Membership Referral Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Buddy-Up for Fitness (BFF) Membership Referral program?
Buddy-Up for Fitness is a member-get-a-member level of membership that incorporates a 20% savings that the pair of members share off the standard adult or family rate of membership. If one of the pair leaves the Y, the remaining member has 30 days to “buddy-up” with a new non-member in order to keep the Buddy-Up rate.

How do I get started?
Y members need to identify a non-member BFF and log into and complete the online form. Be sure that you have a valid email address for your BFF before you get started. Non-members that join as BFFs would follow the exact process.

I’ve completed the online referral process. Now what?
The referring member will receive an automated response email detailing the process and what to expect. The non-member will receive an email within 48 hours containing a personalized membership code which is tied to the referring member. This email should be presented at the Y at the time they come in to complete the join process. This code ties the two of you together and is required at the time of join.

Does my friend or family member have to be with me to join?
No. In fact, the referral process is completed by logging into and filling out the online form. You will need to have your buddy’s name and valid email address.

Can I refer more than one friend or family member?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of friends or family members you can refer to the Y.  In fact, it is to your benefit to refer more than one friend or family member, so that in the event one of your referrals decides to leave the Y, you have another referral attached to your membership, which ensures your membership savings stay in place. However, the maximum savings you will receive is 20%.

How long is this membership savings valid?
The 20% membership savings is valid as long as both buddies remain a member of the Y. Should one of you cancel your membership (we do not have a contract policy), the remaining member has 30 days to refer another friend or family member to join. If the remaining member does not refer another friend or family member to join within 30 days, the membership will return to the standard rate for the membership type. The YMCA staff will review the BFF program every year to make sure it’s a win-win for everyone. Any changes to the program will be communicated to you 30 days in advance.

Will the BFF rate ever increase?
Yes. Future membership rate increases will be applied to the BFF rate, but will reflect a 20% savings as long as the pair is members of the Y and the BFF rate is offered by the Y.

Does my friend or family member have to join the same Y?
No. A friend or family member can join any one of our 4 membership branches.

Who is eligible to participate in the BFF program?
Adult and Family membership categories who pay through automatic bank draft are eligible. Sr. Adult members may upgrade to an Adult or Family membership which makes them eligible for the BFF program. Those Y members currently on Income-Based and Scholarship rates would also need to upgrade to an Adult or Family membership and be offered the best rate available. Members must be continuous members of the Y in order to participate in the BFF program; those members that put their membership on seasonal or medical hold are not eligible for this membership program. A new member is considered a member that has not been a member of the YMCA of Greater Erie for 60 days or longer.

I referred my friend and my friend joined. When do they receive their reduced rate?
The BFF rate will go into effect when the referred membership is actually purchased and automatic bank draft is started. The reduced rate for your membership will be reflected in the next billing cycle following the join date of the friend or family member you refer.

Before the BFF program began, I referred multiple families to join the Y. Can I receive a rate reduction based on their memberships?
No. The BFF membership savings is only available for current members referring new members.

Can I receive a refund if necessary?
No. Membership fees are non-refundable.

I am joining the Y as a new member in the Buddy-Up Program. Do I have to pay a joining fee? Yes.  You will be asked to pay a $25 join fee at the time you join the Y.

I am interested in an upgrade to the Men’s  Health Center locker room or a private locker in the Women’s Locker Room.  May I apply the 20% savings to those fees? No.  The 20% membership savings may only be applied to the standard adult or family membership rate.

I work for the YMCA. Can I refer a friend?
Yes. You have the opportunity to buddy-up with up to 2 friends/family and extend the BFF membership savings. Be sure to speak with your Business Director to discuss eligibility first.


Join a community that helps transform lives 

Become a Member »


Reach goals with our classes and programs

View Schedules »


Count on us for safe, high quality education

Enroll Your Child »