We’ve all been raised with the maxim, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” tucked snugly into the back of our minds. Should we get a pamphlet in the mail saying we won a free trip to Venice; too good to be true. A yogurt that is non-fat that’ll make you lose weight; too good to be true.
Yet when it comes to dating apps this hasn’t been the case. The most popular dating apps in the USA –Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid– are all free. Each app gives users the option to purchase certain add-ons but the basic features of the application are 100% free. With that said, this isn’t the case for all dating sites or apps.
Elite Singles is a dating application that, as advertised, targets a certain type of user. On its website, it boasts that Elite Singles “Is only for those who want a serious relationship. Over 90% of our members are 30+ and over 80% have a university degree.” Elite Singles pitches itself as a far cry from the much maligned “hookup apps” like Tinder and Badoo. While the application/website prides itself on its ability to create lasting relationships, it isn’t being completely upfront about its free capabilities. In this article we address what everyone wants to know – is Elite Singles free?
While the pretentious app claims to be free, their definition of the word might be a little different than yours. To investigate what perks are granted to users with a free membership, we decided to create an account and conduct a little investigation of our own.
While researching the application, we stumbled upon an article published on the Elite Singles website that juxtaposes the capabilities of free and premium memberships.
On the top of page you see the Elite Singles logo with the words “Free Dating” beneath it. While the claim here is vague, anyone with mild dating application experience will infer that the application is free. As we’ll soon find out, it is…. to a certain degree.
Below you’ll find a segment of the Elite Singles free vs. premium membership page. The paragraph talks about the in-depth personality test that users are required to take before making claims about the capabilities that accompany the free membership. It’s here that we find the first claim that needs debunking. As the paragraph clearly states, “When you join our site, you’ll also be able to create a profile, see matches…” Well we’ve created a profile and can say from firsthand experience that we’re not able to see photos of matches.To be fair, pictures can be seen, just not very well. With a free membership, users are only granted access to blurred photos of matches. You know when people in vulnerable positions are being interviewed in documentaries and their faces are blurred so as not to compromise their identity? That’s exactly what matches look like.
Though perhaps we’re misreading the fine print. We’re promised the ability to “see matches” and nothing more. With a free membership users are granted access to a match’s personal description along with partial questions and answers from their personality test. But let’s be serious, even though users might be deeper than the average Tinder user, they still place great importance on the appearance of another user. With only a blurred photo and a nondescript profile blurb to go off of, should two people with free memberships ever meet up, their encounter will be akin to a blind date.
In-Depth Personality Test
The 15+ minute personality test that Elite Singles demands first-time users to fill out is a perfect example of the foot-in-the-door theory. This tactic is used by first soliciting a minor action before attempting to get someone to agree to a major request such as paying for an online dating membership.
Elite Singles applies this tactic effortlessly by first asking for a new user’s name, email, and the typical boilerplate information. After completing the preliminary information you’re immediately thrust into the thick of creating your profile. Most likely you don’t have any qualms with this -we didn’t- because you assume that creating a profile will grant you certain liberties despite only having a free membership.
Certain dating applications like OkCupid offer lengthy personality tests, though still allow users to start swiping even before filling out the test. Elite Singles on the other hand requires that their timely test is filled out in full before a user can start navigating through the website.
After the 15 or so minutes it took to answer the personality test we finally had access to potential matches, kind of. As we mentioned before, pictures were censored. Despite this we thought that maybe we still needed to fill out another section of the profile before it was truly complete. We were misled to this belief because of claims like the one below. At this point after having divulged personal information and invested time into the application the user might almost feel the need to sign up for the membership. This is the foot-in-the-door technique at its finest.
Is Elite Singles Free? Misleading Wording
In the banner below you’ll see that premium members have access to all photos. “Access all photos” implies that free members at least have access to one photo. In reality this isn’t the case. The wording seen throughout the website implies free but is grossly misleading. As discussed previously, users are only able to see a single blurred photo of matches.
Once a user clicks the blurred image of a match they’re led to the pricing options list below. The price list also makes an appearance after you’ve filled out the personality profile. As you can see, not only is Elite Singles not free, but it’s fairly costly. Look closely and you’ll note that for a one-month membership users are asked to cough-up $77.95. To put this cost into perspective, a one month Tinder Gold membership will run you $29.99. A one month Hinge membership would set you back just $12.99.
After about 2-3 days after we had signed up, we were emailed a link to Elite Singles price breakdown. There was no mention as to the benefits of a free membership. Throughout our usage of the website we were constantly reminded of the nearly absent capabilities of a free membership. Any attempt to use the application or website in a meaningful way was halted by the need to purchase a premium membership.
Users are also forwarded to the page above when they try to contact fellow matches. We thought that a free membership would at least grant us the ability to both see photos and send messages to matches. However, neither of these options are available to users that refuse to part ways with their money.
So, Is Elite Singles Free?
The whole profile set-up is structured around forcing new users to pay for a membership. Using the website in a free manner relegates the user to a window shopper. You’ll be able to see blurred photo matches only, and be able to send them smiles. But any significant form of interaction is withheld until you part ways with some cash.
Is There an Elite Singles Coupon Code? What’s Their Best Offer?
Our test user reported that he received an enormous amount of emails from Elite Singles after he registered. He did not report receiving a coupon or promo code. But exactly 7 days after he signed up, he received an email with a gift box in the subject line along with the following text: “Congratulations, We have a Special Offer just for you!”
Take a look below and you’ll see a nice reduction in their 3 month “classic” package (which seems to be their best overall offer). You can save a total of $24 just by waiting a week to sign up.
We will continue to monitor their automation email deals and update this post accordingly.
For all intents and purposes Elite Singles isn’t a free dating site. Yet should a user decide to pay for the website, they’ll experience a number of pros that most other dating applications don’t offer.
The chief benefit that becoming a paying member of Elite Singles gives you is access to a unique dating pool. While most applications target young millennials, Elite Singles rounds up eligible candidates who are a bit more seasoned in life. Most members are between 33-50 and hold college degrees.
Unlike the more superficial applications, this one requires each member to fill out a personality test. This test provides those searching for love the opportunity to glean meaningful information about a potential mate.
The last major boon is Elite Single’s capability of presenting users with 3-7 quality matches everyday. In the same vein as Coffee Meets Bagel, ES uses an algorithm to assess the compatibility of users. But you don’t need to wait for the app to present you with compatible profiles in order to find your soulmate. Based on a number of criterium, the application pegs a compatibility percentage to each and every profile.
Users also have the option of filtering based on age, distance, height, etc. However one drawback of filtering via distance is that 30 miles is the closest the filter allows you to search. Those looking for a partner close by might have to do a little digging before they find someone within range. Perhaps the filter only enables users to search for suitors no closer than 30 miles because it’s short on members. This may be the case for the time being but with the company claiming it adds 381,000 new users every month, the application is expanding rapidly.
Talk To Your Coach
Is Elite Singles worth it? Is it right for you? With a myriad of dating sites and apps out there, it’s tough to know which option is right for you. Get in touch with yours truly to sort out which dating mediums are worth investing in. Feel free and book a 1-on-1 New Client Skype session with me so that we can talk about what’s on your mind. During the session, we’ll also discuss your dating history, uncover your future goals, create an action plan, and see if my 3-month coaching program is right for you.