EC2 Reserved Instance Payment Pending

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Risk level: High (not acceptable risk)
Rule ID: EC2-051

Identify any pending Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance (RI) purchases available within your AWS account and follow Cloud Conformity guidelines for remediation in order to receive a significant discount on the hourly charges. A payment-pending EC2 RI purchase is a reservation purchase that can't be fully processed due to issues with the payment method used by the AWS user, that maintains the 'payment-pending' status long after the initial purchase attempt - not to be confused with the pending state temporarily installed during a successfully processed EC2 RI purchase (i.e. where the reservation status changes from 'payment-pending' to 'active' in a timely manner).

This rule can help you with the following compliance standards:

  • APRA
  • MAS
  • AWAF

For further details on compliance standards supported by Conformity, see here.

This rule resolution is part of the Conformity Security & Compliance tool for AWS.


EC2 Reserved Instances represent an efficient strategy to cut down on AWS costs. However, to receive the billing discount benefit promoted by Amazon, you need to make sure that all your EC2 reservation purchases have been fully processed (i.e. successfully confirmed by AWS) and none of them remained in the "payment-pending" state.


To identify any pending EC2 RI purchases available within your AWS account, perform the following:

Using AWS Console

01 Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

02 Navigate to EC2 dashboard at

03 In the navigation panel, under INSTANCES section, choose Reserved Instances.

04 On the EC2 Reserved Instances page, click inside the attributes filter box located under the dashboard top menu, choose State parameter from the dropdown list and select Payment Pending option. This filtering method, i.e.

Payment Pending option

will help you to determine if there are any incomplete EC2 reservation purchases available in the current AWS region. If one or more EC2 RIs matching the filter criteria are found, the purchase payment for the returned Reserved Instance(s) was not fully processed, therefore you need to retry your RI(s) purchase payment by contacting AWS Support Center (For more information see Remediation/Resolution section).

05 Change the AWS region from the navigation bar and repeat the audit process for the other regions.


01 Run describe-reserved-instances command (OSX/Linux/UNIX) using predefined query filters to list the IDs of all incomplete EC2 RI purchases, i.e. reservation purchases with the "payment-pending" status, available in the selected AWS region:

aws ec2 describe-reserved-instances
	--region us-east-1
	--filters "Name=state,Values=payment-pending"
	--output table
	--query 'ReservedInstances[*].ReservedInstancesId'

02 The command output should return a table with the requested RI IDs if there are purchases that are not fully processed or an empty table if there are no issues with the EC2 reservations available in the current region:

|        ReservedInstancesIds          |
| 6a793a45-5217-ba34-b05b-c9ab88e04f55 |
| c497fa93-e282-4f55-b59a-1342f24e04f0 |

If the returned table contains one or more EC2 RI IDs (as shown in the example above), there are incomplete Reserved Instance(s) purchases within your account, therefore you must retry your pending RI(s) purchases payment by contacting AWS Support Center using the console at

03 Change the AWS region by updating the --region command parameter value and repeat step no. 1 and 2 to perform the entire process for other regions.

Remediation / Resolution

Partial Upfront and All Upfront Reserved Instance types require an upfront payment. When the issuing institution of your payment method is rejecting the upfront payment required for Partial Upfront or All Upfront RI types requests, your reservation purchases can’t be confirmed and Amazon set their status to "payment-pending", hence these purchases remain unprocessed. To mitigate incomplete AWS EC2 reservations you need to retry these Reserved Instance(s) payments by contacting Amazon Web Services. To create the necessary case through the AWS Support Center, perform the following actions:

Note: Requesting Amazon to retry your pending EC2 Reserved Instance(s) payments using AWS Billing and Cost Management console or AWS API via Command Line Interface (CLI) is not currently supported.

Using AWS Console

01 Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

02 Navigate to AWS Support Center page at

03 On Support Center page, click the Create case button to open a support case.

04 On the Create Case page, perform the following:

  1. Under Regarding, select Account and Billing Support option.
  2. Choose Billing from the Service dropdown list to send your request to AWS Billing and Cost Management service.
  3. Select Reserved Instances from the Category dropdown list.
  4. Inside the Subject box, enter a subject for your request such as "Retry EC2 Reserved Instance pending payment".
  5. Within Description textbox, enter a small description for your request so that AWS support can evaluate properly your request.
  6. Under Contact method, select a preferred contact method that AWS support team can use to respond to your request. If your need is urgent, choose Phone as contact method to request a direct phone call.
  7. Click Submit to send the payment retry request for your EC2 Reserved Instance(s) to Amazon Web Services. A customer support representative will contact you shortly.


Publication date Mar 7, 2017

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EC2 Reserved Instance Payment Pending

Risk level: High