You might not be aware of it, which is to say I wasn’t aware of it, and since I don’t want to feel dumb, I’ll kindly forgive you for not knowing about this, but Google has changed the payment options for setting up an AdWords account. More precisely, they’ve taken away the payment options and given you the ability to choose from either Automatic Payments or Automatic Payments.
The way that automatic payments work is that you just set it and forget it. You set your credit card or bank account to be drained by Google and forget this is happening until you’ve spent a ton of money, at least unless you’re checking your spending on a regular basis.
Previously, you had the option to prepay and refill funds as needed, giving you control over your spending cap and actually allowing you to set it and forget it. According to Google, prepay is no longer available for new account to prevent ads from being interrupted due to lack of funds, which is kind of the point, isn’t it? They state that you can still limit spending by putting daily spending caps in place and end dates on advertising, but if you’re new to the program or simply forgetful…
Here’s the message they now send you to on their payment help page when you try to Prepay:
Countries include the US, Canada… and pretty much the rest of the world.
If you’re completely uncomfortable with the current system, which is understandable, you can purchase prepaid Visa or credit cards and refill their balances as need be and keep your regular credit cards or bank account safe from being drained endlessly.
Update: AdWords budget script
Harris Lim was kind enough to provide the script he uses to set a budget on his AdWords spent so he never goes over. It can be found on his website: Adwords Budget Script.