This topic describes how to change the billing method of an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go. After you create a subscription instance, you can change its billing method to pay-as-you-go to recover some costs and use the instance in a more flexible manner. After the billing method of the instance is changed from subscription to pay-as-you-go, make sure that your account balance is sufficient. Otherwise, overdue payments occur and services provided by the instance are affected.

Prerequisites

The instance whose billing method you want to change is in the Running or Stopped state.

Background information

Alibaba Cloud determines whether the billing method of your instance can be changed based on your calculated ECS instance usage. You can perform the operations described in this topic to check whether an entry point for changing the billing method of your instance exists in the ECS console. If the entry point does not exist, the billing method of your instance cannot be changed.

The following section describes the results after you change the billing method of an ECS instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go:
  • The billing methods of the ECS instance, system disk, and subscription data disks attached to the instance are changed to pay-as-you-go. The billing method for network usage remains unchanged.
  • The subscription duration that was previously offered for reasons such as the Internet Content Provider (ICP) filing, system failures, or migration from data centers is automatically invalidated.
Note If the economical mode is enabled and the subscription instance is in the Stopped state before the billing method of the instance is changed, the economical mode is not automatically triggered after the billing method of the instance is changed to pay-as-you-go. You must manually start and then stop the pay-as-you-go instance to trigger the economical mode.
The following refund rules apply after you change the billing method of the instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go:
  • A refund generated from the billing method change counts against the monthly refund quota. If the refund quota within your account has been used up, you cannot apply for new refunds until the refund quota is set on the first day of next month. For information about the refund quota, see Limits.

    When you change the billing method of the instance, the refund amount for the instance is calculated based on the number of vCPUs and the remaining hours in the current billing cycle. Example: 1 refund unit = 1 vCPU × 1 hour.

    For example, you have purchased a six-month subscription instance that has four vCPUs. Four months later, you want to change the billing method of the instance to pay-as-you-go. In this case, the refund amount for the instance is calculated based on the following formula: 4 (vCPUs) × 60 (remaining days) × 24 (hours/day) = 5760 (refund).

  • If you have renewal or upgrade orders that have not taken effect for the instance, full refunds are made for the orders. If you have orders that have already taken effect for the instance, only partial refunds are made for the orders.

Procedure

  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Instances & Images > Instances.
  3. In the top navigation bar, select a region.
  4. Use one of the following methods to change the billing method of an instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go:
    • To change the billing method of a single instance at a time, find the instance and choose More > Configuration Change > Switch to Pay-As-You-Go in the Actions column.
    • To change the billing methods of multiple instances at a time, find the instances and choose More > Configuration Change > Switch to Pay-As-You-Go in the lower part of the page.
  5. Read the notes. Read and select ECS Service Terms and then click Switch.

Result

After the billing method is changed, you can go to the ECS console to view the billing method of the instance:
  • On the Instances page, the billing method of the instance has been changed to Pay-As-You-Go in the Billing Method column.
  • Click the instance ID to go to the Instance Details page. Click the Cloud Disk tab. In the Billing Method(All) column, the billing methods of the system disk and data disks (if any) are changed to Pay-As-You-Go.

What to do next

You can set the automatic release time for the instance to be automatically released when the instance is no longer needed to minimize costs. For more information, see Release an instance.