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

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

Billable resources and their billing methods

An ECS instance includes the computing resources (vCPUs and memory), an image, and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) 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.
  • 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
    Note Images can be used only along with ECS instances. Reserved Windows instances already include public images at no additional cost and can cover public image charges.
Images
EBS device (cloud disk or local disk) Disk fees are determined based on the disk capacity and usage duration.
Note Local disks are tied to specific instance types and cannot be separately purchased. Prices of local disks are included in those of the instance type of instances to which the local disks are attached.
  • Subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Storage capacity unit (SCU)
  • Pay-as-you-go and savings plan
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 overview or NAT gateway Billing overview.
  • Pay-by-bandwidth
  • Pay-by-traffic
Public bandwidth
Snapshot Snapshot fees are determined based on the snapshot size and storage duration.
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • SCU
Snapshots
Note 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 Overview.

Change 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 some 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 calculated ECS 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.
Disk
  • 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 public IP address, you can change the billing method for network usage by upgrading or downgrading the instance specifications. Change the billing method for network usage

Renewal management

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.

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 documentation.

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 How do I complete real-name registration? section in Real-name registration FAQs of Account Management documentation.

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