MoveGB vs ClassPass

If you live in the UK, you may have heard of MoveGB. It’s basically an alternative to ClassPass. I tried it over the summer, but decided not to continue. Here I’ll break down some of the features and differences with ClassPass, so you can make your own decision.

Pricing

Subscription Tiers

I find MoveGB’s pricing model pretty complicated. It takes ages to figure out which studios and which classes within them are available at which tiers. It feels like there’s always extra charges to get what you actually want.

The initial trial costs £1 pound for a couple of weeks, but if I remember correctly, it actually only includes one studio visit in a week.

Plan£ / week£ / monthVisits / weekRepeat visits / monthBilledDescription & Limitations
Discovery1~41+1every 3 months after trialYou can only visit each venue once, total. Extremely limited selection of places you can visit.
Tier 17.99~351-24every 4 weeksSome venues include only certain activities. A lot of venues are still excluded completely.
Tier 212.99~573+12every 4 weeksA lot venues offer some activities for free, and some for a top-up fee. Some venues offer “Pay as you go” access with discounted rates based on your plan (e.g. a discounted massage, or PT session).
Tier 329.99~1303+12every 4 weeksMost things are now actually included. However, some venues still require a top up fee for some activities. Some venues offer Pay as you go access with discounted rates based on your plan.

Fees

  • Top up fees: for some classes you have to pay extra £ every time, depending the tier you’re on
  • Freeze fee: if you don’t want to permanently cancel your membership, you can freeze it up to 5x per year, but you still have to pay a small daily fee (£0.18/day or £1.25/week)
  • Late cancellation or no show fees are at venue’s discretion (so sometimes £0, but sometimes more)

Pros & Cons

I’ve already mentioned what my preference was, but I’ll try to be fair in the comparison between MoveGB and ClassPass, and list all the reasons why you might choose one over the other.

Geography

If you live in the UK but not in London, it’s possible MoveGB has a better selection. Exceptions might be larger cities that definitely have ClassPass: Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh (I haven’t actually tried any of the offerings there though).

However, if you travel a lot, ClassPass is likely the better choice. MoveGB is not available outside the UK, as the name implies.

Locations

Overall, MoveGB has less studios and gyms on offer. However, it’s not a strict subset of ClassPass. Even in London, MoveGB has some studios that aren’t on ClassPass. You’re going to have to manually check the ones you’re interested in.

I do think MoveGB has more options for just gym time – i.e. you book a slot at a regular gym and do your own work out, although I think that’s been slowly growing on ClassPass too. But IMO if you mainly want to use gym time, you’re probably better off getting an actual gym membership.

It looks like you can do more repeat visits to a studio in a month on MoveGB without penalty, whereas the price on ClassPass will typically go up after 3 visits.

The one thing that bothered me a lot about MoveGB was how misleading I felt the trial was. It is cheap, £1 per week, but extremely limited. The fact that it was going to be billed for 3 months was also only mentioned late on in the process (that’s only £12, but still mildly irritating). It also wasn’t obvious from the website beforehand that only a small fraction of studios offer classes on that tier, and often only a small subset of them. I struggled to find places on there that I wanted to visit even for that price. I think in the end I visited 10 in the 3+ months I had the trial for (half of them I would happily visit again, but the other half were a bit meh).

Pricing

This is going to depend on your usage. I find MoveGB’s pricing scheme to be more complicated and opaque. Unfortunately you’ll have to check each studio and class individually to see what tier you can visit it on. I think in most cases, you’ll end up paying more on MoveGB, especially with the hidden top up fees.

One exception is late cancellation and no show fees. Those are quite extortionate on ClassPass (£12 for late cancel and £15 + credits cost for a no show). On MoveGB they are at venue’s discretion, which means that you might not get fined beyond losing your credits for the class (MoveGB doesn’t make any money there). There is a bit more hassle though: you’ll have to call the venue directly to sort that out, and it’s recommended that you make sure you’ve checked into the class on your phone every time to avoid problems. However, the class cancellation window on MoveGB is 24 hours and only 12 on ClassPass, which gives you more time to change your mind.

Both services have gotchas if you want to cancel, but I think MoveGB is slightly nicer there. You can cancel for free with a 14 day notice, or freeze your membership up to 5 times a year (not completely free – you pay a nominal fee or £1.25 to keep your account and credits), or you can use the Rejoin feature (which lets you keep some pre-paid credit). In contrast, ClassPass can be cancelled for free but has a high fee (£79) for re-activating the account, and the only other alternative is to go on their cheapest plan (£15/month). Not sure why this has to be so complicated everywhere – it makes me hate these services a little bit more, and once my living situation is settled and convenient, I hope to stop using them and just stick to a nice studio…

Conclusion

For me and my situation, the clear winner is ClassPass. It might be different for you, but hopefully the reasons above made your decision easier.

Also, on a minor unrelated point, I found the MoveGB website & app harder to navigate and more buggy in general. This is not too surprising, given it’s a much newer service, and hopefully it’ll improve with time.

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