Google Maps API Pricing Changes: What You Need to Know

Google has implemented major changes to the Google Maps API which is now running under the name Google Maps Platform. With this update comes a new pay-as-you-go pricing model where users are required to have a valid API key.

This section summarizes the changes and explains what they mean for you. You can also learn about the changes in-depth on Google’s guide for existing users and their FAQ on pricing changes.

How does this affect me?

Beginning June 11, 2018 you’ll need a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account to access the core Google Maps APIs. Once you enable billing, you will gain access to $200 of free monthly usage.

Note that if you do not create an account and provide Google with billing details, calls to the various Google Maps APIs will return an error or a watermarked map (‘for development purposes only’).

How much will I pay?

If you exceed the $200 credit with your total sum of all Google Maps Platform services, your credit card will be charged automatically. To keep your budget on track, you can set budget alerts and daily quotas in your Google account. See the tutorial here.

To get a better estimate of what you’ll pay, review the Google pricing table.

Calls to the directions, streetview and autocomplete API are only made if specific options are enabled.

Is there any way I can get a discount?

Eligible not-for-profit organizations, as well as some startups, crisis response organizations and news media companies can apply for extra free Maps credits. See if you’re eligible for Google for Nonprofits.

How can I reduce number of API Calls?

There are a few options that you can change on the settings page to reduce the amount of API calls.

  • Disable the autocomplete option
  • Enable the ‘When a user clicks on “Directions”, open a new window, and show the route on ?’ option
  • Disable the ‘If street view is available for the current location, then show a “Street view” link in the info window?’ option

I have enabled billing, but the map still isn’t working?

First make sure the problem isn’t related to the API keys.

If the error that shows up in the browser console says ‘API limit reached’, or the map shows ‘for development purposes only’ as an overlay, then you will have to contact Google billing support.

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