Is Bumble Free or Should You Pay?

A woman who's wondering is Bumble free, checking the app on her phone outside.

Boasting a whopping 22 million singles as of November 2017, Bumble is one of the most popular dating apps out there right now, and you can bet that number has gone up since. Besides the sheer number of people on it, the best part is it’s totally free! Wait… or is it?

Like most dating apps out there, Bumble offers a limited number of its services for free, but then also offers premium services that let you get an edge over the competition.

Let’s break down the different features to help you figure out which ones suit you best:

Free Bumble
In their FAQs, Bumble touts that it’s “free and always will be.” What that means is that you can swipe right or left on as many profiles as you like. If you match, you can talk to as many people as you like (assuming the woman messages first in a straight couple), and you’re given one extend per day. For those of you who don’t know what an extend is—on Bumble, a match has 24 hours to send the first message, otherwise the match expires. An extend, is a 24 hour extension on that initial messaging window. It let’s the other person know that you’re extra interested and hope they’ll message you because they get a notification on their end that you extended, as well. So that’s basically it, when it comes to the basic free version of Bumble.

Bumble Boost
Bumble Boost is Bumble’s premium subscription. As of the writing of this article it comes in four different packages: one week at $8.99, one month at $24.99, three months at $16.66 per month, and six months at $13.33 per month. Each of the subscriptions are paid for directly upfront, so the three-month package totals at $49.98 and the six-month package totals at $79.98.

Daters that subscribe to Bumble Boost can rematch with expired connections, extend any match by 24 hours, see everyone who has swiped right on them, and filter people by a short list of traits they can include in their profiles like the type of relationship they’re seeking or their star sign.

Bumble Coins
Bumble coins are a Bumble in-app currency that gives you access to a couple different features. Coins come in bundles of five for $7.99, 15 for $19.99, and 30 for $34.99.

The first feature coins can buy is a SuperSwipe. To SuperSwipe someone tap the heart icon on their profile and you’ll be prompted to pay one Bumble coin. A SuperSwipe sends that person a push notification that you’ve SuperSwiped them (unless they’ve disabled the notifications). It’s basically a way of saying you’re extra interested and spent the dough to let them know.

The second feature coins can buy is a Spotlight. Spotlights cost two coins. The feature promotes your profile to the top of the stack of everyone in your area, so your profile will be the first one people see when they log in. If each person only swiped through a handful of profiles each time they log on, it doesn’t matter how good your profile is when you’re 50th in the queue. Spotlight solves that. Think of it as a billboard advertisement for dating you.

So should you pay?
Well, that’s the big question, isn’t it? Let’s start with Boost. I’ve found in my years of using Bumble that extends often don’t net me conversations that the other person didn’t initially begin anyway. Most people who weren’t interested in me during the first 24 hours didn’t send a message when I extended the match for another 24. This philosophy extends to rematching with expired connections. Some would say when we initially matched it was bad timing, but odds are they just weren’t all that interested.

I also don’t think ability to see who swiped right on you is worth your money, because if you thought someone was a good match, you would’ve swiped right on their profile in your queue in the first place. I don’t think knowing that they liked you first would change whether or not you liked them.

So whether Boost is worth it comes down to whether or not you care about filtering who shows up in your stack. Filters can be important for people looking for a very specific type of match, like a long-term relationship with someone who’s active or someone who is a compatible zodiac sign, if you follow your horoscope closely. That said, all those people are in your queue already anyway, and you can just swipe through the stack to reach those people. On that logic, my final verdict is Bumble Boost isn’t worth the subscription.

On the other hand, Bumble coins are a different story. I’ve had a lot of success with sending SuperSwipes. Often, that extra little push of interest is enough to get noticed and often result in a match and a conversation with someone I may not have matched with otherwise. Like they say, a little bit of earnestness goes a long way.

Spotlights are also a great way to get noticed, as many people use Bumble for such small periods throughout a day that getting shown first can be the difference between a match and someone on Bumble you’ll never meet.

So there you have it. At its heart, Bumble is a free app, and you can totally use it that way. That said, if you need a little extra lift to get noticed, the coins could be the way to get there, even if they get a little pricey. I’d recommend to start free and see how you do. If you’re lucky to begin with, then stay free. If you need a little extra help, buy some coins. There’s no shame in needing a hand. Happy swiping.

Alex Bocknek

Alex Bocknek is the senior editor of The Date Mix and works at Zoosk, the online dating service. He’s also a recovering music critic and an aspiring fiction writer (probably lost) on the way to an independent bookstore near you. He can be found occasionally musing about politics, philosophy, and love in the modern world.

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