Using promotional codes (coupons)

Promotional codes (also known as coupons or vouchers) offer a credit to an advertiser's account. There's no way to ask for a promotional code, but Google and our partners will occasionally give out promotional codes as part of specific offers. Most offers require you to meet certain criteria before the credit will show up in your account, and they're typically for new advertisers with new accounts. You can enter the promotional code in the Billing section of your account, under gear icon .

How promotional codes work

AdWords account with arrow 1. Enter the promo code in your account by its expiration date.
(You won't see the credit just yet.)
Goal thermometer 2. Meet the requirement mentioned in the offer within the stated time.
(For example, spend $25 within 30 days after entering the code.)
AdWords account completion 3. Find the credit in your account within 5 days.
(Sweet!)
 

Example

 

From time to time, we might have an introductory offer like "Spend $25, get $50." In order to get the $50 credit, you'll have to enter the promo code within 14 days of creating your account and then get at least $25 worth of clicks in your account after entering the code. After spending $25, you'll then see the $50 credit appear in your account within 5 days.

Where to enter your promotional code

Note

After you successfully enter a promotional code, you’ll see a confirmation note. However, a confirmation won’t appear in your account after that, and the promotional credit will show up on your billing Transaction history page only after you carry out the requirements of the promotion.

If you're entering billing information for the first time

Automatic and manual payment settings

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Billing, then click Billing preferences.
  3. Select the country or territory of your business address and click Continue. Select a country
  4. Enter your business information and click Continue.
  5. Select a type and form of payment, then enter your promotional code by clicking "Enter it here" where it says "Do you have a promotion code?" near the bottom of the page, and click Continue. Enter promotional code
  6. Click Submit and Activate.
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Monthly invoicing payment setting

Make sure to set up your account on invoicing first, then enter the promotional code using the instructions below. Otherwise, your promotional code will be invalidated and the amount lost when you switch to invoicing.

If you've already entered billing information

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Billing. Billing tab has moved under gear icon
  3. Click Transaction history
  4. Click More actions near the "Make a payment" button, then choose Apply a promotional code.
  5. Enter your promotional code. Apply a promotional code
  6. Click Submit.
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How promotional codes work with different payment settings

You can pay your AdWords costs manually (manual payments), automatically (automatic payments), or have a credit line (monthly invoicing). The setting you use affects how your promotional code will work. Here's what you'll need to know:

Automatic payments

If you're using automatic payments, all you need to do is enter the code by its expiration date and start advertising. After your account meets any necessary criteria mentioned in the promotional material, the credit will appear on your billing Transaction history page within 5 days. For example, if the offer says you need to spend $25 within 30 days, you'll need to accrue at least $25 worth of clicks within 30 days before the credit appears in your account.

Once you use up all of your promotional credit, all your advertising costs will then be charged to the form of payment you've entered in your account. As always with AdWords, you can stop advertising at any time by pausing your campaigns. Paused campaigns won't accrue any extra costs.

Manual payments

If you're using manual payments, you'll need to enter the code by its expiration date and then meet any necessary criteria mentioned in the promotional material. For example, if the offer says you need to spend $25 within 30 days, you'll need to make a manual payment of at least $25 and also spend the $25 entirely by accruing enough clicks within 30 days. After spending the required amount, you should then see the credit appear on your billing Transaction history page within 5 days.

It's a good idea to make an initial payment that's a little more than the requirement, because AdWords may stop serving your ads before the whole amount is spent. For example, if the offer requires you to spend $25 and you make an initial payment of exactly $25, your account may never fully spend all $25 if your cost-per-click (CPC) is larger than the credit you have left. Let's say your average CPC is $0.30. If you spend everything but $0.20, that $0.20 may never get used up because your CPC is larger than the credit you have left.

Note

If Value Added Tax (VAT) is deducted from AdWords payments in your country, be sure to factor VAT into your payment.

For example, if you live in the EU outside of Ireland and your VAT status is set to "Personal", 22% of your payment may be deducted for VAT. So if the required spend on the promotion is $25, you'll need to make a payment of at least $33 to have at least $25 in your account ($33 - 22% = $25.74).

Find out whether VAT is deducted in your country. Or, verify your tax status on your Billing profile page .

Monthly invoicing

If you’re on monthly invoicing, enter your code only after your account has been set up for invoicing. Then, after your account meets any necessary criteria specified in the promotional material, the credit will appear on your billing Transaction history page as credit for future costs. If you have more credit than you can use during one month, don’t worry -- any unused promotional credit during one month will be rolled over to the next month.

Budgets

The credit will increase your current budget, but you'll be charged only for the budget you originally set. For example, if you set a budget of $200 and receive a promotion for $50, your new budget will be $250. However, you'll be charged just $200, since the extra $50 is covered by the credit.

If your budget ends and you haven't yet used all the credit, the remaining credit will carry over to the next budget activated.

Keep in mind

  • Promotional codes are typically limited to one per customer, and are often for new advertisers only. Most offers require AdWords accounts to meet certain criteria before credit is applied. Check the terms that came with your promotional code for details about your offer.
  • For offers like "Spend $25, get $50," we only count the amount you spend after entering the code. If you spent $25 before entering the code, that amount won't count toward your offer.
  • If you’d like to change your payment setting, for instance from manual payments to automatic payments, make sure you use up your credit first. Unused credit can’t be carried over when you switch your payment setting.
  • Promotional credit is good for advertising only. If you cancel your account before spending the entire credit, the remaining balance can't be refunded.

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