ClassPass or GuavaPass? We compare the new-in-Bangkok US-born fitness class startup with Bangkok’s established player.
US fitness startup ClassPass has launched in Bangkok and is going head to head with the Asia-born GuavaPass in a battle for the city’s fitness fans’ hearts. ClassPass differs to GuavaPass in that rather than dishing out unlimited classes, it offers a credits system whereby top rated studios and peak times cost more credits than less-prime studios and off-peak times. ClassPass has already launched in Singapore and is sweeping through Asia, opening up in cities across the region over the coming months. Here, we look at the pros and cons of each system.
ClassPass: 150 credits to book 25-37 classes in one month: B2,499
GuavaPass: Unlimited classes, 3 visits per studio, 6-month validity: B3,199
Here’s how the pricing and functionality differs. ClassPass credits operate on a sliding value based on time, location and popularity. You could use that to your advantage, taking more classes at off-peak times and repeatedly visiting your favorite studios throughout the month. ClassPass also has no limit to the number of times you can train at your favorite gyms—a big plus for many members. But GuavaPass’s superior price means that you have no limit on the number of classes you take in that six months, beyond the fact you can only visit each location on its books three times. Higher and lower packages are also available at both studios.
No. of affiliate studios
It’s hard to argue with those numbers. While many of ClassPass’s superior studio-count does stretch well outside the city center, it incorporates specialist-interest places like Sor Vorapin Muay Thai and Lad Phrao’s Vision Swimming Academy.
ClassPass: 1 month free trial
GuavaPass: 20% discount on 15-class package (from B4,499 to B3,599) or 10% discount on 10-class package (from B1,399 to B1,259)
While the deal at ClassPass here looks hard to resist, we know from personal experience that, since ClassPass’s arrival, GuavaPass has been treating its customers pretty sweetly, letting them extend unused credits into the next month for free. ClassPass’s first-month-for-free trial locks you automatically into a monthly plan that you actively have to cancel, otherwise it will auto-renew and bill your credit card. Several online comment forums detail bad experiences with canceling plans or dealing with ClassPass customer service. Guava has now also introduced a function that lets you pause your account, meaning the clock’s no longer running on credits when you’re on holiday.
The competition is real, and studios are being offered an ultimatum over which pass system to side with. As a consequence, ClassPass has already won many of downtown Bangkok’s hottest fitness studios. But the two companies continue to share many big central locations including OMMO Studio. Both passes have a relatively equal number of studios (9-10) along mainline Sukhumvit between Nana and Ekkamai.
This article was written witth assistance from Jack Thomas, the founder and CEO of BASE, a fitness studio affiliated with ClassPass.