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Google Ads Billing: A Crash Course

on July 24, 2018

Google Ads Billing
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Google Ads billing gets complicated, so we put together a crash course to answer your most pressing questions about paying for pay-per-click (PPC) digital advertising on Google.

Google Ads Billing

Google Ads Billing

You may notice that there’s a new Google Ads experience to go with the new name.

Here’s how to find all things billing in the new interface:

  1. Click the tool icon (an image of a wrench).
  2. Click Setup.
  3. Go to Billing and Payments.

You can make payments, see your billing threshold, and see all other relevant billing and payment information on this screen.

Payment Options

There are three  ways to pay for Google Ads:

  • Automatic: Google charges you after your ads run. Payments are due 30 days after your last automatic charge, or when you reach your payment threshold.
  • Manual payments: Pay before your ads run. This account credit will spend as your ads run (Google Ads are pay-per-click.) As your clicks (and costs) increase, your credit decreases. You ads stop when your credit runs out.

NOTE: Paying with manual payments is not an option for new accounts in many countries, including the United States and Canada. You should, however, be able to make manual payments on an existing account by clicking Make a Payment from your Google Ads Billing and Payments screen.

  • Monthly invoicing (credit line): Eligible businesses can pay monthly invoices via a Google credit line. If eligible for this payment option, pay Google monthly (via bank transfer or check) by the date specified.

NOTE: Most companies who pay with monthly invoicing have been registered as a business for at least one year, and have had a minimum ad spend of $5,000 for three out of the previous 12 months.

Payment Threshold

If you make automatic payments, your automatic payment will cover charges up to a certain amount— this amount is your billing threshold (or payment threshold). You will be charged when your account spending reaches that threshold, even if your next automatic payment is not yet due.

If you reach the threshold before 30 days (the period covered by your automatic payment), your threshold will rise. Depending on how quickly you accrue pay-per-click costs, you could be charged multiple times monthly.

NOTE: You are not notified when Google Ads billing raises your threshold. We recommend checking your threshold often to ensure you are not overspending your digital advertising budget.

Payment Method

According to the country of your business address (and your payment option), you can pay your ads by credit, check, debit card, or bank transfer. To set your primary and backup payment methods, do the following (from the Billing and Payments screen): find your preferred payment method and select “primary” or “backup” according to your preference.

Your payment frequency and payment method options vary by country. You can discover what options you have by clicking the link below, selecting AdWords/Google Ads from the drop-down, and choosing your country and currency.


Account Budgets

Formerly called budget orders, these allow you to specify a set amount you’d like to spend on your PPC campaigns over a designated period of time. Once you reach your budget end date or your spending limit, your ads will stop. You can also set daily budgets. This option is only available to eligible advertisers who use monthly invoicing.

View Billing Activity

There are several ways to view your billing activity and transaction history within Google Ads billing.

If you need statements or other documentation of ad spending for budget or tax purposes, you can find that information in your account and save it to your computer, or print it for your records.

From the Billing and Payments screen, take the following steps:

  1. Click Transactions.
  2. Click View Transactions.
  3. Set the date range according to the dates of the statements/local tax invoices you’re looking for.
  4. Click Documents to see available billing documents for that time period.
  5. Choose the document you want to view and click download.
  6. Right click to save to your computer, or select File —> Print from your browser window to print the documents.

Billing Activity: Tips and Troubleshooting

Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for statements, transactions, and local tax invoice information.

  • Local tax invoices and statements for a given month are available on the 5th business day of the following month. There are sometimes delays if this date is near a weekend or holiday.
  • If there are no payments made or no account usage, no documents will be generated for the date range you selected.
  • Your documents should automatically download as PDFs for viewing and printing.
  • Turning off your pop-up blocker makes downloading these documents easier.
  • If you need to download or print a receipt for a specific charge, go to your Billing and Payments menu, then Transactions —> Detailed Transaction view. Click the payment link for the receipt you want to view and download/print the information for that payment.
  • If you can’t find this information, double check your date range, and confirm your ad spending and activity for that time period with your marketing team or agency.

Whats’ the Best Way to Pay?

Since manual pay isn’t available for new accounts and hasn’t been an option for US and Canada advertisers, most businesses (if their monthly ad spend is under $5K) will be using automatic payments. So, here’s the question: prepay or post-pay?

Google Ads billing prefers post-pay because your ad spending doesn’t stop mid-month. The advantage for you? Your ads don’t stop running either. That’s good news for your marketing strategy, and your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Pre-pay, on the other hand, may be the best choice if you’re testing a particular type or group of ads for a designated period of time, or if you’re on a tight budget.

Whatever your payment options, keeping an eye on your Google Ads account (to track your spending and analytics) is a great way to stay in the black. Knowing best practices for crafting and bidding on ads keeps overspending to a minimum, too.


As a Google Partner, we know the ins and outs of Google Ads— and the powerful data that drives the platform. Our expertise helps you maximize your returns, and minimize wasteful spending. And you’ll start off strong, with a $150 credit in your coffer. As always, come to us with any questions about Google Ads billing, or anything Google related. If you aren’t sure what a term means feel free to also check out our digital marketing dictionary.

Are you looking for a smarter Google Ads budget? Your search is over.

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