Billing words to know

Applies to G Suite, Google Drive Enterprise, other paid subscriptions in your Google Admin console.

Billing terminology can differ among countries, banks, and businesses. To help you understand Google billing, here are some common words we use for billing and payments.

On this page...

Annual Plan

Applies to G Suite and Cloud Identity Premium.

A billing plan where you commit to paying for a full year of service for a minimum number of user licenses.

See also Annual Plan.

↑ back to top

Flexible Plan

A billing plan where you're billed only for the user accounts you used the previous month. You can add and remove users whenever you want and cancel service at any time without penalty.

See Flexible Plan.

↑ back to top

Billing country

The country you select when you first set up your Google billing account. Normally, this is the country where you or your business resides. It determines the payment methods and currencies you can use to pay for any subscription in your account. You can't change your account's billing country after setting up your first subscription.

See also Payment options in my country.

↑ back to top

Billing address

The address associated with a specific payment method in your Google billing account. You can have a different billing address for each payment method. Depending on your location, however, a billing address might have to be in the billing country associated with your billing account.

See also Country not available in a billing address.


↑ back to top

Business address

The business address you specify when you set up your Google billing account. You can have only one business address in your billing account and it applies for all subscriptions in that account. Note that your business address doesn't have to match any of your payment method's billing addresses. Your business address is printed on receipts generated from your account. After setting up your billing account, you can go back later to change any part of your business address except the country.

See also Update your business address.

↑ back to top


Each seat you purchase represents a user to whom you can assign a license. For example, if your subscription includes 100 seats, you can assign licenses to 100 users. If you assign licenses to 50 users, you have 50 seats remaining.

↑ back to top

Payment method

A credit card, debit card, or bank account you add to your Google billing account that you can use to make payments for any subscription in that account.

See also Payment methods.

↑ back to top

Primary payment method

The credit card or bank account you use to make automatic payments for each subscription in your Google billing account. To ensure continued service, you must have a valid primary payment method associated with your billing account.

See also your payment options.

↑ back to top

Backup credit card

A credit or debit card you add to your Google billing account, that's automatically charged if your primary payment method is ever declined. Adding a backup credit card helps ensure that your service isn't interrupted if your primary payment method ever fails.

See also Add a backup credit card.

↑ back to top

Bank account

A payment method in which we automatically debit payments from your bank account. Also called direct debit.

See also Bank accounts.

↑ back to top

Automatic payments

The regular payment we automatically charge to your primary payment method for a subscription in your Google billing account. For example, we automatically charge your primary payment method at the beginning of each month for services accrued the previous month.

For details, see When do automatic payments occur?

↑ back to top

Manual payment

A payment option where you can add credit to your billing account to use for your next automatic payment. You can also make a manual payment to pay off an outstanding balance, for example, to lift a billing suspension. You make a manual payment from your Admin console, not by sending payment directly to Google.

See also Make a manual payment.

↑ back to top

Declined / failed payment

A payment that has been declined by your bank or credit card company. In some cases, we'll be able to give you details about why the payment was declined. In other cases, you'll need to check directly with your bank or card issuer to learn why it was declined.

See also Why payments fail.

↑ back to top

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?