There are four different types of app-related charges and credits that you can receive:
- Recurring app charges - These charges are for recurring or ongoing use of an app (such as a monthly subscription). They appear on your regular Shopify subscription invoice.
- 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 invoice.
- One-time app charges - 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 invoices.
- 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 invoice, and can be used towards future application charges on Shopify.
Recurring app charges
Each app has its own 30-day billing cycle, which is separate from Shopify's 30-day subscription billing period:
It's important to keep these different billing cycles in mind when considering app invoices, 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 invoice, 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 invoice even if you uninstall an app only a day or two after you install it.
Overlapping app billing cycles
If you uninstall and re-install an app, then you'll have two overlapping billing cycles, and two app charges will appear on the same invoice.
Overlapping app billing cycles can also occur when an app's billing cycle starts on the same day of a previous Shopify 30-day invoice. You can review the invoice's app billing cycle dates to verify that the charges apply to two different billing cycles.
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 invoices. You should keep the different billing cycles in mind when considering usage charges on your invoices.
Apps that issue usage charges 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.
One-time app charges
One-time app charges are for apps that aren't billed on a recurring basis. You'll see separate invoices for any one-time app charges, and they won't appear on your regular Shopify subscription invoice.
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.
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 then upgrade to a $15.00 plan on day 15 of the billing cycle, you'd be charged $5.00 + ($15.00 - $5.00) * (15/30) = $10.00 USD.
If you downgrade your plan by moving from a more expensive charge to a less expensive charge, then 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.
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 invoice.
Why am I being invoiced 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 invoice.