Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure are the top three cloud platforms out there. All three platforms offer a wide range of services and tools, and they can be used to create a variety of applications.

So, you’ve decided to make the right career move and learn cloud. You are new to cloud and you don’t want to spend a lot of money to get that hands on experience learning. Don’t worry, there are a number of ways to get started without spending a penny.

AWS, GCP and Azure all offer free credits to new users. These credits can be used to test out the platforms before making any purchases, or they can be used to start developing your own applications.

To get started with AWS, GCP or Azure, you first need to sign up for an account. Once you have an account, you can start adding credits to your account. You can also use these credits to purchase services from AWS, GCP or Azure.

It is important to note that you would need your credit card to register for any of the cloud provider. Additionally, it is important to note that to avail the free services or credit, you should’ve never been a paying customer of these cloud providers.

Below is a breakdown of how to get these credits for free from these top public cloud providers. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Although AWS doesn’t give free credits for personal use, however, what you get for free from AWS is very generous. At the time of writing this blog, some of the examples include – 

  1. Compute
    • 12 months 750 hours of Amazon EC2 for free
    • AWS Lamda 1 million requests per month
  2. Storage
    • 12 months 5 GB of Amazon S3
    • 12 months 750 hours of Amazon RDS for free
    • 12 months 5 GB of Amazon EFS
    • 25 GB of Amazon Dynamo Db
  3. Machine Learning
    • 12 months 5 million characters/month of Amazon Polly
    • 12 months 5,000 images/month of Amazon Rekognition

You can check all Free services here. Not only these credits are good for learning but using these Services you can set up a cloud server for your own website. Amazon also offers free credits for educators who want to use its AWS cloud platform. These credits can be used to access Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) vast array of services, including EC2 (the company’s public cloud), S3 (its storage service), DynamoDB (a NoSQL database), and more. 

With AWS you need to be careful and make sure you are tracking the costs. Set up cost alarms that can notify you if the budget goes past a certain amount. 

To register for AWS services, visit this login link.

AWS Beginners Guide


Microsoft offers a $200 credit to try out any service of your choosing for its cloud service Azure. Additionally, with Azure you get free monthly amounts of two groups of services: popular services, which are free for 12 months, and more than 40 other services that are free always. You can check out this link on the complete set of services. 

You should never come close to the credit amount of $200 US dollars in your individual learning process, unless you make a mistake and keep a high usage service on permanently. Again the trick is to set up alarms to get notifications for the usage. Azure  also sends you notifications if you are nearing your one month trial period end or about to go over the $200 limit. 

Microsoft also offers free credits for educators who want to use its Azure cloud platform. This includes Office 365 (for schools), Azure Active Directory Premium subscription plans (for businesses), and more.

To register for Azure services, visit this login link.

Azure Beginners Guide

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

GCP is by far the most generous giving out the free credits. The offer from Google is 90 day trial with a $300 credit to use towards the cloud services. You can use the free trial credits towards all Google Cloud resources, including Google Maps Platform usage. 

After 90 days, Google’s free trial expires and users have the option to cancel their account. However, a lot of progress can be made in learning within this time limit.

Login link for Google cloud console. 

GCP Beginners Guide

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) offers a $300 credit to try out its services for 30 days. This credit can be used for anything on the cloud platform, including applications and services. High level overview includes:

  • Access to a wide range of Oracle Cloud services for 30 days, including Databases, Analytics, Compute, and Container Engine for Kubernetes
  • Up to eight instances across all available services
  • Up to 5 TB of storage

OCI also offers always free services. The complete list can be checked here. Free resources can be used as long as you want with no time constraints—subject only to the capacity limits noted. As with other cloud providers, when the 30-day trial period for the expanded set of services ends, you can continue using Always Free services with no interruption.

To sign up for OCI visit this link.


Cloud ProviderOffer
AWSFree Tier Services
Azure$200, 30 day trial, free 12 months services, free usage services
GCP$300, 90 day trial, free usage services
OCI$300, 30 day trial, free usage services
Summary of Free Cloud Services

Always be mindful of the costs that you would incur using the cloud services. As soon as you are done using and learning a particular service, tear down the environment to stop incurring additional costs. 

Using these free credits, you’ll be able to learn how to use cloud computing in your career. Start learning today by signing up for a free trial of one of the providers mentioned or using credits you already have.

Further Reading

Check out these use cases on how companies are leveraging the power of cloud.

These cloud jobs are high paying and you can get these with the certifications listed in the blog.