Is Premium Worth It? Comparing Free and Paid Features for Popular Dating App Memberships

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You’re not even sure how long it’s been, but you’re starting to melt into your couch, your thumb swelling from endless swiping, each dating profile blending into the next. It’s becoming a torturous pattern, swiping left, right, left, right, wondering, hoping, praying that you’ll find that perfect match.

Aren’t you tired? I am just writing that. And guess what? You’re not alone. Yes, dating apps have opened us up to a whole new world of ease and convenience in meeting new people, but here’s the real question: Is it worth investing in the premium features of these apps? 

Ah, the age-old debate. Do we take the free route, or do we invest a little extra into the paid option? Well, that’s what I’m here to help you figure out. So, let’s dive into the differences between free options versus paid features for some of the most popular dating app memberships out there and see if it’s really worth that extra coin.

FOMO and the Gratification of Freebies

Just like swiping for a match can give us that dopamine high, being able to create a profile and browse for our new beau without spending a dime provides us with a sense of freedom.

We feel like we’re getting something for nothing, and can you really blame us? I mean, it was always free to date in the caveman days of meeting people in line at the grocery store, so why should we have to spend money to look for love? 

Psychologically, when we receive something of value without having to pay (be it a date, a new relationship, or just some boogie-woogie), we’re often triggered to continue behaving in the same way.

This means if it worked once, then we’re more likely to go back to the source that gave us this satisfaction. But anyone who has spent any significant time on a dating app will tell you that, eventually, it can get redundant.

fomo

It’s not that it’s boring; it’s just that it becomes more of the same. And that’s where many modern dating apps have learned to tap into the allure of paid options. When we start to get bored by the same old same old, that’s where paid features can sweep in and ignite that spark we thought we lost. 

Some dating apps create limited access to certain features as a way to entice users to upgrade to a premium membership, essentially dangling the treat right before our eyes. There are dozens of blurry profiles, people who’ve matched you, who like you, who are waiting to meet YOU. All you have to do is get beyond the paywall. Now, of course, not all dating apps are like this. But it does pose the question. What bounty could be waiting for us if we just spend a teeny tiny bit of cash to find out? And worse–what could we be missing if we stay cheap? Possibly the love of our lives. Ah, the good old FOMO–fear of missing out.

So what’s the deal? Are dating apps just tapping into our primordial need to be included and not be left out? After all, scarcity creates value in our minds. So maybe dating apps are just taking advantage of this psychological bias by restricting certain features to make us more inclined to upgrade because we just don’t want to miss out. Or is there something more to it?

Is Premium Dating App Membership Just a Perception?

Imagine this. You take a poop, put it in a can, and try to sell it for three hundred thousand dollars. Ridiculous, right? Except, in the sixties, one Italian artist did exactly that. By calling his excrement “art,” he applied a premium label to something every human being does on a regular basis and sold it to a museum for that amount. As humans, we’re inclined to associate the word “premium” with quality and exclusivity. And yeah, we may think the idea of poop as art is insane, but people actually bought that. 

There’s something in our nature that makes us associate a higher cost with higher quality. In many ways, that’s the psychology that the premium service of dating apps taps into. Premium memberships could not only lead to better quality matches, but they could have superior features and offer a more refined dating experience. Not only that, but the idea is that people who sign up for Premium are in this for real. People who pay for premium memberships on dating apps are much more serious, dedicated, and committed to finding the real thing. But that brings up the question: Are all premium memberships made equal? Well, let’s break down three of the more popular apps out there and find out.


Zoosk: Free vs. Paid

zoosk free

Zoosk Free

  • Creating a profile and uploading photos.
  • Basic search and matchmaking features.
  • Sending likes, smiles, and winks to show interest.
  • Viewing profiles and photos of other users.
  • Limited messaging capabilities.
zoosk premium

Zoosk Premium (Paid Membership)

  • All features of the free version.
  • Unlimited messaging.
  • Advanced search filters to refine matches based on specific criteria.
  • ‘SmartPicks’ feature presents you with compatible matches based on Zoosk’s AI behavioral technology.
  • Connect with members outside of your geographic location.
  • Boost your profile visibility and get more attention.
  • Receive delivery confirmation for your messages.
  • Access to premium customer support.

Cost: $29.99 per month

zoosk coin

Zoosk Coins (Virtual Currency)

  • Boost your profile to increase visibility.
  • Send virtual gifts to other users.
  • Unlock and view profiles of people who have shown interest in you.
  • Send special messages to catch someone’s attention.

Cost: $19.95 for 180 coins

Check Out What We Have to Say about Zoosk

Zoosk Review

eHarmony: Free vs. Paid

eharmony free

eHarmony Free

  • Create a profile and upload photos.
  • Complete the personality questionnaire.
  • Receive a personality assessment.
  • View limited profiles of potential matches.
  • Send pre-selected questions to other users.
eharmony premium

eHarmony Premium (Paid Membership)

  • All features of the free version.
  • Unlimited messaging.
  • See full profiles of your matches, including their photos.
  • Access to the ‘What If’ feature, which shows you additional potential matches outside your compatibility preferences.
  • See who has viewed your profile.
  • ‘Video Date’ feature.
  • Get a more detailed personality profile.
  • Verified ID feature, providing an extra level of authenticity for users.
  • Ability to browse profiles in incognito mode.
  • Access to premium customer support.

Cost: 12-month plan–22.95 per month

Check Out What We Have to Say about eHarmony

eHarmony Review

Tinder: Free vs. Paid

Ah, Tinder–the app that revolutionized the dating game with its iconic swiping feature and made casual flings a new part of the game. While Tinder started out as a free app, it has now added different tiered paid versions. 

free tinder

Tinder Free

  • Creating a profile and uploading photos.
  • Swiping right to like or left to like or pass on profiles.
  • Matching and messaging with mutual matches.
  • Limited number of Super Likes per day.
  • Basic location-based matching.
tinder plus

Tinder Plus (Paid Membership)

  • All features of the free version.
  • Unlimited likes, allowing you to swipe as much as you want.
  • Rewind feature, which lets you undo your last swipe.
  • Passport feature, enabling you to swipe in different locations around the world.
  • Boost feature, which promotes your profile and increases visibility.
  • Additional Super Likes per day.
  • Ability to control who sees you with the “Only People I’ve Liked” option.

Cost: $7.99 per month

tinder gold

Tinder Gold (Paid Membership, includes all Tinder Plus features)

  • All features of Tinder Plus.
  • ‘Likes You’ feature shows you a list of people who have already swiped right on your profile.
  • ‘Top Picks’ feature provides you 4 to 10 highly compatible profiles. 
  • Ability to swipe and match even when you’re in different time zones.

Cost: $24.99 per month

tinder platinum

Tinder Platinum (Paid Membership, includes all Tinder Gold features)

  • Send a message along with a super like–before you match
  • Prioritized likes put your profile above other non-members

Cost: $29.99 per month

Check Out What We Have to Say about Tinder

Tinder Review

The Verdict? 

Now that we’ve broken down the free and paid features of these popular dating app memberships, it’s time to answer the burning question: Is Premium worth it? The answer, as you might have guessed, depends on your personal preferences, your dating goals, and what benefits you’re trying to get from a premium subscription. It’s clear that not all dating apps are made equally, and that includes the features their premium subscriptions offer. 

If you’re cool with the free dating apps, and it’s working, then stick with it. However, there is one thing that premium subscriptions have in common: They all aim to give you a more personalized experience by setting you up for success with more compatible matches. And, of course, there are additional perks that make it easier to connect with someone you’re interested in.

So is it worth it? Well, ultimately, the decision is yours, but if you’re hitting that point where your eyes are blurring and every profile is looking the same, maybe it’s worth giving it a shot. If anything, it may save you some time swiping and let you skip to the good part. 

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