Considering signing up for a dating site or two and wondering “Is Match Free?”
Whether you’re just diving into online dating, or have been using other dating sites for a while, you’ve likely heard of Match.com. Practically a household word when it comes to dating, Match.com has dominated online dating for over 20 years. It started way back in 1995, then took off in popularity after it merged with [email protected], and grew to 8.6 million paid members by 2019. Long story short: Match is huge.
In fact, PCMag reports that it’s the most popular dating site in 17 states. (If you’re curious as to whether that’s true for your state, check out their infographic here.) So, considering how popular it is, your next question might be, is Match free? And if so, how much does Match.com cost?
After all, anyone who’s even mildly tech savvy (or who does a brief search) can find tons of dating site options, many of which don’t charge anything. Obviously not all of them have the amount of people that Match does, but with so many subscription charges being pushed on us these days, it makes sense to try to find free services whenever you can.
Well, it turns out, the answer to “Is Match.com free?” is a bit complicated. We created a test account and took a deep dive into all the ins and outs of signing up for Match. We found that Match is technically free, but the most important part of online dating isn’t included- which is being able to communicate with potential matches.
In this post, we’ll get into the details of what you can expect when visiting Match as a first-timer, and answer all your questions when it comes to payment, including:
- Is Match.com free?
- Can you actually message women on Match without having to pay?
- How much does it cost if I want to sign up for Match?
- What do I get with my membership?
- How to get Match.com’s best offer
- How does Match’s pricing compare to other popular dating sites and apps?
Is Match Free?
Again, we created a test account to dig into the latest Match.com signup process and overall cost analysis. What we found was that it’s technically free to sign up, but if you want message women, you’ll have to subscribe by purchasing one of their memberships.
Read on to find out exactly what you’ll see when you go through the signup process, what the pricing structure is, benefits of different membership levels, when you can message women, and how it stacks up to other dating sites.
How Much Does Match.com Cost?
When you first go onto the site, you won’t see pricing right away. Instead, you’ll begin a signup process where you answer a series of 18 questions about yourself and what you’re looking for. (Don’t worry, there’s no obligation at this point — it’s just so they can have your information ready to go if you do decide to buy a membership or create a free account.)
The process of answering the questions should take you about 10-15 minutes. You can expect to be asked questions such as your height, relationship status, if you smoke, what your education level is, and so on. Here’s a couple screenshots of what to expect:
Once you finish answering the 18 questions, Match will then drop a slide in front of you that tells you what you’ll get as a “full member.” These 4 benefits include being able to chat with local singles, send & receive messages, see who’s viewed you, and attend in-person events.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what each of these means:
- Chat with local singles — you can instant message people inside the site (or app)
- Send and receive messages — you can send direct messages to people’s inboxes and receive them
- See who’s viewed you — you’ll get an ongoing list of people who have looked at your profile
- Attend in-person events — you’ll get priority access to Match.com’s events, where you can meet other members offline.
Exciting, right? Get ready, though, because you’ll have to make some decisions. After this slide, they’ll take you to their sales page to show you a 25% discount if you sign up today. On this page, you’ll see there are 2 paid plans — standard and premium. Or, of course you can continue as a free member. Here’s a screenshot of their membership offers:
What Do You Get as a Match.com Free Member?
At this point, you’re probably curious about what you get with a free membership. Obviously, if the perks are great, then why pay for more services than you’ll use? Here’s a look at the breakdown of what free members get:
You can search for matches
Unless you create a free account, you’ll never be able to access their database at all. So if even if you’re new to online dating and just want to “see what’s out there” — or have someone specific in mind that you’re stalking (be careful!) — then you have to create a free profile in order to conduct a search.
Receive daily matches
On a daily basis, Match will send you links to profiles of members who could be compatible with you based on what you put in your profile. You may get these “matches” via email or other types of notifications, depending on how you configure your settings. This feature is great because it could bring interesting people to your attention that you might not have seen in your searches. Of course, you won’t be able to actually message them if you’re interested, unless you sign up for a paid account.
Create a profile
You’ll want to do your best to fill this out, since this information will help the site pair you with matches, and help others find you.
Appear in search results
Once your free account is created, you’ll be technically “on” Match.com. When people do searches that match your characteristics, you’ll appear in their results. Because of this, you’ll be able to receive likes as well as messages to your inbox. And again, you won’t be able to view these “messages” as they hit your inbox, unless you’re a paid subscriber.
Post a photo
Being able to post a photo is key, since profiles without photos don’t receive nearly as much attention. If you add a profile picture, it’ll give you a much more accurate idea of what the site can really do for you.
The “like” feature is a low-risk way of letting someone know you think they’re attractive without taking the time to send a full message. “Likes” can also be used as a way to encourage people to message you … but before you get too excited about messaging, we’ll have to talk about the paid membership plans first.
As you can see, free members don’t have the ability to send or receive messages. To me, it’s like a sales funnel. Once you complete your profile and see a couple of likes or messages hit your inbox, you’re halfway to becoming a paid subscriber. Genius right? Only if these “hidden likes” are actually the types of women who you’d actually want to meet IRL.
What Do You Get with a Standard Paid Plan?
By now, if you’ve been wondering “Is Match free?” you might have figured out that while it is technically free, you won’t be able to contact anyone or receive messages of any kind without paying a subscription fee. Womp, womp. But the good news is, the membership plans come in different levels, so you do have some flexibility in how many services you decide to pay for (and for how long).
The standard paid plan gives you more options that will enable basic communication on Match, in addition to everything in a free account.
Your standard paid plan is basically broken into four payment options. Here’s a breakdown and then a screenshot.
- 12 months — $19.99/mo. (compare to $26.65) — 64% savings
- 6 months — $21.99/mo. (compare to $29.32) — 61% savings
- 3 months — $33.99/mo. (compare to $45.32) — 39% savings
- 1 month — $41.99/mo. (compare to $55.99) — 61% savings
Obviously the longer your commitment, the less your monthly fee is. Each rate is compared to the full monthly price of the shortest term package with similar features. On top of all that, you’ll also get an additional 25% off if you buy that day. Just beware: Your subscription renews automatically unless you cancel.
Still wondering if Match.com’s paid account is worth it? Here’s a look at exactly what you get with this level of subscription. You can:
Send email messages
With this feature you’ll be able to step it up and communicate with other members. As a guy, I’m sure you know that being able to send messages (especially first messages) is important, since a lot of women don’t make the first move.
Respond to email messages
Match lets you know if you have messages with a free account, but you won’t be able to respond unless you at least sign up for a standard paid plan. Depending on who actually messages you, getting messages that you can’t reply to could be agonizing if you don’t pony up some cash.
See who’s viewed you / See who’s liked you
A lot of times, women won’t message you directly, as we just talked about. So with this feature, you’ll get a better idea of who to send messages to, since they’ve already shown interest in you. You can basically consider them leads. Plus, it’ll give you a good idea of what types of women find you attractive.
Remove members from view
Sometimes, the same people will keep showing up in your search results. This feature will allow you to stop them from appearing once you decide you’re not interested, making your time spent on the site more efficient.
Get priority access to Match Events
Your standard paid plan gives you access to Match Events, where you can meet other members IRL. What’s good about these events is that you’ll be able to get a feel for people’s personalities without committing to a full 1-hour first date. Keep in mind that once you have access to Match Events, you still may have to pay to get in (depending on the event) but you can also invite non-member friends to most of them.
Finally, on this page, you’ll notice a tab labeled “Premium Plans” that include other benefits you’ll get for a higher fee. We’ll lay those out in the next section.
What Do You Get with a Premium Paid Plan?
So, what’s behind door #2? With a premium paid plan, you’ll get a few extras that you may find interesting. Here’s a look at the premium paid plan pricing and what you get at each level of commitment.
Like the standard paid plan, there are 4 payment options:
- 12 months — $20.99/mo. (compare to $27.99) — 66% savings
- 6 months — $22.99/mo. (compare to $30.65) — 63% savings
- 3 months — $38.99/mo. (compare to $45.32) — 39% savings
- 1 month — $41.99/mo. (compare to $51.99) — 38% savings
Like the standard paid plan, the monthly fee gets more attractive the longer you commit, the savings is based on the full monthly price with similar features, you get a 25% same-day discount, and it auto-renews.
With the premium plan, you get everything in the standard plan, plus the following:
Email read notifications
When you’re sending out a lot of messages, it’s nice to be able to see who reads them. If a lot of women read your messages and don’t respond, you might need to change something about your profile — while a bunch of unread messages might mean you’re approaching the wrong women entirely. This simple piece of info could be more valuable than you think.
One profile review per year
This feature is fairly new and mysterious as of this writing. However, I’m generally of the opinion that getting a little one-on-one dating help is never a bad thing.
A monthly boost
A “boost” is a chance to appear at the top of the search results conducted by women looking for guys like you. In a sea of literally millions of members, this can help put you in front of more women and improve your results. In fact, Match claims that boosts can get you three times more emails and views.
Is Match’s 25% Discount Good Only on the Day You Sign Up?
Considering how many compelling options there are for paid members, the question of “Is Match free” is getting harder to answer, don’t you think? By now, you may want to shell out the money to get a premium or standard membership, but the price might still be a little steep. But remember, they offer a 25% discount if you sign up “today.” Is that really true, though?
We went through the entire process, and it appears that they still email you in the coming weeks with the same 25% discount offer (and read below to see how to get an even better deal). These emails include “women who are interested in you” or emails titled “#women just liked you.” So if you don’t sign up immediately, you’ll likely be given another chance. Here’s a screenshot of a couple the offers our test user received via email (a few days after signup):
Also, for more Match.com discount offers, you might also check this page on Offers.com, or simply Google it (Match offers lots of discounts on different sites that are ever-changing, like Groupon, etc).
How to Get Match.com’s Best Offer
13 days after we registered our test user for a free Match.com account, we received an email with Match.com’s newest and best-est pricing – an additional 25% off. Take a look at the screenshot below.
But that’s not the best offer we received. Just 27 days after we registered our test user, Match emailed us with an even better offer – an additional 50% off. Take a look at the screenshot below.
This might sound a bit obvious — if you’re gonna pay for Match.com, you might as well wait 27 days to get their best pricing offer.
What is the Match Boost and How Much Does it Cost?
Here’s the lowdown on how boosts work. During a boost session, you are featured in the top six results in searches conducted by women looking for men with your characteristics. (If there’s more than six men who qualify for a boost spot in someone’s search, then they pick the six randomly from that group.)
Once your boost session starts, you’ll be able to see in real time whose searches you’ve appeared in. Then, you’ll get a report afterward that shows you how many people saw you in their searches. It’s a great way to gather intel about how your profile is being received.
If you’re not a premium member, you can buy boost sessions individually for $4.99, a 5-pack for $3.99 each, or a 10-pack for $2.49 each.
How Does Match.com’s Price Compare to Other Dating App Costs?
Now that you understand the pricing on Match and we’ve answered the question, “Is Match free?” there’s only one question left: How does it compare to other sites? Don’t worry, we’ve checked out a bunch of them, too. Below is a quick look at pricing on other dating sites to give you an idea.
- Hinge — 1 month: $9.99, 3 months: $19.99, and 6 months: $29.99
- Bumble — Boost 1 Week: $9.99, Boost 1 Month: $22.49, Boost 3 Months: $49.99, Lifetime: $139.99; Spotlight Feature: $2.33 to $3.98, depending on how many coins you purchase at one time
- Tinder — 1 Month: $29.99, 6 Months: $112.99, and 12 Months: $149.99)
Online Dating a Big Headache for You? Hire a Coach to Help
You’ve made it to the end of this article … congratulations! If nothing else, you’ve gotten a tiny glimpse at the time and effort it takes to market yourself in the dating world. That said, it might seem a little intimidating. Maybe you’re thinking it’s not even worth it. But I’m going to stop you right there.
Not only is it worth taking the time to figure out how to present yourself in the most compelling way possible to women, it’s a must. Why? Because to be honest, you’re in competition with other guys — and for every dude like you who would throw up his hands at the online dating process, there are tons of others who are doing it. And they’re getting the women you want.
So while you don’t really have a choice when it comes to this stuff, you can make it easier. Hiring a dating coach like myself can help take the frustration out of deciding which sites or apps to sign up for, how to set up your profiles, how to approach women, how to turn your online interactions into real dates, and more. Book a 1-on-1 New Client Skype session with me today and we can design a strategy together that helps you attract more women without all the fuss and uncertainty.
I’ve been coaching men on dating for years, and will be 100% honest with you about not only what could be holding you back in your dating life, but how you can permanently turn it around.