Understanding your Cloud Billing account charges

Overview

The automatic payments billing cycle is a threshold-based billing cycle. The linked payment instrument (such as a credit card or bank account) will be charged automatically when your accrued Google Cloud costs meet the threshold amount on your Cloud Billing account, or thirty days after your last automatic charge, whichever comes first.

Your charge

Your charge covers both your Google Cloud costs as well as any unpaid costs from previous billing cycles.

Charged amount = Current costs
(costs from this billing period)
+ Outstanding balance
(unpaid costs from previous billing periods)

Example 1

On January 20, you're automatically charged for your Google Cloud costs. Your Google Cloud services continue to run and accrue costs. Your account balance after being charged is $5.

Let's assume that during the next 30 days, your accrued Google Cloud costs are less than your Cloud Billing account's threshold amount.

  • On February 19, 30 days after your last automatic charge, you're charged partway through the day.
  • In the 30-day period, you accrued costs of $175, and you received service adjustments of $0.50. So the amount you owe for this period is $174.50 ($175 - $0.50).
  • Don't forget, you also have the outstanding balance of $5 remaining from the last automatic charge date. Add that to the $174.50, and your total amount accrued at the end of day on February 19 is $179.50. This is the amount shown in your "Ending Balance" column at the end of the day.
  • However, because you were charged only part way through the day, and your Google Cloud services accrued activity throughout the entire day, you were only charged $165. This is the total amount of your balance before Google Cloud made the request for payment.
  • Your account balance after being charged is $14.50 ($179.50 - $165). This appears as your "Starting balance" on February 20, and is carried over to your next charge.

Example 2

Continuing from Example 1, on March 10, your accrued Google Cloud costs meet or exceed your Cloud Billing account's threshold amount.

  • On March 10, you're automatically charged for your Google Cloud costs. Your Google Cloud services continue to run and accrue costs.
  • Your 30-day billing cycle is reset – April 9 is now the last day of the 30-day window.
  • If your accrued Google Cloud costs meet or exceed your Cloud Billing account's threshold amount before April 9, your account will be automatically charged on that date, and your 30-day billing cycle will be reset.
  • If your accrued Google Cloud costs are less than your Cloud Billing account's threshold amount, on April 9, 30 days after your last automatic charge, you're charged partway through the day.

Common questions about charges

Charged more than once in a month

For accounts on the Automatic payment billing cycle, charges don't happen once a month or at the end of the month. They happen throughout the month, and are based primarily on thresholds—or the set amount of costs that your account reaches. This amount triggers a charge, so it means you might be charged more than once in a month.

For example, if your threshold is $50, you'll be charged every time that your costs reach $50. So if your costs total $150 in a month, you'll be charged $50 three times (3 x 50 = 150).

Charged after already initiating a manual payment

If the billing cycle for your Cloud Billing account is set as automatic payment, and you choose to make a manual payment, you might be charged on your automatic billing cycle. Here's why:

  • An automatic payment was already in progress when you initiated your payment: The automatic payment cycle is punctual, so if you made your payment when this process was underway, you might still be charged. This is most likely to happen if you make a payment when you're close to your billing threshold, at the end of the calendar month, or at the end of a 30-day billing period.

  • You reached the end of your billing cycle: After you make a manual payment, your account returns to its usual billing cycle. You'll receive an automatic charge after your account costs reach your billing threshold, or after 30 days have passed since your last automatic payment, whichever happens first.