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    Syed Saif   Syed Saif Linkedin Profile   | How to get AWS Startup Credits ?

AWS Startup Credits are a great and easy way to reduce your AWS monthly bills. Infact you may completely pay your monthly AWS charges using AWS Startup credits. You don’t have to spend any money from your pocket till you use up the credits.

You can get upto $100,000 USD in AWS Startup credits. AWS Activate for Startups is the primary route for getting credits along with few other options. I explain each one of those options below.

Self funded or Bootstrapped Startup – How to get AWS Credits?
Venture Funded Startup – What is required to get AWS Credits?
Iam not a Startup. Can I get AWS Credits?
Can I get Startup credits if I had got AWS Credits from other promotions or programs?
How long are AWS Startup Credits valid?
Restrictions for using AWS Startup Credits.

Whether you are a startup using a new Amazon Web Services account or using an AWS account for months. You will be able to reduce your AWS cloud costs using AWS Startup credits.

You can use the AWS credits to pay for costs incurred for most of the AWS resources and services. This includes EC2 instances , EBS (Elastic Block Storage) Storage , S3 , RDS , CDN , etc.

Easy way and most often used by Startups to get AWS credits
AWS Activate program is the route used by startups to avail AWS credits. If you are a self-funded or bootstrapped startup without any institutional funding then you can apply for the credits.

You need to have an active AWS account to apply for AWS Activate startup credits. Credits are allotted to the AWS account from which you submit the request.

The steps to apply for AWS Activate are not complex . But at the same time it is not filling up a few simple details in a minute. You need to provide the stage of your product, target customers , services you will use, etc.

If yours is a funded startup ?
Yes, you can also get the AWS Startups credits using AWS Activate. Your investor/funding firm should have registered as an AWS Activate Provider. So check before applying and have the details handy. You will have to provide that info while applying for the AWS Activate startup credits.

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What if my startup does not meet part of the criteria for AWS Activate ?
Even if your startup does not meet few of the criteria, go ahead and apply for the AWS Activate program. AWS is quite generous when it comes to giving credits to startups. As long as you have not availed the credits in the past , there is a good chance that you will get the credits.

What if I have availed AWS Startup credits in the past using the same AWS account ?
You can still get credits but it will be less by the amount availed earlier.

Say your startup is eligible for $10,000 credits from AWS Activate. You have already received $5000 credits from other promotions. You can get the balance $5000 credits from AWS Activate if you meet the criteria. After receiving credits don’t waste it by spending more on EC2 instances than required. Choose the right EC2 instance type knowing these tips from AWS Cloud experts.

My company is not a startup or does not match the criteria for AWS Activate.Can I still get the credits?
Yes, you can still get the credits. Let’s say you are currently with a different hosting provider or your servers are on-premise. You want to try AWS cloud for your application. You need to create a test environment on AWS , do a trial run , etc before taking a decision to migrate to AWS .

Likewise you can be a small business and plan to use AWS Cloud for your product or service.
In both the above cases you can reach out to AWS partners like us. We can guide you on the process to get the credits for doing trial run or proof of concept. You don’t have to spend for the same and use AWS credits instead.

Credits from AWS Free Tier
If your AWS account is new (less than 12 months) you get certain credits/free usage of AWS services. This free usage benefit is valid for one year from the date of account creation.

But free doesn’t mean you can use all you want. You can use each of the AWS services for specific hours or within specified quantities.

For example, you can use a micro AWS EC2 instance free for 750 hrs a month. Instead of one micro instance you can also have two micro instances running at the same time. But each EC2 instance runs max 375hrs in a month for a total of 750hrs for two instances combined..

But if you launch a higher config instance (e.g t3.small) then you get charged for it for every hour of usage.

Similarly you can use upto 30GB of disk space in a month. The usage is calculated on a monthly basis. Let’s say your usage in January was 20 GB but 40GB in February . You will be billed for the extra 10GB in Feb.  AWS Free Tier Details.

What are other ways to get AWS credits?
You have few other options for getting Amazon Web Services credits. You don’t get as many credits as in AWS Activate Startup program. But the credits can be useful for someone who is in bootstrapped mode where every bit counts. You get the credits when attending AWS training , webinars , events , providing feedback , etc.You get upto $200 credits from these options as explained below.

You subscribe to receive intimations about trainings , webinars , events , etc when you register for AWS account

You register for the appropriate training/event/webinar when scheduled. Not only you get trained , acquire skills and learn about AWS services but you also get credits as a bonus. But this may not apply for every event , training or webinar.


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Another option is when AWS asks you to provide feedback on AWS services. You spend some 10 to 15 mts for the survey providing your usage experience. You get credits for your feedback effort.

How long are credits valid ? What happens if my AWS account is linked to another AWS account in an organization ?
AWS Credits validity varies based on the promotional offer. Credits are valid for at least three months. AWS startup credits received from AWS activate can be valid upto 1 year.

If your account is part of an AWS organization, credits are applied to the payer AWS account. Not to your individual account. It is explained here

Restrictions for using AWS Credits The few restrictions for using AWS credits are :

    • You cannot use credits to pay for charges already billed.
    • You will not be able to use AWS credits for marketplace products or subscriptions.
    • AWS Credits cannot be used for upfront payments you make for subscriptions. Subscribing to savings Plans or purchasing Reserved Instances.
Better to avoid the above till you get the AWS credits and use them completely. Else you will end up having credits and not able to use them. And your credits expire.

So why wait ? Apply for the credits as explained above and redeem quickly to get the max benefits.

Got the credits. But need guidance or support to setup or manage AWS or Azure Cloud? Click here to know how you can get help.

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