Guide - How to Avail AWS Credits for Startups and Early-Stage Businesses

AWS, Amazon Web Services, AWS Credits

Please make sure to check specific eligibility criteria before you apply for any programs. Depending on the programs, you may get rejected without any clear reasons. You can re-check all the criteria and apply again.

The availability of certain AWS credit programs may vary, so it's worth checking the details regularly to see which ones are currently accepting applications.

AWS Activate Program

  • AWS Activate Founders: Designed for early-stage startups with no venture capital or institutional funding. Eligible startups can receive up to $1,000 in AWS credits, $350 in Developer Support credits, and other benefits.
  • AWS Activate Providers: For startups associated with an AWS Activate Provider (accelerator, incubator, seed/VC fund, or other startup-enabling organization). Startups can receive up to $100,000 in AWS credits, $10,000 in AWS Business Support credits, and other resources.
  • How to Qualify: You'll need an active AWS account, a company website, and usually a LinkedIn page. The criteria vary based on the specific Activate offer you're applying for.

AWS Promotional Credit

  • Keep an eye on AWS announcements and events. AWS often provides promotional credits during (online/offline) events, webinars, and for participating in challenges or hackathons.
  • Keep in mind that these credits may not be sufficiently large to cover your usage.

AWS Marketplace

  • AWS Marketplace frequently offers promotional credits for using certain products or services. Check the Marketplace for any ongoing promotions.

AWS Partner Network (APN) Programs

  • If your business is a part of the AWS Partner Network, you might be eligible for additional credits and resources through various APN programs.

AWS Events and Competitions

  • Participate in AWS events such as re:Invent, Summits, and AWS competitions. AWS often provides credits to attendees and winners.

Third-Party Accelerators and Incubators

  • Many accelerators and incubators partner with AWS and provide their startups with AWS credits. Examples include Y Combinator, Accel, Sequoia, Techstars, and 500 Startups.

Students and Educators

  • AWS Educate is open to any individual, regardless of where they are in their education, technical experience, or career journey.

Special Initiatives and Programs

Some of these programs might have geographic and other eligibility criteria, please check FAQs before applying.

Country/Region Specific Programs

3rd Party Services and Resellers

Tips for Maximizing your AWS Credits

  • Plan Your Usage: Prioritize using AWS credits for critical workloads and development environments to extend their lifespan.
  • Monitor Your Spendings: Use AWS Cost Explorer and AWS Budgets to track and manage your spending to avoid overspending beyond your credits.
  • Leverage Free Tier: Utilize AWS Free Tier services as much as possible to minimize the consumption of your credits.
  • Serverless Infrastructure: Opt for serverless architectures such as AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and AWS Fargate. Serverless services often have lower operational costs and can help maximize your AWS credits.


AWS credits can provide a significant boost to startups and early-stage businesses, helping them to build, test, and scale their applications without incurring high costs. By leveraging the various AWS programs and opportunities, you can access the resources you need to drive your business forward.

Feel free to share this list with your colleagues and community. If you have any specific questions or need further guidance, please reach out to us!

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