A number of changes to the Discovery Vitality programme come into effect this month. The overall structure of the programme, designed to incentivise healthy behaviour, remains the same. In recent years, the group has rolled out the Vitality programme to both Drive (insurance) and Money (banking) in an effort to shift behaviour here too.
Much remains the same as last year. Various assessments (whether in-person or online) will net members points towards their Vitality Health status. Being active through the year earns additional points (generally up to 300 points per day for a workout). The tiers (Blue to Diamond) remain the same as last year. Rewards at partners for fitness gear and devices, healthy food and dining, as well as personal care items depend on your Vitality status.
A big push since the launch of Discovery Bank is the integration between Vitality Money and Vitality Health. This means that a Diamond member who would normally get 50% back on their HealthyFood purchases at Woolworths or Pick n Pay, could get up to 100% back, depending on their Vitality Money status and qualifying monthly credit card spend.
There are also travel rewards, with flight, hotel and car hire discounts depending on your Vitality status. Admittedly, these were not exactly useful in most of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic ensured a global travel lockdown for much of the year.
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Vitality Active Rewards – which uses weekly goals to encourage members for being active, driving better and spending responsibility – also remains the same as in 2020. Achieving these goals still nets members a play (for each goal) on the gameboard, which earns Discovery Miles (10 miles = R1). These can be used to buy vouchers in-app at various partners. Banking customers can spend miles at partners.
The single biggest change to Vitality Health this year is the removal of the gym booster benefit which allowed Vitality members to get up to 100% back on their gym membership.
Technically, no new activations of this benefit were possible last year, but now the maximum saving is 75%. For members who joined either Virgin Active or Planet Fitness after 2010, the maximum saving for a main member or spouse at a local/single club membership at either fitness chain is 75%.
For Premier or Collection members at Virgin Active, or National or Planet Platinum members at Planet Fitness, the maximum saving is 50%.
To achieve this saving, you need to complete at least 36 gym workouts in a rolling 12-month period.
Virgin Active has also begun trialling swipes when exiting gym at certain clubs to monitor the time spent at gym.
Discovery Bank customers can get an additional 25% of their gym fee paid back in Discovery Miles for Local or Club memberships. There are additional criteria, including achieving weekly Vitality Active Rewards exercise goals, holding specific Discovery Bank accounts on the bundled fee option, as well as maintaining a level of qualifying spend monthly.
Vitality Active Gear
This replaces the previously available Device Booster, Shoe Booster, Bike Booster and HealthyGear benefit.
On the first three of these, members were able to earn up to 100% cashback on certain purchases across a year.
Now, members get up to 25% cashback upfront on specific items at Sportsmans Warehouse and Totalsports (much like the previous, standard HealthyGear benefit). The discount is dependent on completing annual assessments and applies to the first R2 000 of gear bought in a month.
However, in the next few months, you will be able to earn cashback of up to an additional 50% (therefore a total of up to 75%) on certain fitness devices as well as Nike shoes or sportswear at partners.
Every five Vitality Active Rewards exercise goals achieved equals 5% additional discount (cashback).
Importantly, these goals no longer need to be achieved in a row.
Nike stores will be added as partners for Vitality Active Gear for the up to 75% saving on Nike gear.
For HealthyDining, you can now earn up to 25% cashback when choosing healthier convenience and ready-made meal options from the likes of Frozen for You (By Word of Mouth), Daily Dish, Ucook and We Are Food.
The launch of Discovery Bank, with its dynamic discount structure in Vitality Money, has seen Discovery seek to integrate it deeply across its Vitality offering.
For one, Discovery Miles have become the de facto rewards currency. But certain discounts that were previously available in just Vitality Health now require members to also engage fully with Vitality Money (through a qualifying Discovery Bank account) in order to boost their rewards. Examples of this include the gym benefit and Vitality Active Gear benefits (described above). Travel rewards, too, can be boosted, with savings of up to 75%.
Expect this ‘integration’, which incentivises customers to switch to Discovery Bank, to get tighter.