ClassPass can be great value for money, if you know how to use it. However, you could also easily overspend on overpriced classes if you’re not careful. In here, I’ll explain the pricing model and its nuances, and then give you some tips to get more classes for what you’re paying.
There is no sign up fee. You just pay a monthly subscription, for which there are currently (October 2019) 6 different tiers. There is potential for additional charges, which are discussed in the later sections.
The credits to £ ratio (value for money) varies depending on the tier. The lower the ratio, the better for you. Currently, ClassPass has 5 membership tiers. The two highest ones were added quite recently (and it looks like the highest actually has a worse ratio than the one below it). The lowest is actually ClassPass Lite, which you only get as an option when you attempt to cancel. Here they are:
Number of classes above is according to ClassPass website. The classes vary a lot in price, from 3 credits to 20. I’ve seen some outliers towards 30 as well, and the occasional option to book a massage for 60+ credits. Even at same studio you can see wildly different prices for different times and teachers.
Personally, I adjust tiers monthly depending on usage. A lot of months I’ll be on the £125 tier, but if I know I’m going to be away or at events, I’ll go down to £65. You can adjust the tier for the coming month anytime before your rollover date. That will be dependent on the day you signed up for ClassPass.
Make sure that the tier is not too high for you. If you haven’t used up all your credits, only 10 of them will roll over to the next month. The rest will be lost forever, so squeeze in an extra class to use them up if you can. I can see why they do it from a business perspective, but it’s pretty annoying as a user.
If the tier you’ve chosen for this month is too low (i.e. you run out of credits, but want to take more classes), you can easily top up. The ratio is worse than when you’re buying the tier outright. The higher the top up, the better the ratio:
If you think you’re between two tiers, try to plan out your rough schedule for the month. Paying extra for top ups is annoying, but so is losing credits you don’t have time to use them up. Personally I lean towards lower tier if I’m in doubt.
When I compare prices in this post, I’ll be using what is now the middle tier (£125, so 1.25 ratio) for simplicity. Keep that in mind and adjust accordingly if you are on a different tier.
Since I’ve had it, they’ve been running a referral scheme, where you get £40 off if your friend signs up, and so do they (if you want £40 off, feel free to go through my link). I’ve seen a couple variations (two weeks free instead), but that’s the latest.
Very occasionally they have special time sensitive offers – for example this year they’re giving £40 for Halloween if you go to 6 different studios in 6 days (timing doesn’t really work out for me, and I’d have to buy extra credits to make it happen, at which point it’s not worth it anymore). I haven’t seen any other similar ones before.
One very annoying thing is you can’t cancel and restart later easily. If you want to reactive a cancelled membership, you will need to pay a £79 reactivation fee. Alternatively, you can switch to ClassPass Lite, which is the cheapest possible monthly subscription mentioned above. To get it, you need to go through the cancellation dialogue. This can be handy if you get injured or travel somewhere that doesn’t have ClassPass, and don’t want to actually cancel.
You will also have to pay fees if you don’t show up to classes you’ve booked, or cancel less than 12 hours before class start time. In my opinion, these fees are pretty steep. For late cancellation, you get the class credits back, but get charged £12 (often more than the class price). If you don’t show up, you lose the class credits, and get charged £15 in addition (!). So if you realize you won’t make it to class, make sure to cancel through the app/website, even if it’s 5 minutes before – that way you lose a bit less money.
I’m generally one of those people who always show up, rain or shine, once I’ve planned something and paid for it. So when I signed up I didn’t think I’d every really have to pay those fees. But one feature of ClassPass is that you can try new studios all the time, and if you don’t plan in enough buffer time to find them and get ready, it’s possible you’ll get lost on the way and be too late. This has happened to me twice (to be fair, maybe I just don’t have the best sense of direction). Quite a few studios won’t let you in if you’re more than 5 minutes late, since you miss the warmup. I also once accidentally booked the wrong date, then realised too late to cancel without penalty.
Compare prices for first time visit
If you’re planning to try a new studio on ClassPass that you think you might really like and want to visit, check its website first. The reason you should double check new promising studios is their introductory offers. Most studios will have these, and they’re usually of the format “2 weeks unlimited for £20” or “5-class pack for £35” (examples taken from offers I’ve used before). These can be amazing value and sometimes they are strict about being for first-time visitors only. This means that if you go there with ClassPass, you might lose the option of doing their intro offer. However, some studios don’t care – depending on their IT system they might ask you to sign up using a different email, but still let you take advantage of the offer.
However, if you’re trying a new studio on ClassPass just as a one-off that you don’t think will turn into anything more, you can skip this step.
Compare prices for regular visits
If you go to a studio regularly (more than once or twice a month), always compare the prices on ClassPass with the ones at the studio directly. Not just for a single drop in, but for multi-packs, if you go there often enough.
The results will be completely different for different studios. There is very little pattern or consistency, which is why I’m telling you to check each one individually. Some are ridiculously cheap on ClassPass (for example 5 credits = ~£6 for a class that would otherwise cost £19 at London Dance Academy) – this is often the case for smaller boutique studios.
You are likely to get the opposite if you’re trying to go to a class at a peak time (before work, lunchtime, or after work). One example for me is the classes I like to go to at Triyoga, which are 13 credits = ~£16 but £13 direct from studio if I get the 10-pack (which works out if I go almost once a week).
For some classes the price on ClassPass keeps pretty steady over the week, whereas some go up quickly as spots are taken. Some classes will run out of spots, and there’s no wait-list system yet.
If you ever experience your preferred classes disappearing or climbing in price, make sure you book as early in possible. In London, classes for a week ahead go online at noon (so if you want to book a class for Wednesday next week, check this Wednesday at 12:01 to get the best deal). Sometimes I’ll book classes ASAP even if I’m not sure if I’ll go, since that way I lock in the cheaper price (if you do this, make sure to cancel more than 12 hours in advance if you change your mind).
Studios new to ClassPass are likely to experiment with pricing. You might get used to a certain price, then it’ll suddenly be raised to nearly double for a month, then drop again once they realize they’ve gone too high (this happened at Blok at some point last year). As I’m not a studio owner I’m not totally sure how much of that is studio policy versus ClassPass algorithm – possibly a mixture of both. From what I’ve seen it seems studios can also choose & change whether (and how much?) you get charged extra if you visit them more than 2-3 times per month.
Avoiding extra charges
As mentioned earlier, you’re likely going to be trying many new places with ClassPass. Different places can have very different rules, even if you’re just going to yoga classes. Make sure to get to a new studio early, so you can sign any waivers and get shown around.
I also always add the class times to my calendar (there’s a button on the top right of the window after you book a class), which means I then get notified in case I somehow forget. This can help you avoid late cancellation and no show fees.
Check what equipment you might need to bring, and what facilities they have (showers, towels?), and how early you need to be there, since that varies a lot. Common charges you might end up paying if you’re unprepared are for example paying for towels if you need to go back to work after a sweaty class, or paying for boxing gloves or wraps if those are not included.
I hope that was helpful! The one thing that made the biggest difference for me was booking at noon the week before – some classes I like would often be 3-5 credits cheaper if I was early enough, and that adds up quickly.