Here’s how to subscribe and pay for your API calls on Rakuten RapidAPI.
Types of APIs
Rakuten RapidAPI has three types of APIs: free, freemium and paid.
- Free APIs - APIs that do not require a credit card or subscription plan to consume
- Freemium APIs - Paid APIs that include a limited free tier and require a credit card
- Paid APIs - APIs that require a paid subscription plan and credit card to consume
Rakuten RapidAPI has thousands of FREE APIs. As the name suggests, you can try any of these APIs without providing credit card details. These APIs are clearly marked as FREE. Occasionally you’ll need to acquire an API key or token from the provider’s website.
FREEMIUM AND PAID APIs
Freemium and paid APIs are APIs that require a subscription plan before making a request to the API. Find an API’s available pricing plans by clicking on the pricing tab of the API.
Prices are based on a recurring monthly subscription plan; plus, overage fees are applied to users that exceed a plan’s request allowance. These request limits can be either a daily or a monthly limit. Here is an example of a pricing plans page.
How will I be charged for my API subscription?
Prices are based on a recurring monthly subscription based on the plan selected; plus, overage fees applied when a user that exceeds a plan’s quota limits. In this example, you’ll see the base plan amount as well as a quota limit of API requests. Be sure to notice the overage fee for each additional request over the quota limit because you will be charged the overage fee for each additional object.
These plan quotas can be monthly, daily or include both monthly and daily limits. A subscription can have quota limits by queries, objects, or other objects (ex. tinyurl requests). It is important to read and understand a plan’s limit before subscribing.
Daily Quota Limit Reset
The daily quota period starts at your time of subscription and ends 24 hours from that time. For instance, if you subscribed to an API at 11:30:15 UTC on June 2, your daily quota will reset at 11:30:15 each day.
Charges will be made on your credit card when you purchase a subscription, when a monthly subscription is renewed, and when an overage is incurred. Note, if you unsubscribe and resubscribe to an API plan, you will be charged again when you resubscribe.
An overage ensues when you go over a quota for your API plan.
It is your responsibility to review and monitor for the plan’s usage limitations.
While we send an automated email at 85%, and at 100% of quota usage, it is for guidance only. You are required to keep track of your quota usage to prevent overages. You can do this by tracking the number of API calls you make and checking the dashboard for up-to-date usage statistics.
We cannot issue refunds without permission of the API provider.
Why does Rakuten RapidAPI do overage fees?
Overage fees allow developers to continue using an API once a quota limit is reached and give them time to upgrade their plan based on projected future use, while ensuring API providers get paid for higher usage. In case of abuse or suspicious activity, Rakuten RapidAPI or an API provider may temporarily block your access.
More information about Freemium APIs
A Freemium API includes a free tier (a BASIC plan) that developers can use within the limitations specified. Let’s take a look at the example below.
If you subscribed to the BASIC plan of this API, you would be able to make 500 API queries per month for free. Once you reach 85% of your quota limit (425 calls), look out for an email from Rakuten RapidAPI alerting you (check your spam folder as well). If you continue to make calls, you will receive another email at 100% of your quota limit (500 calls). Please note that an email is not a guarantee because if the quota limit is reached within a short amount of time, this alert may not have enough time to respond and trigger.
Let’s say that you end up making 600 API calls in 30 days, despite the warnings. Since this API has an overage fee of $0.01 per additional request, you would be charged an overage fee of $1.00.
Why do I need to give my credit card information for a freemium API?
We require a credit card for freemium APIs to charge overages in case you exceed the quota limits of the freemium plan. If you would no longer like to use the API, you can unsubscribe from the plan by clicking the “unsubscribe” button under the Billing section of the Rakuten RapidAPI Dashboard.
Monitoring API usage
While Rakuten RapidAPI will remind you when you are approaching your quotas, it is your responsibility to monitor your API usage and pick a plan that best matches your app’s needs.
You can monitor your API usage in real-time on the Rakuten RapidAPI analytics dashboard. We provide you with a break down of the number of API calls made as well as the quota usage of your top used APIs.
In addition to the analytics dashboard, we also provide you with the billing dashboard. Here you can see your currently active subscriptions and the percentage of your quota that you’ve already used.
You can also see a daily breakdown of past API usage on the Rakuten RapidAPI transaction pages.
You can view your transactions by visiting the Transactions History on your profile. To get a daily breakdown for a certain period, click the “See Details” option.
Changing API plans
Upgrading or downgrading an API plan
Depending on your usage, you may need to upgrade or downgrade your API plan. In order to change your API, you have to unsubscribe to your existing plan and subscribe to a new one. You can reach out to Rakuten RapidAPI (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the API vendor to inquire about any refunds associated with upgrading or downgrading. We cannot issue refunds or discounts without explicit vendor permission.
Unsubscribing and resubscribing
Rakuten RapidAPI charges once a subscription is made. If you subscribe to Example API’s PRO plan, unsubscribe, then re-subscribe to Example API’s PRO plan again, you would be charged twice.
New vendor plans
A provider may occasionally update their pricing plans. However,you will remain subscribed to the version of the plan you were subscribed to. We do this to protect developers and make sure that the terms and conditions that they had agreed to do not change. On the pricing page of the API, you will be shown a message indicating that you are subscribed to an older version of the plan. If you do want to subscribe to the most recent plan from the provider in this scenario, you would need to unsubscribe from your plan and then re-subscribe to the new provider plan.