scroll top

The League costs up to $2,499/month. Our writer found the free version is just fine.

We earn commissions for transactions made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

There’s something enticing about being a part of the “in crowd” — and that’s exactly the premise behind The League, one of the most expensive and exclusive dating apps on the market.

The League was born out of Yale graduate Amanda Bradford’s frustration with not being able to find suitable partners through traditional online dating.

According to its website, The League “caters to the needs of all of us crazy-busy, hard-working city peeps who want to date & meet new, awesome, compatible people without all the hassle that comes with other dating apps.” 

But does it really do that? 

In this review, I’ll cover: 

SPOILER ALERT: With the handful of sites that I use for online dating, honestly, The League is the last one I check regularly. 

In this gnat-brained-attention span internet climate, I find that the lag in finding and connecting with potential suitors leads me to forget to check back in altogether. More on this later.

How does The League work?

First launched in San Francisco in 2014, The League offers a waitlist to dating hopefuls, who have to be approved by an internal panel to use the app. 

This panel of anonymous ‘judges’ doesn’t follow a specific set of criteria for admission, but a representative for The League says these are a few things that will boost your chances:

Degrees Matter

  • The League favors users with a higher level of education and notable professional accomplishments
  • Candidates with degrees from prestigious universities or in successful careers may have an advantage

LinkedIn Verification:

  • The League integrates LinkedIn to verify your curriculum vitae. An active and robust profile, combined with accolades, endorsements, and skill sets likely give you a boost. While you’re building up your LinkedIn, tidy up your Facebook. Use that avenue to show a more personal side of yourself, such as your hobbies, travel adventures and favorite charitable causes. 

Carefully Curate Your Profile

  • Swap out hazy bathroom selfies in front of dirty mirrors. Like education, a polished personal presentation moves the needle in the right direction. 

Location, Location, Location

  • Opportunities to join depend heavily on whether or not you live in one of the cities in which The League is active.1

The League was one of the first dating sites to link members’ profiles to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, which is now a fairly common verification step.

‘Swiper, No Swiping’

The League does not aim to be the biggest, big-tent dating app marketed to the masses. The exclusive nature of targeting educated, successful singles with resources and assets shaves a lot of “unqualified” folks from the top, which makes it easier for daters to sift through quality candidates since everyone on The League presumably meets the benchmark. 

Unlike Tinder or Bumble, The League ditches the swipe feature and takes a more sophisticated role in curating matches — or so they say. 

According to The League website, their algorithm matches users based on aligned preferences, much like other dating sites, except that the people you’re matching with have been vetted and approved to be there in the first place. 

Whether you’re using the free subscription or any of the paid plans, your choices won’t be an endless parade of prospects — even the top tier only gets eight daily matches. The League claims this approach facilitates more meaningful and compatible matches. 

Example profile on The League dating site review.

Cost for The League

The League has a free version and four paid membership tiers, ranging in price from $99 per week to $999 per week for the top tier. 

Full disclosure: I’ve been a member of the free version of the app, and it worked just fine. In fact, I met a very successful managing partner of a law firm who lived near Beverly Hills. 

The distance, and his personality were the reasons I’m no longer dating him. However, I liked that I was able to connect with someone at that level of success. But when I jumped back on to keep the mate search going, the pricing and perks for the multiple tiers of paid membership didn’t feel like much added value.

Here’s what you get when you have the free version of the app:

  • Basic profile creation: Users can create a basic profile with pictures, age, and location. Users can personalize their profiles with additional details, although the extent may be limited compared to premium offerings. You’ll also be able to manage account settings, including privacy and notification preferences.
  • Only a few matches: The free subscription gets you only three matches a day. I have to say this limitation was what I liked the least. Swipe sites provide more choices and chances to interact in real time. 
  • Profile visibility: The League only allows you to view profiles and chat with the three candidates per day, plus any previous exchanges. You can utilize preference filters based on factors like age, distance, and interests.
  • Chatting capability: While more advanced features are often reserved for premium subscriptions, free users can engage in conversations with their daily matches.
  • Event access: Or so they claim. I’ve tried a few times to register for the speed dating events they have, and I’ve never made the cut. Priority access to these events are reserved for paying members. 
  • Limited League tickets: The app occasionally provides free users with League Tickets, allowing them to expedite the matching process for a more immediate connection.
  • Community interaction: Depending on your location, there may be some League-approved events. 

In addition to the free version, there are four tiers paid of membership:

Standard Membership

  • $99 per week
  • $299 per month
  • $399 per quarter (three months)

With any of the paid memberships, you’ll get all the offerings in the free service, plus some perks.

Under Standard Membership, members get access to the following:

  • See when your message is read via read receipts
  • Five daily candidates
  • Find out how popular your profile is with other members, your level of pickiness and initiation
  • Customize and edit your profile
  • Access potential matches from multiple cities, while retaining the option to focus your searches locally
  • Request up to five friends per day

Owners Package

  • $199 per week 
  • $399 per month

This membership tier includes: 

  • Choose from six potential matches per day
  • Up to six video dates per week
  • ‘X-Ray Vision,’ to see who has hearted you in your batch of profile potentials, along with other enhanced features like rematches, and undos
  • Power Moves: The ‘Power Move’ feature allows you to send a special signal to someone you’re interested in
  • Increased concierge access for tips, recommendations and advice
  • Freedom to navigate the app on Private/Incognito mode so you can choose who sees you

Investor package 

  • $399 per week
  • $999 per month

At this level, you might assume you’d have more access to more members. 

You would be wrong. 

Investors get only seven potential matches per day. You’ll get seven video dates a week and the option to pre-reject if you are so inclined. The League Concierge will upsell your profile to those you are interested in, but paid recommendations from an app bot probably won’t hold much weight to convince anyone.

VIP package

The fourth tier of membership is the most shocking in price: 

  • $999 per week 
  • $2499 per month

This is what it gets you: 

  • Eight matches per day
  • 8 video dates per week
  • Permission to make 30 friend requests per day
  • Allows you to view the top users or new members first

Pros and cons of The League for dating

The Pros

  • Available on Apple and Android devices
  • Cost and vetting process reduces the grueling and time-wasting experience of sorting through unqualified candidates
  • The League greatly reduces the volume of potential matches to three per day for free membership, five to eight for paid membership. This tactic may allow members to feel less overwhelmed and focus more on quality versus quantity.
  • Despite being pricey, compared to elite matchmaking services that can cost tens of thousands with no guarantee of success, the relatively lower cost for more selective matching is a deal

One pretty innovative perk The League offers is LeagueLive, a video speed dating event that allows you to interact with three potential matches for two minutes each. 

For the sake of this article, I registered for a session with an 8 P.M. start time. I showed up at 8:02, and by that time, thousands had already been admitted and I wasn’t allowed in. The system suggested that if I upgraded, I’d have priority access. 

Christelyne's profile on The League Dating site review.

The Cons

  • The League has been accused as being elitist and lacking in diversity
  • The cost can be prohibitive, with paid memberships ranging from $399-$2499 per month, especially since many of the perks at higher tiers are also offered by less expensive platforms.
  • If you’re impatient and want to start looking immediately for candidates, the waiting list and approval process might be frustrating
  • Your selections are vastly limited in comparison to the legions of potential matches you will encounter on larger dating sites
  • The League isn’t offered everywhere — the app is currently available in 160 cities in the United States

The League vs Raya

As aforementioned, some potential members of The League have balked about the wait time and review process with relatively low potential daily matches. 

Raya, a dating app established in 2015, is in a league all its own. Just like The League, there is an application and approval process. But with a reported 8% of applicants accepted based on a shadowy and mysterious panel of up to 500, your chances of making the cut on Raya are pretty slim.  

Raya was initially established to connect singles in the entertainment industry and those with influential social media profiles. Over time, Raya has extended to include opportunities for friendships and networking. 

Like The League, social media handles are required for consideration on Raya. 

While The League wants your LinkedIn profile, Raya connects to Instagram. No one knows conclusively if the selection process depends on how impactful your Instagram is in the final decision. 

For example, one Reddit reviewer mentioned that a friend with less than 1,000 followers was approved almost immediately (though she later clarified that her friend did in fact have to pay):

byu/ReferenceWeary9493 from discussion
byu/ReferenceWeary9493 from discussion

I have a much wider social media reach, and I am one of the 10,000 hopefuls languishing on the Raya waitlist after having applied more than one year ago.

While the approval process for Raya may be as selective as getting a full ride into an Ivy League school, the cost for membership vs. The League is a great value in comparison. 

Raya’s monthly membership is $9.99 — 10 times less than the standard membership for The League.

The League dating site reviews

The League has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but actual reviews posted to the site tell a different story. Of the three reviews listed (none of them more recent than 2022), former members feel that paid membership is less of a value add and more of a “scam.”

Reviews on Trustpilot, where The League has just 1.8 stars, complain about fake or AI-generated profiles, or abysmally low responses from users that perhaps have fallen off or disengaged.

The theme of general dissatisfaction in the cost and low response rates continued when I investigated the reviews on Reddit, with one exception from a user celebrating her upcoming nuptials with her fiancé she met on the app.

The League dating site review on Reddit.

App store ratings are a bit higher for The League — 4.1 stars from the App Store and 3.4 stars on Google Play — though negative reviews mention the app’s high prices, fake profiles, and a lack of diversity:

Bottom line: Is The League worth it?

As a vigorous online dater who has been on everything from Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, Millionaire Match and, I suggest signing up for the free version that gives you three matches per day and opportunities to join groups and participate in the LeagueLive on Sundays at 8PM. Of course, you’ll have to be approved to join.

Be prepared for a bit of a wait to be vetted, and manage your expectations in terms of the level of interest and responses you receive. 

To date, I’ve met two men through The League; one a very high powered attorney in Los Angeles, and another who is vice president at a venture firm. Both matches didn’t pan out, but in my case, The League did its job in terms of putting me in front of the quality of men I prefer. 

You could argue that the slow drip of candidates versus a flood of endless profiles on other apps provides more focus to get to know people on a deeper level. It makes online dating less like a video game experience and more intentional. 

However, that template can only work if the candidates are responsive and actively engaged, which doesn’t really seem to be the case (reviewers concur). Dating is a numbers game when you get down to it. The more choices you have, the higher your chances of meeting your person.

That's why we recommend dating sites with larger pools like eharmony, which has: 

Check out our eharmony review and reviews of other popular dating sites:
Plenty of FishAdult Friend
Coffee Meets BagelOKCupid13 international dating apps
Catholic dating sitesChristian dating sitesJewish dating sites

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *