This topic describes the billable items of Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and billing methods of ECS resources.

The price of an ECS resource may vary with regions. For more information about ECS resource prices, see the Pricing tab on the Elastic Compute Service page.

Billable items

An ECS instance includes the computing resources (vCPUs and memory), image, and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) devices. The following table describes the billable ECS resources.
Resource Description Billing method References
Computing resource (vCPUs and memory) You are charged based on the instance type that you choose. The instance type determines the number of vCPUs and the size of memory that you can use.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Pay-as-you-go and reserved instances
  • Preemptible instances
Instance types
Image The image fees are determined based on the image type and your usage.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Pay-as-you-go and reserved instances
EBS device The disk fees are determined based on the disk capacity and use duration.
Note Local disks must be created together with specific instance types and cannot be separately purchased. The prices of local disks are included with the instances to which they are attached.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Storage capacity units (SCUs)
Elastic Block Storage devices
Public bandwidth If you use a public IP address to access the Internet, you are charged only for the outbound public bandwidth.
Note You can also use an elastic IP address (EIP) or a NAT gateway to access the Internet. For more information about the billing, see EIP billing overview or NAT gateway billing overview.
  • Pay-by-bandwidth
  • Pay-by-traffic
Public bandwidth
Snapshot The snapshot fees are determined based on the snapshot size and storage duration.
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • SCUs

Billing methods

ECS resources support the subscription and pay-as-you-go billing methods. You can combine different billing methods based on the ECS resource types to reduce costs. For more information, see Billing method overview.

If the billing methods of your ECS resources can no longer meet your business requirements, you can change the billing methods of the resources. The following table describes ECS resources whose billing methods can be changed.
ECS resource Description References
ECS instance When you change the billing method of an ECS instance, the billing methods of its computing resources (vCPUs and memory) and system disk are also changed.
  • You can change the billing method of an ECS instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go. This allows you to recover some costs and use the instance in a more flexible manner.
    Note Alibaba Cloud determines whether the billing method of your instance can be changed based on your calculated instance usage. You can go to the ECS console to check whether the corresponding entry point exists. If the corresponding entry point does not exist, the billing method of the instance cannot be changed.
  • You can change the billing method of an ECS instance from pay-as-you-go to subscription. This allows you to obtain some discounts.
  • The billing methods of data disks attached to a subscription instance can be separately changed.
  • The billing methods of the system disk and data disks attached to a pay-as-you-go instance must be changed together with that of the instance.
Public bandwidth For an instance that uses a public IP address, you can change its billing method for network usage by upgrading or downgrading the configurations of the instance. Change the billing method for network usage

Renewal management

When a subscription instance expires, services provided by the instance may be affected. If you want to continue using the instance, you must renew it within the specified period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are released and data stored in them is permanently lost. For more information about renewal, see Renewal overview.

Payment methods

You can use the following methods to pay for ECS resources:
  • Bank card
  • PayPal

    Alibaba Cloud pre-authorizes your PayPal account after your pay-as-you-go resources begin to incur charges.

  • Paytm (India)

    This payment method is applicable only to users in India. Alibaba Cloud pre-authorizes your Paytm account after your pay-as-you-go resources begin to incur charges.

Note Coupons are applied to your resource usage costs before bills are generated. No actual payments are involved.

Before you purchase ECS resources, you must bind a bank card, PayPal account, or Paytm (India) account to your Alibaba Cloud account. For more information, see Add a payment method in Account Management.

If you want to purchase ECS resources in mainland China, you must complete real-name verification. For more information, see the How can I complete real-name registration? section in Real-name registration FAQs of Account Management.

After you purchase and use ECS resources, you can view their bills and consumption details. For more information, see View consumption details.