What is Cricut Access and Do I Really Need It?

One of the most common questions I get asked is about Cricut Access. It can be a bit confusing, so today I am going to go over all of the options for Cricut Access and help you decide if you even need it at all.

Many years ago all of the Cricut Machines used cartridges. You had to buy a new one (usually about $30-$50) for each image set you wanted. One of the common frustrations was spending all that money when you may have only really wanted a handful of the images.

Fast forward to today. All of the Cricut Machines now use Design Space instead of cartridges. Besides being able to manipulate the images, one of the best features is that you can purchase images one at a time as you need them.

One of the most common questions I get asked is about Cricut Access. It can be a bit confusing, so today I am going to go over all of the options for Cricut Access and help you decide if you even need it at all.

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The Four Ways to Get Images to Use with Your Cricut

There are four ways you can get images to use with your Cricut.

Cartridges

All of the Explore machines have a port where you can plug in a cartridge and it will link it to Design Space. It can only be linked to one account and once it is linked you do not need the actual cartridge any longer. You can then use any of those images as many times as you want forever since you have already purchased the image set. (You can learn about how to link cartridges here. Once your cartridges are linked, here is how to find them in Design Space).

The Maker doesn’t actually have a port to link cartridges. If you need to link a cartridge you will need to purchase a separate adapter. This tells me that moving forward Cricut is staying away from cartridges and transitioning to primarily digital.

Buy Within Design Space

When you are within Design Space there will be basic free images, but the rest will have a price. You can design and create within Design Space as much as you would like for free, but when you go to actually cut it will prompt you to pay for any images that weren’t free or you don’t already own.

You can purchase each image as you use it, but if it is a theme you will use a lot it may be cheaper to purchase the whole “cartridge” or set. Individual images are usually around .99 and it is important to note that once you purchase an image it is yours. You can use it whenever and however you want, and will never lose access to it

Upload Images to Design Space

Did you know you don’t even have to use Cricut images at all? Design Space gives you the ability to upload images in a variety of file types. The most common is an SVG (scalable vector). SVGs are very popular since they can be used by both Cricut and Silhouette users. You can buy them or there are many free ones as well. 

Subscribe to Cricut Access

Cricut Access gives you a huge number of Cricut images and fonts that you can use for “free” after paying for the subscription. It is important to note that these images are not yours. You only have access to them while you are subscribed to a Cricut Access plan. Once that is over, you will not be able to use them for free.

What is Cricut Access?

Cricut Access is a monthly (or annual) optional subscription that gives you access to a large number of images and fonts within Cricut Design Space that you would otherwise need to pay for.

You may remember getting a free trial when you first got your machine. If you are like me, it was over before you could really explore what it was all about and to see if you really needed it. 

Let’s look at the most common questions I get about Cricut Access.

  • Do I Have to Have Cricut Access to Use my Cricut?

Many users, especially brand new ones, aren’t sure if they can use their Cricut and Cricut Design Space without having a subscription. The answer is ABSOLUTELY!  Like we talked about before, there are three other ways to get images for Design Space. 

  • Do I need Cricut Access?

Well, honestly, I don’t know. This is such an individual thing and something each person has to decide based on their usage. If you make a variety of projects, use your Cricut machine regularly and find yourself needing to buy images frequently, a subscription may be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you are an occasional user, tend to make the same types of projects using the same designs or use a lot of SVGs, it may not be all that much of a benefit for the price.

  • What is included in Cricut Access? How much does it cost?

There are currently three levels of Cricut Access subscriptions: Cricut Access Font , Cricut Access Standard and Cricut Access Premium .

Cricut Access Fonts- The fonts subscription is the least expensive option. It costs $59.88 if paid annually ($4.99 a month) or $6.99 a month paid monthly. It gives you access to over 400 fonts.

I think this is a great option because other than buying whole image sets, fonts are the most expensive to purchase (usually $4.99 or $6.99 each). Of course, you can also use any system fonts from your computer or device for free, but there are some really cute fonts by Cricut! It is also so much easier than downloading and installing system fonts.

Cricut Access Standard- The standard subscription includes all of the fonts included in the fonts subscription, but also gives access to over 30,000 images (some are exclusive to the Access subscription) and over 1,000 projects.

The standard subscription also includes two discounts. First, 10% off the purchase of any licensed images and fonts. (Licensed designs like Mickey Mouse are not part of any Access subscription).  The other discount is 10% off of all product purchases on the Cricut website, and can be combined with other discounts available. 

Standard Access is $95.88 if paid yearly, which is $7.99 a month. If paid monthly it is $9.99. For an additional $3 a month, I think all of the additional perks are more than worth upgrading from the font subscription to the standard subscription. 

Cricut Access Premium- The premium subscription is the only subscription that doesn't have an option to pay monthly. It is $119.88 which breaks down to $9.99 a month. It includes all of the fonts, images and discounts of the Cricut Access Standard.

The Premium Access Subscription also gives a 50% discount on all the everyday images and fonts that are not included in Access. (It is important to note that the discount doesn’t apply within the app, only on a desktop or the Cricut website. It also cannot be stacked with other discounts.) Other benefits include exclusive promotions and sales just for Premium Access members, and free shipping on orders over $50.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Cricut Access. Do you use it? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.

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