Creating a billing alarm to monitor your estimated Amazon charges - Amazon CloudWatch
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Creating a billing alarm to monitor your estimated Amazon charges

You can monitor your estimated Amazon charges by using Amazon CloudWatch. When you enable the monitoring of estimated charges for your Amazon account, the estimated charges are calculated and sent several times daily to CloudWatch as metric data.

The alarm triggers when your account billing exceeds the threshold you specify. It triggers only when actual billing exceeds the threshold. It doesn't use projections based on your usage so far in the month.

If you create a billing alarm at a time when your charges have already exceeded the threshold, the alarm goes to the ALARM state immediately.

Enabling billing alerts

Before you can create an alarm for your estimated charges, you must enable billing alerts, so that you can monitor your estimated Amazon charges and create an alarm using billing metric data. After you enable billing alerts, you can't disable data collection, but you can delete any billing alarms that you created.

After you enable billing alerts for the first time, it takes about 15 minutes before you can view billing data and set billing alarms.


  • You must be signed in using account root user credentials or as an IAM user that has been given permission to view billing information.

  • For consolidated billing accounts, billing data for each linked account can be found by logging in as the paying account. You can view billing data for total estimated charges and estimated charges by service for each linked account, in addition to the consolidated account.

  • In a consolidated billing account, member linked account metrics are captured only if the payer account enables the Receive Billing Alerts preference. If you change which account is your management/payer account, you must enable the billing alerts in the new management/payer account.

  • The account must not be part of the Amazon Partner Network (APN) because billing metrics are not published to CloudWatch for APN accounts. For more information, see Amazon Partner Network.

To enable the monitoring of estimated charges

  1. Open the Billing and Cost Management console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Billing Preferences.

  3. Choose Receive Billing Alerts.

  4. Choose Save preferences.

Creating a billing alarm


Before you can create a billing alarm,you must enable billing alerts in your account, or in the management/payer account if you are using consolidated billing. For more information, see Enabling billing alerts.

In this procedure, you create an alarm that sends a notification when your estimated charges for Amazon exceed a specified threshold. This procedure uses the advanced options. For more information about using the simple options, see Create a Billing Alarm in Monitor Your Estimated Charges Using CloudWatch.

To create a billing alarm using the CloudWatch console

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms, Create Alarm.

  3. Choose Select metric. In the All metrics tab, choose Billing, Total Estimated Charge.

    If you don't see Billing or the Total Estimated Charge metric, you may need to enable billing alerts. For more information, see Enabling billing alerts.

  4. Select the check box next to EstimatedCharges, and choose Select metric.

  5. Under Conditions, choose Static.

  6. For Whenever EstimatedCharges is, choose Greater.

  7. For than, enter the monthly amount (for example, 200) that must be exceeded to trigger the alarm.


    The preview graph displays your current charges for the month.

  8. Choose Next.

  9. For Select an SNS topic, select an SNS topic to notify when the alarm is in ALARM state, or create a new topic to be notified.

    To have the alarm send multiple notifications for the same alarm state or for different alarm states, choose Add notification.

  10. When finished, choose Next.

  11. Enter a name and description for the alarm. The name must contain only ASCII characters. Then choose Next.

  12. Under Preview and create, confirm that the information and conditions are what you want, then choose Create alarm.

Deleting a billing alarm

You can delete your billing alarm when you no longer need it.

To delete a billing alarm

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms.

  3. Select the check box next to the alarm and choose Actions, Delete.

  4. When prompted for confirmation, choose Yes, Delete.