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If your list of New Year’s resolutions includes getting back to the gym, then I wanted to share a valuable little credit card perk that can help get you back into fighting shape for less money.
In addition to the other valuable perks of the Amex Platinum card that I’ve talked about before, I found a little-discussed one in partnership with Equinox gyms.
When you sign up for a new membership with Equinox and pay with your Platinum Amex you get four free training sessions and a free 50-minute signature massage or facial in the first year. The training sessions start at about $75 each, and a 50-minute massage is $115, so that means you get a combined value of $415, almost making up for the $450 annual fee for the card. There are also ongoing benefits after Year 1 including discounts on bundles of personal training sessions (like 2 extra sessions when you buy 6 or more, 4 extras with the purchase of 12 or more, etc.), as well as coupons for the gym’s shop. Additionally, when I signed up in August they told me they’d waive the initiation fee since I was a Platinum cardholder event though it’s not an official benefit, so it never hurts to ask!
The best benefits, however, go to cardholders of the exclusive Amex Centurion card (and they better, with a joining fee of $5,000 and a hefty $2,500 annual fee!), and include the same “special membership pricing” and four personal training sessions, as well as three 50-minute massages or facials and unspecified other “additional benefits” throughout your first year. In subsequent years, Centurion holders will get the same personal training session bundle discounts and shop coupons as well as two free massages with the purchase of a pack of 10 massages.
Amex Gold benefits aren’t quite as rich, and only include “special membership pricing” (presumably you can negotiate a better rate), 15% off a single spa service, 15% off a one-time purchase at The Shop, and a one-week guest pass.
These perks are valid only for new, one-year memberships purchased at the standard monthly or paid-in-full rate. Payment must be made using the member’s American Express card, and benefits may not be substituted for any other services of products, and they are not valid for corporate memberships. Personal training sessions expire six months after enrollment.
A lot of gyms offer promotional rates in January to lure in new members hoping to work off that holiday weight and ring the new year in on a healthy note. So if you’re thinking about joining a gym, or looking to switch, now might just be the best time to take advantage of low membership rates and reap all the benefits your Amex card offers.
I’m a member of Equinox myself, and can vouch for the professional, clean, excellent facilities of the various locations of this upscale gym chain that I’ve used in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. I’ve also found their personal training sessions to be a great way to get back into shape and my trainer even works with me to figure out how I can maintain my workouts on the road (which is extremely hard to do, especially when traveling across multiple timezones).
Equinox isn’t the cheapest option, but using your Amex card can get you valuable perks. I’d recommend trying to negotiate and always check to see if you have a corporate discount.