If you want a custom Google Map on your website today, you’ll have to register for a Google Map API key. Once a free and relatively simple process, Google is now making efforts to monetize.
Each Google account has a limited number of APIs you can register, and each Google Map API has a limited number of calls it can make. If you exceed the limit, Google will ask for your billing info.
“Today (3. May 2018) we are announcing important changes, including our new name – Google Maps Platform, a simplified product structure, pay as you go pricing for all, and more. Please take a few minutes to review the announcement to familiarize yourself with the upcoming changes. We would like to highlight a few updates that may impact your implementation. Beginning June 11th, we are launching our new pricing plan and providing all users access to support. We’ll continue to offer a free tier — all developers will receive $200 of free monthly usage of our core products. In addition, this change will require you to enable billing and associate it with all of your Google Maps Platform projects. Creating a billing account helps us better understand your usage so we can continue developing helpful products. It also allows you to scale easily with less downtime and fewer performance issues if your product grows beyond the $200 of free monthly usage. For additional visibility and control you can set daily quotas or billing alerts.”
Google Map Limitations
Every unique Google developer account right now gets up to $200/mo worth of “free” credit to use towards a limited number of API calls. In other words, you can use Google Maps JS API to load a custom Google Map ~28,000 per month. Ie. More than enough times for most businesses. Only loads which exceed this amount will be directly billed by Google.