Which Dating App Is Worth Paying For? Bumble Boost vs Premium, Tinder Plus vs Gold, Platinum, CMB Premium, Hinge Boost, Roses, Preferred Membership? Cost, Price
Most dating apps these days operate on what is called a freemium business model whereby basic functionality is free but additional premium features come at a cost.
Unlike Match.com, you don’t need to pay money to read or send messages to others on dating apps like Hinge, Bumble or Tinder.
Upon creating a profile, most people experience a good surge (noob boost) likes and matches. For more on that check out this post outlining the importance of starting off strong with a new dating profile.
After a few days, users experience what is called a regression to the mean whereby the likes slow down and fewer matches are had.
Dating apps are like video games and can get users hooked pretty easily. Getting folks to experience a euphoric ego boost with likes and matches is to app’s benefit as they pull the rug underneath users so that they feel compelled to buy upgrades to attain more likes and subsequently matches.
These premium features and subscriptions can add up over time.
To have sustainable success on dating apps, one needs to avoid the temptations of boosts and paid premium benefits.
These can help in some specific situations but only with strong photos, bios, prompts, communication skills, smiles, first impressions, favorable demographics, good timing and strategy. Keep on reading to understand the pros and cons of Tinder Boost (and other similar boosts on other apps) as well as best time to use Tinder Boost and more.
Paid vs Free Dating Sites, Are Paid Sites Better Than Free Sites?
There is a common misconception that using paid sites like Match.com are better than free ones like Hinge, Bumble etc. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Just because one is required to pay to use Match.com doesn’t mean the user experience is better. Most profiles on Match.com are either inactive or free meaning they cannot read messages or send messages. It’s a common mistake made on Match.com.
Even if a user is paying on a site like Match.com, doesn’t mean they are more self-aware, have more realistic expectations, are more desirable or better people.
Sites like Match don’t screen profiles (I have had a dummy account for years to monitor their product releases, marketing campaigns and provide market reports for clients who are possibly thinking about using such sites. Most apps attract different people, lifestyles, age ranges, intentions.
Related reading: Best Dating Apps (dating app comparison, recommendations based on demographics)
Do You Have To Pay To Get Matches On Dating Apps
No, absolutely not. First off, it also helps to be self-aware, be patient and ask questions. Rather than take the plunge, I urge all folks to invest in their photos (order, quality, lighting, variety), profiles (bios, questions, answers, completeness) and app choice.
There is plenty of self-sabotage on dating apps that it doesn’t make sense to pay for premium marketing features when the core product (you) can use some help.
Sure, one might get more likes but will likely come from users who accidentally clicked like, come from new users (like bots, spammers that haven’t been banned) or users outside a preferred radius.
Is It Worth Paying For A Dating Site, Do Dating Apps Work Better If You Pay?
If profiles, photo and bios are done effectively, users don’t need to pay for premium features and subscriptions to have success (for the most part) on dating apps. Basic (free) functionality should work for most people if they carefully curate their dating profiles.
It’s those that rush it, have no clue what they are doing, lack self-awareness and realistic expectations who are most likely to have negative experiences with paying for such features. According to Vice, it’s almost never worth it to spend money on dating apps.
With that said, some features are reasonable if one is trying to expedite the number of profiles shown to you or if the main focus is to expedite visibility in a like or match queue.
Other features can seem a bit creepy, needy or inefficient. Here are my takes on some main paid features and subscriptions for popular dating apps in Hinge, Bumble, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel.
Bumble Boost, Bumble Premium, Bumble Spotlight, Bumble Beeline Cost, Price & Subscriptions
Bumble Boost’s main benefit is that it allows users to see who has liked them and thus can swipe accordingly on them first. This expedites the number of matches as one does not have to waste time swiping on people that either swiped left on them or have not seen their profile.
The main drawback to this though is if one focuses only on those that swiped right on them, they might miss out on those in the same position (have Bumble Boost and are waiting on others to like them first). Additionally, time is of the essence on dating apps.
The longer people are on apps, the more likes and matches they will accumulate. Fatigue kicks in and users tend to focus on a handful of people at a time (particularly during covid) so one might miss out on people by focusing only on those that have expressed interest.
Rematching with expired connections is another benefit but my logic to this is if someone is interested, they will reach out even if it’s to say they are busy and would like to connect in x days/weeks when things settle down from work, school etc.
Basic online dating messaging etiquette, one does not want to seem desperate by rematching or extending matches beyond the 24 hours.
Related read: Bumble Premium Review
Bumble Boost (Cost, Price), Dating App Cost
Below is an old pricing guide for Bumble Boost. As of June 2022, it’s now $16.99/month or as low as $11.33/month on a 6-month subscription. Some features were removed from Boost and are exclusively on Premium hence the pricing.
OLD – Bumble Premium (Price, Cost)
NEW – Bumble Premium (Price, Cost) As of June 2022, Bumble Premium Price, Bumble Premium Cost
Can Paying For Bumble Help? Is Bumble Worth Paying For? Is Bumble Premium Worth It? Is Bumble Free?
Unlimited swipes and unlimited filters can be effective but often times users can be too picky and eliminate great matches prematurely.
People tend to be more selective with dating apps than they would if they met the same person offline. Don’t fall don’t that rabbit hole of treating dating apps like food ordering apps. Dating apps are merely online introductions!
Bumble Spotlight is another paid feature whereby users can pay to increase visibility of their profiles to other users for brief periods of time. I generally equate this to taking out paid ads for a sub-par product – invest in your profile, photos first before even considering this.
UPDATE – Bumble Boost is now Bumble Premium in select markets.
*If you are located in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada or the USA and using an iOS you will no longer have the option to subscribe to the legacy Bumble Boost subscription.
Bumble Premium Features: Revamped Bumble Boost includes:
Ability to extend time on matches
5 SuperSwipes per week
Bumble Premium includes:
Access to unlimited Advanced filters
Access to your Beeline so you can see your admirers
Ability to extend time on your current matches
Rematch with users who have expired
One Spotlight per week
Five SuperSwipes per week
Bumble Beeline is one of those things where a paid subscription can be helpful. Bumble beeline is a queue of users that have liked you but you have not liked them (and thus have not matched yet).
If you are looking to expedite matches and see who has liked you, it can help get in front of people sooner than later. With that said, don’t just focus on those in your beeline as others can be doing the same thing and waiting for those who have swiped on them first.
The beeline on Bumble contains users who may be out of your range, location, age or other deal-breakers but luckily you can filter through such incompatible likes.
For tips on photos, prompts, first messages and how to reply to messages, check out my Bumble blog posts.
Should You Use Bumble Travel Mode? How To Turn Off Travel Mode On Bumble
Travel mode on a profile can feel a bit tacky and suggest you are looking either to hookup up while traveling, looking for a casual fwb travel guide, are misrepresenting where you live or you are indifferent about staying put where you live currently. It’s a red flag for many and should be turned off immediately.
To turn off Bumble Travel Mode, select settings, travel button (blue) and set ‘current location’.
Bumble Boost vs Premium: Is Bumble Premium Same As Boost; Difference Between Bumble And Bumble Boost
How Do You Get Bumble Premium For Free? Bumble Free Premium Trial 2 Weeks
It’s possible to get a free Bumble trial Boost but those trials are limited and require you to sign up for a full price subscription after the trial but most people don’t read the fine print and go and complain on Reddit once it renews after the trial period.
If you swipe too quickly on profiles you can miss out on Bumble Free Premium so take your time because you likely won’t see it again for a very long time.
Hinge Boost, Hinge Preferred Membership: What Is The Best Time To Boost On Hinge? Is Hinge Upgrade Worth It? Is Hinge Boost Worth It?
Hinge is one of the most popular dating apps on the market. Some women prefer the app over Bumble because they don’t have to make the first move which can be intimidating for someone who considers themselves old-fashioned.
Hinge Boost briefly makes a user’s profile more visible to others for bursts of time (currently 1 hour). As with Bumble Spotlight, I view this as taking out paid ads for a sub-par product – invest in your profile, photos first before even considering this.
Similar to Bumble Boost, paid subscribers can see who liked them, send out unlimited likes and also set advanced preferences around education, family plans, politics and more.
Again, invest in the profile and photos first before considering upgrading. Features like this will give you around the same quality of users, sometimes like but more quickly.
It’s possible to run out of profiles if too much swiping occurs. It’s better to make a good first impression rather than try to rebound from a bad profile being shown to someone that piques your interest.
Hinge Unlimited Likes will run out for all people eventually so it’s important to focus on your appearance, profile, photos, bio etc to get the most out of the dating app.
Hinge Superboost – What Is Hinge Superboost, How much does Hinge Superboost cost? Is Hinge Boost Worth It? Hinge Super Boost
It’s like Hinge Boost but unlimited for 24 hours. This costs $19.99. It claims you can be seen by up to 11x more people. Read why you should never super-like/swipe on dating apps.
More tips around profiles, messages, photos and more on Hinge.
What Is A Rose On Hinge? Hinge Roses aka Hinge Superlikes: Is Sending A Rose On Hinge Weird? What Does It Mean?
It’s a way to skip the line and get in front of a match. It’s similar to a super like, super swipe but the idea is that roses are more romantic and less creepy.
What Does It Mean To Get A Rose On Hinge? Receiving A Rose On Hinge
It means someone sent a free emoji to you hoping you think they are more interested in you than others. Don’t pre-qualify people, don’t think too much about it. It’s meaningless without effort, conversations, planning of dates, attention, responsiveness, etiquette, patience etc.
How Many Roses Do You Get On Hinge, How To You Get Free Roses On Hinge? How To Get Free Roses On Hinge.
Users usually get one free rose per week to give out.
How Does Hinge Standouts Work? How Does Hinge Decide Who To Show You? Hinge Standout Roses
Hinge has a separate stream of high profile individuals that are curated based on their profiles. You can’t send likes, only roses. Since they are in demand, matching with them or getting their attention is unlikely for the average person.
Is Hinge Free?
Hinge’s basic service is free but additional items like boosts, roses are extra.
Hinge Rose Cost, Hinge Rose Pricing, Hinge Premium
Starting at $3.32 each.
Can You Send A Like Instead Of A Rose On Hinge?
Yes, absolutely but likes without comments are lazy and low-effort. Read Hinge Conversation Starters here.
Hinge Roses: Do Roses Actually Work On Hinge? Is It Weird To Send Roses On Hinge?
It’s weird, a little creepy and desperate. Don’t do it.
Does Hinge Have A Free Trial? How Do You Get A Free Trial On Hinge?
Keep swiping. Occasionally offers surface for a trial but similar to Bumble, they renew at full subscription price. Read the details and terms of service and you won’t have to worry about anything.
What Can You Do On Hinge For Free? Can You View Likes For Free
Most basic functions of the app are free, you don’t need to pay to use it effectively, get matches or go on dates. In order to see likes, you will have to like the other person to see if there is a match from which you can know they also liked you.
Dating Coach Services - Men & Women
First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars & restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills, how to be more approachable, conversation starters, mock dates, grooming, hygiene, hair, wardrobe, style, lifestyle choices, uncovering blindspots, reducing biases and more. Clients from NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Seattle, London, Sydney, Melbourne & beyond.
-As seen in the NYT, WSJ & More
Coffee Meets Bagel Premium Subscription
CMB’s free version is rather limited compared to Hinge and Bumble but its premium features are interesting. Activity reports provide details around responses from matches like the percentage of times the first message is sent.
Read receipts are another benefit but are they necessary? Features like this downplay fundamental human skills to analyze people and their communication and effort. I don’t think one should rely on apps for basic engagement and interaction analysis.
With that said, unlimited skip the line is a fascinating feature. Users have to wait awhile to be seen by others but with this premium benefit, users can expedite the line and be seen up to 3x faster (according to CMB). Like other apps, users receive more likes through 8 likes a month in Discover.
For additional tips and insight into CMB: https://eddie-hernandez.com/category/coffee-meets-bagel/
How To Get Free Beans On Coffee Meets Bagel
Invite your friends to the app via referrals and follow CMB on social media.
Occasionally CMB will offer free beans in the app for logging in or responding to bagels.
Tinder Subscriptions: Tinder Gold vs Tinder Plus, Discounts; Is Tinder Gold Worth It? How Much Is Tinder Gold? Do You Have To Pay For Tinder?
The Tinder app is free and you can do just fine without paying a dime assuming your photos are good, bio is solid and you know how to navigate the app.
Tinder’s subscription products provide a slew of options geared towards gamification like no other. Undoing left-swipes, ability to send Super-Likes, ability to change location in passport, and 1 boost per month. All these features in Tinder Plus are unique to the mindless swipe culture Tinder has created.
Tinder Gold possesses all the features in Tinder Plus but adds in ability to see who likes you, unlimited likes and curated profiles in Top Picks.
Tinder App Review: https://eddie-hernandez.com/tinder-dating-app-review/
Tinder Gold Discount: Discounts are randomly available to users through notifications, emails. Check your setting to make sure you have communications enabled. These discounts only last for a short time i.e. 1 month so not really worth waiting for it. Also, these discounts renew at full price so FYI.
Tinder Gold Review: Tinder Plus vs Tinder Gold, Is Tinder Plus Worth It?
Tinder Gold as of May 12, 2021 is $29.99/month, $14.99/month for 6 month subscription or $9.99/month for 12 month subscription.
Tinder Platinum: What Is Tinder Platinum, Does It Work?
Tinder Platinum provides the same features as Plus and Gold, plus Priority Likes and Message Before Match. Available in select markets only.
-Message before matching by attaching a message to your Super Like
-Have your Like prioritized over others with Priority Likes
-See the Likes you’ve sent in the last 7 days
Best Time To Use Tinder Boost, Best Time To Swipe On TInder, What Time Is Tinder Most Active, How To Get The Most Out Of Tinder Boosts
If you do pay for a boost, make sure you use the boost when your target audience is likely to be on the app and likely to see your profile and like you. For some people, this can be 5-8pm on Sundays, Thursdays. For others it can be when you are off your shift. Know your audience.
Get good photos or else you are wasting your money on boosts. Boosts don’t make you more attractive, desirable. In fact, I would argue that apps like Tinder use boosts as a factor to determine how desperate your are and likely to pay them more money.
With that said, people tend to do better with less competition so swiping or activating boost at less than peak times but not weird times that make you seem desperate or a loner or someone who is neglecting work or career.
How Do You See Who Liked You On Dating Apps Without Paying?
Just swipe right on everyone and if they matched with you, they liked you.
Is Paying For Dating Sites Worth It? Are Paid Dating Apps Worth It? Final Thoughts
Invest in your photos and profile first. Make sure you are self-aware and have realistic expectations based on your location, looks, age and lifestyle. If you do upgrade, do so for reasons that don’t try to make up for deficiencies in your profile.
Premium features can help expedite and sift through matches more quickly, enable more filters and speed up matches, but they won’t make you more interesting, attractive or desirable. Only use it once you have optimized your app choices, timing for messages, writing skills, photos, smiles, prompts etc.
Are Dating Apps A Waste Of Time? Do Dating Apps Really Work? Should I Get On A Dating App?
Dating apps can definitely be helpful but only if you are self-aware, patient, live in a favorable area, have realistic expectations, have good photos, are on the appropriate app based on your demographics and possess good writing and communication skills.
More on is online dating worth it here.
Can Someone See If You Boost On Hinge?
No, they cannot see if you did or not.
Do You Need Tinder Gold? Do You Need Hinge Preferred? Do You Need Bumble Premium?
No, you don’t. It can help but it’s not necessary and won’t matter much unless you invest your profile, app choice, style, hobbies, interests, communication skills, location, confidence, appearance, health etc.
Boost At End Of Subscriptions, Memberships
For sites that have paid subscriptions, it’s not uncommon to get boosted right before subscription expires only to prevent you seeing them on a regular account, status. I won’t mention names but you know these sites and apps.
Why Is Hinge So Expensive?
It’s one of the better dating apps out there depending on your demographics. Most people shouldn’t use Hinge based on their age, location, lifestyle, intentions or lack of effort.
Best Paid Dating Sites, Premium Dating Sites
There are no universally best paid sites. Some are ok for some, not for others. They largely depend on your age, gender, lifestyle, expectations, photos, writing skills and more. Sometimes Match.com and The League are good, sometimes they are not.
How To Cancel Hinge Preferred Membership, How To Cancel Bumble Subscription, How To Cancel Bumble Premium
Is Match Worth It? Is Match.com Worth The Price?
Do Boost Work On Dating Sites? Are Dating App Boosts Worth It? Are Booths Worth It On Bumble, Hinge, Tinder?
Largely not, especially if your profile is not that good. You should focus on optimizing your profile rather than pay for boosts.
Sure timing is everything but most people who rely on boosts neglect building a good profile or faily to understand what their profile and photos signal.
Online Dating Critique, Makeover For Men & Women
Strategy (App Choice + Timing + First Messages), Photo Critique, Bios + Prompts + Photo Captions, Wardrobe Feedback, Grooming Suggestions, Clothing & Hairstyle Recommendations, Body Language, Smiles, Etiquette & More For Men & Women.
-As seen in the NYT, WSJ & More
Further Reading To Bumble Premium Features, Tinder Gold vs Tinder Plus, Are Any Dating Apps Worth Paying For? Best Paid Dating App, Bumble Subscription Options, Are Tinder Boosts Worth It
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News & more.
Previously an analytics professional and user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into the inner workings of dating apps and user behavior. He provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, and offline techniques for meeting people organically.
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