The Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Model

The pay-as-you-go pricing model requires users to pay only for the resources they consume, post the consumption. This is a postpaid model in which the price is calculated for each billable resource usage, and the bill is generated on a monthly basis.


  • The pay-as-you-go model saves you from implementing a trial and error method of subscribing to plans or purchasing features beforehand, when you cannot foresee your requirements in advance.

  • You can avail this option if your usage is on a small scale, such as building independent projects or freelancing, or if you prefer only to pay for what you use without prior commitments.

  • You can highly benefit from the pay-as-you-go model’s free tier usage allowance. If you don’t exceed the hard limits imposed for the free usage allowance of a resource, you will not be required to pay for that particular resource utilization.

  • The free tier usage allowance provided by Catalyst for the pay-as-you-go model is refreshed monthly, and is not just a one-time benefit. Therefore, you can continue to stay within the hard limits of the resource utilization each month and potentially avail resources long-term, for free of cost.

Free Tier Usage Allowance

The free tier usage allowance is a set of hard limits defined for the utilization of each billable operation in each Catalyst service, per month. You can refer to the Free Tier help page for the limits of each resource availability in the free tier.

Catalyst allocates USD 5 worth of overall resource utilization under the free tier usage allowance. That is, until the total sum of all the resources utilized for all projects in an account is under USD 5, the free tier will be considered fully active.

Note: Refer to the Pricing Calculation section to understand the units of GB-Second and GB-Hour assigned to Serverless Function and AppSail service executions, mentioned in the Free Tier page.

You can easily track the status of your free tier usage allowance from the Billing section in Settings. You can also find a prompt in the console’s header at all times, displaying one of the three statuses for your Catalyst account:

  • Free Tier: This is shown when your usage is still under the free tier allowance for all billable resources.

  • Free Tier Partially Expired: This is shown when the hard limit set for any of the resource in the free tier is about to expire. That is, when a significant percentage of the free tier allowance for a resource has been used up. This will also list the resources that are about to expire.

  • Free Tier Expired: This is shown when the hard limit set for any of the resources in the free tier has fully expired. This state indicates the complete expiration of the free tier allowance.

Note: You must set up your payment method as soon as you are prompted with the *Free Tier Expired* message in order to continue using the expired resource, which will now be billable. If the payment method is not set up, the expired resource cannot be used further. For example, if you have exceeded Data Store insert operations, you will not be able to perform this action any further. Therefore, to retain the proper functioning of your business logic, set up your payment method before or right after you see the *Free Tier Partially Expired* prompt.

Exceeding Hard Limits

The hard limits for these resource utilization are defined for the entire Catalyst account overall, and not for individual projects or organizations. For example, the hard limit of 5k insertions in the Data Store in the free tier is applicable across all projects in all orgs in your account overall, and not for a single project. The limits can be split across multiple projects in any manner, as the usage is measured in a consolidated way.

If you cross the hard limit defined for a specific resource in the free tier, you are out of the free tier for that resource alone, and you will need to pay for its usage beyond that limit. Catalyst will consider the free tier allowance of only that resource as expired in this case, and not the other resources.


Assume the hard limits for data insertion is 5k and function execution is 25k. If you cross the limit for data insertions, you will be required to pay starting from the 5001st insertion. However, if you have only used 10k function executions, you can continue to use Functions in the free tier until you cross the limit.

Free Tier Expiration

The minimum billing amount considered by Catalyst is USD 5. If you exceed the overall free tier allowance, your due payment will begin from the USD 5 mark.

Additionally, if you exceed the free tier allowance in a specific project, you will still be required to pay the minimum billing amount for all the projects that you have created, in addition to the due amount in the projects you exceeded the usage in.


Assume you created 3 projects created in Catalyst, and you exceed the free tier allowance by USD 1 in Project 1, while still remaining under the free tier limits in Project 2 and Project 3 (under $5 of total usage). Your total amount due will then be:

[$1 + $5 (for project 1) ] + $5 (for project 2) + $5 (for project 3) = $16

Suppose you exceed the free tier usage in Project 2 as well, and utilize $0.50 over the allowance, then your total amount due will be:

[$1 + $5 (for project 1) ] + [$0.5 + $5 (for project 2) + $5 (for project 3)] = $16.5

Note: Catalyst will not charge the minimum billing amount for projects that are completely empty, if you exceed the free tier in one of your projects. The projects in which no resources have been created or utilized will be exempt from billing entirely. However, if even a single billable action has occurred in the project, it will be billed. Therefore, we recommend you to delete all unused projects to optimize your usage.

Last Updated 2024-01-04 12:37:42 +0530 +0530