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Google Maps API Pricing


Perhaps others can confirm everything I’m sharing below because I’ve only run into this for the first time today with a client’s app. It looks like if you’re generating a new API key to use for location related products (Maps, Routes, Places), Google is requiring your project to be linked to a billing account.

See pricing change info here:

See new pricing table here:

Apparently you get $200 of recurring monthly credit to offset your costs, but overall it’s a pay-as-you-go system.

I’ve been using keys I generated well before this change, so I hadn’t noticed any interruptions in my test apps, however, I noticed today that it now renders with a “For development use only” watermark. According to this recent thread, the lack of a linked billing account would be the cause.

I wonder if anyone is able to display maps with a newer API key generated in the console ( that is not linked to a billing account? I just want to make sure I understand this new policy. I’ve been seeing Bubblers experience issues with map display and address search - this might be part of it?

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I’ve set up several new accounts in the past few months. Each new console setup forced a billing profile be set up before it was possible to proceed with creating the API keys.

With my personal account (~2 years old), Google nudged (er, required) me to add a credit card to my console. My account was reclassified as a “Google Maps Transition Account,” which capped the total credit at $200 and “shuts down” for anything beyond that until the account is transitioned (ie. credit card added to the project(s)).

See this page on Google’s website. Relevant excerpt below.

The “Google Maps Platform Transition Account” was created to help certain customers transition to our new pay-as-you-go pricing plan. This transition account enabled Google to provide these customers with a one-time credit, so that they could continue using Google Maps Platform up to the limit of the $200 free tier. Once this limit is exceeded, the billing account will shut down and you will lose access to the service. To avoid service interruptions, we urge you to set your own billing account, and continue to enjoy the $200 monthly free tier. To change the billing account for your project:



Yeah, that’s probably why I have this half-way access. At least it forces you with new accounts so there’s no confusion. Cool, thanks for sharing that extra info.



Google always preaches to other companies by saying “Don’t Be Evil”. However I think Google does not think money is evil! I have been using google api since the inception of its codes!..for free. Still now the same usuage. Now Google wants to make money from those entities which helped Google grow. Google grew only through crowd-sourcing! Although Google insists its charges is fair if the usage is below $200 and is free…well I know it is free. But lets be clear… if it is free why ask for credit card details…this this evil.
If I intend to use it for free and say I gave my credit card details and one fine day a hacker decides to send malicious request numbering in thousands, Google will automatically charge me…then what do I do? What will google do?
Instead they should do a fair charge by charging or blocking if the api requests that goes above free usuage.

What Google is doing is akin to letting you on a plane for free and asking for charges midflight!
Imagine the scale of this scam! The whole world!
Hoping everyone realizes the situation and shout out.



@romanmg - Thank you. I was wondering why my maps stopped working but I found this thread after a search and linking a billing account worked for me. Thanks for posting.

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I just found out about this, i used their API back in 2016 it was completely free.
I don’t understand why they require your billing information If it is free! But i don’t think they want to keep it this way.
I have noticed the same thing with their AdWords as well, they give you free credit but you can’t use it until you provide billing information.
So greedy and evil.
It is a matter of time until they stop giving you free credit and they start charging you to use their API.