Payment Plans vs Memberships: What’s the Difference?

This article is part of The Huddle, Upper Hand’s quick tips and best practices for customers. Want to join the community? Schedule a walk-through of the platform today. 


Payment Plans vs Memberships: What’s the Difference?


Payment plans and memberships have numerous benefits to both you and your clients. They offer flexibility and customizations that fit your business needs.

So what are the differences?

We are going to outline the specifics behind both features below as well as give you the opportunity to ask any additional questions.

Let’s jump in…


Payment Plans

Payment plans offer a layer of flexibility for clients to pay the price in multiple installments. For example, if a family is unable to pay a $500 camp fee up front, this would allow you to give them the option to pay in multiple installments over time. This payment option is only used with Fixed Events as a way to allow clients to choose a plan that’s most comfortable for them.

When setting up your event type, you have the option to “Add Automation” which will allow you to set up a payment plan for the event. For more detailed information, check out our help article here.

Reminder: Fixed Events have a specific start and end date. These can be things like camps, clinics, etc. To learn more about fixed events, check out our recent Huddle article.



Memberships not only offer you, as a company, a great way to capture recurring revenue, but they also give you the flexibility to offer clients more benefits at once – including event discounts, session credits for open booking events, retail discounts and even exclusive event types. Before you create memberships for your business, check out a recent Huddle on best practices.

There are a few different Membership models you could create, depending on what would make the most sense for your business.


Session-Based Memberships

Session based memberships will allow you to offer your clients free session credits for open booking events. For more on session based memberships, click here.


Exclusive Event Type Memberships

When assigning an event type exclusively to a membership, only clients who are enrolled in that membership will be able to see events that are tied to that event type. For more on exclusive event type memberships, click here.


Discount-Based Memberships

This membership allows you to provide discounts for all or any event types and, if applicable, retail. To learn more about how to create a membership, click here.


Hopefully this helped paint a better picture of payment plans vs. memberships, when to use them and what they can be used towards!


Upper Hand is what studios, gyms, and academies use to grow their business. Get a demo today.


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