Is MasterClass worth it? It depends. Sure, the teachers are celebrities so you are “learning from the best.”

However, many of the teachers have written books or presented on a podcast. Can’t you just cherry-pick the same information from other sources for free?

We’ve had a MasterClass membership for three years. After completing 27 courses in full and watching episodes from nearly all the instructors, we’re confident in our MasterClass review.

Here are our thoughts on whether or not MasterClass is worth the money and your time.

Is Masterclass Worth It_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

is masterclass worth it?

As full-time, live-out-of-our-backpack nomads, we didn’t ask for anything for Christmas. So, my creative sister Anita found a wonderful gift for us to bring along on our trip: MasterClass.

If you haven’t seen their ads on Facebook or YouTube, MasterClass is an online teaching platform where you “learn from the best.”

And they’re not kidding, Gordon Ramsey teaches cooking, Natalie Portman teaches acting, and Serena Williams teaches tennis.

After enjoying the classes for the last two years, here’s a MasterClass review from a couple of lifelong learners who have made a career by exploring all avenues to optimize health and happiness

What Is MasterClass?

MasterClass is an online course platform for students of all levels who want inspiration and direction to master a craft. That craft could be cooking, singing, gardening, entrepreneurship, writing, or negotiating.

The MasterClass teachers are world-renowned experts at their work and MasterClass produces courses to highlight and share their wisdom.

Who Is MasterClass For?

MasterClass is for lifelong learners. We recommend MasterClass to everyone, of all ages. As long as you are interested in one of the following categories, MasterClass is a fit. 

You should browse all the class categories on the MasterClass homepage because new classes come out monthly. Here is a summary of what they’re offering as of March 2021.

Food – 17 Classes
Arts & Entertainment – 56 Classes
Music – 17 Classes
Writing – 19 Classes
Sports & Gaming – 9 Classes
Design & Style – 11 Classes
Business – 17 Classes
Science & Tech – 4 Classes
Home & Lifestyle – 23 Classes
Community & Government – 5 Classes
Wellness – 5 Classes

It’s a fun activity but we would say it’s more for inspiration and personal development than for business and step-by-step learning.

Many classes are higher level, as the masters share their philosophy and methodology of approaching their life works.

Ryan and I have enjoyed every course, even when it’s not relevant to our daily life. Hearing someone like Jimmy Chin talk about his passion for adventure photography is fascinating, and you learn more about how these great masters have become great.

Discovering their personal stories and what drives them — and how they stay relevant in a competitive world — always motivates and inspires us to do better in our own lives.

Our MasterClass review in a few words: it’s time to replace your Netflix binges with MasterClass.

Although we’re clearly fans, MasterClass is not for everyone. To decide if MasterClass is worth it to you, it’s more helpful to answer who MasterClass is not for.

Who MasterClass Is NOT For

If you need the following, MasterClass may not be the best online learning platform for you.

Accreditation

MasterClass does not give accreditation on completed courses. For example, it’s unlikely that you’ll be putting your MasterClass course on your resumé.

Live Classes

MasterClass is not for people who want live classes, although you’ll have access to a community discussion board.

Access To Teachers

MasterClass does not give you access to the teachers.

how does masterclass work?

The MasterClass platform itself is fresh and interactive. The MasterClass app feels more like Netflix than an official course site like Coursera or Udemy.

Each course comes with its own downloadable workbook and comments section (the MasterClass Hub) where students can discuss what they learned, ask questions, and share their personal stories and tips.

As of today, in March 2021, there are 108 MasterClasses available, with new courses released monthly.

Roughly, from start to finish, a course lasts from 4-6 hours, covering 18-30 individual lessons. There’s a big range, but some classes are short while others are more involved.

In the majority of them, you’re given things to think about with each course, but not actual homework (although Annie Leibowitz’s MasterClass does).

Also, MasterClass syncs with all of your devices, and you’re able to pre-download them for offline use on an iOS-operating device (watching MasterClass offline is not available on Android yet).

We even downloaded a few courses onto my phone to listen to on long road trips. 

Some courses are best viewed visually, as in the case of Bobbi Brown’s makeup and beauty course, but others by writers or business leaders can usually just be listened to on audio-only.

What Is The Best Way To Watch MasterClass?

Before writing this MasterClass review, we’ve used our subscription on our laptops, iPad, and iPhones. MasterClass can be streamed online or through their iOS app.

On both, after logging in, you’ll be able to see all of the courses you’ve taken, your progress in each, and keep a list of the ones you want to watch next.

On the app, you’ll be able to download most classes for offline viewing, as well as view and download each master’s workbook in PDF form.

What Is It Like Taking A MasterClass

Since you’re reading this MasterClass review, we’re assuming you have never taken a class. Here is what you can expect from a MasterClass membership.

First, it’s important to mention that each MasterClass is a unique experience, with some masters recording long lessons while others do many short ones.

Some even give “homework” assignments, but they’re not mandatory (no one will check) and are for your benefit. Annie Leibovitz will ask you to take portrait shots and Joe Holder will recommend a recovery workout.

Many of the cooking classes are a little longer, with lessons over 20 minutes as the masters show you step-by-step how to cook a dish. For example, Gordon Ramsey shares his classic beef Wellington recipe in 24 minutes.

Likewise, James Suckling has fewer lessons but longer ones, including a 28 minute class on discerning wine flavors and aromas.

Whereas others, like Bobbi Brown, have shorter lessons less than 10 minutes to discuss ‘workplace makeup’ and ‘creating a statement lip.’

Every MasterClass course we have taken is unique.

Overall, some MasterClasses are like reading an in-depth book that you want to digest and let sink in. While others can be binge-watched (like Tan France’s Style for Everyone) while others we prepped for and made an effort to keep pace with (like James Suckling’s Wine Appreciation).

All were enjoyable, and we guarantee that you’ll learn something new every day.

How much does masterclass cost?

This is an important consideration to decide if MasterClass is worth it.

In the past, you were able to buy individual classes. Now, there is only one option. The cost of an Annual MasterClass Membership is $214.20 or $17.85/month billed annually.

This is the only way to buy MasterClass. There is no monthly MasterClass membership and you can no longer buy individual classes.

MasterClass Discounts

In the years since we’ve started MasterClass, we’ve never seen them give a discount. However, they often publicize a buy-one-get-one offer. So pair up with a friend and save 50%.

This offer is the only discount we’ve seen from MasterClass since 2015 when they stopped offering coupon codes.

During Black Friday and the holiday season in December, the 2-for-1 offer has been called “buy one, give one.”

 Click here for the current cheapest MasterClass price

MasterClass Free Trial

MasterClass does not offer a free trial subscription. If you see websites offering a free trial, that is a fake offering so be careful.

MasterClass does have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund if you’re dissatisfied.

Also, if you know someone who is already a MasterClass member, you can ask them for a “Guest Pass.”

Essentially, this is a 7-day free trial of MasterClass. However, you have to enter your credit card information and you will be charged in full if you don’t cancel in time. 

Since we’re members, and your reading our MasterClass review, feel free to email us about a guest pass. If we have one, we’ll happily share. 

Is MasterClass a Ripoff?

No monthly membership, no trial, no discounts… is MasterClass legit??

Yes, and it’s definitely NOT a ripoff. Instead, it’s a highly reputable company doing amazing work and confidently charging a fair price.

At $214.20 a year, we think MasterClass is 100% worth it. It’s far more competitively priced than other online class platforms, and frankly, the teachers, content, and production quality is the best by a long shot.

We share our complete MasterClass review, why it’s worth your time and money, and a pros and cons list at the end of this article.

Next, these are the classes that have made MasterClass 100% worth it for us during the last two years.

MasterClass Review: classes ranked from Best to “worst”

Here’s what we watched, in order of how much we loved each class. 

Of course, we’re partial to our interests and want to clarify that all of the classes were thoughtful, deep, and engaging.

Are there classes not on our list that have made an impact on you? If so, please explain in the comments section of this post.

  1. Chris Voss teaches the art of negotiation
  2. Dr. Jane Goodall teaches conservation
  3. Emily Morse teaches sex and communication
  4. Alice Waters teaches the art of home cooking
  5. Ron Finley teaches gardening
  6. David Sedaris teaches storytelling and humor
  7. James Suckling teaches wine appreciation
  8. Kelly Wearstler teaches interior design
  9. Jimmy Chin teaches adventure photography
  10. Tan France teaches style for everyone
  11. Gabriela Camara teaches Mexican cooking
    12. Robert Reffkin teaches buying and selling real estate
    13. Malcolm Gladwell teaches writing
    14. Matthew Walker teaches the science of better sleep
    15. Wayne Gretzky teaches the athlete’s mindset
    16. Bobbi Brown teaches makeup and beauty
    17. Sara Blakely teaches self-made entrepreneurship
    18. Apollonia Poilâne teaches bread baking
    19. Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein teach advertising and creativity
    20. Annie Leibovitz teaches photography
    21. Gordon Ramsey teaches cooking 1
    22. David Axelrod and Karl Rove teach campaign strategy and messaging
    23. Doris Kearns Goodwin teaches U.S. presidential history and leadership
    24. Judd Apatow teaches comedy
    25. Howard Schultz teaches business leadership
    26. Frank Gehry teaches architecture
    27. LeVar Burton teaches the power of storytelling

Our top ten teachers inspired us more than we bargained for. These are the classes that changed our lives and inspired us to share our MasterClass Review. They are also the courses that we have watched over and over again. 

For a deep-dive into our top 10 favorite MasterClass courses, open the below article in a new tab. No, this is not a regurgitation of the class description. Instead share the story that each teacher tells and how it impacted our lives.

Is MasterClass Worth It? Our Final Review

Yes. Absolutely. Over the past two years and 23 classes, we’ve become huge fans. 

In our experience, we love that MasterClass only offers an annual, all-access membership. Many other online learning platforms allow you to buy individual classes and in the past, you were able to purchase individual MasterClasses.

Here are the key reasons why we thought MasterClass was well worth our time and money. 

1. We expanded our horizons

We think the Annual MasterClass Membership is an incredible value because you have the opportunity to expand your horizons. You may not like gardening, but you could become obsessed with it after listening to Ron Finley.

It also gives you a license to try classes that you would never have usually (like Penn & Teller’s magic course), and you’ll enrich your life in new ways.

2. From down time to do time

For some of the business classes, Ryan and I loved sitting down and going through each lesson, step-by-step (particularly with the Sara Blakely MasterClass).

However, for most others, we just listened to them for enjoyment while driving, cooking, or gardening.

In this sense, they replaced our usual Netflix and podcast time, while being far more productive, inspirational, and instructive.

3. Constant variety

MasterClass provides tons of variety and is releasing courses from new teachers almost monthly. We were never bored or burned out.

Instead, when it came to the eleventh month of our first yearly subscription, we felt the pressure to watch more and make the most of it!

Therefore, we were literally watching a MasterClass every time we cooked, cleaned, and even showered!

4. Individual topics are easily searchable

Another feature I love that is unique to MasterClass is the Quicklists. For example, there was one for eggs, yes, just eggs. It was compiled a half dozen lessons from different instructors.

Alice Waters taught me how to cook an egg in a spoon. Thomas Keller showed me how to prepare the ultimate omelet. Gordon Ramsay demonstrated his out-of-this-world, elevated scrambled eggs with truffles. Wolfgang Puck showed how to use eggs in cocktails.

The MasterClass Quicklists are a fun way to explore one topic while previewing different instructors to see who you resonate with most. There are Quicklists on business practices, harnessing creativity, and pitching your ideas.

MasterClass Review: The Pros and Cons

For $214.20/year, MasterClass is not just worth it… it’s a steal (especially if you get the 2-for-1 offer so you can gift a membership).

While we are firm believers that MasterClass is worth the money, there is always room for improvement. These are the pros and cons based on our experience. 

The Cons and Things We Didn’t Like

1. Downloading Lessons

Sometimes the app on my iPad (albeit, my seven-year-old iPad) would freeze when downloading my lessons for offline use.

2. Sharing Our Membership Was Hard

It’s a pro and a con, but Ryan and I shared the same membership.

Unlike with Netflix, which offers multiple profiles when multiple people use it, when we were watching the same MasterClass separately, it was hard to remember our spots.

3. Hard To Gauge Beginner or Advanced

Before the class, it’s tricky to know exactly how advanced or niche the course is.

For example, as amateur photographers, we could follow Jimmy Chin’s advice immediately, but Annie Leibovitz’s went over our heads.

The good news is, though, you can preview the lesson titles in advance, which will give you an idea of how advanced they are.

4. No Free Trial

There are no free trials of MasterClass, but introductions and previews of the courses are available on their page and YouTube channel.

The Pros and Things We Loved

1. Life-Changing Content

Several of the courses we watched were truly inspirational and life-changing. After listening to Jane Goodall’s MasterClass, we won’t think about Mother Earth the same way. For real.

2. It’s Entertaining Education

MasterClass is an excellent replacement for those of us who watch too much Netflix. What’s more, is it’s about the same price. So why not instead listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson or Anna Wintour? 

3. Most Credible and Best Teachers

A few of the MasterClasses that we watched had two instructors, and it was cool to see their dynamic, particularly with David Axelrod (Democrat) and Karl Rove (Republican) in their MasterClass, campaign strategy and messaging.

It’s something that you never see, and I loved how they debated and disagreed. 

4. Incredibly Detailed Workbooks

Each course comes with a workbook, and I’ve referred back to several of them, over and over again.

I looked at Chris Voss’ yesterday to see his steps on negotiating a price. I also keep Alice Water’s oatmeal pancake and Gabriela Camara’s salsa verde recipes on file.

Additionally, the workbooks are all saved on my laptop and are text searchable. So that one time I was at Ryan’s cabin without wifi, I was able to find Thomas Keller’s recipe on butter-poached lobster tails. Thank you, TK!

5. Fast Growing Course List

MasterClass is especially worth it because it’s growing so rapidly! New courses come out monthly. 

MasterClass REview FAQs

Is MasterClass good for kids?

Any classes that contain explicit content provide a warning. Occasionally, Ron Finley (the “Gangster Gardener”) or Gordon Ramsey will drop the F-bomb so you should be careful with young kids.

Otherwise, all the classes that we’ve watched, except for Emily Morse’s excellent class on sex and communication, are fun to watch with your kids and grandparents.

Sure, if you’re super progressive, then by all means, watch Emily’s course with the family. Every young kid should watch Jane Goodall’s MasterClass!

How many classes are there?

As of March 2021, there are 108 MasterClasses available, with new courses released monthly.

How much does MasterClass cost?

The cost of an Annual MasterClass Membership is $214.20 or $17.85/month billed annually.

Click here for the current cheapest MasterClass price.

Can I buy one class or a monthly membership?

No, you can only purchase an annual membership which gives you access to all classes.

Can you get MasterClass for free?

Legally, no.

Does MasterClass have a free trial?

No, there is not. If you see websites offering a free trial, that is a fake offering so be careful. 

Is there a 30-day money-back guarantee?

Yes, there is. So, you can give it a shot and get a refund if you don’t like it.

Are there ever discounts on MasterClass?

MasterClass often publicizes a buy-one-get-one offer. So pair up with a friend and save 50%.

This offer is the only discount we’ve seen from MasterClass since 2015 when they stopped offering coupon codes. During Black Friday and the holiday season in December, the 2-for-1 offer has been called “buy one, give one.”

Click here for the current cheapest MasterClass price.

How can I watch MasterClass?

MasterClass syncs with all of your devices, and you’re able to pre-download them for offline use on an iOS-operating device (watching MasterClass offline is not available on Android yet).

Is MasterClass worth it?

At $214.20 a year, we think MasterClass is 100% worth it. It’s far more competitively priced than other online class platforms, and frankly, the teachers, content, and production quality is the best by a long shot.

Is MasterClass a good gift?

No, it’s not a good gift. It’s the best gift for you and the lifelong learner in your life.

Closing Thoughts

So is MasterClass worth it?

Yes, it’s absolutely worth your investment. And after reading our MasterClass review we hope you see how it will benefit and enhance your life.

We got so much out of it in our first year and now we’re well into our second.

When making your own decision, consider if there are 3-5 classes that you want to watch immediately that could help you in your life and work.

If yes, then the All-Access Class Pass will not be a letdown. From there, give yourself permission to listen to some fun classes (Carlos Santana and guitar playing, anyone?) in your spare time.

Overall, we’ve had a great experience with MasterClass and think it’s a unique and thoughtful gift idea, for yourself or a loved one. Plus, after watching Chris Voss’ MasterClass on negotiation, we already paid for the membership many times over!

Is MasterClass Worth It Ryan and Alex Duo Life New Classes Added Every Month

Do you think MasterClass is worth it?

Let us know in the comments below. If you have constructive MasterClass review or your own class recommendations, post them in the comments.

I Have Questions. What Do I Do?

Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and we’ll add them to this article accordingly.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your comment!

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