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About 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.

This article explains the criteria for promotional codes and how they work with the various payment settings.

Offer criteria

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. Make sure that you check the terms that came with your promotional code for details about your offer.

For example, 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 31 days. 

Note

We only count the amount you spend after entering the code. If you spent £25 before entering the code, then that amount won't count towards your offer.

In order to use your credit, you’ll also need to have entered billing details in your account. Also, keep in mind that promotional credit is good for advertising only. If you cancel your account before spending the entire credit, the remaining balance can't be refunded.

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 that you use affects how your promotional code will work. Here's what you will need to know:

Automatic payments

If you're using automatic payments, then all you need to do is enter the code by its expiration date and start advertising. After your account meets the requirements mentioned in the promotional material, the credit will typically appear on your billing Transactions page within 31 days. For example, if the offer says that 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 will appear in your account.

Promotional credits can only be applied to future advertising costs. Costs that you accrue before you get a credit, as well as costs that you accrue after you use up all of your credit, will be charged to the payment method in your account.

Your ads will continue to run and accrue costs after your promotional credit has been used up. 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 expiry date and then meet the requirements mentioned in the promotional material. For example, if the offer says you need to spend £25 within 30 days, then 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'll typically see the credit appear on your billing Transactions page within 31 days.

It's a good idea to make an initial payment that's a little more than the requirement. This is 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 more than the credit that you have left. Let's say that your average CPC is £0.30. If you spend everything with the exception of £0.20, then that £0.20 may never get used up because your CPC is larger than the credit that you have left.

Note

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

Find out whether VAT is deducted in your country.

Monthly invoicing

If you're on monthly invoicing, enter your code only after your account has been set up for invoicing. Then, once your account meets the requirements 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 because any unused promotional credit from one month will be rolled over to the next month.

Budgets

The credit will increase your current budget, but you'll only be charged for the budget that you originally set. For example, if you set a budget of £200 and receive a promotion for £50, then 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, then the remaining credit will carry over to the next budget that's activated.

Note

If you’d like to change your payment setting, for instance from manual payments to automatic payments, make sure that you use up your credit first. Unused credit can't be carried over when you switch your payment setting.

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