There are four different types of app-related charges and credits that you can receive:
- Subscription charges - These charges are for recurring use of an app, such as a monthly subscription. They appear on your regular Shopify subscription bill.
- App usage charges - These charges are variable based on how much you're using the app or the service that it integrates with (such as the number of interactions provided by a customer service app). They appear on your regular Shopify subscription bill.
- One-time app purchases - These charges are for specific services provided by an app (such as a single migration of your data from one platform to another). They appear on separate bills.
- Application credits - You are entitled to application credits under certain circumstances, such as when you downgrade a paid app subscription partway through its billing cycle. These credits appear on your Shopify subscription bill, and can be used towards future application charges on Shopify.
You are billed for your app subscriptions and app usage as part of Shopify's 30-day subscription billing period. However, your app has a separate 30-day billing cycle, which impacts the charges you'll see on your Shopify bill.
Shopify billing cycle
You are invoiced every 30 days for your Shopify subscription, and you pay in advance for the following 30 days. For example, suppose you receive your Shopify invoice April 5. Since April has 30 days, the cycle will terminate at the end of May 4th. On May 5, you are billed for the second month of your subscription. The third month payment is billed on June 4 since may has 31 days.
App billing cycles
Apps that charge merchants using subscriptions are billed on an independent, 30-day billing cycle. This billing cycle is charged for at the same time as the Shopify subscription. There are two types of subscriptions:
- Recurring pricing plans
- Usage pricing plans
Recurring pricing plans
Recurring app charges are billed with the next Shopify 30-day invoice. In the example below, the bill on May 5 includes the app subscription that overlaps from April 20-May 20. The bill on June 4th similarly includes the app subscription from May 20-June 19 (since May has 31 days).
From your Shopify admin, you can view which subscriptions, including which app subscriptions, have recurring charges.
If you stop paying your bills, or deactivate your store, then Shopify freezes your account and your recurring app charges. If you start your payments again, or re-open your store within 30 days, Shopify unfreezes your account and your recurring app charges resume.
If you pause your store using the Pause and Build plan, you should consider uninstalling any third-party apps that have recurring charges so that you're not billed for those apps after you pause your store.
Usage pricing plans
If you use apps that bill for usage, then you will always be billed for these usage events on the next bill. For example, in the diagram below the usage record created on April 26 will appear on the May 5 bill. The usage record from May 15 appears on the June 3 invoice. Although these two usage records are tied to the same app subscription, they appear on two separate invoices.
It's important to keep these different billing cycles in mind when considering app bills, uninstalling apps, and app usage charges.
Although you'll see recurring app charges on your account as soon as you approve an app charge, the charges aren't due immediately. Recurring app charges are applied to your account either when you receive your 30-day Shopify subscription bill, or if you exceed your billing threshold, whichever comes first.
Uninstalling apps with recurring charges
Make sure that you consider app billing cycles when you plan to uninstall an app. Recurring app charges are generated the first time an app charge is approved, and then on the first day of an app's billing cycle. Because of this, a charge will appear on your bill even if you uninstall an app only a day or two after you install it.
App usage charges
App usage charges are associated with an app's 30-day billing cycle and represent charges for app usage events. Because an app's billing cycle will not necessarily be the same as Shopify's 30-day billing cycle, it's possible to see usage charges for a single app billing cycle spread over two Shopify subscription bills. You should keep the different billing cycles in mind when considering usage charges on your bills.
Apps that issue usage charges can include a capped amount that prevents billing from exceeding a maximum threshold over the duration of the billing period. To continue using an app after exceeding a capped amount, you need to agree to a new usage charge. This prevents you from being charged for any usage over and above the capped amount.
Increase app spending limits for usage charges
Apps that issue usage charges can include a spending limit that prevents app charges from exceeding a maximum threshold over the duration of the billing period. If you reach 90% of your spending limit for an app participating in the beta, then you receive a notification email. If app spending continues and reaches the spending limit, then you risk losing service for the remainder of the billing period for that app. To avoid this, you can increase the app spending limit.
- From your Shopify admin, go to your billing settings page:
United States: From your Shopify admin, go to Finances > Billing.
All other countries: From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Billing.
Click View all subscriptions.
...next to the app.
Click View spending limit.
Enter an amount in the NEW APP SPENDING LIMIT field. The new amount must be greater than your current app spending limit. The app usage charge that's shown here might differ from what's shown on your invoice. The most up-to-date app usage charge is shown here.
Select the checkbox to acknowledge that you're changing your app spending limit.
One-time app charges
One-time app charges are for apps that aren't billed on a recurring basis. You'll see separate bills for any one-time app charges, and they won't appear on your regular Shopify subscription bill.
App prorating, upgrades, and downgrades
If you upgrade or downgrade your subscription with an app, then the app will prompt you to agree to a new recurring app charge. This is because Shopify allows each app only one recurring app charge to be enabled at a time. The existing recurring application charge will be canceled and replaced by the new charge.
Depending on the app, the new recurring app charge is either applied immediately, or after the app's current billing cycle ends.
If the new app charge is applied immediately, then when you upgrade your plan by moving from a less expensive charge to a more expensive charge, the charge is prorated based on the difference in price and the number of days remaining in the billing cycle. For example, if you begin a 30-day billing cycle on a $5.00 plan, and upgrade to a $15.00 plan on day 15 of the billing cycle, then you're charged $5.00 + ($15.00 - $5.00) * (15/30) = $10.00 USD.
If the new app charge is applied immediately, then when you downgrade your plan by moving from a more expensive charge to a less expensive charge, you're automatically offered an application credit based on the difference in price and the number of days remaining in the billing cycle. This application credit can be used towards any future application purchase on Shopify.
Request an app refund or credit
If you want to request a refund or credit for an app that you purchased from the Shopify App Store, then you can use the Get support button to contact the app's developer. The developer might approve or deny your refund request, depending on the circumstances. Check the app's listing page or the developer's home page to see if they have a refund policy.
If the app charge was processed using Shopify, then the app's developer can issue you a refund or give you a credit. Credits will be applied towards any future Shopify App Store purchases. All credits that are applied to Shopify App Store purchases are documented on your subscription bill.
If the app charge was processed outside of Shopify, then the developer can process a refund according to the original payment method used.
- Visit the Shopify App Store and search for the app.
- Click on the app, then click Get support.
- Enter your information and a message, then click Send message.
Replies will be sent to the email address associated with your login.
App billing FAQ
Why does it look like I'm being charged in arrears?
You'll see app charges on your account as soon as you install an app, but fees won't be due until you receive your 30-day bill.
Why am I being billed two times for the same 30 day billing cycle?
If you incur app usage charges after the Shopify cycle has ended but before the apps billing cycle resets, then those usage charges will appear on the next Shopify subscription bill.
Why are taxes applied to my app charges?
If you live in a region where Shopify is required to charge taxes on any of your account charges, these charges appear in your Shopify invoice. This might include your app charges.