How do I make sure I don't incur charges when I'm using the AWS Free Tier?

Last updated: 2022-05-02

I'm using the AWS Free Tier to test AWS services. How do I make sure that all the resources that I'm using are covered under the AWS Free Tier?

Short description

You can help avoid unnecessary charges when using the Free Tier by following these best practices:

Important: The AWS Free Tier makes certain amounts and types of resources for new AWS accounts available free of charge for a one-year period. Any amounts and types of resources that aren't covered are charged at standard rates.

Resolution

Understand what services and resources are covered

Before you create any new resources, do the following:

  1. Access the list of covered services and resources at AWS Free Tier.
    Scroll down to see the Free Tier details listing.
  2. Use the filter options or search to locate a specific service.
  3. Choose the service to expand the tile and view specific usage limits.

Important: Not all AWS services are covered under Free Tier. Some services launched under the Free Tier have usage limits. If you exceed the usage limits, then you are charged at standard rates.

Use AWS Budgets to monitor your Free Tier usage

You can track your Free Tier usage with the AWS Free Tier usage alerts. These alerts notify you when your free tier usage exceeds 85 percent of your monthly limit.

To opt in to the AWS Free Tier usage alerts, do the following:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console, and then open the AWS Billing and Cost Management console.
  2. Under Preferences in the navigation pane, choose Billing preferences.
  3. Under Cost Management Preferences, select Receive AWS Free Tier Usage Alerts to opt in to Free Tier usage alerts.

Monitor your bill

Track your AWS Free Tier usage in your Billing and Cost Management console to see how much of the AWS Free Tier that you're currently using. You can use the Top AWS Free Tier Services by Usage table to check if your current usage rate will incur charges.

Check your usage in the Billing and Cost Management console. Even if your resources are covered under the AWS Free Tier, you see a line item on your bill for each covered resource.

Note: Most benefits offered by the AWS Free Tier apply globally to all resources on your account, not individually to each AWS Region. Be sure to monitor your usage in all AWS Regions.

Find and terminate resources when you're done using them

To avoid incurring unexpected charges, it's a best practice to routinely check if you have active resources that you no longer need. Then, terminate these unneeded resources.

To find your active test resources, see How do I check for active resources that I no longer need on my AWS account?

To terminate your resources after testing, see How do I terminate active resources that I no longer need on my AWS account?