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The card pays 2 points per dollar on fitness clubs and gym memberships. It also earns 4 points per dollar on purchases at Hyatt hotels (including on-site restaurants and spas).
The new fitness category placed this card in rare company. There aren’t many credit cards that reward fitness buffs for their spending, whether it’s on gym memberships, trips to the sporting goods store or on workout gear. But there are a few options that could generate more than 1 point per exercise dollar spent. Let’s look at some of the best options.
|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|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Athletic clothing or gear purchased at a department store||Card Members who applied and were approved for the Blue Cash Preferred Card before May 9, 2019, will continue to receive 3% Cash Back at select U.S. department stores until July 31, 2019||3 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|
Here’s 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.
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.
Welcome 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: 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.
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: You must enroll each quarter into the categories of your choice to earn 5% cash back. U.S. Bank says 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.
Rewards: Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at US gas stations and 1% back on other purchases. Card Members who applied and were approved for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card before May 9, 2019, will continue to receive 3% Cash Back at select U.S. department stores until July 31, 2019
Welcome bonus: Receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Annual fee: $95 (See Rates & Fees)
Keep in mind: You won’t find the 3% back at select US department stores benefit listed in the card’s marketing, but we can confirm that it’s still available (until July 31, 2019) to Card Members who applied and were approved for the card before May 9, 2019. The 3% cash back is good only at certain US department stores, including Bealls, Belk, Bloomingdale’s, Bon Ton Stores, Boscov’s, Century 21 Department Stores, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears and Stein Mart.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
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: None, but you must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. Prime subscriptions cost $119 annually.
Keep in mind: 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.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
Rewards: Earn 3x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 2x points at US 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 grocer on gift cards, you’ll earn 3 points worth 6 cents. Then if you hit 30 monthly transactions, those 3 points per dollar spent turn into 4.5 points per dollar spent, worth 9 cents.
Best Cards for Health-Food Stores
If eating well is part of your fitness plan (and it probably should be), you have several great options for earning bonus rewards on grocery spending. Just keep in mind that earning bonus points on groceries with these cards depends on a store’s merchant code — if you visit a health-food store that for some reason doesn’t get coded as a grocery store in Amex’s system, for example, you’d miss out on 4x points with the American Express® Gold Card.
Here’s a look at cards that offer strong earning rates at US supermarkets and grocery stores (including health-food stores, in theory):
|Earning Rate at US Supermarkets||Annual Fee||Value of Points (based on TPG valuations)||Total Value Per Dollar Spent|
|The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||3x points up to $6,000 per year, then 1x, plus a 50% bonus when you use the card 30 times a month. Terms Apply||$95||2 cents each||9 cents|
|American Express® Gold Card||4x points up to $25,000 per year; then 1x. Terms Apply.||$250 (See Rates & Fees)||2 cents each||8 cents|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||6% cash back up to $6,000 per year; then 1%. Terms Apply.||$95||N/A||6 cents|
|Target REDcard||5% savings on qualifying purchases at Target||None||N/A||5 cents|
|The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||2x points up to $6,000 per year, plus a 20% bonus when you use the card 20 times a month. Terms Apply.||None||2 cents each||4.8 cents|
You could also consider getting a card tied to a sporting goods store, although we generally don’t recommend store credit cards. You may find that the rewards, which typically can be redeemed for additional store purchases only, outweigh the downsides. First Bankcard issues the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa card, which offers 5% cash back on sporting goods store and gas purchases. A portion of each purchase is paid to Ducks Unlimited to support wetlands conservation.
If you don’t like either 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).
You will almost certainly not spend enough money in a year to justify making your choice of credit card based on whether you can earn bonus points on gym memberships or spending at sporting goods stores. But if other bonus categories on a particular credit card align with your spending — if you frequently stay at Hyatt properties, for example — getting additional points on your workout spending is an added bonus.
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- Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
- Free nights start at 5,000 points
- Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships