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See a full breakdown of how credits are allocated towards different resource classes and the CPU and memory specifications for each type.

Learn more about how credits are used at CircleCI and applied towards user seats and compute.

Open source projects have high quality demands but limited resources. Enjoy 400,000 build credits/month for OSS, on us.

Frequently asked questions

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Credits are the currency of CircleCI. Credits are purchased up-front and are used to pay for CircleCI platform usage in real time. Platform usage consists of:

Monthly active users - By using credits to pay for monthly active users, your organization is never restricted to a static number of active users each month.

Compute time - Each resource type on CircleCI has an associated credit/minute price. Your credits are used in real time whenever your organization is actively using a compute resource on CircleCI.

Add-on features - Some features of CircleCI have additional credit costs associated with them. These costs may be represented in credits per use or in credits per minute.

Additional network & storage use - network and storage utilization beyond the plan-specified thresholds is charged at 420 credits/GB.

The Performance plan provides two purchase options for your convenience.

  1. In the M2M (or default) option, credits are purchased on a monthly cycle. You can set up a monthly amount to be billed at the start of your billing cycle.

    • Credits are purchased in blocks of 25,000. At the beginning of each billing month (based on your purchase date), you are charged for your credits and those credits are added to your account.

    • When you use up all your credits, then credits automatically refill to a level of 25% of your monthly amount, with a minimum refill amount of 25,000 credits.

    For example:
    If your monthly credit purchase is 200,000 credits, you will automatically be refilled 50,000 credits when you run out of credits.

  2. In the Prepaid Billing option, credits can be purchased at a discount based on credit volume. The account is reloaded when credits run out (based on your usage).

    • Bulk purchases can be made starting at 1 million credits for $600. Discounts start when you purchase 5 million credits for $3,000.

    • To purchase discounted credits in bulk, visit the Plan Overview Page in your CircleCI account, and select the Prepaid Billing option.

Please note that all paid credits are valid up to 12 months from the time of purchase, regardless of the purchase option.

Learn more about Prepaid Billing here.

Credits on the free plan expire after a month and do not roll over.

The Performance plan includes the 30,000 credits available to the Free plan; these expire and do not roll over month to month.

Performance plan users may purchase additional credits at $15 for every 25,000 credits. Any paid credits roll over month to month, and expire after a year.

Unused credits will be forfeited if the account subscription is canceled.

Example: 30,000 credits at a rate of 10 credits per min (using Linux Medium) is 3,000 minutes.

It’s important to note that a minute on CircleCI is different than a minute on other CI platforms. Access to more powerful resources, Docker Layer Caching, as well as concurrency and parallelism mean you can do more in a minute on CircleCI than anywhere else.

Concurrent job runs refers to the number of jobs that can run simultaneously without queueing. You pay for compute based on the total amount of time you use compute resources, not the number of resources that you have access to. This means you can choose the right plan for your team to maximize concurrent jobs and parallelism for your jobs to minimize queuing.

For example, say you have a workflow with 10 jobs that each take 5 minutes to run. If you are limited to 1x concurrency, each of these jobs runs subsequently, and the workflow completes in 50 minutes. With scaling concurrency, you can run all 10 jobs concurrently (at the same time), and the workflow completes in 5 minutes. In both cases, your total usage time is 50 minutes since you used 10 machines for 5 minutes each. With usage-based pricing, that means you pay the same amount either way, but if you maximize your concurrency, you save 45 minutes of time waiting for your workflow to complete.

Self-hosted runner concurrency is the amount of runner tasks that can be run at the same time. This includes machine and container runner. For example, CircleCI customers on the Free plan have 5 concurrent tasks that can be used for machine and container runner.

CircleCI offers free access to compute time and resources for organizations on our Free plan. Open source projects can access up to 400,000 credits per month (equivalent to 80,000 build minutes) to use on Linux, Arm, and Docker.

Open source Windows and macOS builds or private repositories can use the 30,000 credits offered in our free plan.

If you are building a bigger open source project and would like the flexibility of our new plans, let us know how we can help you!

Learn more about building open source projects with CircleCI.

Network egress is triggered by restoring caches and workspaces to self-hosted runners.

Any egress triggered by our cloud executors is not passed on to the customer.

Learn more about how to calculate and adjust network usage.

Activities that utilize storage include saving caches and workspaces in jobs, uploading test results, and building artifacts.

Learn more about how to calculate and adjust storage usage.

Yes, both network and storage beyond the monthly thresholds are charged at 420 credits/GB ($0.252/GB).

Docker layer caching uses 200 credits per job run in a pipeline (equivalent to $0.12/job run). For example, if your configuration specifies a workflow with three parallel Docker build jobs, you will be charged 600 credits each time these jobs are run in addition to the compute credits/minute usage.

The IP ranges feature costs 450 credits per GB of data used by jobs with the feature enabled.

An admin for your CircleCI account, can pay by logging into the CircleCI application and going to Settings → Plan Overview. From there, you can sign up for a paid plan via credit card. If you are on a paid plan, updates to payment can be made in the billing portal, and also in the applications Plan Overview page.

Credit usage covers access to compute. We prefer to keep usage costs as low as possible to encourage frequent job runs, which is the foundation of a good CI practice. Per-active-user fees cover access to platform features and job orchestration. This includes features like dependency caching, artifact caching, and workspaces, all of which speed up build times without incurring additional compute cost. Our per-active-user charge also allows us to provide support to all customers and deliver additional features like insights and orbs.

Anyone who triggers a build on CircleCI is an active user, regardless of whether they have a CircleCI account. If a user without a CircleCI account triggers a build, for example via a pull request on a repo, they are counted as an active user.

Self-hosted runners can incur network egress cost (at a rate of 420 credits per GB) if usage exceeds the network allowance included in your plan. CircleCI does not charge per build minute on self-hosted runners.

Learn more about how to calculate and adjust network usage.