Do’s and Don’t of Multi-Activity Passes

GuavaPass, KFit and Activpass – to buy or not to buy

How it works:
subscribers gain access to a range of fitness classes for a fixed price each month (ranging from MMA to spinning to aerial yoga)

 New fitness pass start-ups have been popping up  everywhere. Everyone in Singapore knows someone who uses one, but are they  actually worth it? And which one is the best? Let’s get thrifty…

While fitness class subscriptions and packages are  nothing new, ClassPass in New York was the first to launch this current wave of  multi-activity fitness memberships. These passes are seen as an alternative to  a standard gym membership.  These passes sell themselves as flexible  memberships allowing members variety without necessarily entering into a long  term commitment (like an annual gym membership). Let’s review the three most  prominent fitness class passes in Singapore, and see if any are worthy of your investment.

Guavapass

→ THRIFT HACKER RATING: CAUTION

Website: https://guavapass.com/dashboard
SG Studios: 149
Price: S$59 – S$179 depending on package/ subscription.
Cost per class (based on a minimum of 4 uses/month): S$16.90 – S$44.75

Launched in 2015, this Singapore start-up is the fastest growing fitness platform in Asia nd Middle East.  GuavaPass focuses on quality  boutique fitness studios with an array of payment plans, but is it actually  worth it?

Available classes:

  • Bootcamp, circuit training/ HIIT
  • calisthenics and gymnastics
  • dance (inc. Zumba)
  • functional training, strength,
    weights & lifting
  • martial arts/ MMA
  • meditation
  • personal training
  • open gym
  • pre & post natal (and mom and baby)
  • running
  • spinning
  • women only studios
  • water activities
  • yoga, barre and pilates (inc. pole/aerial)
  • toning/ stretching and core

Package

Validity

Studio Limits

Cost

Cost per Class

City

2 Classes

1 month

1 visit/ studio

S$59

$29.50/class

Singapore only

4 Classes

1 month

1 visit/ studio

S$99

$24.75/class

Singapore only

10 Classes

3 months

2 visits/studio

S$199

$19.90/class

Singapore only

20 Classes

6 months

3 visits/ studio

S$359

$17.95/class

Singapore only

3-month subscription

N/A

3 visits/ studio/ month

S$179/ month

Unlimited classes+

All*

+ Cost per class: 4x (once/week) = S$44.75/class, 8x (twice/week) = S$22.38/class, 10x = S$17.90/class

6-month subscription

N/A

3 visits/ studio/ month

S$169/ month

Unlimited classes

All*

+ Cost per class: 4x (once/week) = S$42.25/class, 8x (twice/week) = S$21.13/class, 10x = S$16.90/class

*partner cities: Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur,  Manila, Phuket, Shanghai.

Small print:        

    •  The class limit applies across all locations of a studio
    • Once purchased, packages are non-refundable
    • Pausing subscription: Guavapass may allow you to pause your subscription for a S$5 pause fee, chargeable
      every 2 weeks until you stop the pause or cancel your subscription
    • Late class cancellations/ no shows:
      • Monthly subscribers: $15 late cancellation fee or S$20 (unless otherwise specified by a studio)
      • Class Packages:  Class credits will be deducted
      • A late cancellation is one that occurs within 12 hours of the class start time
    • Monthly subscriptions: early cancellation: S$179
    • Pausing subscription: Guavapass may allow you to pause your subscription for a S$5 pause fee, chargeable every 2 weeks until you stop the pause or cancel your subscription

On the thrift hacking front, there are several free (link article) alternatives to GuavaPass. Thrift hackers should be highly skeptical  of any subscription-based exercise package – holidays, illness and injury  should be part of your calculations. If your aim is to incorporate these classes into your regular exercise habits, the limitation on studio visits
(whether 1/ month or 3/ month) is not conducive to forming a regular habit. Even if you want to taste-test new work outs, K-Fit is a better option price-wise. Also,  the value of some of certain classes may work out cheaper and/or more flexible  if you go direct (e.g. Yoga Co (https://theyoco.com/)  is S$28/ class, which would cost you S$29.90 on GuavaPass if you go with the 2 Class Package).

VERDICT: Thrift hackers should only buy if:

  • The cross-country concept will work for you (monthly subscription only). If you are a frequent flyer travelling across several of these cities,  this may be a viable option. But do be realistic about your likelihood of using these packages instead of your hotel gym
  • There is a particular (high value) studio that you are committed
    to attending that works out cheaper

Kfit

→ THRIFT HACKER RATING: IT DEPENDS

Website: https://access.kfit.com/
SG Studios: 626
Price: S$129 monthly subscription (10 passes / month)
Cost per class (based on uses per month): 4x (once/ week) = S$32.25, 8x (twice/ week) = S$16.13, 10x = S$12.90/ class

While GuavaPass focuses on the more atas end of the market, Malaysian start up KFit has chosen to focus on quantity (but the quality is still definitely there) with a large partner network and a much wider scope than its rival.  But does the cheaper monthly subscription translate into better value?

Available classes:

  • Bootcamp, circuit training/ HIIT
  • calisthenics and gymnastics
  • dance (inc. Zumba)
  • functional training, strength,
    weights & lifting
  • martial arts/ MMA
  • meditation
  • personal training
  • open gym
  • pre & post natal (and mom and baby)
  • running
  • spinning
  • women only studios
  • water activities
  • yoga, barre and pilates (inc. pole/aerial)
  • toning/ stretching and core

AND

  • CrossFit
  • climbing and parkour
  • spa,  massage, treatments
  • aerobics (inc. body combat, piloxing)
  • racket sports
  • football
  • Power Plate
  • e-scooter, skate,
    paddleboard, kayak and bike rental
  • misc: Surfing,
    bowling, dragon boat, laser tag, mini golf

Small print:

  • Subscription is renewed on a rolling monthly basis. You can cancel anytime
  • Class limits: certain studios allow up to 4 visits per month while others only allow 1 visit per month. The
    class limit applies across all locations of a studio.
  • Late class cancellations/ no shows: SGD 15 (late cancellation deadline dependent on studio)
  • Singapore only
  • Contact email: ask@kfit.com

 

The wider variety of choice makes the weighing of costs and benefits more difficult. KFit definitely beats GuavaPass with its option of 4 visits/month to certain studios, meaning that you can go to your favourite class on most weeks, fitting in nicely with your regular patterns of behaviour. But remember, if you favour a particular studio, going direct may be cheaper.

For example: JR Fitness https://www.jrfitness.com.sg/ is cute fitness studio on Tan Quee Lan in Bugis, with a great K-Pop fitness class – to which this thrift hacker can attest. JR Fitness has classes which retail at a very reasonable S$18. Going four times a month with KFit could work out being better value, provided that you are using the app on other classes/ activities at least 8 times a month (this would work out to S$16.13/class, a saving of S$97.24/year). That being said, going direct to JR Fitness could still work out cheaper (packages: 10 class = S$15/class, 20 classes = S$14/class), without the 4 visit/month limitation.

There are quite a few options to spoil yourself or try  something new that you’ve probably never even hear of – like light-saber fighting or krav maga or a Korean detox sauna. Signing on for one month and cancelling could also work out well if you wanted to plan in a month of treats for yourself. For example, Sofitel Sentosa’s ‘So Spa’ allows 1 visit per month, access to the spa retails at S$60++ (albeit the retail-version comes with a
sandwich thrown in).

All that being said, $129 per month is no small sum and you should think long and hard if this is an investment you want to make. The price works well as a one-off taste-test, or an opportunity to spoil yourself, but whether to take on a regular subscription should be calculated carefully

VERDICT: Thrift hackers should only buy if:

  • You have a regular exercise habit (attending at least 8 classes a month) and will attend weekly classes at 2 different studios (each allowing 4 visits); and/or
  • You want to taste-test new workouts and the cost per class works out cheaper; and/or
  • There is a particular (high value) studio that you are committed to attending that works out cheaper

Activpass

→ THRIFT HACKER RATING: CAUTION

Website: https://www.activpass.com/
Studios: A Lot.
Price: No upfront costs (pay per instance)

A slightly different approach to GuavaPass and KFit, Activpass is a loyalty app and discount hacker for last minute offers built into one. It gives access to fitness activities, as well as wellness and beauty services, and allows you to build up Activpass points for use on the app (actual value of points unverified). But does it deliver on its promise?

The app is a little overwhelming with options and prices, and while it does offer last minute discounts. Here at thrift hacker, we actively discourage impulse buying, and this appears to be the crux of the Activpass business model.  Activpass has a wide range of fitness providers and merchants, and the app promises access to last minute deals with up to 90% off.  There is currently also a DBS/POSB offer for 20% off with payment via a
DBS/ POSB card. The majority of offers available are specific to certain heartland areas, which will limit the applicability of the offers for many users. It is also worthwhile checking if going direct will be a better value proposition for you.

Example: We found a centrally-located offer at Juggernaut Studio in Boat Quay https://www.juggernautstudio.sg/, with a 50% discount (S$15, reduced from S$30), sounds good right? With the 20% DBS POSB discount, that works out to S$12, plus you get Activpass points (actual value of points unverified). But, if you go direct to the studio as a first-timer, you will get the same 50% offer for up to 3 classes in that week, or unlimited classes in a week for S$48. For regular users, the 10 class package is S$18/ class. So whether Activpass is indeed a better deal really depends.

VERDICT: Thrift hackers should only buy if …

a studio that you regularly go to or have earmarked to try is a better value proposition via the app

OVERALL MULTI-ACTIVITY PASS VERDICT:

TREAT WITH CAUTION AT ALL TIMES…

Cost is obviously not the only factor in choosing where and how to exercise. Motivation can be difficult, and the location of a studio,  the profile of the trainer, the particular type of exercise and even the atmosphere of a room can contribute to establishing positive exercise patterns. A higher cost may be justified if it delivers better results. Here at Thrift Hacker, we acknowledge that sometimes we need to utilize every psychological trick in the book – money is not our only asset, we need to take care of our health.

That being said, always bear in mind that there are often cheaper or free alternatives toIMG_1798 many of the exercise programs touted by these multi-activity passes. Do check out the studios you are interested in attending and get their price lists to compare the cost per class.

Be aware of and monitor any subscriptions!

A package is often better than a subscription, but that depends on the validity period of the package. Do not buy into a subscription if you are trying to establish a new habit, only buy one if you have an established fitness class habit, and the flexibility of the pass and location of the studios work out better. If you intend to purchase the subscription as a 1-month one-off for KFit, ensure that you cancel the subscription at the same time as you sign up for it, so that it auto-expires after 1 month.

Multi-activity passes may work out well as a short-term taste testing exercise to sample new sports and classes that you may not have tried if you had to make an upfront commitment. Nonetheless, while these multi-activity passes may suit a particular habit profile, most thrift hackers would be best advised to avoid these and go direct to your studio of choice.

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Thrift Hacker Credo: 10 Golden Rules

Live like no one else, so that you can live like no one else  — Dave Ramsey

1. Never spend what you don’t have.

‘Nuff said. There are, of course, some limited exceptions: emergencies (especially health emergencies), mortgage…

2. Make friends with your bank balance

Or credit card balance or mortgage balance. This goes hand in hand with Credo 1: Never spend what you don’t have. It may be uncomfortable to look at your ever dwindling (or otherwise negative) account balance, but in order know how far you can go, you need to know how much fuel you have in the tank.

3. Be realistic about your habits (and your pitfalls)

Many of our purchases fall into the category of wishful thinking. We buy items (such as gym memberships) in the hope that this time I will go every week, I swear. Be real with yourself.

3. Read the fine print, it’s not scary.

Always take your time when entering into a contract (yes, even those terms and conditions you click on without thinking). Let the eager salespeople sweat it while you read and understand the term – if there is anything at all that doesn’t make sense to you– ask. While long and often dull, the fine print is usually logically arranged, and you only need to read a few sections that will really affect your particular situation.

4. Plan, prepare and organize

AND BUDGET! One of the biggest money savers is preparation and planning. research. Research. RESEARCH. Google is your friend.

 5. Always check your bill

(And your change!) Most billing is still a manual process, even the checkout person at a supermarket may scan an item twice, or not enter in the discounted price. Always check.

6. Never impulse buy.

Expenditure should be either need-based or want-based. Expenditure should not be ‘I should get it because it’s a bargain’ or ‘that seems useful I should get it just in case’. To explain, need-based is, for example, I need milk. Want-based is more nuanced. Want based purchases should be weighed and measured against your financial situation, your budget and your savings goals.

For example: ‘the heel on my only pair of black work pumps broke, I need a replacement’. Depending on the amount of money in your account and stringency of your work dress code, this could be a need. If you have no money in your account and you have a casual workplace and another pair of serviceable shoes, this is definitely a want. Whereas, ‘that new Gucci bag is amazing’ is definitely a want.

7. Use the Thrift Hacker Cascade Method® for purchases

  • Always consider make-do and mend…
  • Then consider freebies, DIY, borrowing or renting, to be balanced with…
  • Time, travel and convenience are cost considerations…
  • Also remember that there is usually a cheaper alternative (aka google is your friend), to be balanced with…
  • Buy quality when necessary (aka buy cheap buy twice), but…
  • Calculate in cost per use…
  • Is it worth it?

8. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

There is always a new financial fad, or a Nigerian prince hiding behind a curtain. Slow and steady investments, though boring, are best.

9. Money must earn its keep

If you are fortunate enough to have set aside some savings, don’t hide it in an account where the interest is below the rate of inflation. Do some research and make some long term investments.

10. Investments: Start Small. Start Early.

Compound interest is your friend.

 

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