ArcGIS Online

Understanding and managing ArcGIS Online credits

ArcGIS Online credits are the currency used across ArcGIS Online. They are consumed during specific transactions, such as performing analytics and storing features. ArcGIS Online and any ArcGIS product that interacts with ArcGIS Online, such as ArcGIS Pro, Insights for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Enterprise, and Survey123 for ArcGIS, can use credits.

There are many ways ArcGIS Online users and administrators can maintain their credit budgets. Regardless of the ArcGIS product you are using, credits are managed through ArcGIS Online. This blog article will show you best practices for managing your credits. We will also share answers to questions users asked during our recent User Conference Spotlight Talk.


Tips for administrators

1. Turn on credit budgeting

Administrators can allocate credits to users by turning on credit budgeting. Turning this on:

Turn on credit budgeting by following this path: Organization: Settings > Credits > Enable credit budgeting tools.

How to turn on credit budgeting

2. Create custom member roles with privileges

When administrators know which tools members need, they can create and assign custom member roles with privileges to limit access to credit consuming tools.

Within the privilege settings, the “Premium Content” section defines the access each member role has to credit consuming tools and content including:

Within the “Content” section, the administrator can control access to feature storage by preventing or enabling users to:

Create custom roles by following this path: Organization > Settings > Member Role

List of all the role privilege options

3. Monitor organizational usage

Administrators can monitor their members’ credit usage through tools on the Organization page Overview and Status tabs that enable them to:

Administrators will also receive an email notification when a member has consumed all their credits (when credit budgeting is enabled), when the organization has consumed 75% or more of its credits, and when the organization has consumed all its credits. Additional service credits are sold in blocks of 1,000 and can be purchased at any time through the Esri Store.

Storage Usage Chart

Tips for everyone

1. Monitor your usage

Visit your profile page to see the number of credits available to you. (If you don’t see this information, ask your administrator to enable it within the credits settings.)

2. Know how many credits the transaction requires

Before running an analysis tool in ArcGIS Online, you can use the credit estimator to calculate the expected number of credits you will use in the transaction. Click “show credits” above the “run analysis” button to run the credit estimator.

ArcGIS Online Show Credits Button

Feature storage is the only credit-consuming service that cannot be calculated with the credit estimator. Storage is calculated for the organization, not individual members, and is charged hourly. If you are worried about storing a large or complex item, upload the item and check it in an hour using the Feature Storage Report. You must be an administrator to access this report. If the item is consuming too many credits, you can modify or delete it.

3. Understand what consumes—and doesn’t consume—credits

Know what capabilities consume credits and at what rate. This informative table includes a list of credit-consuming capabilities, the rate of consumption, as well as examples of where the capability is used.


Questions & Answers from a User Conference Spotlight Talk


Q: Why does ArcGIS use credits? They make us uncomfortable.

A: Different organizations use credits for different things. Polling the audience during our spotlight talk, we found that some organizations use their credits geocoding, others storing features, while others were running analysis. The use cases for ArcGIS are incredibly diverse, and we only want to charge our users for the portion of ArcGIS they use. Credits enable us to do that.


Q: When does geocoding consume credits?

A: Searching for addresses does not consume credits. Credits are only consumed when geocoded points are saved, for example, when you drag and drop a CSV of addresses into a web map and geocode them into points.


Q: Do field collection apps consume credits?

A: When data is collected in the field, it is added to a feature layer. Storing the features consumes credits. The size and complexity of the feature layer will determine how many credits are consumed storing it.


Q: Does storing media files in ArcGIS Online consume a lot of credits?

A: You can store photos, PDFs, and videos as items or with features as attachments. In both scenarios, the media files will be charged as file storage which is more economical than feature storage.


Q: If I geocode a set of addresses and then geocode that same set of addresses plus a few new ones, will I be charged credits for the addresses I already geocoded?

A: Yes. Every address will be geocoded. The best way to update your data and avoid duplicate geocoding is to use an append workflow.


Q: What happens when a user does not have enough credits for a specific transaction?

A: When a member submits a transaction in Map Viewer that exceeds their budget, they will receive an error message informing them that they do not have enough credits to perform the operation. The transaction will not start if there are not enough credits. They can ask their administrator for additional credits for the transaction.

A: When using the REST API, the transaction will consume credits until the budget runs out. Then the operation will stop. Make sure you have enough credits when using the REST API or add a credit budget check in your app so you do not waste credits in a partial transaction.

About the authors

Princess was a senior product marketing manager for ArcGIS Online, Esri's flagship mapping and analysis software-as-a-solution tool. She is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and the University of Southern California. Aside from her experience in marketing groundbreaking technology products, she is passionate about sustainability and social equality.


Liz was an associate product manager on Esri's ArcGIS Online team. Prior that, she was a multimedia specialist and product engineer on Esri's ArcGIS StoryMaps team, where she specialized in place-based storytelling and participatory GIS, with a focus on leveraging GIS for equity and social justice.


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