istock_logo_detailiStock allows you to purchase and download images in two ways: credits and subscriptions. Today, we are going to talk about the latter. Credits are the stock photo website’s very own currency and are used to download any file. They most flexible way to download images and the only way to download videos on the stock photo website. You can use them any way you want either buying just enough for your creative needs or stocking up for future downloads.

Unlike subscriptions, credits do not have monthly limits. They also never expire, so you can use them whenever you need them. Just make sure you sign in to your account at least once a year to continuously enjoy access. They are sold in preset packs – the more credits you purchase means the larger your savings. Simply load your iStock account and you can download images as you go. If you change your mind, you can always return your credit purchase within 14 days after purchase to get a refund. Just make sure you did not use any credits or else the refund will be forfeited.

What license will you get with iStock credits?

All image downloads on iStock come with a Standard License. This means you can use them in a wide variety of creative projects. But when you download images with iStock credits, you can add an Extended License that allows you to use them in a lot more ways. Furthermore, your license never expires. You do not have to worry about using your image downloads within 30 days or else the license for the file terminates.

Restricted Used or Images Downloaded with iStock Credits

  • You cannot use images in unlawful, defamatory or pornographic manner.
  • You cannot use Editorial Licensed images for commercial purposes, and vice versa.
  • You cannot use the images separate from your project or end use.
  • You cannot use them as part of a business name, trademark, logo, or trade name.
  • You cannot use images that features a model and property on controversial topics.
  • You cannot claim to be the author of the images.
  • Unless you get an Extended License, you cannot use the image for resale or distribution, in electronic or digital templates. You cannot reproduce the images for over 500,000 print runs, too.
  • With a Standard License, only 1 user at a time is permitted.
  • With an Extended License, unlimited users within an organization is allowed. This means you can save the images on organization servers.


Choosing between credits and subscriptions is important if you want to get the best value for your money. Credits are recommended for a one-off or hard-to-predict use of images. You can get the Standard License and upgrade it to an Extended License if you want. Moreover, they never expire. These features make iStock credits a great way to purchase images.

By Jean

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