February 1, 2021

Customizing and optimizing smart benefits categories and merchants on JOON

One of the benefits of using a card-linked wellness benefits solution like JOON is that People Teams can give employees much more freedom and flexibility. “Choose your own benefit” is a refreshing and flexible alternative to restrictive bundles that are only appealing to a small segment of any workforce. Instead of limiting employees to a specified list of gyms, any purchase from a merchant categorized as fitness is eligible.

Read our guide to optimizing your wellness benefits, from configuring an allowance to selecting categories. Below, we outline how to customize and optimize smart categories on JOON

Out-of-the-box categories

JOON comes with both out-of-the-box smart categories along with the ability to endlessly customize to your organization’s values and needs. Here are the available choices:

  • Health and Wellness: Promote products and services for physical and mental wellbeing. Eligible merchants include every gym, studio, spa, mental health app, and mental fitness app. Popular purchases include ClassPass, Headspace, Peloton, Fitbit, TRX, Manduka, Talkspace, Calm, Noom, WHOOP, Glo, Beachbody, Soothe, Hyperice, Aaptiv, Strava, and obé fitness.
  • Work From Home: Help your employees set up their home for remote work. Eligible merchants include every office furniture supplier, internet provider, and phone provider. Popular purchases include Apple, Vari Desk, Herman Miller, Roost Stand, Microsoft, and Spectrum.
  • Learning and Development: Facilitate career growth and learning. Eligible merchants include every professional conference, event, and content library. Popular purchases include Udemy, MasterClass, General Assembly, Coursera, and Codeacademy.
  • Family Care: Support and retain talented parents by subsidizing care. Eligible merchants include every childcare facility, fertility treatment, and tutoring service. Popular purchases include Bright Horizons, UrbanSitter, Care.com, Wonder School, WeeCare, Flexable, Altitude Learning, Modern Fertility, Natalist, and Origin.
  • Food & Groceries: Help nourish your team with delicious and balanced meals at their favorite eateries. Eligible merchants include every meal kit, grocery store, and food delivery service. Popular purchases include Whole Foods, sweetgreen, Instacart, Uber Eats, Trader Joe’s, Daily Harvest, Chipotle, Thistle, Sun Basket, Thrive Market, Misfits Market, and Dig Inn.
  • Donations: Boost contributions and charitable giving. Eligible merchants include every 501(c)(3), charitable funding, and petition platform.
  • Student Loan Repayment: Help your employees eliminate the burden of student loan debt. Eligible merchants include every student loan repayment service and institution.

Customizing and creating categories

Beyond out-of-the-box smart categories, People Teams can customize or create their own categories with the following capabilities:

  • Allowed list: If you specifically want to incorporate a merchant that wouldn’t otherwise be automatically included, you can add the merchant to an “allowed list.” Any purchase with that merchant in the name will be marked as eligible.
  • Disallowed list: Alternatively, if you specifically want to exclude any merchant (or require a receipt showing individual items purchased), you can add that merchant to a “disallowed” or “pending review” list. 
  • New smart category: You can also create entirely new smart categories that will automatically approve any merchant with certain keywords like “travel” or “flight.”
  • New static category: If there’s a specific set of merchants you want to create a category for, you can also do so. For example, every February some of our customers create a “Black-owned businesses” category with a specific list of verified merchants that employees can make eligible purchases at.

Speak with your account manager if you need help customizing a wellness benefits category on JOON.