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

Billable items and their billing methods

An ECS instance includes the computing resources (vCPUs and memory), an image, and block storage devices. The following table describes the billable resources.
Resource Description Billing method References
Computing resource (vCPUs and memory) You are charged based on the instance type. The instance type determines the number of vCPUs and the size of memory that you can use.
Important Computing resources are basic resources of instances. You are charged for the computing resources of your pay-as-you-go instances throughout the lifecycle of the instances regardless of whether the instances are running. However, if you stop a pay-as-you-go instance in economical mode, you are no longer charged for the computing resources of the instance when the instance is stopped. For more information, see Economical mode.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Pay-as-you-go and reserved instance
  • Preemptible instance
  • Pay-as-you-go and savings plan
Instance types
Image Image fees are determined based on the image type and your usage.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Pay-as-you-go and reserved instance (for public images)
    Note Images can be used only with ECS instances. Reserved Windows instances include public images at no additional cost and can be applied to cover public image charges.
Block storage device (cloud disk or local disk) Disk fees are determined based on disk capacity and usage duration.
Note Local disks are tied to specific instance types and cannot be separately purchased. The prices of local disks are included in the prices of those instance types.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Storage capacity unit (SCU)
  • Pay-as-you-go and savings plan
EBS devices
Public bandwidth If you use a system-assigned public IP address to access the Internet, you are charged only for outbound data transfers to the Internet.
Note You can also use an elastic IP address (EIP) or NAT gateway to access the Internet. For more information about the billing, see Overview or Billing of Internet NAT gateways.
  • Pay-by-bandwidth
  • Pay-by-traffic
Public bandwidth
  • After you create snapshots, you are charged region-specific snapshot storage fees based on the size of snapshots that are present in each region.
  • When you copy snapshots, you are charged snapshot storage fees and data transfer fees for snapshot replication.
  • When you use the instant access feature, you are charged instant access service fees and storage fees for normal snapshots and instant access snapshots.
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • SCU
Note ECS resources support the subscription and pay-as-you-go billing methods. You can mix and match different billing methods based on ECS resource types to reduce costs. For more information, see Overview.

Switch between billing methods

If the billing methods of your purchased resources do not meet your business requirements, you can change the billing methods. The following table describes ECS resources whose billing methods can be changed.
Resource Description References
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 a portion of the subscription 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 instance usage. You can check whether the corresponding button or menu item for the billing method switching operation exists in the ECS console. If the corresponding button or menu item 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 that are attached to a subscription instance can be separately changed.
  • The billing methods 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 system-assigned public IP address, you can change the billing method for network usage by upgrading or downgrading the instance specifications. Change the billing method of network usage


For region-specific instance prices, visit the Pricing tab of the Elastic Compute Service product page.

Renewal policy

When a subscription instance expires, the services provided by the instance may be affected. If you want 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 data stored on 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

    After your pay-as-you-go resources begin to be billed, Alibaba Cloud pre-authorizes your PayPal account.

  • Paytm (India)

    This payment method is available only for users in India. After your pay-as-you-go resources begin to be billed, Alibaba Cloud pre-authorizes your Paytm (India) account.

Note Coupons are used to offset your resource usage bills. No actual payments are involved.

If you want to purchase ECS resources in the Chinese mainland, you must complete real-name verification for your account. For more information, see the "Why do I need to complete real-name registration when purchasing cloud products in mainland China?" section in Real-name registration FAQs .

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