We tried Coffee Meets Bagel – here’s what happened…

Fact Checked by: Debbie Gutfreund, MA

Coffee Meets Bagel launched in 2012 and became a household name after appearing on “Shark Tank” in 2015. Still, what does it mean by coffee, and what’s the deal with the bagel? And more importantly, will it help you find a partner ready for a long-term relationship?

We’re going to share all those answers and more in our Coffee Meets Bagel review. Well, actually not all. We never could figure out what coffee means, but we did get tons of info after using the app for a week. Ready for the real tea (or, um… coffee?). Take a look through our Coffee Meets Bagel review to see if this app is right for you.

Coffee Meets Bagel Dating App Screenshot

Is Coffee Meets Bagel worth trying?

As a serious dating app, Coffee Meets Bagel uses an advanced matching algorithm and technology to provide high-quality matches. At first, it matches you with members in your nearby area who meet your preferences. However, the algorithm improves as you interact with members, and quickly begins incorporating your interests, education, social circles, and more.

Coffee Meets Bagel Logo

From what we saw, the matching algorithm works, and you have a pretty good chance of moving things into the real world when using the app.

When you sign up, you can choose a basic or paid account. Surprisingly, you can use Coffee Meets Bagel’s core functions with a free account, meaning you can like, pass, and chat with matches. Based on our experience, that’s all you need to have success on this dating app.

Still, you have the option to increase your exposure and double your matches with a Mini or Premium membership. As the name implies, the Mini membership has fewer features than the Premium membership does.

Screenshot Comparing the Features included in Coffee Meets Bagel Premium and Mini Subscriptions

All members receive a limited number of “Bagels” each day at noon. Your Bagels are your matches, and you can like or pass on them. While some people don’t like the limits, we actually do. You can’t help but spend more time reviewing profiles when you can only look at a handful.

Oh, and don’t worry if your match count is low at first. Even free members can see which of their Bagels like them, making it easy to get mutual matches. In fact, we ended up with a dozen matches using this strategy. It’s no wonder that Coffee Meets Bagel has created over 50 million matches.

Coffee Meets Bagel Suggested Match Screenshot

Once you match with someone, you can start chatting, even if you have a free account. Beware, though – chats expire after seven days. This is Coffee Meets Bagel’s way to push matches into the real world. Again, we really like this since it improves the quality of the chats.

Coffee Meets Bagel User Messaging Screenshot

The members we chatted with were engaging and responsive, and we can see how this app can lead to serious relationships and even marriage. But as much as we like Coffee Meets Bagel, we know it’s not for everyone.

We recommend checking CMB out if you:

  • Want to start a serious relationship
  • Prefer quality over quantity
  • Want to take things into the real world soon

However, CMB is not for you if you:

  • Prefer casual dating
  • Love to swipe through hundreds of profiles
  • Like to chat on dating apps for weeks before taking things into the real world

What we like, and what we don’t…

CMB Pros

  • Algorithm improves match quality the more you use the app.
  • Profile viewing limits help members focus on forming genuine connections.
  • Most profiles are detailed and complete.
  • You are able to chat with matches without upgrading
  • You will only receive messages from profiles you’ve liked, so your inbox doesn’t become a pit of unwelcome photos and cheesy pickup lines. 
  • You can earn in app currency through activities.

CMB Cons

  • Coffee Meets Bagel Premium subscription is expensive.
  • You only get 5 matches per day, which can make the process feel a little slow.
  • The gender split isn’t even, with around 60% of users identifying as female. 
  • Smallish membership base, so you might run out of profiles if you upgrade

Looking at CMB features and fancy terms…

Coffee Meets Bagel isn’t as feature-rich as a lot of sites out there, but that’s OK. If you’ve been following our Coffee Meets Bagel review, you know the app’s main focus is creating genuine connections, and that’s more important than cool features. Still, it uses some unique language and has a few features we’d like to discuss.

“Bagels”

Coffee Meets Bagel App Suggested Feature Screenshot

Matches are called “Bagels” on Coffee Meets Bagel. You can review and like your Bagels via the “Suggestions” tab starting at noon each day. While the Bagels are limited in number, they’re highly curated, so you can expect to see one solid match after the next.

Activity Report

Earlier in our Coffee Meets Bagel review, we said you don’t really need to upgrade to a paid membership. However, there is a premium feature we love – the Activity Report.

Screenshot of Coffee Meets Bagel Activity Report

If you upgrade, you can get some info before liking or passing on profiles. Info like their last login and how fast they reply can help you improve your success rate. But even without the Activity Report, we didn’t have any issues finding members ready to chat. Only six of our likes went unanswered, and we chatted with all of our matches.

“What’s Your Type” CMB Match Filters

Since most apps have filters, you might find yourself wanting to skip past this part of our review of Coffee Meets Bagel. Stick around, though, because this is important. See, while you can set your search preferences, they can work against you here.

Coffee Meets Bagel takes search filters very seriously. Instead of recommendations, they are dealbreakers.

For example, if you say you’re looking for men between 25-35, the app won’t show you compatible Bagels (matches) who are 36.

That being said, this is a much bigger issue for premium members since they have more specific filters. Check out the free and premium filters to see what we mean.

Screenshots of Coffee Meets Bagel Match Filters

Discover

If the suggested matches aren’t doing it for you, or you just want to see what else Coffee Meets Bagel has to offer, you can check out the Discover section. Here, you will see other singles in your area that didn’t match with your personality and needs, but were pretty close (runners up if you will).

Coffee Meets Bagel Discover Feature Screenshot

Free members don’t get many Discover matches, so some CMB users upgrade for this alone. Still, we had ample matches on the Coffee Meets Bagel app without paying anything.

Beans

If you have some extra money and want more exposure, you can buy Beans to use on Coffee Meets Bagel. You can use Beans to get more Bagels and extend chats past the seven-day limit. Also, you’ll be able to see more profiles and send extra likes on the Discover tab. All members can buy Beans, but premium subscribers get a discount.

Coffee Meets Bagel Spending Beans Screenshot

How Do I Buy Beans?

Beans can be purchased in the app’s “Bean Shop.” You can buy a set of 100 beans for as little as $1.99. If you are buying Beans frequently, you may save some money by signing up for a monthly membership. 

Can I Get Beans for Free?

You can! You earn free beans by consistently using the CMB app. You can also earn 500 free beans by inviting friends to join the app.

History

Coffee Meets Bagel My History Screenshot

Recently, some members have complained that Coffee Meets Bagel has done away with members’ histories. We poked around and it’s still there (just not very easy to find). Click on the symbol on the top right-hand screen to open your history. Then, you can see all the likes you’ve sent and your mutual matches.

Reviewing user profiles and quality…

According to Coffee Meets Bagel, 91% of its members want serious relationships, and that checks out based on their profiles and engagement rates. Let’s start with the profiles. Members just need to add a bit of info to sign up, but most go the extra mile by answering prompts and adding their values.

Also, all the members have pictures! Members have to add a photo that shows their faces to get approved on Coffee Meets Bagel, and we definitely appreciated that. Here’s an example of what a typical profile might look like:

Coffee Meets Bagel Profile Example Screenshots

As with most serious dating apps, the members here are a little older than you’ll find on casual sites. The majority are between 30-49, but you’ll also find people outside of that demographic. Also, since the app limits the number of Bagels you see, you don’t have to worry about running out of matches, unless you upgrade to premium.

Also, the members here seem very motivated to find partners. Check out our stats after using Coffee Meets Bagel for a week:

  • We received 99 likes (the app stops counting at 99)
  • We liked 39 profiles
  • Received 33 mutual matches
  • We had 32 conversations (25 of them ongoing)

We encountered one mildly rude person out of all of that. The member was upset when we didn’t respond for a couple of days. We’ve seen much worse on dating apps, so we certainly aren’t going to ding Coffee Meets Bagel for that.

Options for signup – how to get started…

You can create your Coffee Meets Bagel account using your phone number or Facebook. We personally recommend not connecting dating apps with your social media, but we’ll give you a breakdown of the steps for both ways just in case you need them!

Coffee Meets Bagel Android Screenshots

Signing Up for CMB With Your Phone

  1. Visit the Apple Store if you’re an iPhone user or Google Play for Android.
  2. Download the app, open it, and choose “continue with phone number.”
  3. Provide your phone number.
  4. Wait for your SMS verification to pop up and complete. 
  5. Fill in your profile and choose your dating preferences.

Signing Up for CMB With Facebook

  1. Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the app and choose “continue with Facebook.”
  3. The app will direct your through connecting to your Facebook.
  4. Approve the permissions as the app requests them. 
  5. Complete your CMB profile and match preferences.

Is It Safe to Connect my CMB Dating App to Facebook?

Facebook has had issues in the recent past with leaking personal data from theirs and connected apps. For that reason, we always recommend not connecting your Coffee Meets Bagel account to Facebook. However, there are thousands of singles who do and have not had their data compromised. Ultimately, it is up to personal preference. 

Pretty standard pricing with some nuance….

Coffee Meets Bagel memberships range in price from $20 per month with the longest 12 month plan to $34.99 per month with the shortest 1 month plan. There are two other plan options for 3 months and 6 months with varying prices in between these two plans.

Additionally, CMB offers some a la carte purchases that you can get to enhance your experience. To find out more about these other plans, the a la carte purchase options, and other key pricing details like payment options, membership levels, and auto-renewal, check the Coffee Meets Bagel pricing guide.

Over 200K reviews, here’s what users complain about…

Even though our review of Coffee Meets Bagel is positive, we want to share some user complaints. The site has mainly positive reviews on the App Store and Google Play, but we found some negative reviews on Trustpilot and other sites.

  • Premium Members Run Out of Profiles – Unlimited likes is a big selling point for the premium membership, but it can be a waste of money if you want to see lots of profiles. The membership base is on the smaller side, so you can run out quickly if you go wild with likes.
  • Scammers – We didn’t run into anyone trying to scam us when using Coffee Meets Bagel. Still, we read complaints from members who have. Some of the scammers want to sell sexual services, according to users. You can report members who break the Community Guidelines on Coffee Meets Bagel, which helps keep the apps safe.
  • Unhelpful Customer Support – Coffee Meets Bagel’s Help Center has a lot of great info, so you should find the answers to most of your questions there. Still, those who had to reach out to customer support said they didn’t receive much help.
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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.