From Free Tier to Tier 1 -- why is it such an unwanted quest?

Dear all, any idea how to get to Tier 1?

Dear OpenAI team,
I wanted to switch from Free Tier to Tier 1 and spent 1.5 (!) hours in vain.

I googled and searched the docs, although this money-generating step should be really intuitive for newcomers like myself, just a button in billing plans.

I asked ChatGPT4 how to switch from default Free Tier to Tier 1. Not helpful. You may laugh, but Claude 3 Opus wasn’t helpful too :laughing:

Finally after 1.5 hours I’ve found a tiny note:

Current tier
Once the following criteria are met, you`ll automatically move to the next tier:
Start by upgrading to a paid account 
At least $5 spent on the API since account creation.

and still no links! just deposit money? or should I have chosen a paid plan somewhere? OK, I’ve deposited 10 bucks just to see if anything changes – not yet seeing, the quest in progress.

and by the way, it looks like one has to find a way to burn 5 bucks with unwanted chatgpt3.5 just to get API access to ChatGPT4 ?

P.S. sorry for some bitter flavor. Doing my best by trying to stay on a positive side.

Official doc here:

Yes, $5 paid should get you to Tier 1 (edit see below)

Use that period to refine your code, get rid of bugs, add features, etc.



1 Like

Ah, k, my bad, then maybe it’s used credits.

So yeah, 3.5 for a while! (which isn’t so bad, it’s very fast and reasonably good when combined with RAG)

but I am not testing anything.

I am just using Open WebUI instead of vanilla web chat from OpenAI and am still limited to ChatGPT3 because of the sticky Free Tier.

LOL, it looks like I am forced to burn 5€ through abusive looped wget/curl calls just to get to Tier 1.
It would be not nice at all if I get punished for this through down-throttling or even ban

UPDATE: lol, i was just down-throttled immediately :laughing:

If you are not using the API in the way it was intended …

You do not need to use the credits to increase the tier level.

It is only about the payment amounts received by OpenAI.

If you paid in $5 and the tier did not increase (also look to see that you have access to GPT-4 models to see that the payment is effective, which may take 1-12+ hours if there are processor problems), then you can send a message through the “help” in the account management page to register the problem. Then optionally feed more money to see if that forces a recalculation.


just checked the tier and it is Tier 1 now.
probably it was a time delay in processing.