Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cost Control Best Practices and How to Request a Refund / Credit

AWS Refund

What to do when you have an unexpected AWS cost? You can change how your account uses services to save costs. You can start here to request a refund.

What costs can be refunded?

This discussion is about a large, unexpected cost overrun on your AWS account, typically in the thousands of dollars. Before we discuss the process, let's review some cost control best practices.

Cost Control Best Practices
  • Use the AWS Calculator. Before you consider running an AWS service, use the AWS Calculator to estimate the monthly cost. You can select different services and enter the type of usage you expect to use. This allows you to experiment with different sized computers, storage, and other resources. If you need assistance with the AWS Calculator, you can contact the AWS UIUC Team or schedule a meeting with the AWS Office Hours.

  • Start small. It helps to start with a small resource example that will allow you to test if it meets your needs. Starting with a smaller computer you can see how it performs. Often, small computers work well if it needs to support a few users or a small database.

  • Use Serverless options. AWS provides several serverless options for computers, databases and other services. Serverless means a computer is only used when needed, and when it is not needed the computer shuts down. Serverless is the best option to help save costs on AWS. This prevents a computer resource from running 24 hours a day.

  • Use a Savings Plan. Signing up for a Savings Plan can reduce compute costs up to 72%

  • Set a Monthly Budget with alert emails. When an account is created, the monthly budget is set to $500. You can modify the monthly budget depending on your usage. Email notifications will be sent to the account owner when the monthly spend reaches 80% of the total monthly budget. 

  • Regularly review your expenses with Cost Explorer. Checking your account regularly with Cost Explorer will show expenses for all resources in an easy-to-read graph.

  • Schedule a review of costs with AWS Office Hours. You can always reach the AWS UIUC team through the AWS Office Hours reservation system. The team is happy to explore cost issues and help explain how to reduce costs.

Refund process 
If you discover a cost overrun or have a question about the charges on your account, send an email to The Cloud Enablement team will investigate the issue and work with AWS to provide a refund. Please provide as much information about the cost issue. Where applicable, please include the following items.
  • What is your AWS account number. The AWS account number can be found in the upper right corner of the AWS Console screen.

  • What is the duration of the cost issue. Provide start and end dates.

  • What AWS service(s) are involved. Provide details regarding the service: what it is, what it does, etc. Include links to the service itself, how to sign up or request access, and point to other reference resources such as the Answers KnowledgeBase, third-party websites, vendor documents, etc.

  • What methods are used to access the service. Describe the interaction with the service such as via the AWS Console, computers, mobile devices, operating systems, other software tools, etc.

  • Who is using the service. Faculty, Staff, Students, Retirees, IT Professionals, etc.

  • What is the reason for the refund.

Questions: Please reach out to the Cloud Enablement team at

KeywordsAmazon Web Services AWS cost control refund concession credit   Doc ID120459
OwnerAmazon C.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2022-08-10 10:39:57Updated2024-06-11 15:15:44
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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