ChatGPT Free vs Paid account

Chat GPT free vs Paid Account

Most of you have probably heard about and/or used OpenAI’s ChatGPT or other Large Language Models (LLM) like Google Bard or Anthropic’s  I use all three on a daily basis, but I would say that I use ChatGPT the most.  One question I get asked quite a bit about ChatGPT is do I have the free or paid plan and is the paid plan worth it.  For most, the free account will work just fine, but the answer really depends on your needs.  If you’re a casual user or maybe just experimenting with the technology, the free plan is for you.  However, if you want to do more and are looking for more control, then the paid account called ChatGPT Plus is worth considering.  Let’s dive into the differences.

Free ChatGPT Account

  • There is a limit on the number of conversations per day 
  • May experience slower response times in high demand times 
  • No priority access or support
  • Limited to shorter conversational exchanges 
  • No content filtering options

Paid ChatGPT Plus Account 

  • Unlimited conversations with no daily or monthly limits
  • Faster response times due to priority compute access 
  • Access to new features like editing existing conversations, direct feedback, and email support
  • Ability to have longer, more contextual conversations.  This includes follow-up questions. 
  • Better Content filtering to limit sensitive or harmful responses
  • Access to the internet to get more up to date responses 
  • Can access APIs to define custom actions. 
  • Can create custom GPTs

Let’s get into more detail of the features that come with the paid account.  

  1. Paid accounts offer Enhanced Accessibility and Reliability.  That means they often have priority access to the service, ensuring more reliable and consistent availability, especially during peak usage times or server overloads.  In the early days when using the free service, I sometimes had trouble getting into the system or received messages indicating that system was taxed due to high workload.
  2. Another benefit is Improved Response Quality.  Users experience enhanced AI models (GPT 4) that provide more accurate, contextually relevant, and detailed responses.
  3. The paid account includes access to the latest upgrades and feature additions.  OpenAI releases new features regularly.  For example, in November’2023, they added the ability to create custom GPTs also called BOTS.
  4. Can build custom GPTs which are custom versions of ChatGPT that combine instructions and extra knowledge.  This provides the ability to customize ChatGPT for very specific use cases.  These enable users to have custom instructions which determine the way the GPT interacts with users.  When building custom GPTs, designers have access to (internet browsing, DALL·E, and Code Interpreter) through APIs.  In addition to building your own Custom GPTs, there is a marketplace of free and purchasable custom GPTs available to paid users.  An example of where you may use a custom GPT is if you are in sales and are preparing for a discovery call.  You can build a custom GPT that includes a series of prompts like: Prompt 1) Asks for the company name and website and build out a detailed analysis of industry, recent trends, potential challenges. Prompt 2) Ask the user to upload any relevant files like case studies and related information for the organization, Prompt 3) Use the results of the first 2 prompts to list 3 possible pain points that the prospect might be facing. 
  5. Includes custom actions that enable users to connect GPTs to APIs.  Actions allow GPTs to integrate external data or interact with the real-world, such as connecting GPTs to databases or integration with your emails.  
  6. Paid subscribers have access to more advanced features, such as extended conversation history, more detailed responses, or specialized functions tailored to specific professional needs.  Paid accounts have higher usage limits allowing for more extensive interactions, larger data processing, and longer chat session durations. 
  7. There are more configuration options.  For example, users can configure to use GPT 3.5 or GPT 4 to answer your prompts.  At the time of this writing, GPT 4 has a limit of 40 messages over a 3-hour span.
  8. Fine-tuning is a feature that allows users to customize the behavior of models like ChatGPT by training them on a specific dataset. This process adjusts the model to better reflect the style, tone, or knowledge contained within the provided texts, making it more suitable for specialized tasks or applications.  OpenAI provided fine-tuning capabilities primarily to paid plan subscribers, offering them more flexibility and control over the model’s responses. 
  9. Commercial Use License For business users, a paid account might include a license for commercial use, allowing the integration of ChatGPT into products, services, or workflows.  Please be aware there may be additional costs associated for these services. 

The main drawback or concern with having the paid account is the cost.  It costs around $20/month for the paid version.  Note that there could also be additional charges for things like integrating ChatGPT APIs into other products or workflows.  This may limit individuals and small businesses with limited budgets.

The second concern is Privacy and Data Security Concerns. With increased usage and data sharing, there might be heightened concerns about data privacy and security. This is a concern with both the free and paid account.  There is an option under settings that determines whether chats are saved or cleared.  Unsaved chats are deleted within 30 days according to the documentation. You can also export your data or completely delete your account if you wish.

ChatGPT Free vs Paid account

The chart below summarizes the differences.  



ChatGPT Free Account

ChatGPT Plus (Paid)

Monthly Cost


Approx $20/mon, could vary

Response Time



Access to Updates



Usage Limits


Higher or Unlimited

API Access



Priority Support



Build Custom GPTs




The paid account has a lot of benefits.  However, I am not suggesting that you all go out and purchase the paid version.  The free account is great and many will find that is gives them everything they need.  Ultimately, the best choice between the free and paid ChatGPT accounts depends on your individual needs and use cases.  I would recommend starting with the free account and if you have a real need for the paid plan, then consider it.  I started with the free plan, but have been on the paid plan for the last 6 months and have no regrets.  


#chatgpt #LLM #generativeai #ai #aiassistant 





ChatGPT Free vs Paid account

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ChatGPT Free vs Paid account