Ashley Madison Cost

Online Dating

Ashley Madison Cost & 4 Best 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 in college, 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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If you want a discreet dating platform to keep your love life as private as possible, Ashley Madison is an obvious choice. The online dating site and app maintains a space where discretion is a top priority. The affair dating platform can satisfy your needs without letting the whole world know about it.

A lot of questions come with looking for the most popular affair dating site. Is Ashley Madison legit? How much does Ashley Madison cost? The dating site and app constantly update, so it can be tricky to track down the info for the new prices. We’ve got the full details in this Ashley Madison review.

Ashley Madison Is Totally Free for Female Members

If you’re a woman, you’ve got the full run of both the Ashley Madison website and the Ashley Madison app without having to pay for any of the essential features. Every female user on the platform can send and receive unlimited messages without getting out a credit card, and most other perks are completely open to each female member as well.

While everyone and anyone can sign up for free, and build a profile, Ashley Madison offers a lot of bells and whistles to keep things interesting.

★★★★
AshleyMadison.com 4/5.0

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

4.0/5.0

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

Women on the online dating platform have at least indirect access to things like virtual gifts and enhanced privacy features like private photo albums without having to pay. Anything you need to find, contact, and make something happen with another person is available to you without charge if you’re a woman. This has been the case since Noel Biderman launched the dating platform.

Of course, some bonus features are pay to play. For example, you can pay to boost your visibility on the dating site and app, so your profile comes up higher in search results or your messages appear first in someone’s inbox. But any features you have to pay for are strictly extras if you’re a woman. They aren’t necessary to get things going with a potential match.

This free access for women is one way Ashley Madison addresses a ubiquitous problem on dating platforms, which is having a lot of men on the platform, but very few women. Because it doesn’t cost women anything to participate, they are more likely to sign up for Ashley Madison. That helps to keep the percentages closer to 50/50 in terms of membership.

Price Breakdown: Male Members Buy Credits to Chat Online

Male users on Ashley Madison don’t get the free ride that women on the site and app do, but the affair dating platform does take a different approach to providing premium features compared to a lot of other sites and apps out there. Instead of making each male member on the platform pay for a subscription, men on Ashley Madison have the option to purchase credits and use them as they see fit to access the features that matter to them.

Ashley Madison credit comes in packages that range from 100 credits for $59 to 1,000 credits or more. The more credits you buy at once, the lower the price tends to be, so it makes sense to buy the largest number of credits you can readily afford at one time.

Screenshot of Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison has millions of members who don’t want their dating history broadcasted.

Once you’ve got your credits, the opportunities on the internet site and app alike open up for you as a male user. The Ashley Madison premium experience comes with some obvious perks, like boosting your profile visibility with Priority Man. This tool puts your profile in the top three search results for any other Ashley Madison user, which results in a 10x higher chance of being seen. You can also use your credits for the Priority Mail tool, which boosts your message to a potential partner to the top of their inbox. 

And of course, whether you’re a married man or single, you’ll spend credits to gain access to your messages. With the Message Plus package, you can skip the member-initiated contact fee for the first month. After that, you have the option to either pay the fee or use your credits. 

Ashley Madison members with credits also have other options for spending their virtual currency that aren’t quite so obvious. For example, you can send a potential partner a virtual gift, such as a rose or another token of your affection and interest.

In addition, you can pay for Traveling Man status, which allows you to virtually hop to other locations you’ll be visiting in the near future to browse profiles and find potential matches before you get ready for a trip.

Ashley Madison uses a credit system for men on the site and the app primarily to avoid fake profiles and scammers. The payment makes it expensive for scammers and bot operators to do business on the site, but, of course, it doesn’t make it entirely impossible. Fortunately, if you run into a fake account instead of a real woman or man, Ashley Madison will issue a refund. You can also get a refund if another Ashley Madison user harasses you. 

A Discreet Payment System Keeps User Secrets

If you’re a man with an Ashley Madison profile, you definitely want to maintain your privacy. Paying to access key features of the service may seem like a big gamble, but Ashley Madison also brings discretion to its payment systems.

The name Ashley Madison won’t appear on your credit card statement so you won’t be caught. Instead, the dating platform usually uses a vague description like “online services,” and recommends that members make a note somewhere of the amount and date of their charges to recognize them independently. This is so you can keep track of how many credits you should have, in case of a technical issue or other hiccups.

For added privacy, Ashley Madison offers a wide range of payment options for buying credits. You can purchase with PayPal, or through iTunes or Google Pay, and you can also use a prepaid gift card. You don’t even have to use a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express gift card. Some users pay for their Ashley Madison credits with retailer gift cards, including Starbucks gift cards. 

4 Ashley Madison Alternatives

These four sites offer many of the core features and benefits that Ashley Madison provides, with a slightly different twist. Although Ashley Madison is the best-known dating site catering to married people, it’s far from the only platform out there. Whether you’re looking for love as a married person or just want to keep your dating life discreet, these four platforms offer options outside of Ashley Madison. 

★★★★
AFF.com 4.2/5.0

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

4.2/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn’t about making friends, it’s about finding hookups and casual encounters. No adult site has a larger or more active user base of those seeking discreet fun…”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Adult Friend Finder has been helping married people as well as singles for decades, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular option for affair seekers. The no-judgment atmosphere on AFF makes it easy for married people to open up about what they’re looking for, although if you’re seeking a long-term romantic relationship as opposed to a hookup or casual encounter, you’ll have less luck. 

Adult Friend Finder welcomes anyone over the age of 18 and of any sexual orientation or gender identity to explore and find people in their area for sex. The casual dating site puts adult content right up front, with spicy chats and forums, videos, and photos to keep you in the mood while you seek out a potential match, whether it’s for an extra-marital affair or a one-night stand with another single person.

Like Ashley Madison, Adult Friend Finder doubled down on efforts to help users remain private after a hacking attempt. These measures include photo-blurring tools, anonymous usernames, and premium feature tools to keep your online dating life a secret. 

★★★★
BeNaughty 4.2/5.0

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

4.2/5.0

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

Although BeNaughty isn’t specifically an affair dating website, a married person is just as welcome as a single person, and couples and swingers also call the adult dating platform home.

Like the other sites on this list, BeNaughty offers a lot of tools to help protect your privacy while you look for your next sexual encounter, whether you’re seeking a one-night stand or an orgy. In terms of payment plans, premium features on BeNaughty come with a few different premium subscription options, as opposed to a credits model.

Basic members have access to more basic tools for privacy and security, like Safe Mode, which automatically blocks members flagged for suspicious behavior. But users with either the Extra Security package or the Premium Dater package gain access to browser history clearing, incognito mode, and Full Safe Mode, which allows only verified members to send you messages. BeNaughty also encourages discretion by only providing a few key details for users to fill in, leaving it up to you to reveal or conceal as much as you want.

3. Victoria Milan

Victoria Milan is an affair site, geared toward an international user base and with an even heavier emphasis on privacy. While Ashley Madison balances keeping things discreet while maintaining a shame-free attitude about affairs, Victoria Milan seeks to destigmatize affair seekers by highlighting the many reasons people might look outside of their committed relationships.

Screenshot of Victoria Milan
Victoria Milan provides privacy assurances that you won’t find on mainstream dating apps.

When you sign up for Victoria Milan, the staff reviews your account details with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, making sure nothing you include gives away who you are. This includes the screen name you choose as well as the details you provide to potential matches.

Victoria Milan also provides multiple tools to keep your profile picture anonymous, from blurring to a virtual mask, and even a public/private toggle that prevents others from seeing your photos until you’re ready to trust them. The platform also offers anonymous texting, for another layer of privacy. 

4. Gleeden

Gleeden is another affair dating app, but unlike Victoria Milan or Ashley Madison, Gleeden explicitly puts women first. The platform is proudly created by women, for women, and that approach shows in the features, tools, and perks that Gleeden offers.

Like Ashley Madison, Gleeden allows women to chat and message 100% for free to anyone they find on the app. Also like Ashley Madison, Gleeden doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee but instead allows men on the platform to buy credits to gain access to the specific features they want.

Screenshot of Gleeden
Gleeden is a discreet dating service for meeting people under the radar.

Where Ashley Madison allows users to put photos into a virtual vault that unlocks with a password, Gleeden requires men on the site to use credits in addition to the password lock to gain access to photos. Male users on Gleeden also use credits both to read messages and write initial messages to a potential partner, although after the first message, men don’t have to pay further.

One unique benefit to this affair site is its one-time-use subscription model. Gleeden doesn’t include any automatic renewals or refills of your credits, which makes it even easier to be discreet.

FAQs: Is Ashley Madison Worth the Price?

Whether Ashley Madison is worth the price or not depends on your priorities. If you want to keep your dating life private, whether because you’re already married or because you just don’t want your romances to be public, the features that Ashley Madison offers can make a big difference. Keeping your personal information discreet and secure can be worth a lot, especially if you’re married and want to stay that way.

Are Casual Dating Sites Like Ashley Madison Safe to Use?

It’s definitely safer than taking your chances meeting people in person, especially if you’re a married person and staying in your local area. Every Ashley Madison account has a certain amount of security, and while it’s not impossible for someone to find out who you are, you have a lot more control over your information than you may have on other sites.

The biggest concern on almost any online dating site or app is scammers and fake profiles, and this concern takes on a whole new dimension on affair-centered dating platforms like Ashley Madison. A fake profile may not just be a scammer, but someone catfishing on behalf of your spouse to expose you. 

16 Top Safe Casual Dating Websites
Although no system is perfect, Ashley Madison and other casual dating sites take safety and security seriously.

The Ashley Madison hack in 2015 made it very clear that a lot of people want to expose cheating spouses. Ashley Madison’s response to the hack made it clear that the people behind the site take user privacy seriously.

The dating site’s features include anonymization tools like password-protected photo galleries, photo-blurring tools, and browser history clearing. Something that distinguishes it as a discreet dating is its anonymous billing codes and the panic button to instantly navigate you to a neutral website in case someone walks into the room.

Ashley Madison Costs Nothing to Join & Explore on the Side

If you want to explore your options and fantasize about what it’s like to step outside of your marriage, you can sign up for Ashley Madison without paying a single cent. The dating site and app offer free registration, browsing, and search, and you can even wink and favorite accounts without paying. 

A lot of people wonder if they can make Ashley Madison work without paying a monthly subscription. The answer is yes. The affair dating platform puts certain features behind a paywall for male users, but you get the freedom to pick and choose the features that matter to you, instead of paying a blanket fee per month.

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