Utilizing Free GCP Credits on the Workbench While Setting Up a Long-term Billing Solution

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Researchers may experience delays in continued progress in their workspaces due to process time in setting up their permanent billing solutions after using all of their initial credits. Although researcher workspaces are stored normally following the expiration of these credits, they aren’t accessible until linked with a functional billing account.


This article outlines a way for researchers to potentially obtain more temporary credits from Google that they can use for their workspaces while permanent billing solutions are enabled. Please read our disclaimers below before utilizing these credits.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) credits

GCP offers at least 300.00 in initial credits for Google accounts and profiles that haven’t utilized them before. Unlike All of Us credits, the GCP credits only last a total of 90 days once they’re activated, so they can only serve as a temporary billing solution. For this reason, we strongly encourage users to only use them while finalizing permanent billing solutions for workspaces. Please see this GCP page for more information about these credits. 


Obtaining these credits requires the following:

  1. A Google profile separate from your @researchallofus.org account.
  2. You must be a new GCP user that hasn’t utilized it or the free credits in the past with said Google profile.
  3. You need to link a working credit card with the GCP account to activate the credits. Currently (as of July 2022), Google will only charge the credit card if you’ve consented to that after using all the free credits or they’ve expired following the 90-day activation window.

Since Google won’t charge the credit card unless you’ve consented to purchases, this can serve as a way to temporarily obtain free credits that can be used for your workspaces. See our billing article about linking GCP accounts to workspaces that you can use if and when you obtain the GCP credits. Once you’ve enabled a long-term billing solution, you can then remove this account from your workspaces and if desired, remove your linked credit card from your GCP account.


We also walkthrough the process in the video below (starting at 22 mins in):



The All of Us Program does not guarantee that Google will continue to provide free GCP credits in the future for new users, nor do we guarantee that Google won’t charge your associated credit card without your consent. 


Additionally, we note that there are usage limitations on environments created with free GCP credits, which are detailed in this GCP article. If you get errors about reaching CPU quotas when creating your environment, it's likely because you're exceeding these usage limitations. In that case, you will either have to change your environment settings or upgrade to a paid account.


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