeds (minus a small fee), and the Reserved Instance is transferred from your account to the account of the purchaser. For more details, see How do I sell an EC2 Reserved Instance on the EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace?

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Published: 2016-04-08

Updated: 2017-10-26