I unintentionally incurred charges while using the AWS Free Tier. How do I make sure that I'm not billed again?
Last updated: 2020-09-25
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?
With the AWS Free Tier, you can explore and try out some AWS services free of charge within certain usage limits.
The AWS Free Tier includes three types of offerings:
- Trials: These are short-term trial offers that start from the date you activate a service. You pay standard rates after the trial period expires. For more information on how different services are charged, see AWS pricing.
- 12-Months free: These offers provide limited usage for 12 months after your initial sign-up date. You pay standard rates after your 12 months free usage term expires or if your application use exceeds the free tier limits.
- Always free: These offers are available to all AWS customers and don't expire at the end of your 12-month AWS Free Tier term.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you sign up for the AWS Free Tier:
- The AWS Free Tier covers many AWS services, but not all AWS services have a free tier offering.
- There are limits to the free tier offering for each service.
- Any resources or usage threshold that aren't covered by the free tier are billed at standard rates.
When using AWS Free Tier, you might incur charges due to the following reasons:
- You exceeded the monthly free tier usage limits of one or more services.
- You're using an AWS service, such as Amazon Aurora, that doesn't offer free tier benefits.
- Your free tier period expired.
To be sure that you aren't billed again:
- Verify if your account is covered by the free tier.
- Identify the resources that are generating charges.
- Delete, shut down, or terminate any resources that are generating charges.
- Proactively monitor your usage to be sure that you don't exceed the free tier offering again.
Verify that your account is covered by the free tier
Open the Billing and Cost Management console, and then look for the Top Free Services by Usage table.
- If the table doesn't appear, then your account is no longer covered under the AWS Free Tier. You're billed at standard rates for any resources provisioned on your account. Delete, shut down, or terminate any resources that you don't want to keep or be billed for.
- If the table appears, you see additional information about any services that you're using that aren't covered under the free tier.
Identify the resources that are generating charges
Open the Billing and Cost Management console, and then choose Bills in the navigation pane.
Review the Bill details by service section to identify the services that you're being billed for. Then, compare these bill details against the list of AWS Free Tier offerings.
In the Bill details by service section, you can view the line items for each service on your account. Charges listed for your service means that your usage wasn't covered under the AWS Free Tier. It's important that you do the following:
- Identify the services that are incurring charges.
- Confirm the Regions where the services are incurring charges.
For more information on finding your active Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) resources, see Why can't I find an Amazon EC2 instance that I launched on my account?
Important: AWS Free Tier benefits cover the aggregated billable total of your usage for all AWS Regions together, and not each Region individually.
Delete, shut down, or terminate any resources that you don't want to be billed for
After identifying the AWS resources that are incurring charges, you can stop the billing for these resources by doing either of the following:
- Delete, shut down, or terminate the resources on your account. For information on how to delete, shut down, or terminate resources that aren't covered by the free tier, see How do I terminate all my resources before closing my AWS account?
- Close your account. For more information, see How do I close my AWS account?
Proactively monitor your usage of AWS Free Tier resources
- You can track your free tier usage with the AWS Free Tier usage alerts. AWS provides free tier usage alerts using AWS Budgets. These alerts notify you when your free tier usage exceeds 85 percent of your monthly limit.
- View the Top Free Tier Services by Usage table for tracking the free tier usage limit of your services along with your current usage amount.