Understand your Microsoft Azure bill

To understand your Azure bill, you compare your invoice with the detailed daily usage file and with cost management reports in the Azure portal.

This article doesn't apply to the following customers:

For an explanation of how billing works in the Azure Cloud Solution Provider (Azure CSP) program, including the billing cycle, pricing, and usage, see Azure CSP Billing Overview.

Review your charges

If there's a charge on your invoice that you want more information about, you can compare usage and costs with the usage file or with the Azure portal.

Option 1: Compare usage and costs with usage file

The detailed usage CSV file shows your charges by billing period and daily usage. To download or view the file, see Get your Azure billing invoice and daily usage data.

Your usage charges are displayed at the meter level. The following terms mean the same thing in both the invoice and the detailed usage file. For example, the billing cycle on the invoice is the same as the billing period shown in the detailed usage file.

Invoice (PDF) Detailed usage (CSV)
Billing cycle Billing Period
Name Meter Category
Type Meter Subcategory
Resource Meter Name
Region Meter Region
Consumed Consumed Quantity
Included Included Quantity
Billable Overage Quantity

The Usage Charges section of your invoice shows the total value for each meter that was consumed during your billing period. For example, the following image shows a usage charge for the Azure Scheduler service.

Invoice usage charges

The Statement section of your detailed usage CSV shows the same charge. Both the Consumed amount and Value match the invoice.

CSV usage charges

To see a daily breakdown of the charge, go to the Daily Usage section of the CSV file. Filter for Scheduler under Meter Category. You can see which days the meter was used and how much was consumed. The Resource and Resource group information is also shown for comparison. The Consumed values should add up to and match what's shown on the invoice.

Daily Usage section in the CSV

To get the cost per day, multiply the Consumed amounts with the Rate value from the Statement section.

To learn more, see:

Option 2: Compare the usage and costs in the Azure portal

The Azure portal can also help you verify your charges. To get a quick overview of your invoiced usage and charges, view the cost management charts.

  1. In the Azure portal, go to Subscriptions.

  2. Select your subscription > Cost analysis.

  3. Filter by Timespan.

  4. To continue the previous example, you see a usage charge for the Azure Scheduler service.

    Cost analysis view in Azure portal

  5. Select the row that shows the charge to see the daily cost breakdown.

    Cost history view in Azure portal

To learn more, see Prevent unexpected costs with Azure billing and cost management.

External services billed separately

External services or marketplace charges are for resources that have been created by third-party software vendors. Those resources are available for use from the Azure Marketplace. For example, a Barracuda Firewall is an Azure Marketplace resource offered by a third-party. All charges for the firewall and its corresponding meters appear as external service charges.

External service charges are billed separately. The charges don't show up on your Azure invoice. To learn more, see Understand your Azure external service charges.

Resources billed by usage meters

Azure doesn't directly bill based on the resource cost. Charges for a resource are calculated by using one or more meters. Meters are used to track a resource’s usage throughout its lifetime. These meters are then used to calculate the bill.

For example, when you create a single Azure resource, like a virtual machine, it has one or more meter instances created. Meters are used to track the usage of the resource over time. Each meter emits usage records that are used by Azure to calculate the bill.

For example, a single virtual machine (VM) created in Azure may have the following meters created to track its usage:

  • Compute Hours
  • IP Address Hours
  • Data Transfer In
  • Data Transfer Out
  • Standard Managed Disk
  • Standard Managed Disk Operations
  • Standard IO-Disk
  • Standard IO-Block Blob Read
  • Standard IO-Block Blob Write
  • Standard IO-Block Blob Delete

When the VM is created, each meter begins emitting usage records. This usage and the meter's price is tracked in the Azure metering system.

Pay your bill

If you set up a credit card card as your payment method, the payment is charged automatically within 10 days after the billing period ends. On your credit card statement, the line item would say MSFT Azure.

To change the credit card that's charged, see Add, update, or remove a credit card for Azure.

If you pay by invoice, send your payment to the location listed at the bottom of your invoice.

To check the status of your payment, create a support ticket.

Tips for cost management

Check access to a Microsoft Customer Agreement

Check the agreement type to determine whether you have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search on Cost Management + Billing.

    Screenshot that shows Azure portal search

  3. If you have access to just one billing scope, select Properties from the left-hand side. You have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement if the billing account type is Microsoft Customer Agreement.

    Screenshot that shows microsoft customer agreement in properties page

  4. If you have access to multiple billing scopes, check the type in the billing account column. You have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement if the billing account type for any of the scopes is Microsoft Customer Agreement.

    Screenshot that shows microsoft customer agreement in billing account list page

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If you have questions or need help, create a support request.

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