There are countless ways to earn money in this modern age; it could be through playing games, dancing, simply talking, and, apparently, being a friend to others.
If you’ve never heard of RentAFriend.com before, you’re not alone. But oh boy, do we have questions. Mainly, is this a legit side hustle? Is it safe? We ask this because it may at first seem a bit creepy. But hey, that’s why you’re here too, right?
In this article, we will be going over everything you need to know about RentAFriend, from what it is, to how it works, its pros and cons, and whether or not it would be worth a shot as a side hustle.
- What is RentAFriend?
- Why would people want to rent a friend from RentAFriend?
- How does RentAFriend work?
- How to use RentAFriend
- What kind of friendship is disallowed on RentAFriend
- RentAFriend jobs that are available
- How do you get paid on RentAFriend?
- How much can you expect to make on RentAFriend?
- Pros of RentAFriend
- Cons of RentAFriend
- Is RentAFriend Legit and Safe?
- RentAFriend Reviews (By Real Users)
What is RentAFriend?
As the name suggests, RentAFriend.com is an online marketplace that connects people looking for platonic friendships. For example, if you’re interested in having someone to talk to in your free time or accompany you to a movie, there are people on RentAFriend.com who would be willing to fulfill that role for you.
What it isn’t though is, it’s not a dating app. It’s made clear that this app is only for platonic friendships. There is no touching allowed at all at any time.
The online marketplace has been operating since 2009 and has over 500,000 members in all 50 US states and over 180 countries. It has been helping people connect with each other for just over 10 years now.
Why would people want to rent a friend from RentAFriend?
A great question indeed. Renting a friend may seem odd, but it’s actually already a fairly common practice in Japan. It’s just not quite at that level yet in the U.S.
Maybe you’re new in town and need someone to help show you around. Or perhaps you’re going through a tough time and could use someone to talk to. I’d probably use RentAFriend for this exact reason as sometimes it feels easier to let out your true feelings to a stranger.
Point is, there are a ton of reasons. And I’d say a lot of truly legit reasons. Especially since the pandemic has changed a lot of the dynamics of our lives. It’s quite clear that companionship does have its value in many situations, even when it’s not mandatory. This sort of arrangement is very accepted in Japan, and it’s slowly becoming more and more accepted in the U.S. However, it’s not quite there yet. We’ll see if RentAFriend helps to change that for the better.
How does RentAFriend work?
You’ve heard the saying, “everyone needs a friend.” But what if you don’t have one available? That’s where RentAFriend comes in. It bills itself as “the website that lets you rent friends worldwide.” It helps you connect via the platform, facilitate a time and place to meet, and possibly meet a friend for life. After all, there are plenty of people who wouldn’t know who to reach out to if they wanted to. It’s a lot more prevalent than you would think. Again, after COVID, things have really changed. Either that or it’s just made loneliness a much more spoken-about issue. But that provides an opportunity for you to fill that void for a lot of people.
Would you agree to get paid to be the person to take them out for coffee or to see a movie that they’ve wanted to see for quite some time?
How to use RentAFriend
The way RentAFriend works is simple:
- Sign up on the site
- Create a profile that describes you well
- Wait for someone that’s interested to message you
- Agree on a time and place to meet
- Hang out and have your day’s activities paid for
When a customer contacts you as a potential friend for hire, they will contact you directly through the website’s messaging system and arrange a time and place to meet, similar to that of a dating site.
The customer can take you along to various activities, including dinner, shopping, sporting events, etc. It’s up to them since they are the ones paying, after all. They can be as picky as they’d like when it comes to choosing a friend, i.e. specifying a particular gender, varying interests, age, location, etc. You may even be rented out as a friend for multiple days at a time if agreed upon.
RentAFriend as a company says it doesn’t broker any illegal services such as prostitution. But they also make it a point that they are in no way a dating website and disallow any romantic friendships. There is no touching allowed. That includes hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, or intercourse. Obviously, if you bump into each other accidentally every so often, you’re probably fine.
RentAFriend jobs that are available
The type of jobs you can find on RentAFriend include:
- Helping with introductions
- Helping the disabled
- Companionship for seniors
- Poetry, art, and drawing
- Baking, cooking
- Attending sporting events
- Snowboarding, skiing
- Hot air balloon rides
- Playing sports
- Phone conversations
- Tour guides
- Prom dates
- Going out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- Going to the beach
This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are plenty of other available jobs and ideas, but it should give you a basic picture of the type of jobs that can exist on the platform.
People who want to rent your friendship will pay you through Paypal or Venmo, or give you cash when you meet in person. They can also pay you with gift cards if you agree to it.
This sounds like it would be easy, but I consider this to be one of the drawbacks of this app. It relies a lot on trust outside of the RentAFriend site. It always makes the activity seems more transactional, since you would have to actively get paid before or after the activity is done.
How much can you expect to make on RentAFriend?
How much you get paid depends on your “friend rate” — the amount you charge per hour — and how often you meet up with people. You can also make money by posting pictures and videos (and charging people to see them) and getting tips from your friends.
The average member logs in every other day or so and receives around $35 per hour, which adds up to an annual salary of around $70,000.
If you’re doing this full-time and charging the base rate of $10, you’ll be raking in around $20,000 per year.
If you’re doing this full-time and charging the max rate of $50, that’s about $100,000.
Not bad I’d say.
Pros of RentAFriend
A fun side hustle opportunity
The main benefit of RentAFriend is that it offers an opportunity to make money by simply spending time with people. And these are people who are actively seeking your friendship.
If you enjoy spending time with strangers, and many people in fact do, it couldn’t be a more perfect match of an app. You’d be able to do what you enjoy and make money off of it. And you’re doing so with people who want your friendship. Enough so that they’re willing to pay for it. It’s a great way to help fulfill someone’s emotional need as a professional and paying job.
At RentAFriend, you get to choose who you want to meet and when. You’re not limited by location — people from all over the country and even internationally can use the site. The idea behind RentAFriend is that you can go on the site, look through their listings and find someone who sounds interesting. You can then reach out and set up a time to meet. If there’s a shared interest, even better!
As a friend, you’ll be meeting all sorts of people and naturally syncing with compatible people while finding out who you don’t sync with. It’s all part of the process.
It can be quite an easy gig. Especially if you’re naturally an extrovert. When you sign up as a friend, all you’re doing is connecting with people who need company. You don’t have to worry about marketing yourself or finding clients — the website does that on your behalf and it’s all based on your profile. In this case, it’s better to be honest on your profile because if you’re going to do it, you might as well get paired up with people who genuinely have a better chance of jiving with you. You get paid once you finish your assignment, rather than having to wait until the end of the month or every two weeks like most traditional jobs.
Cons of RentAFriend
Rental rate caps
The site has a base Rental Rate of $10 an hour. Members of the app can negotiate the rate up or down, but that’s the base rate for being a Friend.
But the highest you may charge is $50 an hour. It sucks that you can’t go higher, but $50 an hour is still a lot of money if you’re able to command that high of a price successfully.
No match guarantees
There is also no guarantee that you will get somehow to hire you. Depending on your location, you may not have a lot of opportunities. Since the app does not guarantee employment, and you cannot control whether or not someone in your area actually uses the service, it could be hard for you to find anyone in need of your services.
Is RentAFriend Legit and Safe?
RentAFriend as a company is legitimate. There are plenty of reviews, and since you do not get paid through the website, they cannot scam you directly.
Here’s probably in my opinion one of the more pressing matters of using this app.
Safety As A Friend
As a hired friend, RentAFriend does keep a record of everyone that you arrange a meeting with, however, outside of that you are pretty much on your own. The customers are not required to get a background check, so you really don’t know who you are meeting.
Keep yourself safe by meeting at the place you agreed and always drive yourself. Do not get into anyone’s car to go somewhere.
Meet in public places, never anywhere secluded. You can never be too safe.
Safety As A Customer
There are no certifications required to become a friend; anyone can apply as long as their background check clears out to ensure the paying user’s safety.
So what’s needed to pass the check and be a friend?
Well, you’ve got to:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Have no felony charges
- Not be a registered sex offender
Theoretically, these are great requirements to have to qualify. Still, those who are considering using RentAFriend should proceed with caution: It’s impossible for RentAFriend to screen every user for criminal records or shady motives. And it doesn’t guarantee that a person isn’t a jerk or a shitty person in some way. It’s up to users to decide whether they’re comfortable meeting someone new without any background checks or references.
RentAFriend Reviews (By Real Users)
The reviews regarding RentAFriend by real users tend to be quite positive, whereas a lot of people who’ve never tried the platform generally have reservations, understandably. Check out some of these RentAFriend user reviews below:
“I’ve used RentAFriend twice while vacationing. It’s a fantastic way to find a personal guide and activity partner. Still, keep in mind that my experience is as a male. I’m a bit privileged in terms of safety concerns.”
“It was great bringing someone to join me at trip to the amusement park and a wedding. I’m lucky I had good chemistry with them. I treated them with respect and we still keep in touch.”
“We went to a bar, then sat on my porch drinking beers… it was a little over-priced, but I enjoyed it. Surreal, weird experience.”
“I spent all my money so I’m totally broke from [RentAFriend]! But worth it.”
It’s quite awesome that RentAFriend aims to help people in various ways, whether it be a new person in town wanting to find someone to show them around, simply making it easier for the elderly to enjoy life despite being shut-ins, or a plethora of other scenarios.
It’s clear that RentAFriend isn’t for everyone. But here are some reasons we think RentAFriend can be a great side hustle for the right person:
- You’d be able to get paid doing activities you enjoy
- You can potentially make a living out of it
- As a friend, you’ll be meeting all sorts of people
- It can be quite an easy gig if you’re naturally a people person
What do you think? A legit side hustle or just plain creepy? Let us know! We do our best to respond to every email we get.