I'm having to migrate to Google's "Web Risk" Lookup API after the terms of use were changed for their "Safe Browsing" product. Clicking the "Get started for free" button on the Web Risk overview page takes me to a Google Cloud Platform sign up page.

Reading the FAQ document related to this page is the source of my confusion about costs.

It says that new sign-ups get a 90 free trial, and $300 dollars of credit at the top of the document.

But the End of the Free Trial section says that once the 90 days are up, or the $300 credit has been spent:

To continue using Google Cloud, you must upgrade to a paid Cloud Billing account

To my mind this sounds like there's a recurring subscription fee for Google Cloud regardless of whether you use any of the services therein. Is that an accurate interpretation? In other words, do you have to pay some sort of (monthly / yearly) subscription simply for having a "paid Cloud Billing account"?

Or is this description merely a way of indicating that use of some Cloud services may incur a fee once the value of the $300 dollar credit / 90 period has been used up?

I've been trying to find a clarifying statement about this, but haven't been able to track anything down.

1 Answer 1


There is no subscription fee just for having a Google Cloud account. You only pay for the services that you use.

For the trial period, you get a $300 credit that must be used within the first three months. Google Cloud Free Program says:

Program duration

Your Free Trial ends when one of the following occurs:

  • You've spent the $300 in credits.
  • 90 days have elapsed since you signed up.

Throughout your Free Trial period, your remaining credits and days are displayed on the Billing Account Overview page in the Google Cloud Console.

So you get to use their services for free until either you have spent your $300 credit OR your three months expires. After that period, you need to have a paid billing account to be able to use their services. That just means that they will be able to charge your credit card for any services you continue to use past that point.

Their documentation for this is in a section further down the same page (emphasis added):

Costs after the Free Trial

Google Cloud and Google Maps Platform services charge you only for resources you use. Each service has its own pricing model, which you can find in the documentation for each individual service.

For the Web Risk service that you want to use, pricing is based on the number of calls you make to their API. See Pricing for  Web Risk - Google Cloud

  • Thank you very much for your clarification.
    – AMarch
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 9:59

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