API vs 20$/month subscription for those who use ChatGPT as an assistant (webmasters, programmers, SEO specialists...)

Hello, for those who have switched to the Chat GPT API from 20$/month subscription, please share:

  • How beneficial was it for you?
  • Did all those freezes that were constantly present in the $20 version stop when You use API?
  • How easy was it to do everything technically? Do You have some guides, step by step video how to start working with API?
  • When you switched, did you wait for the end of the paid month, or are the funds somehow transferred?
    *How much money do You spend working with API 5-6 days per week about 4 hours per day, working with text?
  • How cool and useful is the API functionality really (temperature… )?

Thank you

1 Like

Hey @aleksey.kucher !
I’m Exactly discovering the same things you are asking.
I think the main things you have to take into consideration that every user charged for API call different amounts. The best way to discover how it could benefit you is to top up and try it on playground by yourself.
I discovered that my best prompts costs me around 1,5$.
For the technical part it’s pretty much the same (temperature, prompt design techniques, etc.).


A big downside (for this use case) of the API is availability in the cloud.

If you wish to duplicate the web functionality of ChatGPT (in so far as you are able) you are going to have to add costs related to developing, deploying, maintaining and hosting your web interface. And don’t forget the cost of your domain name and time!

Great fun project though!


Before getting a ChatGPT Team account (my message cap is 2.5x higher now) I used the API to fill in the gaps between cooldowns.

It obviously heavily depended on my usage, but I regularly found myself spending around $5-7 per day. The longer context window probably contributed to this, since I was having it read long documentation for each response.

It might make sense for someone who uses it for solely text-based tasks and fairly short prompts, but anyone who uses it for more advanced tasks should probably keep their ChatGPT subscription.


A couple more points to address some of the other questions:

From a billing perspective ChatGPT and the API are handled completely separately. There is no funds transfer.

There’s quite extensive documentation on the API developer platform including relevant code snippets. Additionally, you can find a lot of worked examples in the OpenAI cookbook.

It just really provides you with a lot more flexibility including (but not limited) to the possibility to adjust specific hyperparameters. How relevant that is to you, really depends on your use case(s).

I’d echo what others have said. You can’t lose out by just trying it out in the free tier. That will provide you with access to GPT 3.5 and a selection of the other models (e.g. dall-e, text to speech), the playground etc. and will give you a taste of the differences relative to the regular ChatGPT experience.

Sorry, did I understand correctly, one asking costs 1,5$? Are these text work? I usually ask about search information, modify or form a new text, answer questions… What are Your prompts about?

Thank You

Thank You, can I try API for free? And then put 20$ and try for how long will it work FOR ME? How can I do it? Does it require technical skills to start? Is it so simple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB99E7Y1cMA?

Thank You

I just skimmed through the video and yes, you can follow it to obtain the API Key.
There are lots of different ways how you can complete an API call and it somewhat depends on your existing technical skills what option is best suited for you. My biggest advice is to choose an option where you retain in full control of your API key, especially once you’ve deposited money to your API account. If you want to avoid coding, then you could start with simply making a HTTP request through Postman (if you are familiar with this).

As regards pricing, yes there is a usage tier system in place that inolves a free tier. If you decide you want more flexibility and move to a higher tier, then you have to pre-purchase API credits. The minimum to reach tier 1 would be USD 5.

Indeed @aleksey.kucher
It depend on your use cases, as mentioned by others above. I’d say API call could be profitable in limited markets. As for broader usage of everyday user it could be more beneficial to use sub.

Could you maybe specify what are you working on and what you expect from API calls? I think we could provide more accurate answers to help you

I feel you are being too hesitant.

There’s not a fortune involved here and you may get some free credit to begin with, so what are you waiting for? Try it and your own experience should help you decide.

Come back here when you have specific questions that arise when you are using it.


Hey! I use both 20$ UI and API for my bots/assistants.

The problems with API are the following:

  1. It is still lacking the browsing feature which is cool.
  2. Also, to me, the UI seems to be much smarter in terms of working inside of a long dialogue, as I understand it summarises the history of dialogue so that you’ll never notice that the beginning of the dialogue is already out of the LLM memory
  3. The UI also has the history of the previous dialogue, and you can switch to a previous one and continue, which is cool
  4. Using UI, you don’t need to think about the price and usage. While using API, you can run out of 20$ pretty fast =)

Ideas - searching for ideas for texts, Search - searching for information for texts, Translating, Creation and Edition for texts - 2-4 hours per day.

@aleksey.kucher you don’t need API calls for that kind of tasks :wink:

I wish OpenAI would have calculated my chatGPT plus usage each month and reported me, my $ amount saved, (negative for lost) compare to API use.

When you load funds to API account it gives you 1 year validity, post that funds will expire.

If you wish to duplicate the web functionality of ChatGPT …
you are going to have to add costs related to developing …

This has already been done by others:
useanything dot com
chatbotui dot com

As well as many versions to run locally, just search github.

You only need to attach the key to OpenAI.

It’s best to use GPT4 via openrouter.ai because for one fee you also have access to Claude 3 or free models.

I caution everyone with an API key to be very cautious about what they enter it into.

There are companies that would gladly help you part ways with your money. Do your due diligence.

1 Like

You only need to give your secret key to a third party? :thinking:

1 Like

Most definitely what you say is true.
You need to protect your keys.

That’s why my approach is that I trust openrouter and they allow me to set the amount limit separately for each key. This is something I really missed about OpenAI’s functionality.

Because I test a lot of different solutions for the company’s needs. For example opendevin. And all of these solutions require keys. So for each such project I generate a separate key and set a small limit of $2-5 (a level of loss that will be acceptable to me).

1 Like

Thank You very very much all, I decided not to use API mainly for the costs reason. You really helped.

About companies, where for same money You get two paid versions, for ex. CHGPT 4.0 and Claude 3.0, I saw video with a test of Perplexity (which is really cool for searching it self, even in free version - my experience) and their CHGPT 4.0 gives wrong answer when real CHGPT 4.0 gives right.

Have you checked them yourself? Do they really work the same?

Thank You