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Using AWS API Gateway for effortless cloud integration

The AWS API Gateway serves as a pivotal component in cloud infrastructure, providing a managed solution to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. This gateway facilitates seamless interactions between applications and AWS services, ensuring efficient data transfers and streamlined operations. Understanding the AWS API Gateway pricing structure and how to manage these costs efficiently is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their cloud expenditures.

AWS API Gateway stands out by offering an interface that connects non-AWS applications with AWS services. This integration is essential for applications that need to interact with services like AWS Lambda, S3, or DynamoDB. The gateway provides robust, scalable, and secure channels, which are crucial for businesses scaling their operations in the cloud. This effortless integration helps organizations simplify their IT operations, reduce latency, and improve service delivery, which results in enhanced customer experiences and operational efficiencies.

AWS API Gateway pricing and features
Source: AWS

Features of AWS API Gateway

The AWS API Gateway consists of a variety of features designed to enhance application interactions and service integrations:

  • Developer Tools: It supports a range of tools and dashboards for API creation, monitoring, and management.
  • Performance: API Gateway optimizes the performance of applications by enabling data caching and thus reducing the amount of data transferred during API calls.
  • Security: Security features such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles and OAuth tokens ensure secure and controlled access to APIs.
  • Scalability: It automatically scales in response to traffic spikes, without any manual intervention.

These features collectively contribute to making AWS API Gateway a powerful tool for businesses deploying modern cloud architectures.

An Analysis of the AWS API Gateway Pricing

Understanding the AWS API Gateway pricing model is vital for cost management. The pricing is based on various aspects like the type of API used, the number of API calls, and the amount of data processed. Since AWS API Gateway has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, you pay only for the APIs in use. Also, there are no minimum charges or upfront fees.

Free Tier

AWS offers a free tier for its new users. This includes one million API calls received for REST APIs, one million API calls received for HTTP APIs, and one million messages and 750,000 connection minutes for WebSocket APIs per month for up to 12 months. This is an excellent way for businesses to test and understand the service without initial investment.

APIsFree Tier Limit (12 months)
HTTP APIone million API calls
REST APIone million API calls
WebSocket APIone million messages and 750,000 connection minutes
AWS API Gateway Pricing Table – Free Tier

Remember that the free tier applies only to new AWS users for up to 12 months. If your free tier limit expires or the usage limit exceeds, then standard AWS API Gateway pricing applies for your usage, based on the pay-as-you-go model.

HTTP API costs

AWS API gateway pricing for HTTP APIs is based on a per-request basis with tiered pricing. For HTTP APIs, you pay only for the number of API calls you receive and the data transferred out. The first 300 million requests cost $1.00 per million requests and go down to $0.90 per million at the next 300 million requests (Ohio region).

Number of Requests (per month)Price (per million)
First 300 million$1.00
300+ million$0.90
AWS API Gateway Pricing Table – HTTP APIs

REST API costs

REST APIs are more feature-rich and thus slightly more expensive than HTTP APIs. Again, you pay only for the number of API calls you receive and the data transferred out. In case, you use AWS Private APIs, there are no charges for data transferred out. However, you have to pay the AWS PrivateLink charges.

REST APIs are ideal for APIs requiring API Gateway’s full feature set, including request validation, API keys, and rate limiting. The standard AWS API Gateway pricing for REST API calls in AWS’ Ohio region are as follows:

Number of Requests (per month)Price (per million)
First 333 million$3.50
Next 667 million$2.80
Next 19 billion$2.38
Over 20 billion$1.51
AWS API Gateway Pricing Table – REST APIs (Ohio)

Cache Pricing

Caching can reduce the number of calls made to the backend, which significantly decreases API Gateway costs. It also improves the performance of the API calls. Prices for cache memory start from a modest base and scale up depending on the amount of cache memory allocated. The cost of cache is based on the memory size and is charged at an hourly rate, without any long-term commitments.

Cache Memory Size (GB)Price per Hour
AWS API Gateway Pricing Table – Cache Pricing (Ohio)

WebSocket API Charges

AWS WebSocket APIs allow real-time two-way communication between the client and server. The pricing is based on connection duration and the number of messages sent. Here you pay only for messages sent and received and the total number of connection minutes. 

It is important to note that in WebSocket API, messages are metered in 32 KB increments. So, a 33 KB message is metered as two messages. You can send and receive messages up to 128 kilobytes (KB) in size. 

Number of Requests (per month)Price (per million)
First 1 billion$1.00
Above 1 billion$0.80
AWS API Gateway Pricing Table – WebSocket API charges

Apart from this, you may incur additional charges for the cost of other AWS services used along with the API gateways and data transfer costs to the internet and external networks.

5 Ways to Optimize Your API Gateway Costs

Effective cost management strategies are crucial for maximizing the value of AWS API Gateway without compromising on functionality. By implementing thoughtful cost control measures, businesses can ensure that they utilize the AWS API Gateway efficiently, getting the most out of their investments. Some of the effective strategies are as follows:

Choose the right type of API gateway

AWS API Gateway supports three primary types of APIs: HTTP APIs, REST APIs, and WebSocket APIs. Each type serves different use cases and comes with its own pricing model, so selecting the right one is crucial for cost efficiency.

  • HTTP APIs are the best option for serverless workloads and for applications that require only basic API functionality.
  • REST APIs provide more features such as request validation, more extensive security controls, and better integration with other AWS services.
  • WebSocket APIs maintain a persistent connection to perform real-time communication between your clients and servers.

Choosing the correct API type based on the specific requirements of your application can significantly reduce costs while maintaining optimal performance.

Use Private APIs

Private APIs within the AWS API Gateway allow access exclusively from your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) using VPC Endpoints. Typically, data transferred over the internet incurs costs based on the volume of data sent. However, with Private APIs, since the data remains within the AWS infrastructure, these costs are greatly minimized or even eliminated.

AWS API gateway, Amazon Private API gateway
Source: AWS

This is particularly useful for applications that handle a large volume of data exchanges between services within AWS. Furthermore, using Private APIs enhances security. By restricting API gateway access to the internal network only, you reduce the risk of external attacks.

Reduce unnecessary data transfers and API calls

Efficient API usage involves minimizing the amount of data transferred and the number of API calls made. This can be achieved by:

  • Optimizing API responses: Return only the necessary data and avoid over-fetching by specifying exactly what information is required.
  • Combining multiple API calls into a single call: Try to fetch all required data at once, reducing the total number of calls.
  • Caching frequently accessed data: Caching helps to serve repeated requests without additional API calls to the backend.

These practices reduce the load on API Gateway and the backend, thereby decreasing the cost and increasing the application’s performance.

Replace with Application Load Balancer

In some cases, it might be more cost-effective to use an Application Load Balancer (ALB) instead of an API Gateway. Especially when HTTP/HTTPS traffic needs to be routed directly to a container or EC2 instances. ALB can handle millions of requests per second while providing similar routing capabilities as the API Gateway, at potentially lower costs. It’s particularly useful when you have predictable traffic patterns and extensive traffic management isn’t required.

Optimize Caching

API Gateway offers caching capabilities to cache endpoint responses, reducing the number of calls made to your backend services. By increasing the cache time and optimizing the cache hit ratio, you can significantly reduce backend calls, which in turn lowers the cost of running those services.

To effectively use caching, identify the data that does not change frequently and is requested often by the users. Implement appropriate expiration times for the cache to ensure the data remains up-to-date without frequent backend queries. This approach not only reduces the cost but also improves the response time of your applications.


AWS API Gateway is an integral part of the AWS ecosystem, providing a robust, scalable platform for managing APIs and integrating your AWS environment with external resources. Understanding its pricing structure and employing the right cost optimization strategies can significantly benefit businesses by keeping their cloud cost under control. By implementing these strategies, businesses can ensure that they are using AWS API Gateway in the most efficient way possible while maintaining the functionality and performance needed for scalable cloud applications.

Looking to cut down your AWS costs?

In a cloud-based business model, understanding how to cut down your cloud cost is crucial to running a profitable business. Economize can assist you in reducing your cloud spending, without compromising on your cloud performance. Book a free demo with us today and we will help you to reduce your AWS costs by up to 30% within 10 minutes.

Heera Ravindran

Content Marketer at Economize. An avid writer and a zealous reader who specializes in technical content and has a passion for all things Cloud and FinOps.

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