British Airways flight discounts (and a £69 Apple Watch) for VitalityHealth customers

I was having a coffee with a HFP reader on Wednesday when he mentioned that he had signed up to VitalityHealth.

If you travel by tube in London you have probably seen their current campaign offering an Apple Watch for £69 if you sign up.

More interestingly for Head for Points readers, VitalityHealth also offers discounts on British Airways short haul fares to members.  Full details are available on the VitalityHealth website.

vitality-health-insurance

 

The devil is in the detail when it comes to the flight discounts:

You will receive a discount of 5%-40% based on your level in the plan (the more healthy activity you log, the higher your level)

You can claim the discount 1-2 times per year based on your level

Only the plan holder receives the discount, not your fellow passengers

Short-haul only

Economy only

Your initial impression might be a bit ‘meh’.

However, for once, the small print actually makes the deal more attractive.

The discount applies to the FULL cost of the flight, including the taxes and charges. A Platinum level member receives 40% off the headline price which is not bad.

The discount applies to ALL ticket types, including fully flexible tickets. This can represent a substantial saving – at the most extreme, a fully flexible World Traveller ticket to Moscow is £1200.

This offer probably works best for someone who is self-employed and has to book the occasional fully flexible ticket (although there is a 2-night minimum stay requirement midweek). This could mean an annual saving of £250+.

The ‘average’ leisure traveller who gets up to the Platinum level could save over £100 per year – assuming 40% off two economy flights with an average cost of at least £125.

For a base level member, it is pretty useless – a 5% saving once a year on a short-haul flight will save you £10 at most.

Vitality also gives discounts on Eurostar tickets up to three times per year as this page explains. There is also a deal with Mr & Mrs Smith for hotel savings.

(And if you like the sound of an Apple Watch for just £69, you simply need to be active for two years. You basically pay £69 upfront and then a monthly payment between £0 and £12.50 depending on your activity. You can find details of that offer here.)

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Comments

  1. Sergeant Major says:

    The quotes are dearer compared to other providers! But thanks for flagging this up

    • Kit Brennan says:

      They are, but I found the benefits stacked to give me an overall saving.

      For £33/month (I asked them to give me their cheapest possible quote, apparently it doesn’t go lower), I save £50/month on my gym membership, £12 on Starbuck’s coffees, £15 on a monthly cinema ticket (in theory you could go weekly, but does anyone do that?), the Apple watch (~12/month benefit probably).

      Haven’t yet used the BA or Eurostar benefit (only recently signed up so I’m still on the lowest activity level), but I could see that too covering a large proportion of the premiums if used right.

      • Am on my OH’s work Vitality membership, between us we get enough points to go to the cinema most weeks saving a theoretical maximum of £1,150 a year – in practice we’d have only gone monthly so say £250/yr.

      • I’ve seen 8 movies since 5 November. Three since Sunday evening.

  2. Andy Richardson says:

    Hey I am a Vitality member, fairly new to it, currently sporting a new Apple Watch and generally I am impressed. It may be dearer but there are some other benefits with the package, free coffee every week, free cinema every week, half price bikes, discounted running equipment, cash back if you hit certain levels etc etc. There are definitely some incentives you wouldn’t get with other providers but it is aimed at people who are relatively active I would say to get to the platinum level – you do have to earn it with a willingness to move around! Articles right though, when you first start the policy you start on Bronze level and I haven’t even bothered looking at the BA savings yet as they are barely worth it. Maybe next year.

  3. Not a huge detail, but Vitality Health is no longer linked to Prudential. the rebrand was linked with the sale of Prudential’s interest a couple of years ago

  4. I wonder how many idiots will sign up just to get a cheap apple watch!

    • Just run some quotes. £595pcm (!) for equivalent cover already have through work. Think I’ll pass…

      • Nicola Walton says:

        We are in the vitality scheme at my work. I actually used the medical side last week and the service was amazing. I needed to see an eye specialist and got an appointment the next day! For the other bits I have that many coffees pending on my app. And have actually only used the cinema tickets once! We are gold status Witt them.

    • Yeah I know what you mean – I much prefer a watch made from metal or plastic.

  5. I looked at this one very carefully – in the end went for it for Life and Income Protection – as cheaper than my existing cover. As someone keen on staying fit and healthy I like the idea of reducing premiums year on year for achieving a certain level of fitness and thus of not having my risk pooled with others who don’t look after their health as well.

    Reviews on TrustPilot are pretty dire and nearly put me off – guess people only write reviews of insurance companies when they’ve had a bad experience, not when things are running smoothly.

    Would be very interested what other HfP readers have found dealing with them…

    • For a variety of reasons fit and healthy people kick the bucket too. I don’t smoke, drink very little, eat what I like, have not seen the inside of a gym in my life and still fit in an economy seat very comfortably so I will save my cash to grow old disgracefully. For anybody who finds themselves in the wrong private operating theatre just keep your fingers crossed you do not have a heart attack or some othef emergency complications that requires them to call 999 because, although they never tell you this, that’s what happens.

      • Indeed they do, which is why we didn’t have our kids in the Portland etc. However, our local NHS hospital is on the ball and has its own private maternity wing, meaning that if it all goes pear shaped they can get you to a theatre within a couple of minutes.

        They also let you do it ‘in reverse’ if they are not full, which is to have your kid ‘on the house’ in the NHS bit and then pop across the corridor for a couple of days of five star R&R on the private wing (which is no more expensive than a top end London hotel suite).

      • A number of friends in NHS give the same advice, if you are being operated on you are much safer in an NHS hospital as they have the full range of experience and specialisms available should there be ‘complications’.

  6. My experience with them has been pretty terrible. I applied for life and critical illness cover. My application took over 6 months to be processed by them with numerous delays caused by them.

    What is worse is they have also applied exclusion criterias which I and my GP have queried. They refuse to send out a justification letter and according to my GP they are the worst when it comes to underwriting.

    Based on my experience if you are looking for health/life insurance, go elsewhere!

  7. Laineyling says:

    I had Vitality insurance through my previous employer, when I changed jobs I liked the benefits so much I took out the lowest level of insurance independently (my current work also provides insurance so do not use vitality for any health issues).

    The gym benefit is already worth £50-75 to me and my premium is only £28 pcm. I have reached gold; this was through activity (going to gym and walking monitored through phone app) and the online health review and healthcheck (bmi cholesterol and blood pressure). All in all relatively easy to get silver in year 1 and gold by year 2.
    I use eurostar (includes standard premium seats) and the BA discount annually. We have also used discounts for bikes and trainers. There is a recent tie in with ocado for discounted groceries (do not need to pay for delivery if you spend £40 pre savings). We also get cash back for being non smokers. We are looking into using the mrandmrs discount and do find it easy to book the deals/offers vitality advertises.

    As a deal saver vs insurer I know I am getting value as things such as flights, gym, and groceries are things I would pay close to the full price on. I do recommend it on that basis.

    (Caveat here would be that in the past if flights were cheaper elsewhere I might not have flown BA and for the gym the discount relates to the more expensive monthly rolling contact whereas I would probably have signed up for a year)

    • Laineyling says:

      Another thing to note is that you are effectively sending a lot of personal and potentiality sensitive information about your health and lifestyle to a company that will want to identify ‘more at risk’ clients and charge them more.

      With better ways of analysing big data premiums could become more expensive or cheaper.

      • Personally I’m a fan of this. I exercise regularly, eat healthily and choose not to smoke, this costs the insurer less in the long run and I get rewarded for that. It’s fine if people don’t want to live a healthy lifestyle, but I’d rather that cost came off their premiums rather than mine.

        Of course the grey area exists where people have non-self inflicted health issues and get penalised.

  8. Andy Bryant says:

    At platinum level for 3 years via work including family. Only proviso on BA flights is they have to be during validity of membership.So you can’t book way in advance or have to think when approaching end of term( even if you are going to renew). 50%of running shoes and bike discounts very appealing. £150 cash back for being a non smoker.That and the 100 free coffees, and 140 free cinema tickets the family have used this year!

  9. I’ve had it for 2 or 3 years via my wife’s work, with us then paying to add me and the kids onto it. It’s been great. The free Starbucks is great, the cinema tickets are potentially worth circa £200p/m if we used all 4 each week (we don’t!). We always use the 50% off trainers, and we’ve bought Garmin Vivosmart trackers for 50% off via them, too.

    Never reached Platinum but have always been Gold. Sadly though this year the renewal was way to high so they are moving to Bupa (with a better level of cover). We do have gym memberships at 50% off which we’ll have to cancel now, but we don’t use it enough to justify it, so that’s £100p/m saved there!

    I suppose it might be worth me getting a quote for similar cover to continue with it for myself and the kids and drop off the wife’s policy.

  10. Firstly, I should say that I have a vested interest in this post as my husband sells Vitality and therefore I also am a Vitality member! That being said, one of my favourite benefits which hasn’t been mentioned above is 75% off spa breaks including meals at Champneys.up to 3 times per year. I go with a girlfriend who also has Vitality and it costs us diddly squat….

  11. I am a lapsed member, gotta say about 10 years ago the benefits were far more generous.For example, the Champney and Eurostar perks were fixed costs, not percentages.

    Anyway considering going in for the watch. Can anyone give an indicative cost of the premium for a healthy 30-something?

    • You can get quotes for whatever monthly premium u want to pay or what amount of cover u want. Best in. One the vitality optimiser has a minimum of £20 single police monthly premium I think

  12. Off topic,

    Today after 4 months I hit my 10k on my British airways amex. and the voucher is now showing in my BA account. So if I cancel the card now I should be given a pro rata refund of my 195 fee and I still have the voucher to use within the next two years?

    then technically in two months I can apply for the fee free first year amex gold again?

    • Yes
      Yes
      Yes – and you’ll get a bonus if you’ve not held Amex Gold/Plat in last 6 months.

      • On the third point, you don’t need to wait two months to get the signup bonus for gold card. Amex gold charge card, and BA Amex are treated separately for the purposes of sign-up bonuses, so you need to wait six months from when you last held the gold (or any other MR point earning) card.

  13. Yatin Vadhia says:

    Does anyone know if the discounted flight you can book earns TP & Avios?

  14. I’m an IFA and very rarely find it appropriate to recommend Vitality – in certain circumstances it can offer a decent deal but tread wisely…

  15. Do you cinema tickets have a week’s expiry? Could you bunch them and take family with you?

  16. 75%, sorry

  17. & weightwatchers for £30 for 12months

  18. by ramping the price up when we go silver haired!

  19. The ridiculous thing is we don’t use it for the life insurance, we got the policy out for the perks! If you stay on platinum, your premiums don’t go up

  20. I’m a member and looking to use the Evans bikes offer… Do you know whether it is “1 bike per adult on the policy” or “1 bike per main adult member” every 3 years?
    Cheers

  21. It’s ‘1 bike per adult policy holder every 3 years’. So if both you and your wife are policy holders, that’s 2 bikes every 3 yearss

  22. just to clarify – the Starbucks voucher is loaded on a Thursday – and you’ve got seven days to use it … whilst not ideal (you used to have 4 weeks) – some might have read AH’s comment as 3 days !