Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leading cloud computing platform that offers a free tier account, allowing users to explore its vast array of services without incurring any charges for the first 12 months. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up it and provide tips on how to make the most of it even after the initial year. We will also address common questions such as whether it is free for life and whether you need a credit card to sign up. Let’s get started!

Setting Up Your AWS Free Tier Account

To create your AWS free tier account, follow these simple steps:

Visit the AWS Website:

Open your web browser and go to the AWS website (

Click on “Create an AWS Account”:

You’ll find this option in the upper-right corner of the AWS homepage. Click on it to begin the account creation process.

Provide Your Email Address:

Enter your email address and choose whether you are creating an account for personal or professional use.

Fill in Your Information:

You will be asked for your name, address, and phone number. Ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date.

Payment Information:

While it offers a free tier, they still require payment information for verification purposes. Enter your credit or debit card details. Rest assured, you won’t be charged unless you exceed the free tier limits.

Identity Verification:

AWS will verify your identity by sending a one-time password (OTP) to your provided phone number. Enter the OTP to proceed.

Choose a Support Plan:

For the free tier, select the “Basic” plan, which provides free support.


Review your information and click “Create Account and Continue” to finalize the process.

Set Up IAM (Optional):

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows you to control access to your AWS resources. You can set this up now or later.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created your AWS free tier account.

Using AWS Free Tier After 1 Year

After the first 12 months, your AWS free tier account transitions into a pay-as-you-go account. Here’s how to continue using AWS while minimising costs:

Monitor Usage:

Keep a close eye on your AWS resource usage. It provides billing and usage reports, which you can access in the AWS Management Console.

Set Up Billing Alerts:

Configure billing alerts to notify you when your usage exceeds a certain threshold. This helps you avoid unexpected charges.

Leverage the Free Tier Services:

It offers a variety of services under the free tier, such as Amazon EC2, S3, Lambda, and more. Stick to these services whenever possible to stay within the free tier limits.

Reserved Instances:

If you plan to use EC2 instances extensively, consider purchasing reserved instances, which offer significant cost savings compared to on-demand instances.

Free Tier Eligibility Checker:

It provides a Free Tier Eligibility Checker tool to help you determine if a specific service falls under the free tier.

By closely managing your AWS resources and staying within the free tier limits, you can continue to benefit from AWS services without incurring substantial costs.

Is AWS Free Tier Free for Life?

It is not free for life; it is available for the first 12 months after you create your AWS account. Once the 12-month period expires, your account transitions to a pay-as-you-go model. This means you will be charged for any AWS services you use beyond the free tier limits.

However, it’s important to note that many its services offer a limited free tier perpetually. For example, Amazon S3 provides 5GB of standard storage and 20,000 GET and 2,000 PUT requests per month at no cost, even after the initial 12 months. These perpetual free tier offerings vary by service, so it’s advisable to check its page for the most up-to-date information on which services continue to be free after the first year.

In summary, while the initial 12-month AWS free tier is a fantastic way to explore AWS services, it is not a lifelong free offering. You should be mindful of your usage and costs as your account transitions to a pay-as-you-go model.

Do You Need a Credit Card for AWS Free Tier?

Yes, you need a credit or debit card to sign up for an AWS free tier account. It requires this information to verify your identity and ensure that you are a real person. However, it will not charge your card unless you exceed the free tier limits or subscribe to paid services.

It’s important to understand that while a credit card is necessary for sign-up, it offers a wide range of free-tier eligible services that can be used without incurring charges. As long as you stay within the specified usage limits of these services, your card won’t be billed.

In addition to the free tier, it also provides a billing dashboard and cost management tools that allow you to monitor your usage and set up billing alerts to prevent unexpected charges.


Setting up its account is a straightforward process that grants you access to a world of cloud computing resources for an entire year. While it isn’t free for life, with careful management, you can continue to use its services without breaking the bank. By monitoring your usage, leveraging free-tier eligible services, and setting up billing alerts, you can make the most of your AWS free tier experience. So, get started today, explore it’s powerful services, and discover how the cloud can benefit your projects and business endeavors.


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