Understanding API limits and free tier

I’d like to give the API a try but I run into the following when I try to hit the gpt-3.5-turbo model with a curl (following the instructions here):

    "error": {
        "message": "You exceeded your current quota, please check your plan and billing details.",
        "type": "insufficient_quota",
        "param": null,
        "code": "insufficient_quota"

This is my first time using the API so I figured the free tier would allow me to try it out. According to this post it seems like I should be able to. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding this.

Does the trial actually require me to add funds? If so, why is it called a free tier and what is “Free trial users: 20 RPM 40000 TPM” on the page I linked referring to?

Thank you.

Welcome @michaelchase

You’ll only be able to use it if you have active credit grant(s). You can check yours here, it should show on the right side.

If you don’t have a grant, you’ll have to add a payment method and load credits.

If that doesn’t work contact OpenAI

So currently, it looks like I have used 0 out of my 18$ limit yet I am still rate limited.
Why? :frowning:

1 Like

@daminibhattacharya8 The rest of your $18.00 credit grant had expired and is no longer valid - you’d need to set up a payment method to use the services through the API

1 Like

Alright and post this, I will be able to use the chatgpt api for my personal projects right? Isn’t there a developer mode?

Yes, subject to the Policies and TOS you can use the API however you’d like! Just be aware of the fact you need to pay for your usage

Could you elaborate on what you mean by this?

Hi @daminibhattacharya8

Welcome to the dev forum.

The credits are expired.

Unlike other APIs , this one interfaces with LLMs. These LLMs consume significant compute, hence the usage isn’t free.

The free credit grant is the dev-mode as it’s free and rate limited.

Once you add a payment method, you unlock higher rate limits.

Hey thank you for replying. What is the procedure to apply for Dev mode?


There is no “developer mode” there is the API which anyone can use, but typically is only used by developers and then there is ChatGPT which is aim more towards non programmatic use.

1 Like

As @Foxalabs states there’s no dev mode, just the free credit grant. The grant is a one-time thing automatically credited to eligible OpenAI accounts upon creation and phone verification.