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RentAFriend has become nearly synonymous with the friend-renting business (and yes, that’s a real thing).
The company offers users a unique opportunity to get paid for their time and companionship.
Friends-for-hire fulfill multiple roles in a customer’s life.
One day you might take a traveler on a sightseeing tour in your city. The next day, you could be someone’s date for a wedding, baby shower, or high school reunion.
The applications are endless.
But is RentAFriend legitimate? And do people actually make decent money as hired friends?
In this RentAFriend review, we’ll dive into how the platform works, then explore reviews from several users — including the good, the bad, and the nightmares.
Table of Contents
- RentAFriend review: How RentAFriend works
- RentAFriend profile examples
- RentAFriend reviews on Reddit
- Other reviews of RentAFriend
- RentAFriend horror stories
- RentAFriend app pros and cons
- How does RentAFriend’s compensation plan work?
- Best RentAFriend Alternatives
- Frequently Asked Questions
RentAFriend review: How RentAFriend works
How does the RentAFriend application process work?
The best way to sign up is via the RentAFriend app.
The application process is fairly straightforward. You fill out your personal information, including name, date of birth, age, and location.
Then you upload a clear photo of yourself, set your availability, and viola!
There are no fees involved for applicants — the service is 100% free to use.
In-person vs. online friend
If you’re hired, you can choose whether to be an in-person friend, an online friend, or both.
In-person friends physically meet the person who purchases your services. So naturally, you need to take more precautions.
Vet your client, meet up in a public space, and let someone in your life know where you’ll be (and for how long).
In-person friends can offer a broader range of services. One group that frequently uses RentAFriend is travelers who want a local to show them around for a weekend.
You also might end up giving cooking classes, acting as theater guests, or accompanying clients to sporting events so they don’t have to go alone.
It all depends on the needs of the customer.
Well, at least the platonic needs. The RentAFriend website makes it clear that it is not an escort or dating service (though platonic dates can be a part of your services).
You’d be surprised how clever people utilize the platform.
One RentAFriend user shared a story of how he helped a group of mischievous college kids who’d been caught drinking on campus. He had to visit campus and pretend to be their parents to get them out of trouble.
This might not be the most moral use of the service, but you have to applaud their resourcefulness.
Here is a viral video of a huge Youtuber testing out RentAFriend and treating a friend to the “ultimate day”:
Online friends are a whole different ball game. These friendships usually focus on emotional fulfillment.
Many clients seek out online friends to vent to about their problems. They also may be looking to bond over similar interests without the stress of an in-person meeting.
Online friends have the flexibility to work remotely, making it an interesting opportunity for anyone looking for location-independent job ideas.
If this type of flexibility appeals to you, check out these other websites to earn as an online friend.
RentAFriend profile examples
Before we dive into all the juicy RentAFriend reviews, here are a few RentAFriend profile examples to give you an idea of how the platform works:
RentAFriend reviews on Reddit
If this sounds like a gig that you could see yourself undertaking but still feel weirded out by the idea of charging for friendship, consider these first-hand RentAFriend reviews on Reddit.
The cautiously optimistic convert
Like many people, the concept of “renting” someone might first give you pause. But after giving the service a chance, this Redditor found the service was a great way to meet cool people.
He used the service twice and rented a different friend each time.
He used his time to learn new hobbies while traveling and enjoy unique experiences. It should be noted that he identified himself as a male and acknowledged that his gender might have influenced his positive experience.
The pleasant surprise
After getting over their initial disappointment about their social status, this user found great value in the service.
They used their outings to go to the amusement park and a wedding. Even after the initial outings, they still stay in touch with their friend. Nice!
The strictly online friend
Assuming that this user is speaking from the perspective of a friend-for-hire, they seem to have enjoyed their experience.
They keep their correspondences online and use their time to text and video chat with guys.
Platonically, of course.
(Let’s be honest, I’m sure some shenanigans occur between online friends. But that is not the intended use of the platform.)
Platonic or not, this strategy is one of the many ways to get paid to talk to lonely people.
Other reviews of RentAFriend
If you’re still on the fence, here are some more reviews of RentAFriend from both the perspective of the customer and the friend:
- A friend named Sarah recounts the low-stakes encounters she’s had with clients. An older lady hired her to watch movies together, eat fast food, and have pleasant conversations. At the end of the three-hour outing, Sarah was $100 richer and safe to live another day.
- The RentAFriend website has a full page of testimonials. For example, Sheila F. sought out the service so that her elderly mom could have companionship twice a week. When she couldn’t manage time to see her mother in person, she hired a young college student to spend time with her mom. Now that’s wholesome.
RentAFriend horror stories
Despite the platform’s admirable intentions, not everything goes according to plan. Enjoy (and perhaps take heed to) these RentAFriend horror stories.
The girl who really wanted a boyfriend
One guy, who shared his experience with Cracked, tells a tale of a girl who just couldn’t understand that he was offering her temporary companionship, not a relationship.
During their date, she repeatedly tried to kiss him and take pictures she intended to post on social media.
Even though he kept reminding her of their arrangement (hopefully mentioning that RentAFriend isn’t an escort service), she continued to make him uncomfortable.
The jerk who pretended to drown
Drowning isn’t a joking matter. But some people just don’t understand humor.
That’s exactly what happened according to this anonymous friend-for-hire.
What started as a nice day at the beach ended on a sour note after the customer pretended to drown and then, once confronted, told them they thought it’d be funny.
The cool, yet potentially dangerous P.I.
Keeping a private investigator company on a stakeout might seem like an easy way to make money while racking up cool stories to tell your grandkids.
Unfortunately, one friend-for-hire got more than they bargained for when the P.I. admitted that they really only wanted company in case things took a dangerous turn.
Or to paraphrase, in case they needed a “human shield”. Yikes.
RentAFriend app pros and cons
✔️ It’s a great way to make money while meeting new people.
✔️ You can set your own hourly rate.
✔️ RentAFriend allows you to keep 100% of what you make.
✔️ Customers might treat you to lunch or an activity of your choice.
✔️ You can work in person or strictly online.
❌ Your income is based on how many people book your services, so your paycheck may not always be steady.
❌ You have to be extra careful with your safety and do your due diligence.
❌ You may meet people who don’t believe that RentAFriend is not a dating or escort service, and they may try to put you in uncomfortable situations.
❌ When renting your time, you are the product. People might be demanding or otherwise inconsiderate of your feelings. Setting boundaries ahead of time is essential.
How does RentAFriend’s compensation plan work?
RentAFriend allows you to set your rates. Most friends charge between $10 and $50 per hour, though some charge even more.
You get to keep 100% of the money you make through the platform. Well, apart from Uncle Sam’s cut.
RentAFriend makes money through membership fees. To access the friends-for-hire, members pay a monthly fee of $39.99.
Best RentAFriend Alternatives
If you’re sold on being a friend-for-hire, but not necessarily on RentAFriend’s platform, then consider these RentAFriend alternatives.
Fiverr is a one-stop shop for freelance services. And while it’s not exclusively in the friend-renting business, it does allow freelancers to rent out their services.
Browse through Fiverr and you’ll find people offering things like phone calls, video messages, and text chats.
It’s rare for workers to orchestrate in-person visits through Fiverr, but it could work if you want to get paid to chat online.
Just remember — your presentation is a key aspect to landing clients on Fiverr.
You must carefully curate each gig with optimal keywords to attract customers, a descriptive summary of what you’re offering, and a nice, professional photo of yourself.
Of course, you don’t have to show your face if you don’t want to, but Fiverr customers favor transparency.
Older people need friends too. And Papa is a service dedicated to providing senior citizens with companionship.
Seniorhood usually ushers in an unfamiliar sense of loneliness and isolation. As a friend-for-hire, you’ll feel great making an older person’s day.
The best part is that these jobs probably won’t require a lot of physical energy. After all, they probably won’t ask you to join them for a hike or gym session.
They’ll likely just want someone to talk to — someone to share their wisdom and life experiences with.
All friends-for-hire must pass a background check, paid for by Papa.
Rent A Local Friend
With a model similar to RentAFriend, Rent A Local Friend is a local database that connects out-of-towners with people in the area.
It’s great for people who know their city inside and out and can’t wait to experience it through a tourist’s fresh eyes.
Depending on what activities are on the customer’s agenda, they may treat you to lunch or other forms of entertainment.
Frequently Asked Questions
RentAFriend is a legitimate company that’s been around for over a decade. The platform allows friends to set their own rates, and it sends out payments promptly. You still need to be careful about the people you agree to meet with though.
RentAFriend is an active company that still hires new friends and accepts new members. Their website states that they have nearly 700,000 registered users who are all looking for companionship. During the pandemic, many in-person friends shifted to online friends.
There is always a risk when dealing with strangers, and this applies to RentAFriend. The platform is as safe as you make it, meaning you should do your due diligence in vetting anyone who hires you, make sure to only meet in public places, and follow their safety precautions.
You can make as much as customers are willing to pay. RentAFriend allows friends-for-hire to set their own price, though the minimum per-hour wage is $10. According to the website, most people set their rates between $10 to $50 per hour.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered—where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).