I unintentionally incurred charges while using the AWS Free Tier. How do I make sure that I'm not billed again?

Last updated: 2022-04-28

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?

Short description

With the AWS Free Tier, you can explore and try out some AWS services free of charge within certain usage limits. To learn more about AWS Free Tier, see What is the AWS Free Tier, and how do I use it?

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:

  1. Verify that your account is covered by the free tier.
  2. Identify the resources that are generating charges.
  3. Delete, stop, or terminate any resources that are generating charges.
  4. Proactively monitor your usage to be sure that you don't exceed the free tier offering again.

Resolution

Verify that your account is covered by the free tier

Open the Billing and Cost Management console, and then choose Free Tier from the navigation pane.

  • 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, then you see additional information about any services that you're using. This table also provides a Month-to-Date (MTD) actual usage percentage.

Identify the resources that are generating charges

To identify active resources in your account, do the following:

  1. Open the Billing and Cost Management console.
  2. In the navigation pane, on the left side of the screen, choose Bills.
    The Details section shows all the charges that are being incurred by various AWS services on your account. Make note of which services have active resources. If you use the consolidated billing feature in AWS Organizations, the Bills page lists totals for all accounts on the Consolidated Bill Details tab. Choose the Bill Details by Account tab to see the activity for each account in the organization.
    Note: It's a best practice to check the Details section for the previous month to identify all services that are generating charges.
  3. Under Details, expand each service to identify the Regions where the services have incurred charges. The Bill details by account section shows all the charges incurred in different AWS Regions. Note the resources in those Regions.
    Note: The Billing and Cost Management console takes about 24 hours to update usage and charge information for active resources.

Charges listed under a service are for usage not covered under the AWS Free Tier.

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, but not each Region individually.

Delete, stop, 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 by deleting, stopping, or terminating the resources.

For information on how to delete, stop, or terminate resources that aren't covered by the free tier, see How do I terminate active resources that I no longer need on 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 AWS Free Tier services table for tracking the free tier usage limit of your services along with your current usage amount.