Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Automatic payments

Automatic payments is a payment setting in AdWords Express. Using this setting, you first accrue advertising costs, then have those costs automatically charged to your primary payment method.

If remembering when to make payments isn't on your list of favourite things to do, the automatic payment setting is a great choice. You’ll set up your billing information once, and payments are automatically processed – this means that you don't have to worry that your ads will stop running if you forget to make a payment.

How automatic payments work

With automatic payments, you're charged only after you've accrued advertising costs. And you'll be billed in one of two instances: either 30 days after your last payment, or whenever your account reaches a predetermined amount known as your billing threshold – whichever comes first.

If your ads start running on 1 October, for example, you can expect us to charge you on 31 October if you don't reach your billing threshold.

Payment methods you can use

For most countries, you can use the following payment methods with this setting: credit and debit cards, and bank account (also known as direct debit). Here's how this payment setting works with each of these.

  • Credit and debit card
    To set up automatic payments, you'll add your debit or credit card as your primary payment method. You can have more than one payment method in your account, but your primary is the one we'll charge first. Your ads start running almost immediately.
  • Bank account (also known as direct debit)
    To make sure that money is coming from the correct account, you'll first verify a test deposit. It can take up to five days for this to appear in your account. Your ads should start running once your bank account is verified and your payment is processed.

If you have more than one payment method in your account, we'll only charge the one listed as your primary payment method. It's also a good idea to add a backup payment method in your account. This allows us to charge another card, if ever there's a problem charging your primary payment method – and that ensures that your ads will always run!

Your billing threshold

The initial billing threshold for AdWords Express accounts is set at a certain amount, which you can find in your account. The billing threshold is raised incrementally each time that your account spend hits the threshold before 30 days have ended. Thresholds vary per account, country, and currency, so be sure to check in your account to see what your current threshold is.

Say you’re just starting out with your AdWords Express account, and your initial threshold is £50. If you accrue £49 in costs within 30 days, you’ll be charged after 30 days, and your threshold will stay at £50 in the next billing cycle.

However, if you accrue £50 in costs within the 30-day billing cycle:

  • You’ll be charged immediately.
  • Your threshold will increase to the next threshold amount, for example, £200.
  • A new 30-day billing cycle will begin immediately.


For example, say you're just starting out with AdWords, and your initial threshold is £50, and starts accruing costs on 1 October. Here's how he'll be charged, and how his threshold will change:

threshold billing example
  1. On 5 October, Alan reaches his initial billing threshold of £50. At that time, we charge him for his costs (which might be slightly more than the billing threshold if he accrued costs quickly). We increase Alan's billing threshold to £200. A new billing cycle begins.
  2. On 25 October, Alan reaches his new billing threshold of £200, triggering AdWords Express to charge him for costs accrued. Google again raises his billing threshold to £350 and initiates a new billing cycle.
  3. On 18 November, Alan accrues more than £350 in charges. Google bills him and raises his billing threshold to £500.
  4. Alan's next bill will be processed on 18 December or when he exceeds the final £500 billing threshold – whichever comes first.

Find your billing threshold

To find out what your billing threshold is, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Billing.
  3. Click How you pay.
  4. Check your threshold in the "Settings" section. Your current threshold is shown in the phrase "when your balance reaches $50.00 or 30 days after your last automatic payment, whichever comes first."

Set up automatic payments

If you'd like to set up automatic payments for your account, click the link below for instructions.

Set up automatic payments

Your payment options depend on the country of your billing address and your selected currency.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at
  2. At the top right-hand corner, click the gear icon and select Billing from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Billing settings.
  4. Next to “How you pay”, click Edit.
  5. Select “Automatic payments”.
  6. Click Save.
Try it now


  • You can still make a manual payment even if you're using the automatic payment setting. Just sign into your account, click on the Billing tab, and then the Make a payment button. The money will be used for future clicks, and it will reduce or delay your next automatic charge.
  • If you'd like to reduce the costs charged to your primary payment method, make a manual payment with another payment method.

Next steps

Was this article helpful?