How To Get Discounted Fitness First Membership Prices

07 Jan 10 / Posted by: Alex Wilson

Fitness First has quickly become the number one gym in Australia, with more locations and better facilities then many of the other gym franchises. As Fitness First gets bigger, seamingly do their membership prices.

Each month we get a number of emails asking about ways to save money on Fitness First membership prices – it seems that that going rate for a Fitness First membership can drastically change depending on how good you are at bargaining, getting a better deal and playing off the sales people.

The truth is, each Fitness First has the ability to give out discretionary discounts on Fitness First prices and memberships; you just need to know how to get them.

Here are a few key points to keep in your mind when trying to get a discounted Fitness First membership (or any cheap gym memberships for that matter);

Fitness First family and friend’s discount

This is your best chance of getting a low monthly membership rate. Each employee of Fitness First is given a set number of family and friend passes to give out. These passes tend to entitle someone they know to a discounted rate of $14.95 per week instead of upwards of $25.95 per week, a saving of $11 per week or $572 per year.

It is unlikely however that you will know someone at Fitness First, so here is how I managed to save $572 a year by just playing the negotiating game, remember – stick with you guns and play the waiting game. Fitness First consultants are incentivised by sign ups, so you are actually worth something to them.

Here is how to get your cheap gym membership:

  1. Ring your local Fitness First.
  2. Tell them you are considering switching gyms and your current rate is $15 per week.
  3. Tell them that you heard Fitness First can match this with a family and friends discount.
  4. They will likely try and play hard ball and tell you there are none available.
  5. Let them know that the only way you will sign up is if this rate can be matched, even if it means you have to sign a 12 month contract (this way you are both giving each other a trade off)
  6. If they do not put you on hold or say yes, tell them that if they could ask around with their colleagues and ring you back, you would greatly appreciate it, otherwise you will just stay at your current gym.
  7. I did this and was rang back the next day with the rate I wanted.

How much money did the discount save me?

A saving of $572 a year, not bad for 5 minutes of time right?

Fitness First have monthly targets – use this to your advantage

Fitness First use highly strung sales tactics with their teams; they have quotas to meet and like many businesses can discount their rates towards the end of the month to help them meet their targets.

Don’t be afraid to ring them a few days before the end of the month and request a lower monthly rate, perhaps even at the family and friends discount. They will try and say it can’t be done, that they won’t make any money at this rate, etc, etc, etc – just ignore – it is them trying to put the sales blind fold over you. They will likely want you to come in to discuss, a tactic that puts them on the upper foot. Instead, ask them to match the rate you have ‘heard about’ and tell them you are willing to come in and sign up right away if they can do this. If they still won’t accept, tell them you will have to try elsewhere politely and ask them to call you back if they can find a way to accept your offer.

Odds are they will call back on the last day of the month!

Fitness First passes on eBay

When people have special discounted weekly rates, the offer will continue to stay alive even after they decide to cancel their gym membership. This is why people put their passes on eBay for sale. I suggest that if the above two methods of bargaining don’t work for you, spend a couple of hundred dollars and buy someone’s existing membership – just work out how much you will save by doing so. A good rule of thumb is that you should not pay more for the purchase of the membership then the savings you will get from 1 year at the normal rate.

Update: This may not be allowed in the terms and conditions of Fitness First any more, so be very careful before to check whether this tip will work before paying anyone anything.

Fitness First rates & fees

  • Joining fee (this is normally removed; don’t be afraid to request them to drop it). In my opinion, you shouldn’t have to pay a company to join, especially when you are on a contract.
  • Admin fee (this is normally around $70 or so and is normally just a sales commission for the person helping you, which is why they VERY RARELY drop it. They will effectively have no incentive to convert you into a member, so I recommend not trying to negotiate on this)

Fitness First deals & offers

Something to add to this topic is that many Fitness First gyms offer discounts, deals and offers based on seasonal points in the year. For example – on January 1st it may be the ‘new year, new body’ special.

It is wise to note that while these seasonal deals and offers may save you a little bit of money, the above negotiating tactics will better place you for a cheaper Fitness First membership than a once off special.

Another place to look for Fitness First deals is Google – do a search for a free trial pass to Fitness First and you will be able to print a once off ticket entry to Fitness First. I may or may not have heard of people doing this for many visits.

How to get even better gym membership deals

Remember, the tips above are not exclusively for Fitness First – instead see them as a 101 course in getting a better gym membership deal from anywhere. I find these tactics work on all gyms – including some of the newer franchises I see popping up around Australia.

We would love to hear your stories about joining and saving money on gym memberships, any tactics we have missed?

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17 Responses for How To Get Discounted Fitness First Membership Prices

Max Johnson / 07/01/2010 7:00am

This is so true. You can definitely negotiate Fitness First down by a long way. I mistakenly thought that I was only paying $40 per month (but it was actually $40 per week… I know, stupid me), but when my girlfriend went to join see kept on refusing to pay any more than the $40.

She simply kept on saying, “my boyfriend only pays $40 per month so I know you can go that low”. They did play hard ball for a bit, but after about a week they quietly agreed and now that is all she has to pay.

Meanwhile I realised that I am stupidly paying $80 per month… oh well.

Michele Rowse / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Be careful about buying anything on E-Bay regarding memberships or casual visits. I have had three friends all pay for casual cards this way only to not be honoured as they were stolen cards. Buyer beware and ensure it has a legitimate receipt attached.

Alex / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Good point Michele, would be good to always ensure you walk in to Fitness First with the old card holder to do the swap. This way Fitness First can swap you over while you both wait together. Bit awkward, but safe none the less!

anthony / 07/01/2010 7:00am

anyone after a friends & family membership?? let me know :)

Holly / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Just wondering if the ‘friends and family’ membership allows you to use more than 1 gym – or is it only for the FF gym you sign up to?

This money saving option sounds great, but may have to sacrifice for the flexiblity.

Thanks!.

Holly / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Anthony, depending on the answer to my above question – I may be interested. No way to tell how long ago you posted tho?
All the dates on the comments field read 7/1/10? at 7am?

Melanie / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Posted 09/11/10:
Has the firends and family thing worked for anyone lately? I just moved here and want a membership…the sales guy says there’s absolutely no room to move from $34.50 a week for a passport. I asked about friends and family and he says they don’t have it anymore. ANy ideas?

Amanda Brown / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Hello, Anthony, very interested to know if you can help with a Friends & Family membership rate! I’d be joining the Bondi Junction branch… Thanks! Amanda

... / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Tell them you aren’t interested then.

They have a LOT of room to move from $34.50/wk, for a “Passport” no less (which is the single gym access only from memory).

Sam / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Negotiating is the best way to get a gym membership! Many just don’t realise how easy it is to do.

Rose / 07/01/2010 7:00am

I and my friend had a very bad experience after 1 year when we were about to close the membership. It was the end of contract and I went and mentioned them that I wish to close it. There were some $30 left and I paid it over the counter and they gave me receipt and mentioned me that it is closed. After 6 months out of the blue I got this call from fitness first saying that they need to update my address. I said I have closed my membership 6 months ago. But they said they freezed the account and not closed it. The money kept going out from my friend’s account for 6 months and he did not realize it as he was travelling etc. A strong suggesstion from my end is to be extreamly careful with the hidden and confusing terms. It would have been netter to buy a treadmill or something rather then paying $600.00 from our pocket for nothing.

Rish / 07/01/2010 7:00am

I called just now and it worked, they used a friends and benefits discount :) its 16.77/week

Ben / 07/01/2010 7:00am

I’m looking to get a membership. I’m 16 and I don’t have a huge income. I wouldn’t be able to pay more than 10 a week. Anyone that can help with a friends and family discount?
I will be going to knox city FF

a / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Anyone with an extra family and friends Fitness First pass?

Nisha / 07/01/2010 7:00am

This is such a great post. Thank you so much. I rang them and they negotiated. i had no idea there was any chance for negotiations. now they are offering me $33.53 per fortnight. is it a good deal?

Alex Wilson / 07/01/2010 7:00am

That is a good rate indeed Nisha! Congrats on playing the game =)

Lauren / 07/01/2010 7:00am

Hi guys, I have tried negotiating with my local club to get on the Lifestyle Platinum membership. Sadly they weren’t willing to offer any less than a 10% discount. If anyone out there can hook me up on family and friends I would very very much appreciate it!!!

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