Hinge Dating App Cost

Online Dating

Hinge Dating App Cost & 4 Better Alternatives (Feb. 2024)

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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What does Hinge dating app cost? The dating app has two options for would-be Hinge users: you can absolutely find and contact people for free, with very little hassle. But paying for preferred member status on the app has its benefits. Unlike a lot of the dating apps on the market, Hinge isn’t for hooking up — it’s for serious dating.

The app functions more like a social network than a dating site. Hinge promotes detailed dating profiles and opportunities for deep conversation rather than quick pickup lines. The goal of the app is to help you get into a serious relationship rather than a hookup, and the features and functions reflect its “designed to be deleted” mantra. But is the Preferred Member status really worth the money? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Free Version | Price Breakdown | FAQs | Hinge Alternatives

The Basic Hinge Membership Costs Nothing & Offers a Lot

The first question that comes up when it comes to dual-membership models for dating sites and dating apps is “What does the free membership come with?” Free membership or basic membership on Hinge is a full online dating experience with few roadblocks or paywalls. You can create your Hinge dating profile, make edits, browse your matches, and even message local matches without paying anything.

Screenshot from Hinge
Hinge offers free messaging features to help serious daters connect.

Hinge CEO Justin McLeod built the Hinge app to solve his own dating problems, and his goal from the beginning was to create a different atmosphere from that of the typical dating site: Instead of a virtual meat market, Hinge fosters conversations and a social atmosphere. You don’t just swipe on entire profiles. Instead, you have to read someone’s details and choose to comment or like a specific prompt or photo. The dating app also provides a prompt for icebreakers if you can’t figure out what to comment on first. 

The app development team is equally committed to keeping the Hinge dating app focused on serious dating, which means that free users and paid members alike have the same access levels when it comes to finding and contacting. The Hinge team works hard to make the environment strong: Team members monitor for fake profile issues and react to reports quickly. 

Price Breakdown: Subscriptions Start at $9.99

Given that preferred membership doesn’t impact your communication options with Hinge, the next obvious question to consider is the cost-benefit analysis. So what does Hinge dating app cost? Preferred member status starts at $9.99 for a six-month subscription, which is about what you’d pay for ad-free music on Spotify or other platforms. If you just want to try it out for one month, the cost does go up to $20, but that’s still a lower price than some other dating platforms.

So what do you really get with the Preferred Member status? There are a host of benefits: Hinge experts estimate that Preferred Members go on twice as many dates as do basic members. The reasons for that probably have to do with the fact that as a Preferred Member, you get access to benefits like boosting your profile in searches, and you get to see who has liked or viewed your profile, so you can follow up more readily with potential dates. 

Hinge has over 4 million active users in the U.S., so it’s a rather large dating pool. Knowing who might be interested in you helps narrow the field down and get things rolling faster. 

FAQs: Is Paying for Hinge Worth It?

That depends on what you want from the app in terms of features. A lot of users say that they don’t find the expanded access and options to be worth the monthly fee. Depending on your dating needs, it may not be worth getting the premium membership especially since you don’t have to pay to send messages on the app or to find people in your area.

But there are definitely perks that come along with being a Preferred Member rather than a free Hinge user. Your pool of potential matches is bigger, and you cut to the front of the swiping line, in addition to other exclusive benefits. Our advice is to try the free version first. If you get everything you want out of the app without paying, great! If you’re not having as much luck, consider investing in the premium membership.

How is Hinge Different From Tinder?

The focus for each app is different. Tinder is about volume: swiping and matching with many single people quickly. If you’re looking for a casual situation or a hookup, Tinder is a pretty good value for your time and money. On the other hand, Hinge users typically want something more meaningful from their dating app experience.

Screenshots of Tinder
Tinder excels at matching singles with local date prospects within moments of swiping.

On Hinge, you can’t just send a gif or “wyd” or a simple “hi” to strike up a match. The app requires a comment or question about a specific point on another user’s profile to start the matching process. Other methods for getting in contact include roses, which are a kind of enhanced “like” for an attractive person’s dating profile. Not sure what to say? You can go with suggested conversation starters for your first message.

All in all, the difference between the Hinge dating app and the Tinder dating app is all about you and what you want. It comes down to whether you’re interested in a more casual experience or looking for something more serious. If you want to date seriously, Hinge is certainly one of the best dating apps for your goals. For something a little more casual, Tinder may be the better dating site for you.

Is Hinge Good for Casual Dating?

No, Hinge is not designed to be an app for casual dating. Hinge users are looking for something more serious, a long-term relationship or at least dating with the goal of settling down with a quality person. The good news is that, if you’re looking for casual dating apps or hookup apps, you can find a lot of options beyond the Hinge app.

Our favorite casual dating apps include Ashley Madison and BeNaughty. These platforms are slightly different from each other, but both offer romantic opportunities for people who want something casual and fun.

AshleyMadison.com 4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dates, Affairs

Match System: Search by age, location, appearance, and more

Our Experts Say: “With its massive user base and advanced privacy features, Ashley Madison is the #1 site for discreet hookups, dates, or relationships…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Ashley Madison caters to married people interested in discreet extramarital flings. The online dating platform is for anyone looking for an affair: Singles can sign up, but you have to be okay with dating a married person.

According to our review, one of the biggest benefits to Ashley Madison is the ability to keep your personal information as private as you want, even down to your user status on the site. 

BeNaughty 4.2/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “Absolutely free to sign up and browse profiles, BeNaughty is the top pick of millions for local “adult dating.” If you are looking for sex only — straight, swinger, gay, lesbian — this is your site…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

BeNaughty is the best dating app for singles, swingers, and couples in open relationships looking to play and get down to business quickly. The mobile app stands apart from the pack by being explicitly for hookups and casual encounters, offering a platform for people who want to get straight to the fun.

BeNaughty is safe, fun, and judgment-free. This top-rated dating website encourages users to explore their desires. You can browse profiles for free, but messaging requires a premium account.

Do I Need a Facebook Account to Join Hinge?

No, you don’t need a Facebook account to join the Hinge dating app. You can fill out your profile completely from scratch, adding as much or as little detail as you want to your answers to the platform’s profile questions. 

However, it is definitely faster to get started if you use your Facebook account as a jumping-off point for your Hinge profile. Linking your Facebook profile to your Hinge account prefills some of the fields in, letting you spend more time on the longer-form questions. In case you’re concerned about cross-posts, don’t worry: Hinge doesn’t post to Facebook. 

Which Dating Sites or Apps Let Users Chat for Free?

There are several! For one thing, Hinge lets users chat for free on the app, so you don’t have to spend money to make the online dating platform work for you. Other apps and sites that let you send messages for free include Tinder, Bumble, Facebook Dating, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Happn, and more.

More online dating sites and apps understand that their users want to choose to go premium, rather than feeling like they have to go premium to get full use of the platform. Of course, there are still some holdouts, and some dating sites and dating apps – such as Elite Singles and eharmony – make you pay for solid reasons (for example, to weed out non-serious daters). Free messaging and chatting on at least a limited basis is becoming more of a dating service norm, which means singles can put their credit card away when creating an online dating membership.

Bonus: Here Are 4 Premium Dating Apps for Relationships

Hinge isn’t the only player in the online dating app game. The following dating sites and apps all have both paid and free versions, with different extra features that come with upgraded account status. 

1. Match

Match.com 4.9/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “As the largest and most diverse dating site in the world, Match features profiles of millions of local singles and a popular app. If you only try one dating service, make it Match…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Match.com has been in the online dating business almost since the idea existed, and with more than 25 years of experience, the dating site and its companion dating app have established a strong reputation. Free Match members have access to core features: You can build a profile, add photos, search for matches, send likes, and access the app on an unlimited basis. As a free member, you can also send messages — but only if the person you’re messaging is in your Top Picks. 

For a little more flexibility in who you talk to, you can opt for a three-month, six-month, or annual membership plan. Paid members can message any other site user, as well as gain priority access to Match events, enhanced privacy filters, and a boost in their visibility in search rankings. Premium features for Match go beyond that, and most premium members feel like they get their money’s worth. 

eharmony 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Simply put, eharmony is where you go if you’d like to speed up the marriage process. Complete a free questionnaire, get matched for free, and find your lifelong partner all in one fell swoop…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

The dating site eharmony is old school in the sense that it’s been around since the year 2000 and stands as one of the original online dating services to use compatibility testing as part of the matching process. You don’t have to do the compatibility quiz to use the site, but it helps generate potential matches and guides you to the best candidates. 

Free users get access to every basic feature: profile creation, matching, browsing, and so on. But if you want to communicate freely, you’ll need a paid membership. Paid membership on eharmony also grants you access to who’s chosen your profile as a favorite, advanced search features, and other benefits. 

3. Bumble

Launched by a Tinder co-founder, the Bumble app distinguishes itself by putting the ball directly in the woman’s court. The dating swipe app prompts women to make the first move after they match with men, and in fact, if a woman doesn’t message a man within 24 hours of matching, the man’s profile is dropped from her mutual matches (this rule doesn’t apply for same-sex matches). 

Screenshot of Bumble
Bumble has established a good reputation as a feminist dating app.

The Bumble app is free, with no obligation to pay for premium membership, but the paid tier, known as Bumble Boost, has strong benefits. For example, if you accidentally swipe left on a profile, you can backtrack and retrieve the potential match up to three times every three hours.

Our Bumble review is largely positive because the online dating app offers a good balance of freebies and upgraded perks. The paid membership also allows you to extend the contact deadline and send unlimited likes to potential matches. Bumble Boost is pretty similar to Tinder Plus, but with a female-friendly twist.

4. Raya

Raya is a little different from the other three mainstream dating apps and sites on this bonus list. The Raya dating community is highly selective, and it can take months to find out if your profile is approved. The exclusive A-lister dating app boasts models, actors, and celebrities in its membership, along with investment bankers and other successful and attractive singles

Screenshot of Raya
Raya is an exclusive dating app for celebrities, athletes, and other successful singles.

The Raya app isn’t for sugar babies prospecting for their next patron or sugar daddies hoping to take advantage of a young person. Instead, Raya caters to elite single men and women who want to mingle with highly educated, highly successful people, without having to have a mutual friend set up a blind date.

Only about 8% of Raya profiles are admitted to the club, but if you can make the cut it’s definitely a worthwhile option.

Hinge Offers a Preferred Membership to Help Singles Get Serious

Although you can use all of the features on the Hinge dating app without ever paying a dime, becoming a preferred member has some definite benefits. What does the Hinge dating app cost, though? The price is surprisingly reasonable, especially if you go for a six-month plan. Preferred membership also grants some solid perks. 

Boosting your visibility, greater access to likes and matches, and other benefits all combine to help focused, goal-oriented Hinge users find their perfect person quickly. If you like the Hinge setup, but aren’t finding as many matches as you want, consider becoming a Preferred member to boost your chances and get straight to your happily ever after!

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