This topic describes the billing items of ECS and billing methods of ECS resources.

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

Billing items

ECS comprises the following major components: instances, images, Elastic Block Storage devices, and snapshots. The following table describes billable ECS resources.
Resource Description Billing method Reference
ECS instance You are billed 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
Instances
Image The image fees are determined based on the image type and your usage.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
Images
Elastic Block Storage device (cloud disk or local disk) The disk fees are determined based on the disk capacity and duration of use.
Note Local disks must be created together with instances and cannot be purchased separately. Prices of local disks are included in those of the instances to which the local disks are attached.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
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 NAT gateway to access the Internet. For more information about the billing, see EIP Billing or NAT Billing.
  • 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

Snapshot billing

Billing methods

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

If your current billing methods cannot meet your business requirements after you purchase ECS resources, you can change the billing methods of the resources. The following table describes ECS resources whose billing methods can be changed.
ECS resource Description Reference
ECS instance
  • 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 The availability of this feature is determined based on your ECS usage.
  • You can change the billing method of an ECS instance from pay-as-you-go to subscription. This allows you to obtain some discounts.
Disk
  • The billing method of data disks that are attached to a subscription instance can be changed separately.
  • The billing method of the system disk and data disks that are 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, the services it provides may be affected. To continue to use the instance, you must renew it within the specified period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are released and their stored data is 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 start to incur fees.

  • Paytm (India)

    Only for users in India. Alibaba Cloud pre-authorizes your Paytm account after your pay-as-you-go resources start to incur fees.

Note Coupons are used to pay for your resource usage before bills are issued. 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.