t3.micro though free tier, charged me for 3 hours

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Hi All,

I have created the following t3.micro EC2 instance for linux(there is no second instance created ever): al2023-ami-2023.1.20230809.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64 which is a free tier. The instance type says: t3.micro as free tier eligible and On Demand Linux base pricing:0.0108 USD per hour.

I kept it running for 3 hours, and the only installation i did was:

sudo yum install emacs -y

On the billing dashboard under "Charges by Service" i see:

  1. Elastic Computer Cloud $0.0108 per On Demand Linux t3.micro Instance Hour charged as USD 0.03 (and usage quantity as 3 hours)
  2. Data Transfer USD 0.00
  3. Key Management Service USD 0.00
  4. Simple Storage Service USD 0.00
  5. Virtual Private Cloud USD 0.00

I also checked the EC2 Global View and i see only 1 instance in 1 regiong(eu-north (stockholm)).

Also want to confirm that there no login to this AWS account since few weeks until today there was $0.00 billing, and soon after i created this EC2 instance, i see the $0.04 being chanrged.

I am just trying to figure out why was i charged, even though it is a free tier and clearly i didn't exceed any of the usage limits in terms of either network,storage,duration.

Please see the screenshot below for t3.micro being a free tier: Enter image description here

Anurag
asked 7 months ago945 views
4 Answers
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If you use a t3.micro instance under the AWS Free Tier offer and use it in unlimited mode, charges might apply if your average utilization over a rolling 24-hour period exceeds the baseline utilization of the instance.

Please read the following documentation for more information:

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/burstable-performance-instances-unlimited-mode.html

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/burstable-credits-baseline-concepts.html

You can follow the below steps to set the default credit specification at the account level per Region:

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/

  • To change the AWS Region, use the Region selector in the upper-right corner of the page.

  • On the left navigation pane, choose EC2 Dashboard.

  • From Account attributes, choose Default credit specification.

  • Choose Manage.

  • For each instance family, choose Unlimited or Standard, and then choose Update.

AWS
answered 7 months ago
  • This cannot be the reason as my baseline utilization would never have exceeded continuously for 3 hours(for my case as explained in question)

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Hi,

The free tier offer is only available to new AWS customers for 12 months following the AWS sign-up date. Could this be the reason?

If not, I would recommend opening a support case via the console.

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EXPERT
answered 7 months ago
  • IAM account was made a month back, but the root was created over an year. But if you say the account(root) was created over an year ago and hence i am being charged, then is it normal for me to see the tag "free tier eligible" against the instances while creation, when clearly they are not?

  • That's definitely the reason and yes, it is normal to see the tag "free tier eligible".

    An Organization (under AWS Organizations) can only benefit from Offers from one account in the Organization, and to calculate the Organization’s use of AWS Services under any Offers, we will aggregate the usage across all accounts in the Organization.

    Source

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Is this a brand new free tier account, and if it is then is this the first time you have signed up for an AWS account with the email address?

Have you actually received an invoice from AWS saying that you are being charged for something, and/or has AWS taken a payment from you?

Go to https://console.aws.amazon.com/billing/home#/freetier and it will show what your free tier entitlements are, and how much you have used of each.

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EXPERT
Steve_M
answered 7 months ago
  • IAM account was made a month back, but the root was created over an year. But if you say the account(root) was created over an year ago and hence i am being charged, then is it normal for me to see the tag "free tier eligible" against the instances while creation, when clearly they are not? The link you shared shows only one service - "AWS Key Management Service" which says 20000 requests are free per month , and current usage is only 2.

  • If the account was created more than a year ago then the account won't have any free tier entitlement in EC2, and neither will any IAM user created within it.

    Yes it's confusing that certain instance types are labelled "free tier eligible" (I see the same in my account which is six years old), it means the instance type is eligible for free tier so long as the account has an entitlement to free tier. And i agree that the choice of words should be changed so it's unambiguous.

    To your other point, KMS is one of the services that you always get a base level of free entitlement, go to https://aws.amazon.com/free/ and click on the various Free Trial / 12 Months / Always Free links to find out what all of these are.

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Hi. Can you please send the screen from a console where it says that t3.micro is free tier? I checked and t3.micro is not under free tier, t2.micro is.

profile picture
answered 7 months ago
  • Pasted the screenshot in the question itself

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