New Rewards Credit Card Turns Workouts Into Cash Back

A person checks their smartphone after a workout.

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A tech firm that rewards fitness enthusiasts with discounts and perks at certain health and wellness brands is offering a new kind of incentive: credit card cash back.

Paceline, the maker of the fitness app, launched its first credit card last week, a Visa Signature that rewards cardholders who meet weekly fitness targets with 5% cash back on sneakers, gym memberships, and even groceries and pharmacy purchases at select stores and providers. Other purchases earn 3% cash back as long as users meet those targets.

Paceline says its card, which comes with a $60 annual fee, is the first to reward consistent fitness habits with credit card rewards, although the idea of linking exercise to cash isn’t new—and it’s the high cash-back rates that make the card noteworthy.

Besides the fitness requirements, it competes squarely with top cash-back credit cards (the 3% matches or beats many competing cards) and has fewer caps. For example, the more expensive Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (with an annual fee of $95) offers 6% cash back on groceries and streaming entertainment, 3% back on transit and gas, and 1% back elsewhere. But the 6% on groceries only applies to the first $6,000 spent each year.

To qualify for the top earnings rates, cardholders need to accumulate 150 active minutes each week, as verified by a fitness tracker connected to Paceline’s app. The counter resets weekly, and Paceline caps users’ daily active minutes at 50 per day. To reach the weekly target, users will need to make fitness a routine at least three times a week. Active minutes are tracked with a variety of fitness trackers, including products from Garmin and Fitbit.

The card will even subsidize the purchase of an Apple Watch 7 with up to $429 in weekly card account statement credits. Should cardholders take a cheat week or otherwise fail to reach the weekly goal of 150 active minutes, the card offers more modest rewards: Purchases at partners earn 2.5% cash back and purchases everywhere else earn 1.5%.

The collection of health and wellness partners that qualify for the 5% cash-back earning rate is relatively broad and includes Whole Foods, CVS, and Nike. The card is issued by Evolve Bank & Trust.

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  1. Paceline. “The First Credit Card for Health & Wellness Rewards.”

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