Buy a reservation

Azure Reservations help you save money by committing to one-year or three-years plans for many Azure resources. Before you enter a commitment to buy a reservation, be sure to review the following sections to prepare for your purchase.

Who can buy a reservation

To buy a reservation, you must have owner role or reservation purchaser role on an Azure subscription that's of type Enterprise (MS-AZR-0017P or MS-AZR-0148P) or Pay-As-You-Go (MS-AZR-0003P or MS-AZR-0023P) or Microsoft Customer Agreement. Cloud solution providers can use the Azure portal or Partner Center to purchase Azure Reservations.

Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers can limit purchases to EA admins by disabling the Add Reserved Instances option in the EA Portal. EA admins must have owner or reservation purchaser access on at least one EA subscription to purchase a reservation. The option is useful for enterprises that want a centralized team to purchase reservations.

A reservation discount only applies to resources associated with subscriptions purchased through Enterprise, Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), Microsoft Customer Agreement and individual plans with pay-as-you-go rates.

Scope reservations

You can scope a reservation to a subscription or resource groups. Setting the scope for a reservation selects where the reservation savings apply. When you scope the reservation to a resource group, reservation discounts apply only to the resource group—not the entire subscription.

Reservation scoping options

You have three options to scope a reservation, depending on your needs:

  • Single resource group scope— Applies the reservation discount to the matching resources in the selected resource group only.
  • Single subscription scope— Applies the reservation discount to the matching resources in the selected subscription.
  • Shared scope — Applies the reservation discount to matching resources in eligible subscriptions that are in the billing context.
    • For Enterprise Agreement customers, the billing context is the enrollment. The reservation shared scope would include multiple Active Directory tenants in an enrollment.
    • For Microsoft Customer Agreement customers, the billing scope is the billing profile.
    • For individual subscriptions with pay-as-you-go rates, the billing scope is all eligible subscriptions created by the account administrator.

While applying reservation discounts on your usage, Azure processes the reservation in the following order:

  1. Reservations that are scoped to a resource group
  2. Single scope reservations
  3. Shared scope reservations

You can always update the scope after you buy a reservation. To do so, go to the reservation, click Configuration, and rescope the reservation. Rescoping a reservation isn't a commercial transaction. Your reservation term isn't changed. For more information about updating the scope, see Update the scope after you purchase a reservation.

Example showing a reservation scope change

Discounted subscription and offer types

Reservation discounts apply to the following eligible subscriptions and offer types.

  • Enterprise agreement (offer numbers: MS-AZR-0017P or MS-AZR-0148P)
  • Microsoft Customer Agreement subscriptions.
  • Individual plans with pay-as-you-go rates (offer numbers: MS-AZR-0003P or MS-AZR-0023P)
  • CSP subscriptions

Resources that run in a subscription with other offer types don't receive the reservation discount.

Purchase reservations

You can purchase reservations from Azure portal, APIs, PowerShell, CLI. Read the following articles that apply to you when you're ready to make a reservation purchase:

Buy reservations with monthly payments

You can pay for reservations with monthly payments. Unlike an up-front purchase where you pay the full amount, the monthly payment option divides the total cost of the reservation evenly over each month of the term. The total cost of up-front and monthly reservations is the same and you don't pay any extra fees when you choose to pay monthly.

If reservation is purchased using Microsoft customer agreement (MCA), your monthly payment amount may vary, depending on the current month's market exchange rate for your local currency.

Monthly payments are not available for: Databricks, SUSE Linux reservations, Red Hat Plans and Azure Red Hat OpenShift Licenses.

View payments made

You can view payments that were made using APIs, usage data, and in cost analysis. For reservations paid for monthly, the frequency value is shown as recurring in usage data and Reservation Charges API. For reservations paid up front, the value is shown as onetime.

Cost analysis shows monthly purchases in the default view. Apply the purchase filter to Charge type and recurring for Frequency to see all purchases. To view only reservations, apply a filter for Reservation.

Example showing reservation purchase costs in cost analysis

Exchange and refunds

Like other reservations, you can refund or exchange reservations purchased with monthly billing.

When you exchange a reservation that's paid for monthly, the total lifetime cost of the new purchase should be greater than the leftover payments that are canceled for the returned reservation. There are no other limits or fees for exchanges. You can exchange a reservation that's paid for up front to purchase a new reservation that's billed monthly. However, the lifetime value of the new reservation should be greater than the prorated value of the reservation being returned.

If you cancel a reservation that's paid for monthly, canceled future payments accrue towards the $50,000 USD refund limit.

For more information about exchange and refunds, see Self-service exchanges and refunds for Azure Reservations.

Reservation notifications

Depending on how you pay for your Azure subscription, email reservation notifications are sent to the following users in your organization. Notifications are sent for various events including:

  • Purchase
  • Upcoming reservation expiration
  • Expiry
  • Renewal
  • Cancellation
  • Scope change

For customers with EA subscriptions:

  • Notifications are sent only to the EA notification contacts.
  • Users added to a reservation using Azure RBAC (IAM) permission don't receive any email notifications.

For customers with individual subscriptions:

  • The purchaser receives a purchase notification.
  • At the time of purchase, the subscription billing account owner receives a purchase notification.
  • The account owner receives all other notifications.

Next steps