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Which Adobe Creative Cloud pricing tier is best for you

Adobe Creative Cloud

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If you're feeling confused about Adobe's pricing models, you're not alone. Here's which tier is aimed at which market segment, precisely what you get when you subscribe to Adobe's Creative Cloud.

How Adobe handles subscriptions

Before we delve into the prices for Adobe subscriptions, let us take a moment to explain how Adobe handles the act of subscribing.

When a user subscribes to something Adobe offers, they're given three options to pay: monthly; annual, paid monthly; or annual, paid upfront. Here's what each of those options means.

Monthly subscription: The most expensive option, Adobe's monthly subscriptions are often twice the cost of the other subscription options. However, if you need to cancel your subscription, Adobe does not charge a fee. It's great for folks who may only need to use a single app for a few months, or for someone who may be on the fence about using Adobe products.

Annual subscription, paid monthly: Typically half the price of the standard monthly subscription, Adobe allows users to subscribe at the yearly price while still paying monthly. The downside is that if you cancel your plan, Adobe will charge you 50% of your remaining contract — which could be quite costly!

Annual subscription, paid upfront: Users may also choose to pay upfront for a full year of service. While this has advantages, such as preventing surprise billing, Adobe warns users that there are absolutely no refunds on this plan after the first 14 days.

When we discuss prices, we will refer to Adobe's annual subscription, paid monthly plan for individuals. Businesses may purchase licenses from Adobe here.

We advise potential customers to read through Adobe's plan and pricing pages thoroughly before they commit to purchasing any subscriptions.

Photography Bundle

The cheapest multi-app bundle available, Adobe's Photography bundle, includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop for desktop and iPad.

Photoshop on macOS | Image Credit: Adobe
Photoshop on macOS | Image Credit: Adobe

The base Photography bundle includes 20GB of Adobe Cloud storage and costs $9.99 per month. An upgraded Photography bundle includes 1TB of cloud storage and costs $19.99 per month.

If you only intend to use Photoshop, you can save a substantial amount of money by subscribing to the Photography bundle, our favorite bundle that Adobe offers.

Creative Cloud All Apps Bundle

For multi-faceted professionals, Adobe offers a subscription that gives users access to all Creative Cloud apps. It costs $54.99 per month.

In addition to all the Creative Cloud apps, users also get

  • 100GB of Cloud Storage
  • Step-by-step tutorials
  • Adobe Express
  • Adobe Portfolio
  • Adobe Fonts
  • Behance

While expensive, this plan is the best deal should you utilize more than two Adobe apps in your normal workflow.

Adobe offers discounts for students and teachers at recognized institutions. Qualified users can save 60% when they subscribe to Adobe's Creative Cloud All Apps bundle, paying only $19.99 per month.

Specialty Bundles

There are two bundles available from Adobe that are geared toward 3D designers.

The Substance 3D Collection is designed to create, capture, and paint 3D materials, as well as render 3D scenes. It includes Substance 3D Stager, Painter, Sampler, and Designer, as well as 50 3D assets per month and 100GB of Cloud Storage. It costs $49.99 per month.

Adobe Substance | Image Credit: Adobe
Adobe Substance | Image Credit: Adobe

The Substance 3D Texturing bundle is a cheaper alternative for 3D texture artists. It includes Substance 3D Painter, Designer, and Sampler, 30 3D assets per month, and 100GB of Cloud Storage. This bundle costs $19.99 per month.

Standalone Creative Apps

Adobe allows for single-app subscriptions if you just need one or two apps. Most single-app subscriptions are priced at $20.99 per month. Apps you can subscribe to individually at the $20.99 tier include:

  • Photoshop
  • Premiere Pro
  • Illustrator
  • After Effects
  • InDesign
  • Audition
  • Animate
  • Dreamweaver

There are a few apps you can subscribe to that are on different pricing models. These include:

  • Acrobat Pro for $14.99/mo
  • Adobe Express for $9.99/mo
  • Lightroom (1TB) for $9.99/mo
  • Adobe XD for $9.99/mo
  • InCopy for $4.99/mo

Adobe Stock

Adobe also offers access to its royalty-free, high-quality image asset library, Adobe Stock, on a subscription model.

Adobe Stock starts at $29.99 per month for 10 assets per month, and is not included in the Creative Cloud All Apps Bundle.

Adobe offers higher-level tiers and also allows users to purchase assets individually on a credit system.

Whenever you subscribe to an Adobe creative product, you'll get the chance to try out Adobe Stock for 30 days for free, but keep in mind Adobe will automatically begin billing for the base Adobe Stock as soon as the free trial is up.