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Published: Aug 28, 2023 13 min read

Most insurance options for your dog or cat, including our picks for the best pet insurance, emphasize coverage for illness and accidents and make preventive care an optional add-on. Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans flip that script.

These products are not pet insurance but rather pet-care plans. They cover only preventive care; accident and illness coverage isn’t offered, even optionally.

This review covers the Banfield plans' features, benefits and drawbacks – with the latter including a lot of negative customer reviews. Whether you're researching how to buy pet insurance or considering a Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan, this review will help you make an informed decision.

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Compare Pet Insurance Policies

Up to 90% Vet Bill Reimbursement

  • Unlimited reimbursement, use at any vet
  • Covers illnesses, conditions & accidents
  • Add on dental insurance & prescription coverage
  • Optional wellness plan for routine check-ups, grooming & training costs

24/7 Telehealth Helpline

  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee*
  • Up to 90% reimbursement on eligible vet bills
  • Multi-pet discount & access to 24/7 vet helpline
  • Visit any U.S. licensed veterinarian or specialist
  • *Subject to terms and conditions. 

Coverage Starting at as Little as $10 per Month

  • Save on exams, vaccines & routine care
  • Go to any licensed vet in the US
  • Fast & simple digital claims process 
  • Get discount for multiple pets

No Upper Age Limit on Enrollment

  • Save up to 90% off eligible vet bills
  • Accidents, illness & routine care
  • Easy online claims submissions
  • Wide range of plans & coverage options for your furry friend

Coverage for Pets of Any Age and Breed

  • Get up to 90% of your vet bill reimbursed
  • Covers accidents, illnesses & emergencies
  • Visit any licensed vet, clinic or specialist in the U.S.
  • 24/7 Veterinary Telehealth

Best suited to preventive care coverage

Banfield’s plans offer comprehensive pet-care packages that include unlimited routine visits and calls to a vet hotline. Other services range from virtual visits and vaccinations to diagnostic testing, generally with annual limits on the number of tests included for free. All services are given at Banfield’s pet hospitals, of which there are 1,000 across the United States.

Banfield wellness plans pros and cons

Pros
  • Unlimited office visits and vet hotline calls
  • Preventive procedures included, albeit with annual limits
  • Discounts on additional services and products
Cons
  • Very poor customer reviews
  • You must go to a Banfield Pet Hospital
  • Doesn't cover treatment for illnesses and accidents

Pros explained

Unlimited office visits and vet hotline calls

With Banfield wellness plans, you can bring your pet to a Banfield pet hospital for unlimited office visits without incurring additional fees. This encourages regular check-ups and allows you to identify and address any health concerns in a timely way.. (Keep in mind, though, that there are annual limits on the number of allowed preventive procedures, and treatment of illness and accidents is not covered.)

Preventive procedures included, albeit with annual limits

The Banfield plans cover a range of routine procedures, though with annual limits on the number you can receive. As examples, deworming, fecal exams and comprehensive physical exams are each available twice a year with all plans, and you’re entitled once a year to diagnostic tests and a wellness 1:1 with a vet. Vaccinations are included, too, although the number varies by the plan.

Discounts on additional services and products

In addition to the included coverage, Banfield wellness plans provide discounts on various services and products such as dental cleaning and lab work (if these are included in your plan), as well as medications and more.

Cons explained

Very poor customer reviews

Online customer feedback about Banfield, at least on the Trustpilot site, is overwhelmingly negative, with nearly nine of every ten reviews awarding the service only a single star - the lowest rating. While a few reviews praised the care and their Banfield vet, a far greater proportion of reviews cited rude and uncaring staff, with some even raising concerns over the safety of pets at Banfield's facilities. Other customers reported difficulties in canceling their plans when contacting customer service.

You must go to a Banfield Pet Hospital

You can only utilize Banfield wellness plans at the company’s pet hospitals, although plans do include virtual visits and access to a 24/7 pet hotline. If you prefer a different veterinarian or if there isn't a Banfield pet hospital conveniently located near you, this provision will hamper your options for veterinary care.

Doesn't cover treatment for illnesses and accidents

These wellness plans focus on preventive care and routine services, and Banfield is not a pet insurance company. Therefore, its plans do not include coverage for accidents, unexpected illnesses or emergency care. If you want what pet insurance covers, you’ll need to explore offerings from other providers.

Banfield wellness plans

Banfield offers wellness plans tailored to specific life stages. Each plan offers a different level of preventive care coverage, allowing pet owners to choose the plan that best fits their budget and their pet's needs.

Every Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan (OWP) includes:

  • Unlimited office visits
  • Virtual visits
  • Unlimited access to veterinary advice service
  • A pet nutrition coaching session
  • Routine vaccinations
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Fecal exams
  • Deworming
  • Discounts on medications and surgical procedures

Early Care

Banfield Optimum Wellness Early Care for puppies and kittens covers their essential preventive care needs during their early life stages. This plan includes vaccinations, physical exams and fecal tests to ensure a healthy start for your young pet. The Early Care Plus plan includes one spay or neuter surgery.

Prices range from about $40 to $52 per month for Kitten Early Care and $49 to $62 per month for Kitten Early Care Plus. Puppy Early Care costs about $44 to $56 per month, and Puppy Early Care Plus runs about $56 to $71 per month. Prices vary based on your pet’s age, breed and location.

Banfield’s website includes sample rates for a 4-month-old kitten and 4-month-old Labrador in Cleveland, OH and San Diego, CA.

Active Care

The Active Care plan is for pet owners who prioritize wellness and want to catch potential health issues early. It doesn't provide coverage for accidents, illnesses, surgeries or emergency care. Active Care for adult cats and dogs provides comprehensive preventive care services and a 10% discount on additional Banfield services and products.

The Active Care cat wellness plan averages $31 to $40 per month, and the Active Care dog wellness plan runs $39 to $50 per month. Your rates will vary based on your pet’s age, breed and location.

Banfield’s website includes sample rates for a 3-year-old cat and a 3-year-old Labrador in Cleveland, OH and San Diego, CA.

Active Care Plus

Banfield's Active Care Plus plan includes one dental cleaning and one urinalysis per year in addition to the benefits of the Active Care Plan. With an annual dental cleaning, your vet can address potential issues and prevent further complications to your pet's health. The Active Care Plus plan also includes a 15% discount on most Banfield products and services.

The Active Care Plus plan for adult cats will run about $46 to $59 per month; for a dog, the Active Care Plus plan averages $52 to $66 per month. Prices vary based on your cat or dog’s age, breed and location.

Banfield’s website includes sample rates for a 3-year-old cat and a 3-year-old Labrador in Cleveland, OH and San Diego, CA.

Special Care

Banfield's Special Care plan is for adult and senior pets with chronic conditions, dental disease or other specific care needs. This plan covers pets who require more frequent screenings, additional tests and specialized dental care to ensure their well-being. The Special Care plan offers a 20% discount on products and services not covered by the plan.

If you enroll your pet in the Special Care plan, you could pay $56 to $71 per month for an adult cat and $66 to $84 for an adult dog. Depending on your pet’s breed, age and location, your prices will vary.

Banfield’s website includes sample rates for a 3-year-old cat and a 3-year-old Labrador in Cleveland, OH and San Diego, CA.

Banfield wellness plan pricing

Banfield offers wellness plans as a bundled package of services with a 12-month payment plan. In our research, we found prices ranged between about $40 to $85 per month, depending on a number of factors. The prices for Banfield wellness plans are similar to what pet insurance costs but without the same coverage.

Your specific cost depends on your pet’s age, breed, size, location and the plan you choose. The website offers quotes on the plans that match your pet’s needs by entering their breed, age, approximate weight and location. In addition to your monthly payments, there is a one-time enrollment fee, which ranges between $64 and $81.

Banfield wellness plan financial stability

Banfield wellness plans are backed by the Banfield pet hospital network, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, a well-established company with a long history in the pet care industry.

Banfield wellness plan accessibility

Banfield offers a blog covering wellness topics and fun posts like birthday celebrations for pets. There's also an online shop for medications and related supplies.

Availability

Banfield operates more than 1,000 veterinary locations throughout the United States, and in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, North and South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. It also has locations in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Many of Banfield’s pet hospitals are connected to PetSmart stores.

Contact information

Banfield offers phone support for enrollment, billing and cancellation. You can also email customer service or submit a contact form on the website.

Banfield enrollment

  • Phone: 866-277-7387
  • Email: OWP@banfield.com

Banfield billing and payment

  • Phone: 866-935-5738
  • Email: CST.inbox@banfield.com

Banfield cancellations and general questions

  • Phone/text: 888-649-2716
  • Email: wellnessplanteam@banfield.com

User experience

Banfield's website provides a user-friendly experience with information about plans, coverage details and benefits. For members, Banfield offers an online portal where pet owners can manage their wellness plan, schedule appointments and access documents. Banfield's mobile app for iOS and Android devices lets users manage their wellness plans on the go with access to appointment info, medical records and Vet Chat.

Banfield wellness plan customer satisfaction

Based on online review sites, Banfield isn't rated well by its customers. While Banfield’s plans garner some positive customer reviews, many more enrollees are negative about their experience, sometimes harshly so. Common concerns include difficulty in canceling, aggressive upselling of pricier plans, limited locations and poor customer service. Banfield is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, yet has just a one-star customer rating on the site.

Banfield wellness plan vs. pet insurance

Banfield wellness plans and pet insurance serve different purposes. Banfield wellness plans focus on preventive care, offering comprehensive coverage for routine services such as vaccinations, annual exams and parasite control. The aim is to be proactive about keeping pets healthy.

By contrast, pet insurance provides coverage for unexpected illnesses, accidents and emergency care. It offers financial protection in case of costly, unforeseen medical expenses.

Banfield wellness plan FAQ

How much is a Banfield wellness plan?

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The cost of Banfield wellness plans varies depending on factors such as your location, the specific plan you choose and your pet's age, size and healthcare needs. Prices can range from around $40 to $85 per month, but it's best to contact Banfield directly or visit the website for current pricing information.

Do Banfield Wellness plans cover emergencies?

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No, Banfield wellness plans do not cover emergencies. Rather than being a pet insurance provider, Banfield offers wellness plans. Pet wellness plans are designed for preventative care and routine services. They don't cover illness, injuries or emergencies. Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans include unlimited office visits, vaccinations, diagnostic testing and more.

Is a Banfield wellness plan worth it?

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Banfield wellness plans might be worthwhile for pet owners who prioritize preventive care. Pet wellness plans offer cost savings for regular check-ups, vaccinations and other routine services. If you're already using a Banfield location for your pet's veterinary needs, it makes sense to consider an Optimum Wellness Plan. However, it's important to consider your pet's specific healthcare requirements to determine if a Banfield wellness plan aligns with your needs and budget.

How do I cancel my Banfield wellness plan?

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To cancel your Banfield wellness plan, the company says, you can contact Banfield customer service directly at 888-649-2716 or by email at wellnessplanteam@banfield.com. Representatives will guide you through the cancellation process, inform you of any outstanding balance and provide additional instructions.

How we evaluated Banfield wellness plan

In evaluating Banfield wellness plans, we considered several key factors:

  • Coverage options: We analyzed the preventive care services covered in each Banfield wellness plan.
  • Pricing: We gathered the prices of each plan offered by Banfield, and assessed what each option did and did not cover.
  • Availability: We considered the states and other jurisdictions in which Banfield’s plans are available, and how accessible the Banfield pet hospital network is for pet owners.
  • Customer satisfaction: We looked at trusted online review sites to discover what customers have to say about the company.

Summary of Money's Banfield wellness plan review

In theory, Banfield’s wellness plans offer a helpful option to pet owners who are most concerned about the cost of preventive care, and may wish to forgo pet insurance, which will not pay off financially for many or most dog and cat owners.

In practice, the plans have significant flaws. Those begin with cost. You can easily spend $500 a year for a Banfield plan for your pet, and even then not even all preventive procedures may be covered – let alone treatment for accident and illness, which is out of scope for these plans.

You also can’t pick your own vet or veterinary facility, but must visit Banfield’s own hospitals for care. While these locations number more than 1,000 across the country, one of them may or may not be convenient to where you live.

Finally, there’s Banfield’s dismal record for customer satisfaction, based on reviews left by users with Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau. Overall, these judgments represent one of the worst track records for pleasing customers – or not doing so – that we’ve seen in the pet-care space.

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