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How an Email Got Us $5,000 AWS Credits

by Joe Marshall on August 2nd, 2020

We recently went through the Stripe Atlas program and loved it.

But the one sour note was that we only got $1,000 AWS credits when the copy seemed to promise $5,000. Our entire application infrastructure is on AWS so those credits are pretty much straight-up cash to us. We don't have much of a digital footprint either, so $5,000 goes a long way.

That's why this weekend was such a surprise.

The Email

Here's how the timeline went.

  1. First we posted an article politely noticing that we hadn't been able to secure the full $5,000 and kinda wondering out loud why.

  2. Stripe contacted us and explained that the credit amount was more of a lifetime cap and that it was ultimately up to AWS what we got.

  3. We send one more email just 'cause, even though it seems clear AWS only offers $1,000 for bootstrapped startups. The email is simple and amounts to: "Is there any way we could get the full five thousand in credits?"

Stripe responds to this chain of events with yet another email, this one even kinder and more politely worded.

Hey David,

Thank you for sharing the details here. It sounds like we should be able to get this sorted out so that you receive the $5K in AWS credits for Stripe Atlas users.

I believe it may be the case that you applied for AWS credits with a different link than the one shared for Stripe Atlas users to activate. We do not typically see users needing to answer the question regarding funding sources. I did check in with AWS on this and it sounds like they're currently processing your most recent application that you submitted through the Stripe Atlas link. They've let me know that they will email you directly with next steps, which may take up to 4 weeks.

Hopefully this will all soon be sorted! If you do have any questions on this or anything else, please feel free to reach out! I'll check back in a couple weeks on the AWS front, or feel free to share any updates as well!

Warm regards, Taylor

It looks like the funded/bootstrapped question indicated the process had gotten miffed somewhere and Stripe reached out to AWS on our behalf to make sure things got cleared up.

This weekend we saw $5,000 in credits enter our AWS account. Keep in mind that's actually in addition to the $1,000 we've already received, bringing out total up to $6,000 in AWS credits through the Stripe Atlas program.

For us this is a big injection. It basically funds our full application operations and lets us play around with putting money elsewhere - or just continuing to build features and mature without any kind of pressure.

Conclusion

A couple of takeaways from the entire affair.

1. Send that one last email

Even if it seems like a bit much, or things are settled, just be sure you ask and give the other person a chance to help you in ways you can't predict. A hail mary "Is there anything I'm missing?" can sometimes land.

2. Stripe is truly wonderful

Stripe monitored the developer community enough to see our initial posts, proactively reached out to us, and then worked with AWS to ultimately get us a greater-than-even-promised payout. When people say Stripe is a company for developers, they often mean its great API or clear documentation, but this is I think one of the greatest testaments to their dev-first culture.

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