Understand why you've been charged
- With AdWords, you won't be charged for more than your advertising costs.
- Your charge covers your advertising costs and unpaid costs from previous billing cycles.
- However, your charge won't exceed your billing threshold.
Your charge covers both your advertising costs as well as any unpaid costs from previous billing cycles.
|Charged amount||=||Current costs
(costs from this billing period)
(unpaid costs from previous billing periods)
If this total charged amount is more than your billing threshold (the amount that triggers a charge), the extra costs will be added to your outstanding balance for the next charge.
Let's say that on 20 January, you're automatically charged for your AdWords costs. Your account balance after being charged is £5. Your ads continue to run and accrue costs.
- On 19 February, 30 days after your last automatic charge, you're charged partway through the day.
- In the 30-day period, you accrued costs of £175, shown in the Debits column on your "Transaction history" page. You received service adjustments of £0.50, shown in the Credits column. So the amount you owe for this period is £174.50 (£175 - £0.50).
- Don’t forget, you also have the outstanding balance of £5 remaining from the last pay period. Add that to the £174.50, and your total amount accrued at the end of day on 19 February is £179.50. This is the amount shown in your Balance column at the end of the day.
- However, because you were charged only partway through the day, and your ads accrued activity throughout entire day, you were only charged £165. This is the total amount of your balance before Google made the request for payment.
- Your account balance after being charged is £14.50 (£179.50 - £165). It will appear as your Starting balance on 20 February, and will be carried over to your next charge.
Common questions about charges
Click the links below to answer questions 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 that 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).
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:
- Authorisation request: This is a request between our billing system and the bank that issued your credit card. It happens nearly every time that 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 that 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 authorisation request that doesn't go away on its own, contact your bank for help.
Make sure that you review your outstanding balance by clicking the gear icon then Billing & payments. See if both payments are there and the balance is correct. If they are, there's no need to contact Google.
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 multiplied by your daily budget.
For example, if you budget £5 per day and you're charged for a 30-day billing period, the maximum that you would pay is £150.
If Google over-delivers your ads 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:
If you use the automatic payment setting and then make a manual payment, you might be charged on your automatic billing cycle. This is why:
- An automatic payment was already in progress when you initiated your payment: The automatic payment cycle is punctual, so that 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.
Once your promotional 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.
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.
When you stop your ads from running – by cancelling 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 & payments, then look at your current balance at the top of the page.
Sometimes, your bank statement charges look a bit different from those that 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:
- 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 unauthorised charges.
- 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 make sure that you block out all charges and other information that isn't associated with the charge in question – your privacy is important to us.