AIA Vitality will be gutted from 20 July: Fewer vouchers, lower rebates

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Heads up AIA Vitality members- from 20 July, you'll need to work harder for smaller rewards.

From 20 July 2020, AIA will be introducing some major changes to the Vitality program, and boy have they nuked it. 

STAY THE SAME PLEASE.

AIA Vitality members will now need to earn more points for which they’ll receive fewer vouchers, and on top of that, their Emirates flight benefit will be nerfed in a big way. 

This is all laid out in a rambling email that desperately needs some proofreading. I’m going to let these two paragraphs of pure corporate word salad speak for themselves: 

As with all programmes, we are constantly reviewing it to keep pace with members’ evolving lifestyle and health needs. We need to ensure that every member on AIA Vitality genuinely benefits from the programme, not just on the monetary rewards, but physically on their health as well. In fact, there is never a better time to re-prioritise our health after the last few months of health and safe distancing measures to know the importance of staying healthy for ourselves and our loved ones.

It is this commitment to empowering you to lead healthier, longer and better lives, that spurs us to introduce a new spin on health to AIA Vitality from 20 July 2020, enabling you to go the extra mile and enjoy the real reward of AIA Vitality, and that is – a healthier you!

A new spin on health indeed. 

Update (12/7): AIA is offering a pro-rated refund of Vitality memberships to disgruntled members, and has offered more reasons for why these changes were made. Read my analysis here

Team Fitness Challenge gone, Individual Fitness Challenge nerfed

The Individual Fitness Challenge currently gives you a S$5 voucher when you earn 250 points a week. Completing 10,000 steps a day earns you 50 points, and you can also earn a further 100 points a day from clocking runs or other activities that increase the heart rate. 

The Team Fitness Challenge (only open to Gold and Platinum members) lets you earn an additional S$5 voucher when each member of your eight person team completes their Individual Fitness Challenge for that particular week.

From 20 July, AIA is removing the Team Fitness Challenge, and making it much harder to earn vouchers via the Individual Fitness Challenge. 

Higher points target

 CurrentFrom 20 July 
Weekly Points Target250 200-400 

Each Vitality member will now receive a personalised fitness challenge goal, with the target ranging anywhere from 200 to 400 points.

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This means you may no longer be able to meet the weekly challenge by steps alone (7 days @ 50 points per day is only 350 points). You’ll need to buy a fitness tracker that supports heart rate monitoring, or visit a Fitness First/Virgin Active gym to clock points. 

Lower expected rewards 

 CurrentFrom 20 July 
Reward for Hitting Weekly Points TargetS$5 voucher40-200 “Vitality Coins”
(S$2-10 voucher value)

Even if you do hit your goal, your payoff is going to change, and probably not in a good way.

How is this an improvement

AIA will no longer offer a guaranteed S$5 voucher. Instead, you’ll receive a spin of the “Vitality Wheel”, where you could win the following prizes: 

OddsPrize
1/20Surprise prize with minimum value of S$10 , or at least 200 Vitality Coins
4/20100 Vitality Coins
3/2080 Vitality coins
4/2060 Vitality Coins
8/2040 Vitality Coins

Vitality Coins are AIA’s new rewards currency (see below) where 100 coins= a S$5 voucher. But given the odds, your expected value is now 70 Vitality Coins. In terms of voucher value, that’s a 30% reduction from before. 

The surprise prizes will include: 

  • merchandise (e.g. AIA-branded towels, water bottles, stretch bands, sponsored-football club merchandise);
  • fitness devices (e.g. from Garmin, Polar, or Apple);
  • gym memberships (e.g. one-day passes);
  • movie passes and tickets to movie showings, football games and events organised by AIA (which could include the AIA Glow Festival);
  • gift cards; or
  • vouchers

Color me unimpressed. The Vitality Wheel is stacked against you, and there’s a 75% chance you’ll receive a smaller reward than under the current program.

Perhaps some consultant pitched this in a meeting as YAY GAMIFICATION YAY, but in reality it’s just cost cutting masquerading as gamification. A 5% chance of a large prize just doesn’t do it for me, and the majority of members will find themselves worse off. 

“Vitality Coins”: AIA’s new funny money

From 20 July, AIA will introduce Vitality Coins, their new rewards currency. Quite frankly, I don’t see the need for another type of funny money. Currently, the equation is very simple: 

Points–>Vouchers

Going forward, you’ll now have to earn points to earn spins to earn coins to earn vouchers. Coins and Spins have their own expiry dates and rules, and that’s just going to confuse the average user a lot more. 

Points–>Spins–> Coins–>Vouchers

Vitality Coins can be exchanged at the AIA Marketplace for vouchers from:

  • Cold Storage
  • Grab
  • GrabFood
  • Singtel
  • Starbucks
  • Ya Kun Kaya Toast
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Mr Bean and KrisFlyer will be added in the coming months. 

The current exchange rate is 100 Vitality Coins for a S$5 voucher, but there’s no guarantee this will be maintained in the future. You’ll therefore want to adopt an “earn and burn” philosophy here.  

In any case, you can’t hoard Vitality Coins for very long. They expire at the end of the second calendar month following the month they were earned. For example:

Earn DateExpire Date
20 July 202030 September 2020
1 August 202031 October 2020

This gives them a 2-3 month validity, depending on when they were earned. And because this wasn’t confusing enough, Vitality coins earned from Platinum bonuses will be valid for 6-7 months. 

Emirates rebate cut from 50% to 20%, awarded in Vitality Coins

 CurrentFrom 20 July 
Maximum Rebate50%20%
Base Fare CapNoneS$500
Awarded InCash Vitality Coins
Maximum Uses21

The other nasty thing about Vitality Coins is that AIA will now give them in lieu of cash benefits. 

Take the Emirates airfare discount, for example. AIA Vitality members can currently enjoy a rebate of up to 50% on Emirates Economy Class return tickets, capped at two trips per membership year. Rebates are sent via cheque, and apply to the entire base fare component. 

From 20 July, the maximum rebate will be cut to 20%, and all rebates will be credited as Vitality Coins instead of cash. That’s right- no more real money. Instead, you get a captive currency that you can only use within the AIA ecosystem. 

Moreover, AIA will only grant the rebate up to a maximum base fare of S$500. This means you won’t be able to capitalize on the fact that Emirates recently cut its fuel surcharges significantly, shifting a larger proportion of the total cost to base fare. 

Emirates Economy Class | Photo Credit: The Points Guy

Here’s an example of a Singapore to London ticket on Emirates via Dubai. Note how the base fare is S$732, which means an AIA Vitality Platinum member would currently get S$366 in cash. 

From 20 July, he’d receive only S$100 (20% of S$500- remember the cap), in the form of 2,000 Vitality Coins. 

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AIA states that members can make a booking on Emirates before 20 July 2020 (with travel by 19 July 2021) and enjoy the current rebate structure, but they will still receive the rebate in Vitality Coins. 

Singapore Airlines rebate of up to 20% added

Singapore Airlines B787-10 new economy class cabin

For what it’s worth, Singapore Airlines will be added as a travel partner from 20 July, with similar terms to Emirates. Vitality members will earn a maximum 20% travel rebate on Economy Class tickets, in Vitality Coins, with S$500 cap on base fare. 

You can utilise at most one flight benefit per membership year, either on Emirates or Singapore Airlines. This is down from the current allowance of two. 

Conclusion

As far as devaluations go, this is up there with the worst of them. 

I mean, it’d be one thing if AIA just came out to say that times were tough and the current program was not sustainable. But trying to spin these changes as improvements is flat out insulting to the intelligence of Vitality members. 

Let’s try and fix that eDM: 

It is this commitment to empowering you to lead healthier, longer and better lives cost cutting, that spurs us to introduce a new spin on health devaluation to AIA Vitality from 20 July 2020, enabling you to work harder for a smaller reward go the extra mile and enjoy the real reward of AIA Vitality, and that is – a healthier you! a migraine from reading this email

Is it still worth paying for AIA Vitality? At S$8 a month, it can make sense if you’re saving more than that on your AIA premiums. However, it’s a lot less rewarding than before, and I kind of suspect they price the Vitality discount into insurance premiums in the first place (i.e you don’t really save, you just avoid paying more). 

What do you make of these changes to AIA Vitality?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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zakiyama

Hi, could you please clarify whether the maximum we can get weekly is $5 or $10, from 20 July onwards? It appears to me that it should be max. $5 but your table indicated $10. Would be interested to know how can we retain having $10 weekly. Thank you.

A A

I think this is reasonable, they might have some funding from the government which was rescinded maybe?? That is my guess.. I think so because in the first place they totally no obligations to care for the public or individual health. I honestly didn’t know of this programme didn’t know it was such a good deal previously, but to consumers I feel they still stand to gain despite the changes. If you’re not working out, why not? If you’re working out, you’re earning points for vouchers in the progress of doing it! It was nice while it lasted, unless people… Read more »

Ming

AIA didn’t come out with this program with ‘reposibilith for general public health’ as the reason. The idea behind programs such as AIA Vitality is to encourage a healthier lifestyle among its policy holders so that it decreases the chances of their policy holders from claiming Insurance payouts. Generally someone with a healthier lifestyle is less likely to have health problems down the road. It made sense for AIA to give these small vouchers instead of paying huge insurance payouts. but the problem comes now when a lot of non-AIA customers also jump in on this program. And with stay… Read more »

W Ho

How do “non-AIA customers also jump in on this program”?

dk

This is a reward programme for AIA policy holder. But the problem is that it is available to every policy holder so even people who doesn’t necessarily bother abt taking AIA insurance, will take some cheapskate policy just to reap this reward. I knew it long ago that they will bleed money this way. This is supposed to be a programme meant for people who invested in more costly life insurance policy, not any other guy who takes the cheap personal accident policy and gained the same reward. There are too many people who does it the cheapskate way and… Read more »

bent

they should have just excluded those cheapskate policies from being eligible for this Vitality program right from the start.

D L

How about the Cold Storage health food rebate?

Rio

Hi,

Do you know after 20th Jul, wheter the platinum member from previous periods still receive 150$ rebate ?

Chen

After 20 July, you will receive platinum bonus of 2000 vitality coins credited into your in-app wallet

Joyce

Does it mean that if u reach platinum after 20 July, you will be rewarded in terms of coins n not $150 cash even though your anniversary date is Dec 2020

W Ho

I deduce that AIA “AIAn’t” one of your sponsors
(See what I did there?)
✌️✌️

cz517

so if you had been hitting $10 weekly, this is a worse off scenario. how abt comparinng with $5 weekly? would this be worse off as well?

King

Sound reasonable for AIA, but bad news for customer

Lee

AIA initially they tried to convinced customer to buy their policy and option. You are stuck once you buy their program . We must tell others not to fall into their trap

Ong SB

Hi, thank you for all the info that you have put together. I would like to know if cancelling the vitality membership will affect the premium of my policy.

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