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Club Membership Hold Policies: Best Practices

Wed, May 1, 2019   |   Tags : Billing Gym Advice Training

Sometimes life gets in the way of members being able to get to the gym. They may be unwell, going away for a holiday or even a student returning to college. Membership holds are a great way to keep these members engaged with your club and keep them coming back when they are fit and able to work out again. But it’s important to come up with a strong and consistent membership hold policy to ensure that your club offering holds isn’t taken advantage of. This is why we have to come up with a list of a few best practices for your fitness club to consider while planning your membership hold policies.

Best practices for membership hold policies

1. Suspension Fees

Many clubs charge their members a fee for suspending memberships. This is a good option to consider as a method for discouraging members from suspending memberships unless absolutely necessary. However, when it comes to suspension fees you must also consider the very alternative you’re trying to avoid by offering suspensions at all - cancellations. If you price your fees too high as an attempt to block unnecessary suspensions you may push these members towards cancelling instead of putting it on hold.

2. Notify Members of Suspension Ending

There’s nothing worse for the member experience with your club than receiving unexpected payments. A great option to avoid having unhappy members is to create an automated task for notifying your members of the approaching end of their suspension. You can create a template and task within GymMaster to do this in the settings drop down. Unsure how to do this? book a training session with support.

3. Membership Hold Payment Policies

When creating your membership hold policies you also must consider how you will approach payments for membership holds. Will you prorate your membership holds? e.g. If they pay on the 1st usually, but the hold begins on the 15th do they pay a half fee? A consistent plan for your membership hold payments can improve client satisfaction and save issues down the track.

4. Annual Limits for Suspension

Another issue with membership holds is certain members seeing these as an opportunity to take advantage of your fitness club. For many clubs, organising suspensions of memberships are a time sink for staff and potential loss of income. To discourage and limit the potential risk of members over-using account suspension, many clubs have an annual limit per member for the number of times they can suspend their accounts.

To see and edit the options available for your club’s membership holds, see:

Settings -> Advanced Configuration -> Member Holds

If you are Interested in finding out how to set up membership holds in GymMaster please feel free to book in a training session or reach out to our friendly support staff by emailing