Premium dating sites can offer a bit more quality than the standard freemium model. Users with a paid plan have the benefit of advanced features and a curated dating pool, and that can streamline their online dating experience. The trick is choosing the right plan on the best dating sites and apps.
That’s where we come in. Our experts have gone through the premium membership plans available on popular dating sites and apps and broken down the prices so you can easily compare and contrast the monthly costs. Keep in mind that many companies offer seasonal deals and discounts that can impact the bottom line. But, worry not, the basic membership is almost always free for all.
The Overall Best Premium Dating Sites
Let’s start with the big winners in the online dating industry. Certain platforms have been matching educated singles for decades and gotten a great reputation for providing premium features that really work. Here’s a breakdown of the costs and perks singles can expect when joining the best premium dating sites.
1. Match.com — $22.99/mo for 6 Months
Since its launch in 1995, Match.com has been an absolute powerhouse in the dating world. The online dating site and app use personality profiles to identify compatible matches and inspire lasting relationships.
Free Match members can chat with people in their Top Picks list, and premium members can chat with anyone any time they like. No mutual matching is required to send a private message. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Match.com also made a name for itself by hosting local events for free and paid members. Some events have resumed for vaccinated users in major cities.
- Match is the world’s longest running dating site
- The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
- Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages
It should come as no surprise that Match.com is at the top of our list of the best premium dating sites. This online dating superstar has been connecting single people since the 1990s, and it is one of the most successful matchmakers in the industry.
2. EliteSingles — $27.95/mo for 6 months
Joining EliteSingles is like enrolling in an exclusive dating club. You can get away from the teeming crowds and network with the best of the best. This online dating website caters to single professionals who are serious about finding love. That’s why the price of admission is a bit higher than average.
- Over 2 million monthly users
- Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
- Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits
EliteSingles starts with a free trial membership that includes unlimited browsing and compatibility matching. Free members can send virtual winks to communicate with each other, but they cannot message or view photos unless they upgrade to a monthly subscription. This paywall effectively deters noncommittal people and blocks fake profiles from wasting the time of serious relationship seekers.
3. eharmony — $32.95/mo for 6 months
You’ve almost certainly heard of eharmony before because it’s one of the oldest and most trusted names in the online dating industry. It started with a team of psychologists who hoped to strengthen committed relationships, and it turned into an online dating phenomenon.
- Over 2 million people have found love here
- Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
- Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals
Today, eharmony boasts sparking a love connection every 14 minutes. Its 80-question quiz can guide singles to a compatible match. Creating a profile and taking the personality test is free, but online communication (including video chat) is limited to paid members.
4. ChristianMingle — $24.99/mo for 6 months
ChristianMingle is a Christian dating site that considers faith and religion important match criteria. Christian singles can create a free membership to search for a potential partner, but they’ll need a paid membership to exchange unlimited messages. The freemium option only allows individuals to reply to received messages and send likes.
- For singles interested in God-centered relationships
- Over 3.5 million monthly users around the world
- Available as an app on Google Play and the App Store
ChristianMingle offers many premium features to help the faithful on the path to love. Singles who pay for the premium service can see who has liked their profiles and will receive read receipts on their messages. Another perk is the ability for a paid member to browse anonymously and hide their online status.
5. MillionaireMatch — $45.00/mo for 6 months
Wealthy and elite singles have flocked to MillionaireMatch over the last 20 years. This upscale dating site has two membership tracks. One is free to use, and the other is a VIP service designed to assist rich men and women in the dating scene. Attractive and successful singles can use these tools to raise the quality of their matches.
- Attracting successful singles who make at least $200k a year
- Enhanced privacy protections for all members
- Inspires over 2 million conversations each month
MillionaireMatch has over 5 million members who are looking for a worthy partner — not a sugar daddy or sugar baby. The dating site welcomes millionaires, entrepreneurs, influencers, and other high-class people, and the moderators remove fake profiles and scam artists upon detection.
The VIP membership includes income verification, concierge coaching, and personalized matchmaking.
6. BlackPeopleMeet — $11.95/mo for 6 months
Since 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has supported a diverse community of single people. The niche dating website and app facilitate chats between Black singles and their admirers. It’s important to note that people of all skin colors are welcome here — the BPM community does not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.
- One of the largest Black singles networks in existence
- Straightforward search and matching features
- Use Tokens to appear higher in search results
If you’re looking for an affordable dating service, BlackPeopleMeet is a good option. It offers free replies to all messages from paid members, and it has premium features to enhance the experience. The six-month membership costs less than $3 a week, and it is popular among budget-conscious singles.
Another perk on BlackPeoplemeet is the Free Reply feature, which unlocks messages to free members, so you can engage in a conversation with any premium member who messages you first.
Best Premium Dating Sites for Gay & Lesbian Singles
Now let’s look at the online dating scene from a rainbow-colored lens. It isn’t always same-sex matches on the typical, straight-laced mainstream dating app. For one thing, the dating pool may be smaller, and profiles may be further away from you. And some of your matches may not even identify as LGBTQ! That’s why it’s worth checking out premium dating sites for gay and lesbian singles.
7. HER — $14.99/mo for 1 month
The HER dating app has been at the forefront of the online dating scene for nearly a decade now. The mobile app is free to download, and it offers free browsing of lesbian profiles, local events, news updates, photos, and video content. Free messaging is also part of the deal.
The HER premium plan is affordable and provides unlimited swipe options as well as message-read receipts and the ability to see who has liked your profile.
- A quirky and unapologetic womxn-only dating community
- Queer events get users connecting IRL
- The constantly updated Feed facilitates social networking
HER launched in 2013 because a lesbian woman wanted to create a community run by and for LGBTQ+ women. Today, HER has over 8 million members, making it one of the most popular lesbian dating apps around.
8. LesbianPersonals — $19.95/mo for 3 months
LesbianPersonals is a lesbian hookup site that has been in operation for decades and facilitates matchups worldwide. It’s free to create a dating account on the site, but only a premium member can send and read messages. The cost of seeking a lesbian hookup through this casual dating service is less than $20 a month.
- Free membership includes viewing profiles and sending likes
- Exchange revealing photos and videos privately online
- Simple search filters by interests and appearance
LesbianPersonals has the same cost breakdown as its sister site Adult Friend Finder. These two casual hookup sites have a lot of features in common, but they differ when it comes to active users. Over 90% of LesbianPersonals members identify as female. That means this is prime hunting ground for lesbian women.
9. Grindr — $4.99/mo for 6 months
In 2009, Grindr wasn’t just the first gay dating app on the scene, it was the first mobile app to use geolocation technology to match active users. It remains totally free to download on iPhone or Android devices. But single men may choose to upgrade to Grindr Xtra to get a little extra bang for their buck.
- Social networking for gay, bi, trans, and queer men
- Location-based matches spark instant chemistry
- Grindr Equality advocates for LGBTQ+ interests on the global stage
A Grindr user can swipe, match, and chat for free, but he may desire a premium membership so he can go beyond his local listings and cast a wider net for a gay date or casual encounter.
Grindr Xtra gives men extra filters, extra profile views, and no third-party ads. Plus, premium members can chat with men around the world by using the Explore tab.
Best Premium Dating Sites for Senior Singles
Senior dating sites can open a world of romance to older singles who are widowed, divorced, or never married. Whatever their background, they can start fresh with a dating profile on a premium dating site like the ones listed here.
10. SilverSingles — $34.95/mo for 6 months
SilverSingles is a sister site of Elite Singles, and it features the same personality test and matchmaking filters. The main difference is Silver Singles members are all over the age of 50. The senior dating site embraces mature men and women from all walks of life.
In terms of price tag, Silver Singles is one of the more costly dating services you can buy. But that hasn’t deterred financially stable retirees and other senior singles from matching and creating relationships on this platform.
- An exclusively senior membership base
- Over 800,000 monthly users worldwide
- App available for free on Google Play
Getting a paid membership on SilverSingles does not guarantee you will meet a compatible match. But it can bring you one step closer to a fun conversation and a first date. Communication is a premium feature on this top-rated dating service, and that means everyone who sends you a message has paid for the privilege of connecting with you.
11. OurTime — $6.29/mo for 6 months
OurTime operates under the slogan “it’s never too late for love.” The senior dating site has won over millions of over-50 singles by providing efficient filters and engaging communication features to kick things off.
The basic membership includes access to photos, profiles, and messages, but free members can only reply to incoming messages. They’ll need a premium subscription to send the first message to any OurTime user.
- Open to straight, gay, and lesbian singles over 50
- Free match recommendations and conversation starters
- Use Tokens to promote your profile and send virtual gifts
By using text, phone, and video, OurTime is rapidly changing the way mature singles mix and mingle, making it possible to find love at any age.
“Romantic relationships for the over-50s often don’t follow traditional stereotypes,” said an OurTime spokesperson in an interview with our team. “Potential partners are more likely found by their hobbies, interests, and passions.”
12. SeniorMatch — $15.95/mo for 6 months
SeniorMatch is a senior dating site that launched in 2003, so it has been around the matchmaking block for a good long while. And it has seen quite a bit of online dating success. According to the site’s statistics, SeniorMatch facilitates over 1.6 million conversations every month.
- Doesn’t allow members under 45
- Available as a dating app in Google Play
- Dating advice and safety tips shared by senior daters
Just to be clear, it is free to join SeniorMatch, and the free membership includes unlimited browsing and some communication options. However, subscribing to a monthly membership comes with a lot of perks — primarily the ability to initiate conversations with anyone.
What Are Premium Dating Sites & How Do They Work?
Premium dating sites are in a class of their own. They focus on quality over quality and thus distinguish themselves from superficial swiping apps and pay-to-play sex sites.
It is often free to join a premium dating site, but the free membership will only take a single person so far. Online communication may cost users a little extra, but the idea is that more serious daters will spring for the premium membership and mingle in this dating pool.
Some premium dating sites streamline the matchmaking system by implementing personality quizzes or profile filters. Some host events in big cities. We’ve even seen premium apps vet new users through LinkedIn and Facebook. It may cost a bit more to flirt with people on premium dating sites, but a lot of perks come with this package deal.
Thanks to the best premium dating sites, today’s single professionals have the means and opportunity to improve their matches and enjoy an elite dating experience.
Are Premium Dating Sites Better Than Free Dating Apps?
Premium dating sites can offer more tools, tricks, and hacks than the typical free dating app, but they also tend to have fewer active users thanks to the paywall that deters more casual daters from joining.
A free dating site like Plenty of Fish (POF for short) can provide a lot of matchmaking options without draining a person’s monthly budget. That’s great news if you’re short on cash and have the time to do the legwork of searching for dates in a large dating pool. But if you’re more interested in quality over quantity, the POF site may not be for you.
- Free registration, searches, and messaging
- The Chemistry Test creates a compatibility framework
- Over 1 billion messages sent per month
If you’re looking for a true love story, then a premium dating site could be worth the investment. However, no dating site or app (even if you pay for a membership) can guarantee that you’ll meet the perfect match. So it is a bit of a gamble. Many online daters prefer to start on a free dating platform and see what happens. Perhaps if the right person appears in their DMs, they’ll decide to upgrade.
Is it possible to pay $0 and find love on a free dating site or even a hookup app? Yes. Are you more likely to meet potential matches if you have premium features at your disposal? Also yes, but it’s far from a sure thing. It’s up to you to decide where your best opportunity lies.
How Do I Filter Matches for Serious Relationships?
Every online dating site and app will have different filtering options. Some offer straight-up search criteria that users can adjust at whim. Other sites provide filters in the account settings and recommend potential matches based (loosely) on that criteria.
Most of the time, the search criteria will be pretty broad and focus on age, location, appearance, and some lifestyle options. Premium dating sites often go into more detail and have filters for education, relationship status, desire to have children, or even vaccination status. These filters can help relationship seekers find a potential match that checks their desired boxes.
A niche dating site may target certain characteristics over others. For instance, JDate is a popular Jewish dating site with filters based on religious beliefs and practices.
Does Tinder Have a Premium Membership Option?
Tinder is widely known as a free dating app, but it has some premium features available to satisfy the ambitious online dater. Tinder Plus is the most affordable paid subscription — starting at $4.99 for one month — and offers unlimited likes in the swiping scene. Tinder Plus members no longer see ads on the app, and they have a Passport that allows them to swipe in other cities and countries.
Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum include these features as well as access to Super Likes, Rewinds, Top Picks, and Profile Boosts. Platinum members are the only people on Tinder who can send a message before making a mutual match.
Online daters should know that Tinder is completely free to use, and the only reason to pay for a subscription to this online dating app is if a premium feature strikes your fancy and can upgrade your experience in all the right ways.
Premium Dating Sites Can Up the Quality of Online Matches
Many singles choose to upgrade premium dating sites because they’re looking for quality matches, and they’re not satisfied by the average swiping stock on free dating apps. A premium membership is an investment in a more purposeful and personalized online dating experience. But it isn’t a sure thing.
At the end of the day, your success in the online dating world isn’t determined by how much or how little you pay. It comes down to how much you care and the effort you put into your matches, chats, and relationships. You can’t buy someone’s good opinion, but you can put yourself in a position to be noticed and land the opportunity to form a connection. The premium site can deliver compatible matches and instant communication options — the rest is up to you.