Charged for AWS despite using Free tier


I created a brand new account to learn AWS, and I am using EC2 instances. I'm staying within the free tier (so I believe); I'm using t2.micro instance type for instances I create. Yet the past couple of days, I've been charged $1.08 exactly per day. Keep in my I barely created this account (last week to be exact), so I have NOT exceeded my 750 free hours or 1 free year. So if I'm in the free tier, why am I being charged for EC2?

asked a month ago157 views
1 Answer
Accepted Answer

Free tier is a standard AWS account only, it's just you won't pay for resources, which are free tier eligible and you get some free usage quota. For example, free tier provides 750 EC2 hours for instance type t2.micro.

Please refer Free Tier FAQs if you have more questions. For example, you might be staying within 750 hours free tier limit of t2.micro but you might be using Elastic IP addresses/public IP addresses, which will cost you.

Also, I'd suggest you to setup budget alert, which would notify you, if your usage goes above the defined threshold. This is very important specially for beginners, AWS free tier provides wide ranges of resources/services for learning but at the same time, you may end up using resources which are not free tier eligible.

Setting up AWS budgets and configure alarm on those, which would notify you, if you exceed the defined usage threshold. Follow the Well Architected Lab instructions here for setting up budget alert based on your usage.


To break down the charges, I'd suggest you to:

Go to Cost Explorer -> Choose Date Range in right pane

Granularity -> Daily

Dimension -> Usage Type

Service -> EC2

Repeat same by changing the Dimension from Usage Type to API Operation, Availability Zone, Region, this would help you drill down further and understand, where the charge is coming from.

Hope you find this helpful.


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answered a month ago
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reviewed a month ago
  • Hi Mike,

    I completely understand your question and concern, which is why I updated my answer, how would you find, what usage is charging you that amount. Through Cost Explorer, you can easily find out. First find out which service, charge is coming from(EC2 in your case), then identify through usage type, API operation, by doing that you'll get to know about your usage which is costing money and is not free tier eligible. Comment here if you have additional questions, happy to help.

  • Were you able to find resource, usage, which is incurring charge?

  • Hello Abhishek,

    Thank you for responding. So I think I figured out where the charge is coming from: I filtered by usage type. It turns out I have a NAT Gateway that's incurring the charges.

  • I'm glad you were able to find out.

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