Understanding why you've been charged

Are you having trouble understanding or identifying a Google Ads charge? Use this troubleshooter for unidentified Google Ads charges.

Know this first

  • With Google Ads, you'll be charged automatically on the 1st of each month or any time your balance reaches an amount known as your payment threshold.
  • Your charge covers your advertising costs and any unpaid balance from the previous month, plus tax and fees that may apply to some countries.
  • Your first day of the month charge may sometimes exceed your payment threshold.

Your charge

Current costs + Outstanding balance = charged amount

Your charge covers your current advertising costs, plus tax and fees (if any) as well as any unpaid costs, which include tax and fees, from previous billing cycle, minus adjustments/promotional credits from the current or previous billing cycle.

  • Current costs are from this billing period.
  • Unpaid costs are from previous billing periods.

If your total advertising costs are greater than your payment threshold (the amount that usually triggers a charge), the extra costs will be added to your current balance for the next charge.

Your current balance is made up of any balance carried over from a previous month and your net cost (which includes advertising cost, taxes and fees, if any, minus adjustments and promotional credits) for the current month.

Example 1

This is a visual representation of when your monthly spend is less than your current payment threshold.

Your monthly spend is less than your payment threshold (the balance amount that triggers a charge), such as in the following circumstances:

  • Your last payment date was on August 1st
  • Your payment threshold is $50
  • Your monthly spend for August is $49 
  • In the above example you’ll be charged for $49 on September 1st

Example 2

This is a visual representation of when your monthly spend is more than your current payment threshold.

If your monthly spend is greater than your payment threshold (the balance amount that triggers a charge), such as in the following circumstances:

  • Your last payment charge was August 1st
  • Your payment threshold is $250
  • Your monthly spend for August is $275 
  • In the above example you’ll be charged for $250 in August, on a date when your balance crosses the $250 payment threshold. Additionally, you’ll  be charged for the remaining balance of $25 on September 1st

Frequently asked questions about charges

Open the links below to answer questions about charges.

Charged more than once in a month

Charges don't usually happen once a month or at the end of the month. They can happen multiple times 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. 

If you never cross your payment threshold amount within a month, then you will get automatically charged on the same date every month (there may be changes to your automatic payment date to allow for shorter months or leap years). 

Example 1

If your threshold is $500, then you'll be charged every time that your costs reach $500 within the same month. If your costs total $1,500 in a month, you'll be charged $500 three times (3 x 500 = 1,500).

Example 2

If your last automatic payment was a threshold charge of $500 on August 25th, and you don’t reach your threshold again before the end of August, then your next automatic payment will be on September 1st.

Identical charges

This rarely happens, but if you see two identical charges from Google Ads 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. Google can’t refund or cancel the payment, but any additional payment will serve as a credit applied to future advertising spend. Sometimes an automatic payment may occur even after manual payment is initiated due to the time needed for the payment to be recognized by Google.
  • Another reason for a double charge could be that your account spend is high, and you may have reached your threshold amount more than once in a day, triggering an automatic charge. If your account spend is very high, you may be eligible to increase your threshold amount. Learn more about how to change how often you’re charged.

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.

Charged for more than average 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 2x more interactions in one day than your average 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 average daily budget.

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

If Google overdelivers 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 an average daily budget of $1 per day (and therefore $30 per monthly billing period), you'll receive a $5 overdelivery credit.

Note: pay for conversions campaigns are billed differently, and can be billed for more than 2 times the average daily budget. 

To see whether you've received any credits for overdelivery:

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Billing icon Billing Icon.
  2. Click Summary.
  3. Open the appropriate month card and select Adjustments.
  4. Select Campaign activity.
  5. Any credits for excess activity will be labeled "Overdelivery."

Charged after already initiating a manual 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.
  • 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 payment threshold, on the first date of the next month whichever happens first.

Charged after entering a promotional code

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.

Charged outside billing cycle

You might be charged outside your billing cycle if you made a manual payment (by clicking on the Make a payment or Add funds button in your account). Although automatic payments are processed within a set billing cycle, you can make a manual payment at any time:

  • You've made a manual payment (by selecting 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 you stopped your ads or canceled your account

When you stop your ads from running—by canceling your account or pausing or removing your campaigns—the Google Ads system can take several hours to halt your ads completely. After that 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 monthly billing cycle, so you might not receive your final charges for several weeks.

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

Charges on bank statement don't match your Google Ads account

Sometimes, your bank statement charges look a bit different from those you see in your Google Ads 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 Google Ads and bank statements on different days. Since both Google Ads and banks operate on different systems, payments don't always happen at the same time.

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

  1. If you have more than one Google Ads 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.

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