This topic describes the billing and settlement rules for pay-as-you-go ECS resources. Pay-as-you-go allows you to pay only for the amount of resources you actually use. You can purchase and release resources on demand and scale up as your business grows. Pay-as-you-go resources can help reduce costs by 30% to 80% compared to traditional hosts.

Overview

Pay-as-you-go resources are billed based on the billing cycle and paid each hour. If you have a quota agreement with Alibaba Cloud, fees are deducted when the cumulative consumption of your account exceeds the quota. You must complete the payment at least once a month.

After you create a pay-as-you-go ECS resource, you can change its configurations. For more information, see Change the instance type of a pay-as-you-go instance and Change Internet bandwidth.

You can change the billing method of your pay-as-you-go ECS resources. For more information, see Switch the billing method from pay-as-you-go to subscription.

You can use one of the following methods to view your bills:
  • To view the fee calculation method, see Billing.
  • To understand how ECS resource status affects the billing duration, see Billing duration.
    Note If you stop an ECS instance but do not release related resources, you continue to be charged for the resources.
  • For information about settlement, see Settlement period.

Applicable resources

The pay-as-you-go billing method is available for the following ECS resources:
  • ECS instances
  • Images
  • Cloud disks
  • Public bandwidth (pay-by-bandwidth)
  • Snapshots
In addition to the instance type, you must also configure the Block Storage, image, and network type when you create an instance. The images and the cloud disks created along with the pay-as-you-go ECS instance also use the pay-as-you-go billing method. However, you can select the billing method for network usage.
Note After you create a pay-as-you-go ECS instance, you can attach a separately created pay-as-you-go cloud disk to the instance. For more information, see Attach a data disk.

You are charged for created snapshots.

You can view the total price of the preceding resources in the lower-left part of the instance creation page.
  • Total price is the price of the following resources:
    • ECS instance
    • Cloud disk
    • Public bandwidth (pay-by-bandwidth)
      Note If you select pay-by-traffic as the billing method for network usage, the total price does not include the price for public bandwidth. For more information, see Billing methods of public bandwidth.
  • Marketplace Image Fees indicates that you selected a paid image.

Billing

You are charged for pay-as-you-go ECS resources after they are created. Resources are billed separately. You can calculate the total fee that you need to pay for a certain period of time based on the configurations you choose. The following table describes the billing cycle of each ECS resource and the formula used to calculate the fees.
Resource Billing cycle Formula Unit price
ECS instance Second Unit price of an instance type × Billing duration For more information, see the Instance tab on the ECS Pricing page.
Note Local disks attached to an instance are billed together with the instance.
Image Second Unit price of an image × Billing duration You can view the price on the instance buy page and in Alibaba Cloud Marketplace.
Cloud disk (system disk) Second Unit price of a cloud disk × Disk capacity × Billing duration For more information, see the System Cloud Disk Fee section on the Storage tab of the ECS Pricing page.
Note The price on the page is displayed in the USD/100 GiB/hour format. Divide it by 100 to obtain the unit price per GiB.
Cloud disk (data disk) Second Unit price of a cloud disk × Disk capacity × Billing duration For more information, see the Data Cloud Disk Fee section on the Storage tab of the ECS Pricing page.
Note The price on the page is displayed in the USD/100 GiB/hour format. Divide it by 100 to obtain the unit price per GiB.
Public bandwidth (pay-by-bandwidth) Second Unit price of bandwidth × Bandwidth value × Billing duration

For more information, see Billing methods of public bandwidth.

A tiered billing model is used for bandwidth. You can select a bandwidth value on the buy page to view the changes in fees.
Snapshot Hour Unit price of a snapshot × Snapshot capacity × Billing duration

For more information, see Snapshot billing.

For more information, see the Snapshot tab on the ECS Pricing page.
Note
  • If the billing cycle is one second, the fee generated each second is added on to the bill. If an hourly price is displayed, you can divide the price by 3,600 to obtain the price per second.
  • If the billing cycle is one hour, the fee generated every hour is added on to the bill. A usage duration of less than an hour is calculated as an hour.
Assume that you created a pay-as-you-go ECS instance in the China (Qingdao) region and the resource was in use from 11:00:00 to 12:00:00 on August 8, 2019. The following figure shows the process for calculating the price of the instance.
Note The price is for reference only. For more information about the exact price, visit the links in the preceding table.

Billing duration

If a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is automatically stopped due to an overdue payment, the billing of its resources is suspended. The billing resumes after you settle the overdue payment and reactivate the instance.

The following table describes the billing duration of each resource type on the prerequisite that you have no overdue payments.
Resource Billing duration
ECS instance The billing duration is affected by the network type of the instance.
  • For an ECS instance in the classic network, billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
  • For an ECS instance in a VPC, the billing duration depends on whether the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is enabled.
    • If this feature is not enabled, billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
    • If this feature is enabled, billing starts when the instance is created or is restarted in the ECS console and stops when the instance is stopped in the ECS console or when the instance is released. For more information, see No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected).
      Notice If you stop the instance by shutting down its operating system, you cannot benefit from the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature.

You can purchase reserved instances to reduce your costs. For more information, see Reserved instance overview.

Image Billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
Cloud disk (system disk) Billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
Cloud disk (data disk) Billing starts when the data disk is created and stops when the data disk is released.
Public bandwidth (pay-by-bandwidth) Billing starts when public bandwidth (pay-by-bandwidth) is enabled and stops when public bandwidth is disabled or when the ECS instance is released.

For information about how to disable public bandwidth, see Change Internet bandwidth.

Snapshot Billing starts when the snapshot is created and stops when the snapshot is deleted.
Note If a pay-as-you-go ECS instance incurs less than USD 0.01 in charges during its entire lifecycle, USD 0.01 is charged.

To avoid unexpected fees incurred when a pay-as-you-go instance is kept for longer than expected, we recommend that you enable the automatic release feature. If automatic release is enabled, billing stops when the resources are released. The automatic release time is accurate to the second.

Settlement period

The fees for pay-as-you-go resources are paid each hour. These fees are paid together with the fees incurred by subscription products in your account. If you have a quota agreement with Alibaba Cloud, fees are deducted when the cumulative consumption of your account exceeds the quota. If the cumulative monthly consumption of your account is less than the quota, fees are deducted on the first day of the following month.
  • If your default payment method is bank card, the quota is USD 1,000.
  • If your default payment method is PayPal or Paytm (India), the quota depends on your ECS resource usage.

Fee deduction is attempted three times: on the due date (T), T+7, and T+14. If fee deduction fails on the due date (T), the system will attempt to deduct fees again on the day T+7 and day T+14. If fee deduction fails for these three times, the instance is stopped on the day T+15 and the billing of its resources also stops.

The following changes occur to the resource status in the event of an overdue payment:
  1. Within 15 days after the payment becomes overdue, you can use existing ECS resources but cannot purchase new ECS instances, upgrade instance configurations, or renew instances.
  2. Within 15 days after the instance is stopped, you must submit a ticket to complete the overdue payment and then reactivate the instance. Otherwise, the instance will be released. For information about resource status, see Resource status when an ECS instance is out of service.
  3. More than 15 days after the payment becomes overdue, pay-as-you-go instances are released.

Resource status when an ECS instance is out of service

Notice If you have overdue payments in your account, your ECS instances may be stopped. The system will send you notifications about the overdue payments. We recommend that you settle the overdue payment in time to avoid impacts on your services. If you have any other questions, submit a ticket.

If all three deductions fail, the ECS instance goes out of service. The following table describes the resource status after your instance is stopped due to an overdue payment.

Resource Within 15 days after the instance is taken out of service More than 15 days after the instance is taken out of service
ECS instance The ECS instance is retained but is stopped and taken out of service.

When a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is automatically stopped due to an overdue payment, it enters the Expired state and the billing stops. After the instance stops providing services, you cannot connect to the instance or access websites deployed on the instance. Service errors may occur.

The ECS instance is released.
Note If your ECS instance is released due to an overdue payment, Alibaba Cloud will send you an email notification.
Image The image is unavailable. The image is unavailable.
Block Storage
  • Cloud disks and data on them are retained, but the cloud disks cannot be used.
  • Local disks and data on them are retained, but the local disks cannot be used.
Note After cloud disks or local disks become unusable, they cannot properly process I/O read and write requests. This affects the normal running of ECS instances to which these disks are attached, such as excessive time needed to perform operations and unpredictable power-off or restart failures for some operating systems.
  • Cloud disks are released and data on them cannot be restored.
    Note Cloud disks (data disks) created with pay-as-you-go ECS instances and pay-as-you-go cloud disks (data disks) created separately on the Disks page in the ECS console are released, regardless of whether they are attached to the instance.
  • Local disks are released and data on them cannot be restored.
IP address
  • In the classic network: The public IP address is retained.
  • In a VPC:
    • The public IP address is retained.
    • The EIP associated with the instance remains unchanged.
  • In the classic network: The public IP address is released.
  • In a VPC:
    • The public IP address is released.
    • The EIP is disassociated from the instance.
Snapshot All snapshots are retained but automatic snapshots cannot be created. All snapshots are deleted except for those used to create cloud disks or custom images.