Guide To Intercom Pricing: Stop Overspending!

Guide To Intercom Pricing

Intercom has become a popular choice for businesses looking to streamline customer communication and support. It’s a unified platform that offers a variety of features, including live chat, chatbots, email marketing, product tours, and more. However, with any software solution, understanding the pricing structure is crucial before making a commitment. 

But fret not because we here at ThriveDesk are willing to be your ever-willing shepherd through this maze. We’ve already

This article will take a deep dive into Intercom’s pricing, helping you navigate the different tiers, features, and considerations to find the plan that best suits your business needs and budget.

Intercom’s Pricing Overview

Intercom Pricing New

Intercom offers a variety of pricing plans to cater to different business needs. Here’s a breakdown of the main options:

Free Trial:

All Intercom plans come with a free 14-day trial, so you can try out the platform before committing.

Essential ($39 per seat/month):

This plan is ideal for individuals, startups, and small businesses. It includes core features for streamlined customer support, such as:

  • Shared inbox for managing customer conversations
  • Ticketing system for organizing support requests
  • Public help center for self-service knowledge base
  • Basic chatbots and automations for simple workflows
  • Fin AI Compose to suggest relevant articles during support interactions

Advanced (Recommended, $99 per seat/month):

Intercom recommends this plan for growing support teams. It offers all features from Essential, plus advanced tools for automation and better support:

  • Multiple team inboxes for dedicated communication channels
  • Workflows for building complex automations
  • Fin AI Summarize to automatically summarize customer support tickets
  • Fin AI Autofill to suggest relevant articles during support interactions
  • Multilingual help center for supporting customers in different languages

Expert ($139 per seat/month):

Designed for large support teams with complex communication needs, the Expert plan includes everything in Advanced, with additional features for collaboration, security, and in-depth insights:

  • Workload management for efficient task distribution
  • Fin AI Compose (my tone of voice) to personalize automated messages with your brand voice
  • Multiple help centers for organizing content by product or audience
  • Advanced reporting and analytics for data-driven decision-making
  • Collaboration tools for streamlined teamwork
  • Advanced security features for enhanced data protection

Early Stage Program (For Eligible Startups):

Intercom offers a special program for startups, providing a significant discount on the Advanced plan, Proactive Support Plus add-on, and Fin AI resolutions. This can be a great way for startups to access powerful customer communication tools at a reduced cost.

Please note that the pricing for Pro and Premium plans (essentially tiers 4 & 5) is not fixed.  The final cost depends on the number of seats (users), monthly active users (MAP), and support resolutions needed. We’ll explore this custom pricing structure in the next section.

How Does Intercom Calculate Price?

Unlike some customer support platforms with straightforward pricing structures, Intercom’s pricing can be a bit complex.  Here’s a breakdown of the key factors that influence your final cost:

Fin AI Resolutions: Intercom charges $0.99 for each customer support interaction resolved through their AI-powered Fin feature. This results in a “pay-as-you-go” system for successful resolutions, which can be cost-effective but makes it challenging to predict your monthly bill upfront.

People Reached: This refers to the number of unique users who interacted with your outbound communication channels within Intercom during a 30-day period. The Starter plan, for instance, allows you to reach 1,000 people per month.  Exceeding this limit incurs additional charges of around $50 for every 1,000 interactions.

Seats: This refers to the number of team members within your organization who require access to Intercom’s features.  The cost per seat varies depending on the plan you choose (Essential, Advanced, Expert) and any additional features (add-ons) you select.  For example, additional seats on the Starter plan cost $19 each, while seats on the Support Pro add-on cost $79 each.

The interplay of these factors (Fin AI resolutions, People Reached, Seats, and add-ons) makes it difficult to provide a fixed price quote without understanding your specific needs.  Intercom’s custom pricing structure requires contacting their sales team to receive an accurate quote based on your anticipated number of seats, Fin AI resolutions, and the number of people you plan to reach through outbound communication channels.

Here’s a quick tip: If budget transparency is a major concern for your business, exploring alternative customer support platforms with clear pricing structures might be a better approach.

excellent img - ThriveDesk

Spending Too Much?

Stop overpaying and start saving with ThriveDesk today! ThriveDesk helps you identify unnecessary expenses, so you can keep more money in your pocket. Take control of your finances and thrive with it!

Understanding Intercom’s Custom Pricing (Advanced & Expert)

Intercom’s Essential plan offers a clear per-seat price. However, the  Advanced and Expert plans (tiers 4 & 5)  utilize a more complex pricing structure based on three factors:

  • Number of Seats (Users): As before, this refers to the number of team members requiring access to Intercom. Each seat incurs a separate cost and contributes to the overall price.
  • Monthly Active People (MAP): This metric reflects the number of users interacting with Intercom features  within a 30-day period.  Here’s a breakdown of some features that contribute to MAP:
  • Live chat interactions
  • Help center article views
  • Using in-app messages
  • Support Resolutions: This refers to the number of customer support interactions resolved through Intercom’s ticketing system or chat functionalities.

Here’s how these factors can influence the final cost:

  • Increased Seats: Due to the per-seat pricing model, the total cost will rise proportionally as you add more team members.
  • Higher MAP:  If your customer base grows and interacts more frequently with Intercom (chats, help center visits, etc.), you might reach a threshold where the cost increases due to higher MAP usage.
  • More Resolutions: Businesses with a larger volume of support interactions might need to pay extra based on the number of resolutions handled through Intercom.

Intercom doesn’t publicly disclose the exact pricing formulas for these factors. You’ll need to contact their sales team to obtain an accurate quote and provide details regarding your anticipated number of seats, MAP, and support resolutions.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Intercom might offer volume discounts for businesses with a significant number of seats or high MAP usage.
  • The custom pricing can be an advantage for smaller businesses with a lower customer base or support volume, as they won’t pay for features they don’t necessarily use.

For example, a small startup with 5 team members (seats) and a relatively low number of customer interactions (MAP) might find the Advanced plan with its base price of $99 per seat/month to be sufficient. However, a large enterprise with hundreds of support agents (seats) and a high volume of customer interactions (MAP)  would likely see a significantly higher cost due to the increased number of seats and potentially higher MAP usage.

Intercom Pricing Examples (Optional)

While Intercom doesn’t disclose exact pricing beyond the per-seat cost for Essential and the starting prices for Advanced and Expert plans, we can create some hypothetical examples to illustrate how the custom pricing structure might work for businesses of different sizes:

Scenario 1: Small Startup

Team Size (Seats): 5

Monthly Active People (MAP): Low (Limited customer base)

Support Resolutions: Low (Few customer support interactions)

This scenario represents a small startup with a limited customer base. They likely wouldn’t require a large number of seats and wouldn’t have a high volume of customer interactions. In this case, the Advanced plan’s starting price of $99 per seat/month might be a good fit. They would benefit from features like:

  • Shared and team inboxes for managing customer communication
  • Workflows for basic automation tasks
  • Fin AI features like Compose and Autofill to assist with support interactions
  • Public help center for self-service knowledge base

However, for businesses like this where budget is a major concern, exploring alternatives like ThriveDesk could be beneficial. ThriveDesk offers a cost-effective solution with similar features designed specifically for startups and small businesses, potentially allowing them to get started with essential customer support functionalities at a lower price point.

Scenario 2: Growing E-commerce Company

Team Size (Seats): 20

Monthly Active People (MAP): Medium (Active customer base with frequent interactions)

Support Resolutions: Medium (Moderate volume of customer support inquiries)

This scenario reflects a growing e-commerce company with a more established customer base. They would likely require more seats for their support team and experience a higher volume of customer interactions via live chat, help center usage, and potentially in-app messages (contributing to MAP). Here, the Advanced plan might still be suitable, but the final cost could be higher due to the increased number of seats. Additionally, they might consider Proactive Support Plus (add-on) for features like product tours and customer surveys.

For businesses in this growth stage, exploring alternatives like ThriveDesk could also be valuable. ThriveDesk offers comparable features at potentially lower costs, allowing them to scale their support operations efficiently without breaking the bank.

Scenario 3: Large Enterprise

Team Size (Seats): 100+

Monthly Active People (MAP): High (Large customer base with frequent interactions)

Support Resolutions: High (Very high volume of customer support inquiries)

This scenario represents a large enterprise with a vast customer base and a complex support operation. They would require a significant number of seats and likely experience a very high volume of customer interactions across various channels. In this case, the Expert plan’s starting price of $139 per seat/month might be the base, but the final cost would likely be considerably higher due to the large number of seats and potentially exceeding MAP or resolution thresholds. Additionally, features like:

  • Collaboration tools for streamlined teamwork
  • Advanced reporting and analytics for data-driven decision making
  • Advanced security features for enhanced data protection
  • would be crucial for such a large organization.

Important Note: These are just hypothetical examples. The actual cost for your business will depend on your specific needs and usage patterns. It’s recommended to contact Intercom’s sales team for a personalized quote based on your anticipated number of seats, MAP, and support resolutions.

Additional Considerations and Alternatives

While Intercom offers a robust set of features, there are some additional costs and considerations to keep in mind:

Limited Transparency:  Intercom’s custom pricing for Advanced and Expert plans can be opaque.  Without clear pricing formulas, it can be difficult to predict the final cost for your business.

Potential Per-Feature Costs:  Intercom charges extra for certain features beyond the base plan, such as Proactive Support Plus and Fin AI resolutions. These additional costs can add up quickly.

Focus on Enterprise Needs:  Intercom’s pricing structure and feature set might be overkill for smaller businesses with simpler customer support needs.

Considering Alternatives:

Before committing to Intercom, it’s wise to explore alternative solutions that might offer better value for your specific needs. Here’s where ThriveDesk comes in:

Transparent Pricing:  ThriveDesk offers clear and straightforward pricing tiers, with all features included in each plan. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying for upfront, with no hidden fees or per-feature costs.

Cost-Effective for Small Businesses:  ThriveDesk caters specifically to the needs of startups and small businesses, offering affordable plans with essential customer support functionalities.  In many cases, you’ll get similar features to Intercom’s Essential plan at a significantly lower price point.

Scalable Solutions:  ThriveDesk offers plans that can grow with your business.  As your needs evolve, you can easily upgrade to a higher tier without having to switch platforms entirely.

Here’s a quick comparison to illustrate the potential cost benefits of ThriveDesk:

Scenario:  Small Startup (5 Seats)

  • Intercom (Advanced Plan): Starting at $99/seat/month, but the final cost could be higher depending on MAP usage.
  • ThriveDesk: Plans start at $45/seat/month with all features included, offering significant cost savings compared to Intercom’s potential pricing.

It’s important to evaluate your specific needs and budget when choosing a customer support platform.  While Intercom might be a suitable option for large enterprises,  ThriveDesk offers a compelling alternative for smaller businesses and startups seeking a cost-effective and transparent solution.

We recommend trying ThriveDesk’s free trial to experience its features and see how it compares to Intercom for your specific requirements.

Choosing the Right Intercom Plan

Selecting the most suitable Intercom plan depends on several factors specific to your business:

  • Team Size: Consider the number of team members who will require access to Intercom for customer support and communication.
  • Customer Base:  Think about the size and activity level of your customer base. How many customers will be interacting with Intercom features like chat or help center?
  • Support Volume: Estimate the volume of customer support inquiries you handle through various channels (chat, email, tickets).
  • Budget:  Be mindful of your allocated budget for customer support software. Intercom’s pricing can vary depending on the plan and your usage patterns.

Here’s a general guideline to help you choose:

  • Essential Plan: Ideal for startups and small businesses with a limited number of support agents and a lower customer interaction volume.
  • Advanced Plan: Suitable for growing businesses with a larger support team and a more active customer base. This plan offers features for automation and improved workflows.
  • Expert Plan: Best for large enterprises with a complex support operation requiring advanced collaboration, security, and reporting functionalities.


Contact Intercom’s sales team for an accurate quote based on your specific needs.

The custom pricing structure for Advanced and Expert plans can be complex and might not be readily apparent.

Exploring Alternatives:

While Intercom provides a comprehensive feature set, it’s always beneficial to consider other solutions in the market.  Depending on your business size and needs, you might find a better fit with a different platform that offers:

  • Clearer Pricing:  Look for solutions with transparent pricing structures that avoid hidden fees or per-feature costs. Consider platforms like Help Scout or Zendesk, which offer clear tier-based pricing with all features included in each plan.
  • Cost-Effectiveness:  For smaller businesses, explore options that cater to your specific needs and budget, potentially offering similar features at a lower price point. ThriveDesk is a strong alternative that focuses on affordability for startups and small businesses, providing essential customer support functionalities at competitive rates.
  • Scalability:  Choose a platform that can adapt and grow with your business as your customer base and support volume increase. Freshdesk offers a scalable solution with plans that cater to businesses of all sizes, allowing you to upgrade seamlessly as your needs evolve.

By carefully evaluating your requirements and exploring alternative solutions, you can make an informed decision and select the customer support platform that best aligns with your budget and business goals.

Wrapping up

Intercom offers a powerful customer support platform with a variety of features to streamline communication, automate tasks, and improve the customer experience. However, the custom pricing structure for Advanced and Expert plans can be complex and might not be ideal for all businesses.

Here are some key takeaways to consider:

  • Intercom excels in features: It provides a robust feature set for automation, AI-powered functionalities, and comprehensive support functionalities.
  • Pricing complexity: The custom pricing for Advanced and Expert plans requires contacting sales for a quote, potentially leading to a lack of transparency upfront.
  • Alternatives exist: Explore options like ThriveDesk, Help Scout, Zendesk, and Freshdesk, which might offer clearer pricing, better cost-effectiveness for smaller businesses, or strong scalability for future growth.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and budget. Carefully evaluate your requirements, explore alternative solutions, and don’t hesitate to take advantage of free trials offered by many platforms. By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to select the customer support platform that empowers your team to deliver exceptional service to your customers.

Want happy customer?
ThriveDesk has everything you need to thrive customer support
Get started for free
No Credit Card needed.
Related posts

You'd also like

Join over 1,000 support agents who are transforming their
support experience with our seamless platform.
Start today and elevate your support.
  • No credit card required
  • Full access to all features
  • Cancel at anytime