How Metabase billing works

When you sign up for a paid Metabase plan on our website, you can elect to pay in two ways:

Both billing frequencies include a flat monthly or annual payment, and bill additional user accounts each month on a prorated basis.

Companies with large number of users can talk to sales about our Enterprise plan, which includes more options and discounts.

How monthly billing works

Though we bill you monthly, we calculate how much you owe each day. So, say you’re on the Starter plan. Your monthly bill would include:

  • $85 flat payment for the month. This payment additionally covers the first five people who use your Metabase that month. If you have fewer than five people using your Metabase, your bill will still be $85 that month.
  • Each additional person costs $5, prorated for how many days their accounts were available that month. So if an account only existed for the last 10 days of your 30 day billing period, you’d only be charged for those 10 days, not for the full 30 days. Same goes if you deactivated an account prior to the end of the billing period, you’ll only be charged for the days when the account was available for use during that billing period. Basically, you only ever pay for all accounts in your Metabase that haven’t been deactivated yet.

How annual billing works

Paying up front for a year will save you 10%. So, again let’s use the Starter plan as an example. With annual billing, you will:

  • Have an annual payment of $918. That payment additionally covers five user accounts. This flat payment is made up front; it’s not billed monthly. If you have fewer than five accounts, you still pay $918 for the year.
  • For each additional user account above those first five user accounts, you’ll be billed at $54, prorated for the year. So, for example, if you start out with just the first five accounts that are included in the initial $918 annual payment, then decide to add another user account six months into your annual billing cycle, you’ll only be charged $27 dollars for that account, as you’ll only need to pay for the remaining six months. When the annual billing cycle repeats, you’ll be charged $918 for the first five users, plus $54 for that additional user (and any other additional users you’ve added in the interim).
  • If your user account number dips below the amount you’ve already paid for, you won’t be refunded. But you’ll also only be charged for additional users when the number goes above the previously paid amount.

To repeat: the upfront annual payment, as well as each additional annual user payment, is non-refundable. We offer this discounted rate as way to encourage long-term investment in Metabase, which helps us hire more people, improve the product and customer experience, and support the open source project. If you’re not ready to commit, no worries; stick with monthly billing.

When you should choose annual billing

Generally, annual billing is a great deal; it’s cheaper across the board. The only case where you might want to prefer monthly billing is if you anticipate downsizing the number of user accounts over the course of the next year.

What counts as a user account?

An user account is any account which has been added to your Metabase instance (manually or via SSO) that has not been deactivated. You can view a list of user accounts in your Admin settings -> People list. Any user account which has been deactivated doesn’t count toward your number of user accounts. That is to say: if an account exists, but has not been deactivated, that account will count toward your bill, even if no one signs in and uses that account. If an account is deactivated, that account is charged for the number of days the account was available for use during that billing period, including the day it was deactivated (since it was available for use for part of the day up until it was deactivated).

Counting user accounts across multiple Metabases

If you use the same token (license key) for multiple Metabase instances, Metabase will sum the number of user accounts across all instances that use that license.

For example, say you’re running two Metabase instances, A and B.

  • A has 3 user accounts
  • B has 5 user accounts

Your number of user accounts would total 8.

Metabase counts each user account as unique, even if that account uses the same email for multiple Metabases. For example, if has an account in both instance A and instance B, the total will double count (the tallying works like COUNT, not COUNT DISTINCT).

Metabase checks the total number of user accounts over rolling 72-hour periods. If you start with 8 accounts, then deactivate an account from one instance, and add an account to another instance 72 hours later, your total number of user accounts would remain the same (8 accounts).

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