Yes and no. It has a robust free version that, we feel, stands on its own. It also has a paid version ranging about $10-$20 per month for a buffet of mostly worthless goodies.
OK Cupid and Why Sites Offer Free Versions
We already like OK Cupid. One aspect that we especially like is that its free version is surprisingly packed with lots of goodies.
Yes, most online dating sites have free versions. Even the worst of the worst, the one site that everyone hates--True.com--has a free version. But True.com's free version is like those sleazy "bait and switch" ads you get in your mailbox for "free" weekends at timeshares or "free" gifts if you come into a showroom to discuss gutters and storm windows. In other words: not free at all.
The Free Version
Cost: $0.00. No hidden fees.
The free version stands on its own. It allows you to happily create a full profile, post pictures, browse other members' profiles, and have a dialogue with them. What else do you need? We feel that the free version covers the basics--and some.
The "A-List Subscription"
OK Cupid rose to fame for several reasons--hipness, ease of use, attractive members, fun--and the fact that it is free is its best selling point. But OK Cupid would be crazy if they didn't at least offer a paid version, right? Why not put out a paid version and see if anybody bites?
- 1 Month Contract: $19.95 per month
- 3 Month Contract: $14.95 per month
- 6 Month Contract: $9.95 per month
Is "A-List" worth it? We don't think so. The only way that "A-List" is worthwhile is if you are a heavy user of OK Cupid, and you live and breathe OK Cupid 24/7.
OK Cupid claims that the A-List subscription has 8 advantages over the free version. Following each advantage is our take on the matter.
- See Who Likes You: We suppose this gives you a bit of an "advantage." But is dating a competitive business?
- Browse Profiles Invisibly: You see them, they don't see you. Fun in a sort of creepy-stalker way.
- Get Special Match Search Options: Forget it. You want to browse, not be "matched" by a computer algorithm.
- "Message Read" Receipts: So you find out if the other person opened your message. Big deal.
- No Ads: You can deal with the ads. You don't notice them now anyway, do you?
- Change Your Username: So, you can change out that crappy username, LoveTaco, yet retain your account. Nice, but not worth $10 a month for a one-time-only action.
- Photo Timestamps: Supposedly, you can see how old the photos really are. But shouldn't you be able to tell this already?
- Store 5,000 Messages: Please.