At home or at the gym: The best credit cards for fitness and exercise fanatics
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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 hitting the gym or a favorite fitness studio after the coronavirus pandemic (or trying a workout program from home), then you’ve come across the right place to learn how to maximize your rewards.
While you may know about how to earn points for travel, dining, and in numerous other categories, you can also gain some valuable points while working out, too. From CrossFit to calisthenics to bodyweight exercises to Bollywood dance, the options are truly endless — and with the right credit card in hand, you’ll be able to reap the benefits.
The best credit cards for gyms, fitness classes and equipment
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card
- U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
- Chase Freedom (2nd quarter of 2020)
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Beyond gym memberships and workout classes, we also expanded the best cards criteria to include fitness gear and athletic apparel. While the vast majority of us do not have access to a gym while practicing social distancing, we’re still trying to stay active at home or outdoors and need the equipment to do so. You can use a credit card to purchase from online retailers where you can get your workout must-haves delivered straight to your door.
Related reading: How to get access to a great gym everywhere you travel
Rather than slog through an enormous array of credit cards, we’ve created a short list of the best ones for gyms, fitness and more. These cards all generate at least 2 points per exercise dollar spent (in some cases up to 5 points). We also took into consideration our TPG valuation on points to ensure they’re some of the best.
Without further ado, here are the best credit 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)|
|The World of Hyatt Credit Card||Gym memberships||2 points per dollar on fitness clubs and gym memberships||3.6 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 spending up to $2,000 per quarter||5 cents|
*2nd Quarter of 2020 only
|Gym memberships and fitness clubs||5x cash back (or Ultimate Rewards points) when activated for Q2 2020||10 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 up to $6,000 per year, plus a 50% bonus when you use the card 30 times a month||6 cents|
The information for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa, Chase Freedom, 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 4 points per dollar on purchases at Hyatt hotels; 2 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 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Also, World of Hyatt members will earn 10 points per dollar and four additional points when using The World of Hyatt Credit Card on Exhale bookings.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, then another 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first six months of account opening. Since TPG values Hyatt points at 1.8 cents apiece, the full tiered bonus is worth $900.
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 towards 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 card member year.
Read our full review of the World of Hyatt card.
Apply for the World of Hyatt card
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back (or 5x points if you convert to Ultimate Rewards points with an eligible card) on up to $1,500 spent in rotating bonus categories each quarter.
Welcome bonus: Earn $150 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases during your first three months after account opening.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: You must enroll each quarter into the categories of your choice to earn 5% cash back. From April 1 through June 30, 2020, Chase Freedom cardholders get 5% cash back on fitness clubs and gym memberships.
Chase provides a sample list of merchants that fall into these categories including national brands such as 24 Hour Fitness, ClassPass, Crunch, SoulCycle, Orange Theory and many more. The potential to earn 5x on this category is huge — especially if you pair it with a card that can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to hotel and airline partners.
Read our full review of the Chase Freedom.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose; 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores; and 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases. The 5% categories that would fall under exercise purchases include gyms/fitness centers and sporting goods stores.
Welcome bonus: Earn $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: While you must enroll each quarter into the categories of your choice to earn 5% cash back, it’s nice to be able to do so each quarter. Not able to make use of 5% back on gyms this quarter? Pick something else — like 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.
Welcome bonus: Receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval.
Annual fee: $0, 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.
n(Photo by The Points Guy)Rewards: Earn 3x points at US 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 bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months.
Annual fee: $95
Keep in mind: According to TPG’s latest valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece. That means for every dollar spent at a grocery on gift cards, you’ll earn 3 points worth 6 cents. If you hit 30 monthly transactions, those 3 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.
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), or 2% cash back using the Citi® Double Cash Card (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay). These are normal earn rates on these cards — but it doesn’t make them any less lucrative.
Even though gyms across the U.S. are temporarily closed due to coronavirus, keep these cards at the front of your mind when things reopen back up again. And with many at-home workout options and fitness gear purchasable online, you can still take advantage of rewards on these cash-back and points-earning cards right now.
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 an added bonus.
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Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images.