The pet retailer’s Pals Rewards loyalty program debuted in 1997. In 2020 the retailer debuted its Vital Care subscription membership with a focus on animal health and wellness offerings. Now the two programs — which together have 24 million members — will merge into one two-tiered offering: a free membership tier, called Vital Care Core, and a paid tier, Vital Care Premier. Current members of Petco’s Pals Rewards program will be automatically transitioned to Vital Care Core, and members of Petco’s existing Vital Care program will become Vital Care Premier members for the same fee as before ($9.99 to $19.99 per month depending on type of animal).
The plan to merge the two programs was first unveiled at the company’s 2022 Investor Day in March 2022 as part of the retailer’s larger strategy to provide support for the “whole health journey” of pets.
“Petco is on one of the steepest growth trajectories in all of retail,” said Ron Coughlin, Chairman and CEO of Petco in a statement at the 2022 Investor Day. “We are defining the future of pet parenting in an incredibly high growth and economically resilient category.”
The company’s existing membership programs already have been hugely successful for the retailer. On average, Pals members who unlock benefits in the program, such as nutrition and grooming perks, increase their Petco visits by 50% and spend 40% more on pet products and services than non-members, according to the company.
Under the new combined program, Vital Care Core members:
- Earn points on every purchase, from wellness services to products;
- Have access to a range of digital resources such as custom-made pet care reminders to purchase food and the ability to set up veterinary and grooming appointments via the personalized Petco app dashboard;
- Nutrition and grooming perks, including getting a 10th bag of dry dog or cat food for free and an eighth groom for free; and
- Tools to manage pets’ health and wellness on Petco.com and in the Petco app, including a monthly wellness checklist.
Vital Care Premier members will receive additional benefits for a monthly fee, including:
- Extended rewards expiration on nutrition and supplies;
- A dedicated, exclusive member help line;
- Additional discounts on nutrition, grooming, veterinary and other services; and
- Unlimited routine vet exams.
Premier members can select a tailored plan based on their pet type — cats and dogs cost $19.99 per month, while companion animals such as birds, fish, reptiles and small pets cost $9.99 per month.
“Building on the strength of our existing two membership offerings, by bringing them together under Vital Care we’re making it even easier for customers to understand and maximize the program offerings to provide their pets with the best possible care and get the most value from Petco,” said Jenny Wolski, SVP of Omnichannel Customer Experience at Petco in a statement. “Pet parents are looking for seamless, one-stop shopping and personalized advice on how to support their pets’ health and wellness, and a Vital Care membership gives them all of that and more — including exclusive savings on products and services across our differentiated omnichannel ecosystem, which no other membership offers.”