Two months back when the relentless second wave of COVID started, we started seeing people drawn from different walks of life coming together and helping each other out of this adversity. In the hospitality sector, we saw several instances where chefs, hotels and restaurants came forward to offer meals, oxygen cylinders, vaccination centres, isolation centres and more.
Several companies, banks and organisations are now rolling out special discount offers, schemes and even offering freebies for those, who have been vaccinated to tackle vaccine hesitancy and to reward people who are vaccinated. The initiatives include free parking, retail vouchers and discounted foods and beverages for takeaways by various outlets.
Some state-owned banks in the country have started offering higher interest rate on fixed deposits for vaccinated individuals. The limited period offers have been announced in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
UCO Bank has announced that it is offering 30 basis points or 0.30% higher interest rate on fixed deposits of 999 days for applicants who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bank’s special offer for vaccinated individuals will run till 30th September.
Earlier in April, another offer was announced by the Central Bank of India. The bank had recently launched the Immune India deposit scheme with an additional interest rate of 25 basis points (bps) or 0.25% above the applicable rate for those who have been vaccinated.
The scheme launched by the Central Bank of India has a maturity of 1,111 days.
Under the public sector bank’s immune India deposit scheme, senior citizens will get an additional 25 bps of interest on bank FDs. Therefore, senior citizens who have got vaccinated will get 50 bps or 0.50% higher interest rate on fixed deposits.
In a tweet, the bank said, “To encourage vaccination under Covid-19, Central Bank of India launches Special Deposit Product “Immune India Deposit Scheme" for 1111 days at an attractive extra Interest rate of 25 basis points above the applicable card rate for Citizens who got Vaccinated.”
EaseMyTrip is offering the discount to Customers who apply with the coupon code- EMTSHIELD while booking their ticket. To ensure that the special initiative benefits a large section of travellers, the company has not kept any minimum booking amount limit to claim this offer.
Joining the bangwagon, McDonald's India is lending their support to the ongoing vaccination drive. The largest burger joint chain in India is offering 20% discount coupons saying 'Just another reason to get vaccinated ASAP'.
McDonald's has recently launched their 'We Care' initiative with an aim to encourage people to get vaccinated. Launched through McDonald's mobile app - North and East India, it offers special deals to McDonald's customers post the vaccination.
According to an official statement, here people can avail a ‘limited time’ offer on meals by uploading their vaccination certificate on McDonald's mobile app under the 'Got Vaccinated' tab, along with basic details. Post this they will receive a unique code via SMS that can be redeemed through Getmcdonalds.com to get their favourite meals.
The offers will be available to those using the fast-food chain’s app for the region and they won't be available via aggregators such as Swiggy, and Zomato.
The fast-food chain further added that neither the company nor any affiliate of the company, will retain any sensitive information contained in the vaccine certificate.
Easy Trip Planners Ltd (Ease My Trip), one of India's leading online travel agency, is enabling the travel industry to bounce back by offering a special travel discount for customers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The travel discounts will be offered to both new and existing customers on flights, hotels and bus bookings done through EaseMyTrip's website, mobile site, Android, and iOS app. The offer which can be claimed on travel bookings will be valid till 30 June 2021.
The Beer Cafe is working on similar intentions with the tagline of 'You got the jab, we got your tab'. Numerous other retail outlets are offering encouragement packages for vaccinated customers. The Beer Cafe’s offer gives consumers a 10% discount on the first jab and 20% on the second.
While the offers are rolling out, restaurants are still not open full day basis and are being kept shut for dine-in in most large Indian cities.
Rapido, an Indian bike taxi platform announced the second phase of its 'Ride To Vaccinate' initiative.
The ride-sharing platform, under the initiative, will provide a free Rapido ride to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre out of the designated 18 hospitals, to all Delhi National capital region (NCR) citizens.
The initiative, the company claims, is aimed at providing a safe, affordable, and accessible commute to all citizens eligible for vaccination across Delhi NCR.
In line with the union ministry's various measures to amplify the vaccination drive in the country, Rapido will be offering free rides for a period of two weeks, starting 10th June to 23 June 2021.
In the first phase of Rapido’s 'Ride To Vaccinate' campaign, 10,000 free Rapido auto rides, worth Rs10 lakh, were availed from 31st March to 11 April 2021 in Delhi NCR alone.
With the younger population’s turn to get the vaccination, Rapido plans to offer a one-time discount of up to Rs30 to any of the 18 designated hospitals.
The offer will be auto-applied on the Rapido ride once the commuter chooses any of the designated hospitals as their destination for their ride.
Not to be left behind, Vogo, which is one of India’s largest two-wheeler rental companies has started a new initiative called ‘GoSafe’. Under this, Vogo will offer free rides worth Rs300 to people who get vaccinated. In order to avail the free rides, the user will have to upload their full or partial vaccination certificate on the Vogo app.
The brand says that for every user who uploads his or her vaccination certificate, Vogo will also donate Rs100 to ‘Activate 50 Hospitals fund’, a project that is started by Pranitha Subhash Foundation & Good Scout, a consortium of entrepreneurs, social welfare groups and various philanthropists to identify and activate 50 defunct hospitals across India and provide them the required medical infrastructure to treat COVID-19 patients free of cost.
This spate of offers is a universal phenomenon. Just last week, we saw President Joe Biden announcing free beer as an incentive for Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, to get more shots into arms before the 4th July holiday.
While over 24 crore people across India (around 22% of the population) have already received the vaccine against COVID-19 as of 10th June, these companies are looking to bait those who are still hesitant to get the vaccine.