Virtually all dating apps are free to use, but they offer extra services if you opt-in to their payment plan. The most popular dating apps currently are Bumble and Tinder. I signed up for the premium versions of both to let you know which dating apps are worth paying for.
I spent over $200 testing dating apps to see what’s worth paying for
For the sake of research, I opted for the premium memberships on both apps. After a few weeks of using both (and going on more than a dozen dates), I can tell you which options are worth paying for, and which are not.
I tried Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and Happn to see when paying benefits you… and when it doesn’t. In this post, I compare Tinder and Bumble, but there’s definitely more to come!
Bumble seems to offer more bang for your buck if you’re going to pay for a dating app. However, determining the real ROI isn’t that simple.
More money won’t help you find love, but it might help you find dates
Unfortunately, your Prince(ss) Charming probably isn’t hiding behind a paywall. Subscribing to the paid version of a dating app won’t guarantee you’ll meet someone you vibe with, but it could make the process of finding people to date much easier.
However, whether or not it’s worth it to pay a premium for your digital love matches depends on where you live, what app you’re using, and what exactly you’re looking for. The paid tiers of dating apps might make it easier to connect with people, but only if the people you’re interested in are actually in your city and on the app and using it.
My city has a modest population of around 1 million people. From my experience, Tinder has a bigger user base than Bumble here.
The disparity is so bad I frequently run out of matches on Bumble and the app asks me to continuously expand my filters. Whereas within 12 hours on Tinder, I had over 3,000 people who already “liked” my profile and waiting for me to return the right swipe.
Is Tinder Gold worth it?
Tinder was first-to-e, and it remains the most popular dating app available. While it has a reputation of being for hook-ups, a surprising number of people are looking for love on Tinder.
Tinder definitely has an advantage over other apps in terms of the sheer volume of subscribers. However, what it makes up for in users , it lacks in user quality. I personally dislike Tinder because it doesn’t have as many filters as Bumble.
It’s time-consuming to filter through profiles to find someone you might also be interested in. Furthermore, because men can also start conversations, you’re likely to get bombarded with messages if you match with a lot of people.
Tinder Plus vs Tinder Gold vs Tinder Platinum
Tinder has two paid tiers after their free version, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. Here’s a snapshot of how they compare:
When I upgraded my Tinder membership, the first feature I made use of “choose who sees you”. This set my profile to only be seen by people I already liked. Or so I thought. Even after I enabled this feature, I was still getting notifications of new likes, even when I wasn’t using the app.
My guess is they let other Tinder Plus or Gold subscribers circumvent these restrictions to like your profile, even when you’ve set it not to be shown.
I found the Super Likes feature next to useless. After a few months on Bumble, I was so used to scrolling up to view the rest of someone’s profile, I would do the same thing on Tinder only to accidentally send a Super Like.