Change directory or transfer billing ownership?

Visual Studio Subscription, aka MSDN, gives upwards of 125$ of monthly Azure credit, but I also need access to different type of Microsoft 365 subscriptions and in the earlier days I just created new trials. Think I am around 150 trial tenants these days, which means I have to move my Azure Credit to the next tenant once the previous tenant expired.

Change/move directory

Back in the earlier days, we moved an empty Azure Subscriptions and the Azure credit to new tenants using the change directory feature. It requires you to have Global Administrator in source and destination tenant on the same user. Just invite your old tenant administrator as guest in your new tenant, promote to Global Admin and start moving subscription to your new directory.

You can also move an Azure Subscription with resources, but not all resources are eligible to move cross tenants. Read more here. I recommend having your resources in code, and deploy them again in your new tenant.

Change directory

Because you are Global Administrator in bought tenants, this is an option, but in the real world, you or the users having a Visual Studio Subscription doesn’t. Luckily we have now a alternative for this scenario called Transfer Billing ownership.

Transfer billing ownership

Then we have the option to transfer billing ownership, and this sounds a bit intimidating. So what happens when we transfer billing ownership?

The Azure Subscription and Azure credit will move from one user to another, removing all permission from the user we are transferring from. If the users are in different tenant, the subscription will move to the new users tenant.

So because of this, we can send the subscription without having any permission in the destination tenant. The user receiving the subscription, will be notified on e-mail and follows the link to accept the transfer. If the destination tenant haven’t blocked inbound transfer of Azure subscriptions, the receiver doesn’t have to activate any administrative role either.

Subscriptions Policies

The Visual Studio Subscription and rest of benefits is still associated with the old user, because this is only transferring the Azure Subscription and Azure Credit benefit of the Visual Studio Subscription.

Supported Subscription types

Azure Subscriptions and its credit can derive from different type of agreements and programs in Microsoft. Just know when changing directory or transferring billing ownership it can fail, because you need help from Microsoft.

More details for transferring billing ownership can be found here. Or if you want to change directory here.

Borrow Azure DevOps license

Another feature you could benefit from, is the option to borrow the Azure DevOps license from another’s Visual Studio Subscription.

My Subscriptions – Visual Studio Subscriptions Portal

Whoever wants to borrow your license for Azure DevOps, add them under alternate account and they can join any Azure DevOps project with your license.

Hope you had some help from this blogpost if you read all the way down here, or feel free to get in touch on any social media I am active.


I am Roy Apalnes, a Microsoft Cloud Evangelist working av Sopra Steria. Main focus in Microsoft Security and Endpoint Management, with a bigger picture in mind.

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