Understanding why you've been charged

  • With AdWords, you won't be charged for more than your advertising costs.
  • Your bill covers your advertising costs and unpaid charges from previous billing cycles.
  • However, your bill won't exceed your billing threshold.

Your bill

Your bill covers both your advertising costs as well as any unpaid charges from previous billing cycles.

Billed amount = Current charges

(costs from this pay period)

+ Outstanding balance

(unpaid charges from previous pay periods)

If this total billed amount is more than your billing threshold (the amount that triggers a bill), the extra costs will be added to your outstanding balance for the next bill.

Example

Let’s say that on January 30, you’re automatically charged for your AdWords costs. Your account balance after being charged is $6.38. Your ads continue to run and accrue costs.

  • On February 29, 30 days after your last automatic charge, you're charged partway through the day.
  • In the 30-day period, you accrued costs of $174.88, shown in the Debits column on your "Transaction history" page. You received service adjustments of $0.63, shown in the Credits column. So the amount you owe for this period is $174.25 ($174.88 - $0.63).
  • Don’t forget, you also have the outstanding balance of $6.38 remaining from the last pay period. Add that to the $174.25, and your total amount due at the end of day February 29 is $180.63. This is the amount shown in your Balance column at the end of the day.
  • However, because the you were charged only partway through the day, and your ads accrued activity throughout entire day, you were only charged $167.55. This is the total amount of your balance before Google made the request for payment.
  • Your account balance after being charged is $13.08 ($180.63 - $167.55). It will appear as your Starting balance on March 1, and will be carried over to your next charge.

Common questions about charges

Click the links below to see information about charges that you've seen.

Charged more than once in a month

Charges don't happen once a month or at the end of the month. They happen throughout the month, and are based primarily on thresholds -- or the set amount of costs that your account reaches. This amount triggers a charge, so it means you might be charged more than once in a month.

For example, if your threshold is $50, you'll be charged every time that your costs reach $50. So if your costs total $150 in a month, you'll be charged $50 three times (3 x 50 = 150).

Identical charges

This rarely happens, but if you see two identical charges from Google AdWords on your credit card or bank statement, there might be two reasons:

  • Authorization request: This is a request between our billing system and the bank that issued your credit card. It happens nearly every time a payment is made, and the request appears as a pending amount that's identical to an already processed charge. These requests normally disappear within several days, although this can vary by bank.
  • Double charge: An error can cause a double charge, which means your account is billed twice for the same amount, and neither charge is marked as pending on your statement.

If your bank statement shows a double charge, or if it shows an authorization request that doesn't go away on its own, contact your bank for help.

Be sure to review your outstanding balance by clicking the gear icon then Billing. See if both payments are there and the balance is correct. If they are, there's no need to contact Google.

Charges for more than daily budget on some days

Internet search traffic fluctuates from day to day. To make up for these fluctuations and to ensure that your campaigns reach their potential, Google may allow up to 20% more clicks in one day than your daily budget specifies. We call this overdelivery.

However, our system makes sure that in a given billing period, you're never charged more than the number of days in that billing period times your daily budget.

For example, if you budget US$10 per day, and you're charged for a 30-day billing period, the maximum you would pay is US$300.

If Google overdelivers your ads too much, and you accrue more costs in a billing period than your budget allows, a credit will automatically be applied to your account. For instance, if you accrue $35 in clicks in one month, but you have a daily budget of $1 per day (and therefore $30 per 30-day billing period), you'll receive a $5 overdelivery credit.

To see whether you've received any overdelivery credits:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at http://adwords.google.com
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Billing.
  3. Click Campaign activity.
    • To see activity for a particular month, click Summary in the shaded bar below the desired calendar month. Then, click the Campaign activity link in the Description column.
    • To see activity for a particular day, click Detailed in the shaded bar below the desired calendar month. Then, click Campaign activity in the Description column next to the desired day.
  4. Any credits for excess activity will appear in a box on the page labeled Overdelivery credit.
Charged after already initiating a payment

If you use the automatic payment setting and then make a manual payment, you might be charged on your automatic billing cycle. Here's why:

  • An automatic payment was already in progress when you initiated your payment: The automatic payment cycle is punctual, so if you made your payment when this process was underway, you might still be charged. This is most likely to happen if you make a payment when you're close to your billing threshold, at the end of the calendar month, or at the end of a 30-day billing period.
  • You reached the end of your billing cycle: After you make a manual payment, your account returns to its usual billing cycle. You'll receive an automatic charge after your account costs reach your billing threshold, or after 30 days have passed since your last automatic payment, whichever happens first.
Charged after redeeming a promotional code

Once your promotional code credit runs out, your ads will continue to run and you'll accrue advertising costs -- if you're on the automatic payment setting, that is. If you've used up your credit and want to stop accruing costs, pause your campaigns or adjust your campaign budgets (see links below).

Charged outside billing cycle

You might be charged outside your billing cycle in the following cases:

  • You've made a manual payment (by clicking on the Make a payment button in your account). Although automatic payments are processed within a set billing cycle, you can make a manual payment at any time.
  • Your account might recently have been upgraded to a new billing interface. When this happens, you're charged for your account balance at the time of this upgrade -- you're not being charged for the upgrade. This one-time charge is outside of your normal billing cycle. All your future charges should be within your usual billing cycle.
Charged after I stopped my ads or canceled my account

When you stop your ads from running -- by canceling your account or pausing or removing your campaigns -- the AdWords system can take several hours to halt your ads completely. At this point, you won't accrue any more costs.

However, you'll be billed for any unpaid advertising costs that accrued before your ads stopped running. Our system operates on a 30-day billing cycle, so you might not receive your final charges for several weeks.

To see whether you have any unpaid advertising costs, click the gear icon and choose Billing, then look at your current balance at the top of the page.

Charges on bank statement don't match my AdWords account

Sometimes, your bank statement charges look a bit different from those you see in your AdWords account. Here are some common reasons why:

Charges are off by a day or two
In most cases, this is expected because charges can post to AdWords and bank statements on different days. Since both AdWords and banks operate on different systems, payments don't always happen at the same time.

Bank charges aren't appearing in AdWords
If this happens, here's what you can do to review the two accounts:

  1. If you have more than one AdWords account, check each account to see if the charges appear. (In many cases, your 10-digit customer ID number is shown on your bank statement.) See more about how charges appear below, or learn more about unauthorized charges.
  2. If you still can't figure out where the charge is coming from, you can contact our support team. Have a screenshot or scanned copy of the charges in question ready. This will help us research the charge more easily. And be sure to block out all charges and other information that isn't associated with the charge in question -- your privacy is important to us.

Next steps