Raya Review – Too Expensive? Worth It? What is Raya?

Most everyone has heard of Raya, the exclusive dating app where celebrities and millionaires go to find love. 

The app keeps itself underwraps, which adds to the feeling of exclusivity, and the wait time for approval is absolutely absurd. In fact, there are ten times more people waiting to use the app than actually using it. 

So, why do people keep signing up? We wondered the same thing and took a deep dive into their member profiles, features, and cost. 

If you want to unwrap the secrets of the Raya App (AKA Illuminati Tinder), just read on!

Is Raya Legit? – The Bottom Line Upfront

Raya App Logo with Demi Levato and Harry Styles - Discovering the Secrets of Illuminati Tinder

Alright here’s the scoop. Raya is weird…

It’s made the news a few times for one controversy or another, but through it all Raya founder Daniel Gendelman has done everything in his power to keep this community a tightly locked secret (For example – trying to take a screenshot of the app can result in permanent account termination). And, like with most secret societies, the vacuum created by non-answers and secrecy has been filled with speculation, spicy rumors, and heaps of misinformation. We’re here to set the record straight…

For most dating app users the bottom line is this—Raya is not for you.

As much as we all long to taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous this app was not made to help celebrities date their fans (sorry J Biebs). The truth is that fewer than 10% of Raya applicants make the cut. We know you’re an amazing person, but these stars are strictly looking for other celebrities and highly influential people, otherwise they would just use traditional dating apps.

Don’t believe us? Consider this, one of the biggest factors in your pending approval is the number of followers you have on Instagram. So, if you’re a celebrity, popular youtuber, star of a recent movie, or major influencer then by all means apply. This app was made specifically for you.

For the rest of us…there’s really no harm in taking 5-10 minutes to poke at this secret society, but we recommend doing it in conjunction with using another dating app if you’re looking for love. This is because it can take months to to go from “waitlisted” to “accepted” on the Raya App (even if you make the cut), and it would be a bummer to miss out on all that time with no guarantees.

To help in your search we’ve listed the top Raya app alternatives below. Each are designed to help you meet unique, interesting, and truly compatible singles online. And while their user bases may not be as star studded as Raya you will find real, successful people, that are excited to get to know you for you (and not just what you do on social media).

Best Raya Alternative – Elite Singles

Elite Singles Screenshot

One of the biggest reasons that exclusive online dating apps like Raya are so appealing is that they offer a sure fire way to avoid spammers and other creeps. But, if that’s what you’re looking for you don’t have to wait in line forever for a shot at the Raya crowd.

Elite Singles is a dating app for interesting, intelligent, and hardworking individuals (like yourself). And just because they have more members than Raya doesn’t mean they’re letting just anyone in. They validate every new profile profile to make sure it meets their high standards. As a result, 85% of their members hold an above average education.

But that’s not all! The Elite Singles staff also weeds through existing profiles on a daily basis to get rid of any bad seeds or low quality profiles. So, if you’re looking for a high end dating app with truly elite singles, and a team that’s dedicated to making sure you’re able to meet real people in a safe environment; we can’t recommend this app enough.

Elite Singles Logo

More Raya Alternatives (With Free Trials):

Since fewer than 1 in 10 applicants actually get approved for Raya we wanted to make sure you had plenty of good options.

Here are a few other dating apps for you to consider while you’re waiting for Raya. Each of these apps work hard to keep out scammers and other riffraff (and have lead to thousands of successful relationships). You can try them for free using the links below:

RankSiteFree Trial Link 
#1eHarmonyTry eHarmony
#2The LeagueTry The League
#3Higher BondTry Higher Bond
#4ZooskTry Zoosk

Overall Raya Dating App Reviews Rating

Quality Matches10.0/10.0
Ease of Use6.5/10.0
Raya Dating App Logo


Pros and Cons of the Raya Dating App


  • App is very exclusive and elitist on purpose.
  • If you’re approved, membership is very affordable.
  • The app is designed to be used for dating, meeting new friends, and general networking.
  • Matches are often not in one area which is good for users always on the go with touring, traveling, or other obligations.


  • The application process can take months or longer.
  • The Raya app is only available for iOS users.
  • Very limited features compared to top dating apps.
  • Celebrity atmosphere makes real connections tough.
  • Less than 10% of applicants are allowed to join the app.
  • Raya account approval is overly dependent on social media following (Most people are denied).

Who Raya Is Good For

  • Celebrities and influencers seeking matching companionship. 
  • Those who are comfortable waiting (a while…) before starting their dating journey. 
  • Singles with a flush social media presence. 
  • Public figures who don’t want to join mainstream dating apps.

Who Raya Might Not Be Best For

  • Singles ready to start their dating journey immediately. 
  • Younger singles without a lot of life experience. 
  • Singles that don’t use social media.

Raya Dating App Review – Table of Contents

What is Raya? – An Introduction to This Dating App

The Raya dating app was imagined by founder Daniel Gendelman in early 2014. This private social networking application was then built and launched in February of 2015 and has been registering users and growing since then. So what was the idea?

Well, Gendelman put it this way, “I wanted to create an app like a perfectly curated, intimate yet thoroughly vetted dinner party” and that’s exactly what this Los Angeles based company now does. It’s provided a private way for Instagram stars and other celebrities to meet each other online and strike up conversations and relationships.

Big-name celebrities reportedly using the app include Demi Lovato, Cara Delevigne, Channing Tatum, Harry Styles, John Mayer, Ben Affleck, Sharon Stone, Owen Wilson, and more! No one knows exactly how many or who few users Raya has and that’s a purposeful ambiguity that the team at Raya wants to preserve.

“Whether or not we are 100,000 members or 5,000 members there will be people who think both of those numbers are too big and both of those numbers are too small”

Daniel Dendelman to Vanity Fair

So how do you join Raya? Well, that’s a complicated question really. Signing up is the easy part, but the Raya dating app prides itself on being the most exclusive dating service anywhere online. There are currently estimated to be over 100,000 members waiting for approval and many of them have been there for weeks, months, or longer.

From what we’ve seen your level of Instagram fame definitely has an impact on how quickly your application will be reviewed, but the only guaranteed way seems to be having an existing Raya member recommend you. This really completes that “vetted dinner party” feel Gendelman was going for.

Fast Facts About Raya

  • Site Name: Rayatheapp.com
  • Paid or Free: Paid site
  • Average Sign-Up Time: ~5-10 minutes (plus application approval time)
  • Paid Membership Pricing: Plans starting as low as $9.99 per month
  • Unique Raya App Facts and Figures:
    • There are over 15,000 active users and over 100,000 on their waiting list.
    • The monthly membership cost for Raya is one of the lowest on the market.
    • Raya was launched in 2015 and hosts some of the top singles in the country.
    • 4.2 star rating on the Apple App Store (Trending down from 4.5)
    • Has been referred to as “illuminati tinder”
Raya Dating Site Logo

Raya Features Overview

Raya likes to keep their community pretty exclusive and private, but we managed to scope out some of the features you’ll get upon approval to their prestigious social site. Here are a few of the main features for approval, and the amenities you’ll get once approved:

Application Process

The application process isn’t too long, but acceptance is extremely slow, sometimes taking months. The application will ask you questions about your past, dating preferences, life goals, and more to get a good feel for you as a person. 

However, the actual approval process depends very heavily on your social media presence. Specifically, your Instagram account. 

The application process also gives approval out first to those that are recommended by other users of the app. So, if you know anyone already using Raya, you should definitely try to get that sweet, sweet recommendation!

Work Mode

Once you are on Raya as an active user, you will have the option to change your account to work mode. This will change up your intent on Raya to something more professional and you will be shown other users in your industry, or even in your same company. 

Social Mode

Social mode on Raya is intended for making friends and dating. You will be shown profiles of compatible singles who you can chat up and get to know. 

Celebrity Members

While this isn’t necessarily a “feature,” we can’t help but point out the excitement of knowing you are sharing a dating space with big names. Some of the iconic singles that have used Raya are:

  • Channing Tatum
  • Demi Lovato
  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Lily Allen
  • Cara Delevingne
  • Raven-Symone
  • Emma Watson
  • Lil Dicky
  • Clairo

The Quality of Singles at Raya

What can we say? 

The whole reason people put up with the outrageous application process and small user base at Raya is because the selection of singles is something out of your wildest fantasies. Celebrities, influencers, surgeons, CEOs, and other high profile singles flock to Raya to ensure they are only dating singles with similar careers, goals, and lifestyles. 

In this sense Raya does exactly what it was designed to do. So, if you think you can get approved for Raya, you probably don’t want to miss out.

On the other hand, there’s more to the quality of singles than just how good looking they are, or how much they earn, or how many followers they have on social media. Since Raya’s matches aren’t based on detailed compatibility algorithms like other successful dating apps they can’t really be expected to yield the same results.

Even if anyone who ever applied to Raya was approved, the reality is that the vast majority would still never talk to Harry Styles, Demi Lovato, Cara Delevigne, or any of the other stars you hear about using the app.

If you’re looking for love and want to find someone who shares your experiences, goals, and dreams you’ve got to look in the right place. And while that may be on a high-end dating app, for most the selection of singles at Raya is not what you’re looking for.

How to Sign Up for the Raya App

The sign up process at Raya includes filling out an application that requests a lot of background history, links to socials, and other personal information. Once you fill in the application (which takes 5-10 minutes) you will need to wait for approval. 

Some people are able to get approved for a Raya account in as little as one week. But this is the exception, not the norm. Many users will have to wait much much longer than this (assuming they are ever approved).

If you’re dead set on giving Raya a try then we wish you the best of luck for the application and what comes next. Follow the link below to start the process today.

Price | How Much Does Raya Cost?

Membership TypeMembership LengthMembership Cost
Member1 Months$9.99

So signing up for and applying to Raya is free. Once someone is approved they have to start paying the monthly membership fee, which is $9.99. There is no version of the app that functions beyond the application that is free, as far as we can tell.

Customer Support Options

Raya’s customer support is offered almost exclusively through their support webpage. There are lots of answers to common questions and technical issues. If you have further questions for the Raya staff, you can email them through a provided address. 

There are no mentions of how quickly they plan to respond to emails, or if they plan to respond at all. 

For such a high end app, we’d like to think that approved and paying members will have a live chat or similar option available directly through the app. However, we have no way of confirming if there are additional support features for paying members. 

Raya App FAQ

Is Raya Easy to Join?

No! Signing up is simple as can be, but getting approved as a member is very difficult. Raya is an exclusive social app and most people get denied access or stay on the waiting list for up to six months. 

Can I Join Raya Without Having Social Media Accounts?

Technically, you can apply for Raya without having established social accounts. However, the likelihood of being approved to use Raya without any social media accounts is very slim. If you want the best chance to be approved, you might want to start and frequently update an Instagram account. 

If I Know Someone Using Raya, Can They Refer Me?

Yes! It is actually way easier to gain membership to Raya through the recommendation of a current user. Those who apply without being recommended can have wait times up to six months for approval. Compare that to recommended users who usually have their approval in one to two weeks. 

Why Don’t You Have Any Screenshots From the Raya App?

As part of the Raya App’s dedication to user trust and privacy, screenshots are strictly forbidden while using the app. If users try to take screenshots they will receive popup warnings and potentially lose access to the exclusive community forever.

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved on Raya?

According to Raya’s support page, users can be approved in as little as one week, but some users may see wait times up to six months or longer.

Does Raya Have a Free Trial?

No. At this time Raya does not offer a free trial. 

I Just Applied to Raya. When Do I Begin Paying My Monthly Fee?

You will only be required to pay the monthly Raya membership fee if and when you are approved by the moderators. Once you gain your approval and can start using the app, the charge will recur monthly until canceled. 

Can I Download the Raya App on my Android Device?

No. Raya is currently only available for iOS devices. And there are currently no plans to extend Raya’s reach to offer apps for Android or other mobile devices.

How Many People Get Accepted to Use Raya?

According to estimates from 2020, Raya only accepts approximately 8% of their applicants. This is to maintain the idea of exclusivity and luxury. It is also a way to prevent fans and stalkers from using the app to harass celebrities. 

How Can I Improve My Chance of Getting Approved?

A lot of whether or not you will be accepted to the Raya app depends on your social media presence. So, if you want to increase your odds of getting in get posting and build that social presence. The more people they see that think you’re interesting the more likely they are to agree and let you in.

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