Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances and Other AWS Service Reservation Models
AWS Whitepaper

Standard vs. Convertible Offering Classes

When you purchase a Reserved Instance, you can choose between a Standard or Convertible offering class.

Standard Reserved Instance Convertible Reserved Instance
One-year to three-year term Three-year term
Enables you to modify Availability Zone, scope, network platform, and instance size (within the same instance type) of your Reserved Instance. For more information, see Modifying Reserved Instances. Enables you to exchange one or more Convertible Reserved Instances for another Convertible Reserved Instance with new attributes. These attributes include instance family, instance type, platform, scope, and tenancy, if the exchange results in the creation of a Reserved Instance of equal or greater value. For more information, see Exchanging Convertible Reserved Instances.
Can be sold in the Reserved Instance Marketplace. Cannot be sold in the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Standard Reserved Instances typically provide the highest discount levels. One-year Standard Reserved Instances provide a similar discount to three-year Convertible Reserved Instances.

Convertible Reserved Instances are useful when:

  • Purchasing Reserved Instances in the payer account instead of a subaccount. You can more easily modify Convertible Reserved Instances to meet changing needs across your organization.

  • Workloads are likely to change. In this case, a Convertible Reserved Instance enables you to adapt as needs evolve while still obtaining discounts and capacity reservations.

  • You want to hedge against possible future price drops.

  • You don’t want to ask teams to do capacity planning or forecasting.

  • You expect compute usage to remain at the committed amount over the commitment period.