If you have an Azure account that you set up during the CTP (basically any time over the past year), you've no doubt received an email about upgrading it to a real account, or having your account disabled. You might have even wandered over to Azure Pricing site and saw the Introductory Special rates. And if you're an MSDN Premium subscriber, you probably jumped for joy when seeing the special MSDN plan set up with no monthly charges at all, including Azure storage, SQL Azure, and AppFabric usage.
So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to sign up. And the process was relatively painless. It was easy to select the MSDN Premium plan. And then... there was billing.
To complete the registration process, a credit card is required. My first thought is that I selected the wrong option. Or that I misread the MSDN Premium plan information. As it turns out, the credit card info is needed in case your account usage exceeds what's granted in the promotion (thanks to Lynn Langit for the clarification). If you stay below the thresholds, no costs are incurred.
So: Don't fear the credit card! Just keep an eye on your usage, and don't try hosting a commercial app on your free account...
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