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Best Credit Cards For Gym Membership Of January 2024

Best Credit Cards For Gym Membership

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Regular exercise not only enhances your health and maintains your fitness but can also lead to valuable rewards, whether you're a gym member or work out at home, especially if you use the right rewards credit card.

Top credit cards for gym memberships offer rewards for paying your monthly membership fees and other health and fitness expenses with your card.

These cards typically provide perks such as credits for purchases from affiliated fitness brands.

Best Credit Cards for Gym Membership

Citi Custom Cash® Card

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is a great card to have if a large portion of your monthly budget goes toward gym membership fees.

The card earns a high cash back rate on purchases in your top spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent. Several categories are eligible for the bonus rate, including fitness clubs.

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in a top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 in spending each month and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn $200 in cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. The bonus points come in the form of 20,000 ThankYou® Points that can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Annual fee: $0

Other benefits and drawbacks: Other eligible top spending categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores and live entertainment.

You’ll only earn the higher bonus rate on fitness clubs if it’s your top spending category.

The Citi Custom Cash® Card has a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening on purchases and from date of first transfer for balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.

After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on creditworthiness. There is also a balance transfer fee of 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

This is perfect for financing a treadmill, Peloton Bike or other exercise equipment. The card charges a foreign transaction fee on international purchases.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card allows cardholders to customize their rewards. You can choose two of the eligible spending categories to earn bonus cash back each quarter up to the spending cap.

The card has two eligible fitness-related categories—gyms, fitness centers and sporting goods stores.

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center, 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories of choice, 2% cash back on one everyday category such as gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn a $200 rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0

Other benefits and drawbacks: It might be hard to choose your gym membership as one of your favorite spending categories each quarter, especially with other options available like TV, internet and streaming, home utilities, cell phones and fast food.

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, then a standard APR of 19.49% - 29.74% variable APR applies.

A balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum) applies and balances transferred must be completed within 60 days from account opening. The card offers few additional features or perks.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium credit card with tons of benefits for those who enjoy luxury travel and consumer perks.

Hidden among the card’s list of benefits is a large annual credit when you use your card to pay for an Equinox club membership. The luxury fitness club has locations in select cities around the U.S., Canada and London. 

Rewards: Earn 5 Membership Rewards Points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year, 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the card in the first 6 months of card membership.

Annual fee: $695

Other benefits and drawbacks:  With only over 100 locations, the Equinox credit isn’t worth much if you don’t live near a club. Still, the Platinum Card offers much more, including several other valuable credits, bonus Membership Rewards for travel and a strong welcome bonus.

Don’t forget the card’s travel perks like airport lounge access, elite hotel and rental car loyalty status and several travel protections.

Unfortunately, Amex Platinum has one of the highest annual fees around.

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Methodology

Forbes Advisor analyzed dozens of cards to find the top choices that offered rewards and benefits related to gym memberships and personal fitness. Factors we considered are:

  • Annual fees

  • Welcome bonus offers

  • Ongoing reward rates

  • Reward redemption options

  • Additional cardholder benefits

Forbes Advisor uses data from multiple government agencies to determine how much a typical cardholder might spend.

We use the same numbers for cards in the same category to make sure we are comparing cards the same way.

The bonus categories for spending included with each card are factored into our determination of how many rewards a cardholder could expect to earn if they use the card as a consumer normally would.

 

Is It a Good Idea To Put Gym Membership on a Credit Card?

Gym memberships often require paying a monthly or annual membership fee.

Credit cards are an excellent option for recurring charges like a gym membership for several reasons. Card issuers sometimes close card accounts if there’s an extended period of inactivity, so having a recurring charge can keep the credit line open.

Having more available credit helps keep your credit utilization rate low, which can boost your credit score.

Sometimes, the membership automatically renews without additional notice outside of your initial contract.

Gym memberships are also notoriously hard to cancel.

If you’re struggling to get out of your contract, using a credit card means no funds coming out of your bank account while you work to resolve the issue.

What Fitness Perks Should I Look for in a Credit Card?

The best fitness perks are the ones you’ll use on a regular basis.

Consider your lifestyle, health and fitness needs to find cards with complementary benefits. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers valuable statement credits for Equinox memberships, but the perk isn’t worth much if you don’t live or work near one of its 106 clubs in the U.S., Canada and London.

If you prefer to work out at home, look for cards with fitness perks like on-demand video fitness classes or high rewards rates at sporting goods stores and other retailers that sell fitness equipment.

How To Choose a Credit Card for Gym Memberships

Choosing a credit card solely based on fitness benefits could limit you from taking full advantage of your spending, especially if you spend more in other categories each month.

The cards on our list all come with gym membership or fitness equipment perks. Many of them offer other valuable card benefits and elevated rewards in other common spending categories.

Look for cards with fitness benefits and perks you’ll use, then look beyond those benefits to narrow down the field. Compare rewards rates, APR, card benefits and fees to determine the right card for you.

Bottom Line

If fitness is a big part of your life—or you want it to be—you have options.
There are several cards that will reward you for getting fit by way of bonus categories, statement credits and more.

The best card is the one that meshes best with your lifestyle and goals, while keeping in mind annual fees, ancillary benefits and other bonuses for your everyday spending.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I use my debit or credit card for gym membership?

Generally, a credit card is a better option than a debit card for recurring charges, like monthly gym membership fees.

If you run into issues with the gym, your membership or your payment, you can dispute or resolve the issue without loss of funds like a debit card, which is tied to a bank account and pulls funds directly from your account.

Does Amex offer gym discounts?

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the only Amex card with gym membership benefits.

Cardholders can get up to $300 in statement credits annually when they use their Platinum Card to pay for an Equinox+ digital subscription or an Equinox club membership.

Also, cardholders with an Equinox subscription can receive a $300 statement credit when they use their Platinum card to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike.

Do gym memberships affect your credit score?

Gym memberships on their own do not directly affect your credit score.

As with any credit card purchase, monthly or annual gym membership fees show up on your monthly statement.

If you miss or make a late credit card payment, it’s reported to the credit bureaus, which can then negatively impact your credit score.

Source: forbes

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation te