Home AI Tools AI Tutorials ChatGPT API Stuck at 3.5 – How to Get Access To GPT-4 API

ChatGPT API Stuck at 3.5 – How to Get Access To GPT-4 API

ChatGPT API Stuck at 3.5 – How to Get Access To GPT-4 API

You remember the time you tried to assemble that IKEA bookshelf and the instructions seemed to be written in ancient hieroglyphics? Well, trying to access the GPT-4 API key felt eerily similar to me.

After a much-anticipated two months since ChatGPT made its grand promise of opening up the GPT-4 model API access to its adoring paying fans, the digital red carpet was… missing. Many of us eagerly checked our accounts only to realize they felt like a time capsule stuck in the GPT-3.5 era. And here we were, thinking the whole GPT-4 API key access was the IT party of the year!

Sure, I had my API key, but it seemed more of a GPT-3.5-and-a-half key rather than the shiny GPT-4 API key I was pining for.

OpenAI’s “Support” in Air Quotes

Rapid growth is great and all, but if OpenAI were a teenager, their support system would be in its awkward braces phase. Each time I reached out for help, I received replies that felt like they were auto-generated by the ghost of GPT 1.0. It’s almost like you’re asking for a lasagna recipe and they send you instructions on knitting a sweater.

They must’ve thought, “Why answer with relevance when we can copy/paste from age-old articles that neither tackle the issue nor light the path to a resolution?” And when they did graciously decide to respond, it felt like I was talking to a potato. The most enlightening response I received was a reminder that it needed to be a “paying account.” Really? My multiple credit cards billed every month beg to differ.

The (not-so-secret) Secret to GPT-4 API Access

After many a hair-pulling moment, the revelation dawned: the billing model was the culprit. If you, like my naive past self, chose the “Bill as you go” option, congrats! You’ve entered the never-ending cycle of the unpaid account abyss.

Kudos to Team-GPT on YouTube for providing the treasure map out of this maze

As you can see in the video, in the Billing > Overview section you should have an option to add funds.  However, if like me you had opted to do the bill-as-you-go plan, this option is missing.

There is however a button there labeled “Cancel plan”.  Just go ahead and press this to cancel the “bill as you go” plan.  Next, you can press “Start payment plan again” and put in your credit card info all over again.

This time, select the other option and fund at least $5 right away.  Now that you have funds billed, go back and check your API access in the Rate Limits section.  If all went well, you should now have full access to the GPT-4 API key.

So to summarize the process to unlock GPT-4 API if you are stuck on 3.5:

  1. Navigate your way to platform.openai.com/account/billing/overview or just meander to Billing > Overview.
  2. If the “Add to credit balance” button is playing hide and seek, hit “Cancel Plan” (this won’t ghost your ChatGPT Plus, promise).
  3. Reignite the flames by clicking on “Start payment plan again“, key in your credit card deets, and fuel your API plan with a mere $5.

And voila! Like magic, the gates to the GPT-4 API key realm should swing open.

Ironically, there’s now a little teaser saying “Auto recharge coming soon.” Oh, the same feature that had most of us trapped in the GPT-3.5 twilight zone? Neat.

Here’s hoping the next-gen of ChatGPT support evolves into something akin to the digital wizards we need to navigate these hiccups. Perhaps, they’ll just train an AI for that – one that doesn’t think every problem can be fixed with turning it off and on again.

Oh, and in case you’re curious: no, ChatGPT couldn’t solve its own riddle. But here’s to hoping this guide will save another lost soul from the GPT-3.5 purgatory. Cheers!


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