OAI API switching to pre-paid billing

Just received this in my emails today, it’s looking like the API is going to switch to pre-paid billing by default to make it easier for folks to increase their usage tier. You can still enable auto-billing, but I figured this would be helpful for anyone to know just in case:

Hi there,
We’ve updated the billing system for your OpenAI API account. Instead of receiving a bill at the end of the month, you will now pre-purchase credits to use the API. This change should enable you to access higher usage tiers more quickly. You can add credits to your account by visiting the billing page.
No action is required from you at this time.
Please note that this change only applies to your OpenAI API account and Playground. It does not affect ChatGPT Plus subscriptions.
The OpenAI team


Huh? I already do this? I was able to just throw $250 into it to get right up to tier four.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but I swear you could always pre-purchase credits.

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Yes, you could always pre-purchase credits. This has to do with what happens after those credits are spent.

If your credits run out, it will also stop the API service. Meaning, it won’t bill you extra if you go over, you just get cut off.


Ah, okay. I see how that change can be very beneficial to keeping your wallet intact.

Personally I just want the stuff I make to work no matter what lol.


Back in the day, pay at beginning of the month was the only way.

A few of us are still grand-fathered in. I hope they don’t change me! Heh.


“We created the problem, and paying us more unrefundable expiring money is the solution”…


What’s the expiration time of the money you load on your balance?

Prepaid credit is good for one year.

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where can i see the prepaid credit i have put in to my account? any how much i have remaining?


It should just be on the API Usage Page.

You can also see how much you have left on the billing tab.


So did everyone get this, or only us special people?

Edit: so searching on Twitter it looks like this is rare and on an account by account basis, can anyone confirm? Or does anyone have any idea why an account would be changed to prepay?


I got the mail, as well. I’m currently billed monthly, I have a Pay as you go plan. I started using their APIs in late 2022.


I have received the mail on prepayment billing yesterday. I am also wondering is it related with a general change of the OpenAI billing policy or with something specific to my account. OpenAI could be a little bit more transparent on that.

nebojsa.vasiljevic valeadami

So mine came 2 days after a spike in usage, but for me that was due to 1 prompt that was especially large, or large for me anyway. Most of the time when I use the api it’s in the playground and for less than 20 cents for the whole thing, but on Wednesday I pasted in a 31k token prompt (I didn’t realize how bit it was), and asked like 4 questions about it, so it ran me $2.39. Again, not huge, but if the system is looking at patterns for spikes maybe that was it?

Did either of you notice anything like that by any chance?


I think they are just hitting everybody with this. If anything, it could be a policy “start with those spending under $1000 and see the uprising”.

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Last October, I was forced to switch to a prepaid system.
I do not know why there is a difference, but I see that some people are still on the end of the month billing system.

I’m billed less than $0.5 a month, so I might lose money if it expires.
I would like the minimum amount to be lowered.

Have a good day.

May I ask anyone if the pre-purchased credits will also expired monthly or it will be useable until it is fully consumed? It is just because our usage every month is not fix and it depends on how many API requests sent through our system. If there’s no expiration, we are planning to purchase our estimated credits for the whole year.

Thank you very much!

Purchased credits expire after one year. They are non-refundable.

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Well noted. Thank you very much for your immediate response. :pray: