Self-service trade-in for Azure savings plans

If your Azure Virtual Machines, Dedicated Hosts, or Azure App Service reservations, don't provide the necessary flexibility you need, you can trade them for a savings plan. When you trade-in a reservation and purchase a savings plan, you can select a savings plan term of either one-year to three-year.

Although you can return the above offerings for a savings plan, you can't exchange a savings plan for them or for another savings plan. Due to technical limitations, you can only trade in up to 100 reservations at a time as part of a savings plan purchase.

Apart from Azure Virtual Machines, Dedicated Hosts, or Azure App Service reservations, no other reservations or prepurchase plans are eligible for trade-in.

Note

Through a grace period, you will have the ability to exchange Azure compute reservations (Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, Azure Dedicated Host reservations, and Azure App Services reservations) until at least July 1, 2024. In October 2022 it was announced that the ability to exchange Azure compute reservations would be deprecated on January 1, 2024. This policy’s start date remains January 1, 2024 but with this grace period you now have until at least July 1, 2024 to exchange your Azure compute reservations. Compute reservations purchased prior to the end of the grace period will reserve the right to exchange one more time after the grace period ends.​

This grace period is designed to provide more time for you to determine your resource needs and plan accordingly. For more information about the exchange policy change, see Changes to the Azure reservation exchange policy​.

Azure savings plan for compute was launched in October 2022 to provide you with more flexibility and accommodate changes such as virtual machine series and regions. With savings plan providing flexibility automatically, we adjusted our reservations exchange policy. You can continue to use instance size flexibility for VM sizes, but after the grace period we'll no longer support exchanging instance series or regions for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, Azure Dedicated Host reservations, and Azure App Services reservations. ​

You may trade-in your Azure compute reservations for a savings plan or may continue to use and purchase reservations for those predictable, stable workloads where the specific configuration need is known. For more information, see Self-service exchanges and refunds for Azure Reservations.​

Although compute reservation exchanges become unavailable at the end of the grace period, noncompute reservation exchanges are unchanged. You're able to continue to trade-in reservations for saving plans.​ To trade-in reservation(s) for a savings plan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have owner access on the Reservation Order to trade in an existing reservation. You can Add or change users who can manage a savings plan.
  • You must have the Savings plan purchaser role, or Owner permission on the subscription you plan to use to purchase the savings plan.
    • EA Admin write permission or Billing profile contributor and higher, which are Cost Management + Billing permissions, are supported only for direct Savings plan purchases. They can't be used for savings plans purchases as a part of a reservation trade-in.

The new savings plan's lifetime commitment must equal or be greater than the returned reservation(s)'s remaining commitment. Example: for a three-year reservation that's $100 per month and exchanged after the 18th payment, the new savings plan's lifetime commitment should be $1,800 or more (paid monthly or upfront).

Microsoft isn't currently charging early termination fees for reservation trade ins. We might charge the fees made in the future. We currently don't have a date for enabling the fee.

How to trade in an existing reservation

You can trade in your reservation from Azure portal. When you trade in VM reservations for a savings plan, we cancel your reservation, issue you a pro-rated refund for them, and cancel any future payments (for reservations that were billed monthly). As part of a savings plan purchase, you can trade in up to 100 reservations.

  1. Select the reservations that you want to trade in and select Exchange.
    Screenshot showing the Exchange window.
  2. For each reservation order selected, enter the quantity of reservation instances you want to return. The bottom of the window shows the amount to refund. It also shows the value of future payments that are canceled, if applicable.
  3. Select Compute Savings Plan as the product that you want to purchase.
  4. Enter the necessary information to complete the purchase. For more information, see Buy a savings plan.

Determine savings plan commitment needed to replace your reservation

During a reservation trade-in, the default hourly commitment for the savings plan is calculated using the remaining monetary value of the reservations that are being traded in. The resulting hourly commitment might not be a large enough benefit commitment to cover the virtual machines that were previously covered by the returned reservations. You can calculate the necessary savings plan hourly commitment to cover the reservations as follows:

  1. Follow the first six steps in Estimate costs with the Azure pricing calculator.
  2. Search for the product that you want to return.
  3. Select a savings plan term and operating system, if necessary.
  4. Select Upfront as the payment option. You're using the annual cost only because it's easier to work with in this calculation example.
  5. To determine the hourly commitment for the product, divide the upfront compute charge by:
    • 8,760 for a one-year savings plan
    • 26,280 for a three-year savings plan
      Example screenshot showing the Azure pricing calculator upfront compute charge value example.
  6. Multiply the product’s hourly commitment by the number of instances you're trading-in.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for all reservation products you're trading-in.
  8. Enter the total of the above steps as the hourly commitment, then Add to your cart.
  9. Review and complete the transaction.

The preceding image's price is an example.

The preceding process assumes 100% utilization of the savings plan.

Determine savings difference from reservations to a savings plan

To determine the cost savings difference when switching from reservations to a savings plan, use the following steps.

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate to Reservations to view your list of reservations.
  2. Select the reservation that you want to trade in and select Exchange.
  3. Under the Essentials section, select the Reservation order ID.
  4. In the left menu, select Payments.
  5. Depending on the payment schedule for the reservation, you're presented with either the monthly or full cost of the reservation. You need the monthly cost. If necessary, divide the value by either 12 or 36, depending on the reservation term.
  6. Multiply the monthly cost of the reservation by the number of instances you want to return. For example, the total monthly reservation cost.
  7. To determine the monthly cost of an equivalent-capable savings plan, follow the first six steps in Estimate costs with the Azure pricing calculator.
  8. Search for the compute product associated with the reservation that you want to return.
  9. Select savings plan term and operating system, if necessary.
  10. Select Monthly as the payment option. It's the monthly cost of a savings plan providing equivalent coverage to a resource that was previously covered by the reservation.
    Example screenshot showing the Azure pricing calculator monthly compute charge value example.
  11. Multiply the cost by the number of instances that are currently covered by the reservations to be returned.

The preceding image's price is an example.

The result is the total monthly savings plan cost. The difference between the total monthly savings plan cost minus the total monthly reservation cost is the extra cost incurred by moving resources covered by reservations to a savings plan.

The preceding process assumes 100% utilization of both the reservation(s) and savings plan.

How transactions are processed

The new savings plan is purchased and then the traded-in reservations are canceled. If the reservations were paid for upfront, we refund a pro-rated amount for the reservations. If the reservations were paid monthly, we refund a pro-rated amount for the current month and cancel any future payments. Microsoft processes refunds using one of the following methods, depending on your account type and payment method.

Enterprise agreement customers

Money is added to the Azure Prepayment (previously called monetary commitment) for refunds if the original purchase was made using one. If the Azure Prepayment used to purchase the reservation is no longer active, then credit is added to your current enterprise agreement Azure Prepayment term. The credit is valid for 90 days from the date of refund. Unused credit expires at the end of 90 days.

If the original purchase was made as an overage, the original invoice on which the reservation was purchased and all later invoices are reopened and readjusted. Microsoft issues a credit memo for the refunds.

Microsoft Customer Agreement customers (credit card)

The original invoice is canceled, and a new invoice is created. The money is refunded to the credit card that was used for the original purchase. If you've changed your card, contact support.

Cancel, exchange, and refund policies

You can't cancel, exchange or refund a savings plan.

Need help? Contact us.

If you have Azure savings plan for compute questions, contact your account team, or create a support request. Temporarily, Microsoft only provides Azure savings plan for compute expert support requests in English.

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