Refunds and Adjustments


Oh no, did a number change on your AdWords account balance? Google calls this an “adjustment”. There are two types of adjustments:

  • Credits—This adjustment reduces your account balance. In other words, the amount you owe to Google becomes smaller!
  • Debits—This adjustment increases your account balance.

Most of the time, adjustments come in the form of credits, the nicer of the two. Google is very transparent about the Adjustments applied to your account. To view them, go to your account, click on the gear icon  and view the “Billing” section. You should be very familiar with these steps by now.


Types of AdjustmentNote
Service adjustmentThis is the fancy term for promotional code credit!
When you fulfil the requirements for your promo code, Google will credit you with a “service adjustment”, which will help you with any future advertising costs.
Invalid activity, or click quality adjustmentIt is a bad, bad world. Sometimes, there are robots and automated clicking software that click on your ads. Google makes sure that you don’t have to pay for these unfair clicks and impressions.
Overdelivery creditSometimes, Google shows your ad more often than you paid for. It is a built-in accident, so that Google can make up for the times with low internet traffic, when they did not show your ad. Don’t count on this as a revenue source though, it always balances out.
On the days that Google does overdeliver you ad, Google will credit the overdelivery cost back to you. You’ll be charged no more than what you budgeted.
Account budget overrunThis adjustment applies to manual payment users. If your advertising cost exceeds your prepaid balance, Google will credit back the excess amount.

The general message here is that Google honours your budget, and never makes you pay for more than you committed to.


In a world where we comfortably purchase things online and return them later, we take refund policies for granted. If a company is legitimate, there must be a good refund policy in place. At Google AdWords, refunds are only provided to customers who have cancelled their account.


Processing time2 weeks for Google  to process + an additional 3-5 days for your bank to process, although this can go up to 10 days
Banking methodBank account or credit card associated with your AdWords account

You cannot ask for a refund for money from a promotional code. The terms and conditions of credit given to you from a promotion clearly states that that money can only be used as advertising spend, and cannot be exchanged for cash. Besides, you cannot ask for a refund if you still have an outstanding balance to pay.

Quick Tip

  • You must cancel your account before asking for a refund. To do this, click the gear icon and choose Account settings. Select “Preferences” and click “Cancel this account” at the bottom of the page.
  • Don’t worry about losing any credit, Google will prompt you afterwards to pick up your cash on the way out. They’ll let you know if there are refunds applicable to you. A red notice will appear at the top of the page, with a link to “Complete a refund”. Simply fill out the form and submit it.