Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) launched out of New York on April 17, 2012, by three sisters seeking to find quality men in the Big Apple. The dating site claims to match people up with quality partners using a unique algorithm. This allows “bagels” (also known as users) to find dates without putting in much effort. The service today is now heavily centered on its mobile CMB app with over 10 million users. CMB is known for helping singles find long-term relationships and promoting an anti-hookup dating environment.
As of June 2015, Coffee Meets Bagel became completely mobile and retired its website platform. According to ABC News, Coffee Meets Bagel raised $7.8 million before appearing on Shark Tank in 2015. After that, the company nearly doubled its external funding. While on the show, the founders of Coffee Meets Bagel rejected Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban's $30 million to buy out the company.
Keep reading for our in-depth Coffee Meets Bagel review featuring the pros and cons of joining this online dating app, or skip to the Coffee Meets Bagel reviews.
All you need to sign up is a smartphone. From there, the app can be downloaded in the Apple App Store for iPhone (IOS) users or the Google Play Store for Android users.
Once you download the Coffee Meets Bagel app, you can sign up using your Facebook account or mobile phone number for verification. Easily integrate your account by uploading photos from Instagram or Facebook.
Your birthdate and email are also needed to help set up your profile. Once your account is set up, you are immediately able to start reviewing your matches. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes.
In the sign-up process, you will be asked to select a gender preference for your matches. You can select men, women, or both. The option to select both is not often seen in the online dating industry. Many sites make you select just one gender to match with. People who don't have a gender preference will appreciate this feature.
This dating platform is completely free if users do not purchase in-app "coffee beans" or purchase a subscription. Coffee beans are the virtual currency that Coffee Meets Bagel uses. However, you do not need to spend money to find success on this app.
With the free dating app, users can like or pass on suggested “bagels” and chat with them through the app once a mutual connection has been made. You do not have to pay to message with your matches. Many dating sites draw the paywall between matching and being able to have a conversation. That isn't the case with CMB, where most things are free.
In June 2020, Coffee Meets Bagel introduced a new virtual dating feature. The “Virtual Date Nudge” helps users connect safely during the global pandemic. If you connect and start messaging another user, the “Virtual Date Nudge” will prompt you to select a virtual date out of six options. Dates include recipe swaps, virtual museum tours, game nights, and other activities. The other person will be notified if you select “I’m open to it” on one of the six options.
Using Facebook information to pair up matches, participants of Coffee Meets Bagel receive one or more quality matches or "bagels" every day at noon. Users can then either "like" or "pass" on the potential match based on their personal preference.
Coffee Meets Bagel aims to create something for each one of its participants to look forward to every day with its daily bagel. Coffee Meets Bagel makes sure that everything is private, and nothing is shared publicly on users' Facebook pages. What makes Coffee Meets Bagel different is that it pairs users with a limited number of matches each day and does not send a flood of emails of unknown user profiles for you to "shop" through.
Another thing that differentiates Coffee Meets Bagel is that the site encourages mutual matches to meet face to face.
When logging into the app, users receive daily rewards, which consist of different amounts of "coffee beans." Coffee beans allow users to unlock special features.
Coffee Meets Bagel is sometimes called the Groupon of dating apps, because when two people decide to meet up face to face, Coffee Meets Bagel will provide fun incentives like a free appetizer or coffee for the pair at a nearby restaurant.
Coffee Meets Bagel boasts that it includes the smartest profile users, with 96 percent of users holding at least a Bachelor's degree. Not only that, but over 25 percent of all profile users hold a Master's degree, with many graduate alumni from NYU, Columbia, UPenn, Harvard, Michigan, Berkeley, Boston University, Stanford, Cornell, and UCLA. The company primarily targets young business professionals who are too busy to focus on their dating lives, but still want to find decent people in an easy, fun, and mostly effortless way.
Coffee Meets Bagel makes it easy to communicate without having to give out any personal information. If two matches mutually select "like" within the 24 hours, Coffee Meets Bagel gives the two a private phone line. The couple can then use this phone line to communicate and set up a meeting time. This allows the two people to connect without sharing personal contact information before they are ready to.
Connections have a set expiration date of about seven days, but you can re-open a conversation by paying for beans.
To help protect against scammers, people can't update some things without filling out a customer service request. This includes basic personal details like your name and your age.
This makes sense, as this information is often directly imported from your Facebook account or your phone's autofill if you don't update it. Fudging one's age is sadly a common online dating practice that some people try to use to change the type of matches they are presented with. This is a great feature to keep people truthful.
Profile photos also have to be of YOURSELF, not a stranger. CMB's policy states, "At a minimum, we require one photo of your face clearly visible." This is interesting because some apps don’t even require you to add a picture to get started. The policy prevents a user from creating a fake profile.
In this app, you can easily set your account to hold. This means that you don't lose current connections, but you aren't presented or given daily matches. You will still get new Discover bagels refreshed in your account every day, but your profile isn't floating around.
It doesn't erase the work you have done, so you won't have to start over. When you put your account on hold, your history of likes, passes, and connections are saved, and your matches get notified that you are on hold.
You can also easily delete your account from the settings section.
On February 14, 2019, the Coffee Meets Bagel dating app announced that three days earlier the company had suffered a data breach. The online dating site did not specify how many accounts were affected by the breach, but Coffee Meets Bagel did send out an email to its members warning them that some of their personal information might have been stolen. Although the company ensured users that it never stores any financial information or passwords, the information that was exposed includes "member names and email addresses prior to May 2018."
The process starts when you log in. Coffee Meets Bagel will provide you with your daily bagel or match for the day, and provides a few pictures to look through. From there, there are two options: to "like" or to "pass." If the user does not like the match, they can always customize their profile to reflect more of what they are looking for.
The profiles allow users to customize what they are looking for by preferences of religion, ethnicity, distance, height, age, and gender. Coffee Meets Bagel will only put two people in contact with each other if both matches "like" each other. If a profile user decides to pass the bagel, the other person will never know. People are only notified when the mutual "like" is shared. However, users must act fast because the matched bagels are only valid for 24 hours. This feature adds a level of security for some users, but also causes frustration for other users who did not match with a potential love interest.
Since users only receive a limited number of suggested bagels per day, they have limited opportunities to find a match each day; people can go a long time before finding someone they like. Unlike other dating sites, Coffee Meets Bagel does not have a feature that allows users to browse through other users' profiles. Also, if a user accidentally presses "pass" on a bagel they meant to press "like" on, there is no way to undo it without having to use their coffee bean currency to buy a second chance with their missed bagel.
Like many other dating apps, CMB offers premium features for purchase. You can access premium features through coffee beans and monthly subscriptions. Some user reviews point out that coffee beans are overpriced for their value. The subscription prices are also expensive compared to other dating sites. This may be a roadblock for individuals looking for an affordable online dating service.
Coffee Bean Purchases
While creating a profile is free, there are in-app purchases that have the potential to add up. The top in-app purchases on iTunes include the following:
New users that sign up get 1,000 free beans. You can also earn them for different things such as referring friends (500 beans if they sign up) or following on social media (100 beans for Twitter and 200 for Instagram). You can also earn beans by signing into the app daily. This helps users learn about the coffee bean system before making a purchase.
Premium Subscription Upgrade
You can also subscribe to get ongoing access to premium features:
Premium subscribers need to know that putting your account on hold through the app settings will not cancel your subscription. This has to be done directly in the App Store or through Google Play subscriptions.