Google now require a credit card to access Google Maps!

Google Maps Platform is changing to a pay-as-you-go billing starting June 11. You get $200 dollars in free credit each month but you will need a Google Cloud Platform billing account to use maps and this requires a credit card.

My problem is:

1,Should I contact all my past clients to see if they want to give cc info or just let the map part of their sites break. (I have had nothing to do with some for years!).

2, Will theme authors keep using google maps in their theme options and short codes? I would rather they used a free alternative.

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Nobody seems pleased about it on reddit:

The title is a bit misleading and alarming.

Google requires for maps indeed now a billing account, that is true, but they offer a $200 free usage for all accounts (everything that’s more will be paid).

BUT: most users will not reach that $200 free usage limit in a month, because for instance this $200 free usage includes free 100.000 static web maps. And most websites do not have 100.000 monthly displays of the map.

Unless you have a large website, for instance a real estate website with a lot of traffic, most probably this change will not affect you so you will not have to pay.

@hevada I don’t see why you find the title misleading? You cannot set up google maps on a clients site without a credit card.

I have dozens of google map api’s on my account, some for websites like travel guides and holiday apartment rentals which use a very lot of maps. If I add a credit card and there is a sudden spike in traffic to any site then I could be billed thousands of dollars!

This is a nightmare from my perspective as all our past projects will now return low-resolution maps watermarked with “for development purposes only.”

Also I don’t want to contact hundreds of past clients and ask them for their credit card just to get the maps working again - It would be met with a lot of confusion and would make me sound like a scammer.


Because it makes you think that you can display a contact map on your map only if you pay with a credit card. While there is a free quota with quite generous free limits :slight_smile:

I’m definitely not going to argue with you :slight_smile: We are on the same side, after all. That affects me too as well as it affects other themes/plugins/website developers.

For instance, I already started receiving refund requests because of these Google API changes.

We will see, at this very moment it is hard to predict what will happen with existing Google maps users.

All the best!

Hi @goofydadog - thanks for raising this! It’s quite a big change, and potentially affects a lot of authors and customers. We have a few teams doing some further research into this now.

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What happens if we reached the $200 quota? Does the map doesn’t work? or are we charge?

Not an official answer:

As we understand it then this is the reason for registering a card - so that excessive use can be billed.

That said it would require a pretty major site to cross the ‘free’ use volumes.

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Yep - per the FAQ on the Google Maps Platform homepage:

Even though the first $200 a month is free, we ask for your credit card or billing account to cover any amount you spend over this free credit

Also worth noting that since Google Maps is now a part of Google Cloud, new users get an additional $300 account credit which lasts for one year.


But who uses static google maps? For dynamic maps (and here the change is the most noticeable) free tier now is 28K hits a Month (previously 25K a Day) with $7 fee for every thousand hits above the limit. Not to mention changes to routes or places .

Literally, having a free app today, you can suddenly start paying thousands of dollars a month.

Yes, you are right about this one, my mistake, I wanted to mention the dynamic maps, but I wrote this morning from my phone and I made a mistake. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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@BenLeong Thanks for your reply.

For contact pages you could just embed a map as an iframe or use a image with a link “View on google maps” but that is far from ideal.

I will try bing maps for now. (A few years back I was walking in central London and some Microsoft guys randomly invited me for a free beer in this great big Bing Tent - so I kind of like them anyway.)

Following up on this discussion - we’ve just published some details on the Google Maps platform changes, which can be found here: Important Changes to the Google Maps Platform

I’ll close this thread so we can keep all discussions in a central location, independent of CodeCanyon or ThemeForest (as authors in both marketplaces are potentially affected).

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