AWS Billing and Cost Management
User Guide (Version 2.0)

Getting Started

The following steps discuss a few of the most common tasks you're likely to perform when using the Billing and Cost Management console.

Step 1: Review Your Usage

Billing and Cost Management offers you a number of different ways to view and monitor your AWS usage. Here's how to quickly check to see what you've used so far in the current month.

To open the Billing and Cost Management console and review your usage and charges

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Billing and Cost Management console at The console opens to the Dashboard, where you can see your current month-to-date usage graphs.

  2. On the navigation pane, choose the applicable option:

    Cost Explorer

    Choose Cost Explorer to track and analyze your AWS usage. Cost Explorer is free for all accounts. For more information about Cost Explorer, see Analyzing Your Costs with Cost Explorer.


    Choose Budgets to view, create, or delete budgets for your account. For more information about budgets, see Monitoring Your Usage and Costs.


    Choose Bills to see details about your current charges.

    Payment History

    Choose Payment History to see your past payment transactions.

Step 2: Turn on Reports

In addition to the features described in step 1, AWS Billing and Cost Management offers a set of billing reports about your AWS usage. The reports show you which AWS services that you used, the amount of time that you used them, the amount of data that you transferred in and out of storage, the average storage space that you use, and more.

Billing and Cost Management can deliver your reports to an Amazon S3 bucket that you create. Amazon S3 is the AWS cloud storage offering. The Amazon S3 bucket must be owned by the payer account. Reports cannot be delivered to a bucket owned by a linked account.

Create an Amazon S3 bucket for your reports

  1. Open the Amazon S3 console at

  2. Choose Create Bucket.

  3. In the dialog box, for Bucket Name, enter the name for your bucket.


    Your bucket name must be all lowercase, from 3 to 63 characters long, and cannot contain spaces. You can use lowercase letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and periods (.) in your bucket name.

  4. Choose the region that you want your Amazon S3 bucket to be in.

  5. (Optional) If you choose Set Up Logging, you can enable access logs that track who accesses your Amazon S3 bucket. Choose the bucket that you want the access logs to be delivered to, and the name of a folder that you want the logs to be stored in.

  6. Choose Create.

Grant Billing and Cost Management permission to deliver reports to your Amazon S3 bucket

  1. Open the Amazon S3 console at

  2. Choose the bucket in which you want to receive reports.

  3. Choose Permissions.

  4. Choose Bucket Policy.

  5. Paste the following text into the bucket policy editor.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "AWS": "386209384616" }, "Action": [ "s3:GetBucketAcl", "s3:GetBucketPolicy" ], "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::bucketname" }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "AWS": "386209384616" }, "Action": "s3:PutObject", "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::bucketname/*" } ] }
  6. Replace bucketname with the name of your bucket. Don't replace the Principal number 386209384616. AWS uses that account to deliver reports to the S3 bucket.

  7. Choose Save.

Create an AWS Cost and Usage report

  1. Sign into the AWS Management Console and open the Billing and Cost Management console at

  2. On the navigation pane, choose Reports.

  3. Choose Create report.

  4. For Report name, type a name for your report.

  5. For Time unit, choose Hourly if you want the line items in the report to be aggregated by the hour. Choose Daily if you want the line items in the report to be aggregated by the day.

  6. For Include, to include the IDs of each individual resource in the report, select Resource IDs. To include manifests that enable you to upload the report to Amazon Redshift or Amazon QuickSight, select Redshift Manifest or QuickSight Manifest. If you select a manifest, your report is stored with .gz compression.

  7. For Enable support for..., select whether you want to upload your AWS Cost and Usage report to Amazon Redshift or Amazon QuickSight.

  8. Choose Next.

  9. For S3 bucket, type the name of the S3 bucket where you want the reports to be delivered, and choose Verify. The bucket must have appropriate permissions to be valid. For more information on adding permissions to the bucket, see Setting Bucket and Object Access Permissions.

  10. For Report path prefix, type the prefix that you want to prepend to the name of your report.

  11. Choose Next.

  12. After you have reviewed the settings for your report, choose Review and Complete.

Step 3: Download or Print Your Bill

AWS Billing and Cost Management closes the billing period at midnight on the last day of each month, and then calculates your bill. Most bills are ready for you to download by the seventh accounting day of the month.

To download your bill

  1. Sign into the AWS Management Console and open the Billing and Cost Management at

  2. On the navigation pane, choose Bills.

  3. For Date, choose the month of the bill you want to work with.

  4. Choose Download CSV to download a comma-separated variable file, or choose Print.

Step 4: Set Up Alerts to Monitor Charges to Your Account

You can use Amazon CloudWatch to create and email alerts to you when your monthly charges for using an AWS product exceed a threshold that you set. These alerts can only be set for exceeding a threshold, so if you want to be alerted before a certain threshold is reached, create an alert for a threshold that is lower than the one you don't want to exceed. Alerts are emails that AWS sends when a CloudWatch alarm triggers. CloudWatch alarms are alarms that monitor your services. To create alarms that notify you, you must first enable alerts and then create the alarm. You need to enable alerts only once.


Turning on billing alerts enables the creation of billing alarms, but does not create any alarms for you. For best results, wait at least 15 minutes after enabling alerts before you create a CloudWatch alarm.

By default, IAM users don't have access to billing information, and therefore do not have access to billing alerts or alarms. If you are logged in to AWS as an IAM user, verify that the AWS account owner has granted IAM users access to the billing information. For more information about IAM restrictions, see Granting Access to Your Billing Information and Tools.


If your account is linked to a reseller account, billing alerts are not available for your account.

To enable billing alerts

Before you create a billing alarm, you must enable billing alerts. You need to do this only once. After you enable billing alerts, you can't turn them off.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Billing and Cost Management console at

  2. On the navigation pane, choose Preferences.

  3. Select the Receive Billing Alerts check box.

  4. Choose Save preferences.

To create a billing alarm

  1. (Optional) If you want to send your alert to an AWS-managed distribution list instead of a single email address, follow these steps to set up an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) notification list. If you want to send your alert to a single email address, go to step 2.

    To create an Amazon SNS notification list:

    1. Open the Amazon SNS console at

    2. On the navigation pane, choose SNS Home.

    3. In the Common actions section, choose Create topic.

    4. In the dialog box, for Topic name, enter the name for your notification list.

    5. (Optional) If you want to use this notification list to send SMS messages, for Display name, enter the name you want to appear on your SMS messages.

    6. Choose Create topic.

  2. Open the CloudWatch console at

  3. If necessary, change the region on the navigation bar to US East (N. Virginia). The billing metric data is stored in this region, even for resources in other regions.

  4. On the navigation pane, under Metrics, choose Billing.

  5. In the list of billing metrics, select the check box next to Currency USD, for the metric named EstimatedCharges.

  6. Choose Create Alarm.

  7. Define the alarm as follows.

    1. If you want the alarm to trigger as soon as you go over the free tier, set When my total AWS charges for the month exceed to $.01. This means that you receive a notification as soon as you incur a charge. Otherwise, set it to the amount you want to trigger the alarm, and you will be notified when you go over that amount.

    2. Choose the New list link next to the send a notification to box.

    3. When prompted, enter your email address or choose your Amazon SNS notification from the drop down list.

    4. Choose Create Alarm.

  8. In the Confirm new email addresses dialog box, confirm the email address or choose I will do it later. If you don't confirm the email address now, the alarm remains in the Pending confirmation status until you do so, and does not send an alert. To view the status of your alarm, choose Alarms in the navigation pane.

For more information about CloudWatch alarms, see Monitor Your Estimated Charges Using Amazon CloudWatch in the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

Step 5: Get Answers to Questions About Your Bill

If you have questions about your bill, see the AWS Knowledge Center. If you don't find the answer you're looking for in the Knowledge Center, you can access account and billing support free of charge. For more information about AWS Support, see Contacting Customer Support About Your Bill. For information about closing your account, see close your account.

Where Do I Go from Here?

Explore some of the features designed to help you dig a little deeper and streamline your accounting practices.