Match.com lets you browse singles in your area even without signing up for a paid subscription. Should you trust this online dating service? Many users successfully found love here, but beware of the high concentration of spam accounts.
- A large pool of applicants
- You can see full profiles with a free account, including pictures
- Quick sign-up process
- Lots of scam accounts
- Minimal regulation for signing up
- Might be tailored more towards hookup culture than long-term love matches
Match.com is one of the oldest currently active online dating websites. Launched in 1995, the site helps singles in 24 countries connect with others for long-term love matches.
Match.com claims to hear from hundreds of members each month who have used Match.com to get in long-term relationships.
Are you likely to be one of them? Learn from our analysis whether Match.com could be your best option for finding love.
Unlike some of its competitors, Match.com’s signup process is simple and free of elaborate personality tests.
You’ll share your gender, the gender you’re looking for, and a preferred age range.
Next comes some questions about your personal information (age, height, body type, relationship status, whether you have/want kids, highest education level, whether you smoke or drink, and any religious affiliation).
You can then choose up to five interests from a list of dozens, and then specify any specific requests in your partner related to the same demographic information you just answered.
The site requests that you answer at least three questions about yourself before letting your account go live.
Some of the suggested prompts include what you like doing for fun, what book you are currently reading, your favorite place to hang out, your best scar story, and more.
Once you upload at least one photo (or add up to 26), you’ll have the option to continue with a free account or upgrade to paid—more on the differences between them later.
Upon signing up, you can immediately start browsing your top suggestions. This includes all their photos, basic demographic information, and a short bio.
You’ll get a pre-set number of top matches per day, depending on whether you have a paid or free account, and you can “like,” “skip,” or “message” these matches for free.
A free Match.com account has relatively limited functionality. To fully utilize the site, you’ll need to sign up for a paid subscription.
Doing so will let you message more people directly, read all the messages sent to you, and receive twice as many daily picks.
The cost varies depending on where you commit to ‘premium’ or ‘standard,’ and how many months you can commit to at once.
|Premium (6 Months)||‘Message read’ alerts, one profile review per year, monthly boost||$22.99/month ($137.94 total)|
|Premium (3 Months)||‘Message read’ alerts, one profile review per year, monthly boost||$38.99/month ($116.97 total)|
|Standard (6 Months)||None||$21.99/month ($131.94 total)|
|Standard (3 Months)||None||$33.99/month ($101.97 total)|
Signing up for any of these plans enrolls you in a recurring subscription that continues until you cancel. You can change or cancel your membership at any time through your account.
You won’t get a refund for any unused time still in your subscription, but you will continue to have access to your account throughout the pre-paid period.
Beyond a standard subscription, there are lots of ways to get more attention to your Match profile.
For instance, you can pay to boost your account for 60-minute sessions to get up to four times more views. Each boost is $4.99, or you can purchase them in bulk for discounts. For example, purchase ten for a price of $3/each.
One major concern with online dating is safety. How can you know if the person you’re chatting with is representing themselves accurately, and do you have any guarantee of safety when going on a date?
Match.com claims to prioritize privacy and integrity for all members by keeping communication safe through its anonymous email network where last names and contact information is kept confidential until members choose to share it.
The company also screens every profile and photo to ensure they are appropriate before they go live on the site.
Likewise, the company claims to shut down scam accounts and profiles of people who aren’t officially single.
Once an account is shut down, you can’t make another one at the same email address. Likewise, reposting the same photos in a new account will get it shut down as well.
You can also control who you interact with on the site by removing specific profiles from your search or banning members altogether. It’s possible to report any account you think is a scam.
Despite these measures, customer reviews indicate that scam accounts are commonplace on Match.com.
Many people messaged with seemingly legitimate matches for weeks before realizing they were getting scammed.
One common version seems to be requesting money to pay for a pet’s emergency surgery.
- Lots of profile flexibility compared to other services
- Many users had better responses rates on Match than other sites
- Many people found successful matches through the site
- Many matches lived too far away to be realistic
- Lots of scam accounts
- Minimal regulation or background checks of users
- Many paid subscribers had their accounts blocked for no clear reason
|Price Per Month||$18.99–$37.99||$12.95–$59.95||$15–$29.96||$31.95–$57.95|
|Matching Process||Short quiz focused on your demographic information and your basic partner requirements||Assigns matches with a 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Matching Questionnaire||The site will choose 3–7 new matches for you every day based on your location and profile information||Take a detailed personality test to get matched with people you are compatible with|
|Free Search||Yes||No, the site automatically matches you with approximately 2,000 matches||Yes||Only through the app|
|Key Features||First online dating site (launched in 1995). No limit to daily matches.||The largest demographic is ages 25–35. Leading dating site for those 50+.||Designed for people 50+||Tailored to 30+, highly educated members|
|Number of Members||9 million active users||10 Million active users||1.5 million active users||About 2 million|
Match.com and eHarmony have a similar-sized active membership pool, and they are designed to appeal to more general audiences than OurTime (designed for seniors) and Elite Singles (best for those looking for a highly-educated partner.
What’s nice about Match.com compared to the other sites is that it gives you the most access through a free account. You can browse all member pictures and even directly message a limited number of people each day.
With the other sites, in contrast, photos stay blurry until you sign up for a paid account, and your communication options remain limited.
Match.com also differs from these other options with its quick signup process. You don’t have to take a detailed personality questionnaire first, which means you can begin browsing matches within minutes of making an account.
Overall, Match.com tends to be tailored more towards the hookup crowd.
More options for browsing for free and a quick signup process means that many of the members on the site haven’t invested much time in their accounts, and consequently might not be looking for something long-term or serious.
Match.com offers one of the most accessible ways to start scoping out the dating scene near you.
You can create an account within five minutes, and be browsing photos and chatting with your top picks soon after, even on a free account.
However, Match.com isn’t without its scammers. A common complaint from many users is that they matched with a large portion of bots or people who wanted to get money from their matches.
While the company claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of accounts, they still seem to be a problem.
One advantage that Match.com has over other dating websites is that you can immediately start browsing your potential options without signing up for a subscription.
We recommend creating an account if you’re curious, and deciding whether to upgrade once you see who’s available.