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Google Workspace Payment Plan Types

Quick and easy-to-follow introduction for Google Workspace administrators

What are the different subscription plans in Google Workspace?

Regardless of the Google Workspace edition you select, you can choose to be on a Flexible or an Annual subscription plan. Nowadays, the Annual plan subscription type has been discontinued for new customers.

The Flexible billing plan

Google charges you automatically at the beginning of each month. How much you pay depends on how many users you had in the previous month, including suspended users. 

You only stop getting charged for a user once it’s deleted. On the flexible plan, you can add and delete users at any time. You can also cancel your Google Workspace account at any time.

The Annual billing plan

The Annual plan is no longer available to most newly created Google Workspace accounts.
If you don’t see the option to select it while setting up your payments information, then it’s not available for you.

Google Workspace used to cost slightly less on the Annual plan than it did on the Flexible plan. This is no longer the case nowadays as both plans cost the same.

The catch is that with the Annual plan, you commit to pay for a specific number of users for 1 full year. This takes away your flexibility as you can not decrease the number of users to reduce your monthly payments. If you cancel early, you must pay a close-out fee.

Even though you have to pay for an entire year, you’re charged each month automatically for the usage during the previous month, just like on the Flexible plan.

Google charges you per license instead of per user, so deleting users doesn’t mean you pay less. To stop getting charged, you need to remove licenses, which you can only do in two scenarios:

  • With the help of the support team, but they can only do it as an exception in specific situations.
  • By setting up your renewal options to decrease the number of licenses upon renewal once your current Annual plan expires.

Quick example of how payments are calculated

It’s January 1st and you have 3 users. You delete 2 users on January 15th and continue using Google Workspace with 1 user until the end of the month.

Even though you are billed once a month, the amount you owe adds up based on the number of users in your account every day. In the beginning of February, you’ll be charged for your usage during January. The bill will be for 3 users from January 1 – 15 and 1 user from January 15th to 31.

Let’s say you are on Google Workspace Business Starter, which costs $6 per user per month. If the month has 31 days, you can find out how much a single user costs per day by dividing $6 by 31 – that makes around $0.20 per user per day.

You had 3 users from January 1st to January 15th, so 3 x 0.20 is 0.60 per day. For 15 days, you owe 0.60 x 15 = $9. You owe $9 for the 3 users you had from January 1 – 15.

On the 15th, you deleted 2 users and you ended up with only one left. So that user will cost 0.20 x 16 = $3.20.

The total charge for January is 9 + 3.20 = $12.20. The charge will occur automatically at the beginning of February.

Can I pre-pay for a whole year in advance?

Yes, you can pre-pay by making a manual payment. Then the amount you pay will go to your Google Workspace balance. Google will take the amount required for future expenses from your balance instead of charging your credit card.

Cancelling your subscription plan

You can cancel a flexible subscription plan at any time, and you will only get charged for your usage since the beginning of the current month.

If you cancel an annual plan early, you will face a close-out fee for the remainder of the contract.

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