11 Ways to Get AWS Credits

Jay Chapel
5 min readNov 24, 2020


AWS credits are a way to save on your Amazon Web Services (AWS) bill. Credits are applied to AWS cloud bills to help cover costs that are associated with eligible services and are applied until they are exhausted or expire. Essentially, credits are a coupon-code like mechanism used by Amazon on your bill. If you want to see how to redeem your AWS promotional credits, look here.

So how do you get these credits? There are a number of ways — here are 11 that we have either used ourselves or that have been successfully used by our customers.

AWS Activate

With AWS Activate, companies can build or scale with up to $100,000 in AWS promotional credits. AWS Activate is ideal for startups because they get access to resources as quickly as possible, and AWS provides them with a low cost, easy-to-use infrastructure to help them grow.

This is a big help for startups, knowing they are getting their money’s worth with these credits lets them focus on one thing — growth. If you are looking to get started on AWS definitely check this out.

AWS Activate offers two packages designed for startups, AWS Activate Founders (for startups without funding) and the AWS Activate Portfolio (for startups associated with an AWS Activate Provider).

AWS Activate Founders

Offered as part of the AWS Activate program, AWS Activate Founders is designed as a package for bootstrapped and self-funded startups that haven’t raised any venture capital, seed, or angel funding. If your organization isn’t affiliated with any accelerators or incubators then you are eligible to apply. This package provides credits, resources, as well as dedicated technical and business support to help startups build, test, and deploy on AWS.

After applying and getting approved, startups will receive up to $1,000 in Activate Credits and $350 in Developer Support Credits. The $1,000 credit is valid for two years and the $350 credit is valid for one year, this way you can get started building and experimenting with AWS.

AWS Activate Portfolio

The AWS Activate Portfolio package differs from the other package offered in the Activate program because these startups are affiliated with an AWS Activate Provider, meaning some kind of seed/VC firm, accelerator, incubator, or other startup-enabling institutions.

This package offers startups up to $100,000 in AWS Activate Credits — different portfolio offers will have different benefits. With the portfolio, you can either receive AWS Activate Credits that cover AWS services, or AWS Activate Business Support credits that cover technical support.

Publish an Alexa Skill

For all you developers, each Alexa skill that you publish, you can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit. Take advantage of these credits to get all your skills potential!

AWS Marketplace

Discover, purchase, and deploy cloud-based networking and security solutions or Big Data solutions offered on AWS Marketplace and get $200 in AWS promotional credits once you subscribe to a qualifying product.

AWS Webinars & Events

Attending AWS webinars, events, and conferences can get you AWS credits. In order to be awarded the credits, you’ll have to provide proof that you actually attended. Make sure to keep an eye on their events page, as new stuff is being added all the time.

AWS Educate

In an effort to educate the next generation of cloud professionals, AWS has made AWS Educate available to institutions, educators, and students. It provides institutions with the resources educators and students need for training resources, cloud-related learning, and content for courses. Students have the opportunity to receive credits by getting hands-on experience with AWS tech, training, content and career pathways.

At member institutions, educators earn $200 in AWS credits compared to non-member institutions they earn $75. Students receive an AWS Educate starter account with up to $100 in credits at a member institution and $30 at a non-member institution. To make this even more appealing, AWS will award students and staff with more credits if you sign up as a member institution.

During these times of virtual learning, AWS is also providing free resources such as webinars and workshops to help users continue to develop cloud skills.

AWS for Nonprofits & NGOs

Amazon offers three different programs for nonprofits; AWS Nonprofit Credit Program, AWS Imagine Grant Program and AWS Cloud Credit for Research. These programs are designed to help organizations of all sizes to overcome barriers to technology adoption, by enhancing the scale, performance, and capabilities of mission operations.

AWS Credit Program for Nonprofits

Through TechSoup Global, eligible nonprofit organizations can request one grant of $2,000 AWS credits once per fiscal year.

AWS Cloud Credits for Research

AWS Cloud Credits for Research evaluates academic research from researchers at accredited institutions around the world. Researchers that apply for this program take an initiative to build a cloud-hosted service, software, or tools and/or want to migrate a research process or open data to the cloud. The credit amount awarded will vary depending on the cost model and usage requirements documented in the research proposal.

AWS Imagine Grant Program

This program is a public grant that’s open to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations that are using technology to solve the world’s most critical problems. The AWS Imagine Grant Program is offered as a way to have organizations prioritize technology as a mission-critical component of their projects.

Grants are given once, annually for up to to $100,000 in AWS Promotional Credit.

AWS EdStart

AWS focuses on education technology startups’ long term success with their AWS EdStart program. AWS is looking to provide businesses with the resources they need to get started as quickly and easily on AWS to ensure they have every opportunity to prosper. After applying and getting approved, businesses will receive their credit validation. The credit amount awarded is based on the business’s needs.

AWS Free Tier

As always, the AWS Free Tier is a great option to get access to AWS products for no cost. Customers can use the product for free up to specified limits for one year from the date the account was created.

This includes 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux t2.micro instance usage, 5 GB of Amazon S3 standard storage, 750 hours of Amazon RDS Single-AZ db.t2.micro Instances, one million AWS Lambda requests and you can build and host most Alexa skills for free.

You only have access to promotional credits for a limited time, so make sure you take advantage of all these opportunities if you can! Whether you are just getting started with AWS or have been using it for a while, there are plenty of credits and resources available to make AWS an affordable option for you.

Further Reading:

4 Ways to Get Google Cloud Credits

7 Ways to Get Azure Credits

AWS vs Azure vs Google Free Tier Comparison

Originally published at www.parkmycloud.com on November 17, 2020