At home or at the gym: The best credit cards to maximize your next workout
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information.
Earn points or cash back while working up a sweat? Yes, you can. If you’re planning on trying a workout program from home during the pandemic, or hitting the gym or a favorite fitness studio once it’s open again, then you’ve come across the right place to learn how to maximize your rewards.
From CrossFit to calisthenics to bodyweight exercises to Bollywood dance routines, the options are truly endless — and with the right credit card in hand, you’ll be able to reap financial benefits, too.
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The best credit cards for gyms, fitness classes and equipment
- World of Hyatt Credit Card
- U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Limited-time fitness credits on select cards and other options:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- United MileagePlus Alo Moves free trial
- Hyatt and Headspace team up
Beyond gym memberships and workout classes, we also expanded the best credit cards criteria to include fitness gear and athletic apparel.
While some gyms remain closed during the pandemic — or perhaps some gym members simply aren’t yet ready to return — you can still stay active at home. Just be sure to use the right credit card to purchase from online retailers that will deliver your workout must-haves straight to your door.
We’ve created a short list of the best cards for gyms, fitness and more.
These cards all generate at least 2x points per exercise dollar spent (in some cases up to 5x points). We also took into consideration our TPG valuation of points to ensure they’re some of the best. Also included are a few cards with limited-time credits to select at-home workout platforms and some other partnerships and promotions.
Here are our top picks for the best cards for gym memberships, fitness and exercise equipment.
Comparing the cards
|Card||Best for||Earning rate||Value of points or cash back earned (based on TPG valuations)|
|World of Hyatt Credit Card||Gym memberships||2x points per dollar on fitness clubs and gym memberships||3.4 cents|
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card||Gym memberships, sporting goods stores||5% cash back on two categories out of a choice of 12, on up to $2,000 per quarter||5 cents|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Athletic clothing, gear or equipment purchased on Amazon.com||5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases||5 cents|
|The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express||Gift cards purchased at a grocery store for sporting goods stores||3x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, plus a 50% bonus when you use the card 30 times a month||6 cents|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Peloton users||Up to $120 in statement credits to be used by Dec. 31, 2021||Up to $120|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Peloton users||Up to $60 in statement credits to be used by Dec. 31, 2021||Up to $60|
|The Platinum Card from American Express
|Equinox+ users||Up to $25 back each month in statement credits||Varies, must activate through Amex Offers|
The information for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amex EveryDay Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Here is a more in-depth look at each of these cards, plus some other options to earn better than 1 cent apiece on your workout spending.
Details of each card
Rewards: Earn 4x points per dollar on purchases at Hyatt hotels; 2x points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, on local transit and commuting, and on fitness clubs and gym memberships; and 2x points on purchases that earn 1x point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months, and then 1x points per dollar on all other purchases. Also, World of Hyatt members will earn 10x points per dollar and 4x additional points when using the World of Hyatt Credit Card on Exhale bookings.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning two bonus points total per $1 spent on purchases that normally earn one bonus point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. Since TPG values Hyatt points at 1.7 cents apiece, the full bonus is worth $1,020.
Annual fee: $95
Keep in mind: As you can see, the Hyatt card earns 2x points on fitness clubs and gym memberships — a nice return that can be used toward a Hyatt redemption. However, the big earning potential is with Exhale. There are dozens of independent Exhale locations nationwide with a selection of fitness classes, spa therapies and workout gear. Exhale On Demand subscriptions also qualify for the points bonus.
You can earn up to two free nights per year on Hyatt properties by using this card. You’ll receive a free night certificate usable at a Category 1-4 property after your card anniversary. Earn a second free night at a Category 1-4 property by spending $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year.
Read our full review of the World of Hyatt card.
Apply for the World of Hyatt card.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose; 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, such as gas stations or grocery stores; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. The 5% categories that would fall under exercise purchases include gyms/fitness centers and sporting goods stores.
Sign-up bonus: Earn $150 after you spend $500 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: While you must enroll each quarter in the categories of your choice to earn 5% cash back, it’s nice to be able to periodically change your selection. Not able to make use of 5% back on gyms this quarter? Pick something else – including TV, internet and streaming services — and save gyms for later this year. Check out the full list of eligible gyms and fitness centers, which include popular spots such as Equinox, Planet Fitness and SoulCycle.
U.S. Bank says the category options are subject to change quarterly. Although most Americans probably don’t have to worry about the quarterly spending cap, the most you could earn with the 5% bonus is $100 per quarter.
Read our full review of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card.
Rewards: Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and at Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on all other purchases.
Sign-up bonus: Receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval.
Annual fee: None – but you must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. Prime subscriptions cost $119 annually.
Keep in mind: This card offers best-in-class earnings on purchases at Amazon. With such a large stock of workout equipment, gear and exercise apparel available, we consider it a card that is worthy of mention. You can purchase weights, yoga mats, running gear, stationary bikes and much more to build your own home gym.
This card doesn’t technically come with a bonus rewards category for athletic gear, but any clothing, gear or equipment you purchase on Amazon.com should receive 5% cash back.
Read our full review of the Amazon Prime Visa.
Rewards: Earn 3x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 2x points at U.S. gas stations and 1x points on other purchases. Use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases, less returns and credits.
Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months.
Annual fee: $95
Keep in mind: This card involves a bit of a workaround where you buy gift cards for fitness or sporting goods at a grocery store and then use those for your purchases. According to TPG’s latest valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece. That means for every dollar spent at a grocery store on gift cards, you’ll earn 3 points, worth 6 cents. If you hit 30 monthly transactions, those three points per dollar spent turn into 4.5 points per dollar spent, worth 9 cents.
Read the full review of the Amex EveryDay Preferred card.
In order to entice cardholders who may not be traveling, many travel-focused cards are offering non-travel credits.
For instance, select Chase cardholders are now eligible for statement credits that can be used to cover monthly Peloton Digital ($12.99) and All-Access ($39) memberships, valid through Dec. 31, 2021.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Up to $120 in statement credits
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Up to $60 in statement credits
Amex has an offer with Equinox+ (formerly known as Variis) for at-home workouts. Equinox+ is a fitness platform with a standalone mobile app membership for all consumers, priced at $39.99 per month.
- Eligible cardholders with The Platinum Card from American Express: Up to $25 back each month in statement credits
- Eligible cardholders with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Up to $10 back each month in statement credits
- Other eligible Amex cardholders: $10 back each month in statement credits for the first three months (available through April 1, 2021)
If you don’t love any of these options, you can still earn 1.5% cash back on exercise spending with the Chase Freedom Unlimited (or 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points if you also have an Ultimate Rewards-earning card), 2% cash back using the Citi® Double Cash Card (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) or 2x miles on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. These are normal earning rates on these cards — but it doesn’t make them any less lucrative.
A couple of travel brands have teamed up with companies in the fitness space to offer their loyalty members limited-time deals or trials.
United Airlines has a partnership with Alo Moves, an online wellness platform with yoga, fitness, stretching and meditation sessions. MileagePlus members can register for 30 days of complimentary access to classes via the app. The subscription normally retails for $20 per month. If you choose to continue your Alo Moves membership after the 30-day trial, you’ll receive 1,000 United bonus miles.
World of Hyatt members now have access to Headspace, one of the most popular meditation apps on the market. You can access complimentary mindfulness and sleep exercises in the World of Hyatt app.
Even though many gyms and fitness studios remain closed due to the pandemic, you can still earn rewards through at-home workout options and fitness gear purchasable online.
You will almost certainly not spend enough money in a year to base your choice of credit card on whether you can earn bonus points with the money you spend on gym memberships or gear. But if other bonus categories on a particular credit card align with your spending, getting additional points for your workouts is a great perk.
Additional reporting by Eric Rosen.
Featured photo by tsyhun/Shutterstock.
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