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Google removes manual payment option from AdWords. How to control AdWords spend

Posted by Blaine Peakall in adwords

Manual Payment Option Removed

Last month we discovered that Google had removed the option for new UK AdWords clients to pay for ad clicks using the manual payment option (prepay). This option allowed advertisers to pre-fund their account with a fixed sum of their own choice (normally from a credit card). When funds in the account ran out ads would stop and the advertiser would need to login to make another manual payment.

This option was popular with smaller advertisers because it offered the ultimate control over AdWords expenditure, i.e. you could never spend more than you manually put in to the account.

AdWords Manual Payment Option (Prepay)

Checking with Google last week they confirmed that the option for manual payments has been removed for new UK accounts and they will be migrating all existing accounts to automatic payments “in time”. Further checks showed that existing accounts set for Automatic Payments could not be changed back to Manual Payments.

Automatic Payment Option

The only payment option available now to new advertisers is automatic payments (postpay). In this scenario ads start serving straight away and advertisers pay for their ad clicks every 30 days or when the account has reached a certain threshold that Google defines (often £50 for new accounts but can rise to £500+ for larger accounts).

AdWords Automatic Payment Option (postpay)The key issue is that Google automatically takes a payment to cover the account balance from the advertisers credit card (or bank if the advertiser prefers). For the advertiser it removes the ultimate control over expenditure and requires more focus on the other AdWords spending controls.


How to Control AdWords Spend

Set your Daily Budget

Set at a campaign level you define the maximum budget you can spend on ad clicks per day.

AdWords Campaign Budget

If you have multiple campaigns you can set individual budgets or use the new shared budget option to spread across two or more campaigns.

AdWords Shared Budgets

Be aware that Google can overspend your daily budget by up to 20% if on some days during the month you have not completely used your budget. Google will not overspend your monthly budget based on 30.4 * daily budget (30.4 being the average number of days in a month).

Set a Campaign End Date

Many advertisers forget that they can set their campaign to end at a specific date. Look in the advanced settings option within your campaign.

AdWords Campaign End Date

Use a Prepaid Debit Card

If you are really concerned about allowing Google access to your credit card or bank account, why not sign-up for a prepaid debit card (see examples at money.co.uk). By depositing funds to the card you are effectively creating the same controls provided by the now retired AdWords manual payment option.


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