How to maximize points and miles on fitness and wellness spending




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Since the pandemic, many gyms have implemented strict health standards and cleaning procedures. Even as they’ve reopened, fitness looks different in the coronavirus era. At-home workouts and outdoor group fitness classes are the new ways to exercise in a safe and socially distant manner.

Wellness has become more important than ever. Since I’m traveling less and spending more time at home, I’ve prioritized health and fitness. Gyms aren’t open where I live, so I’ve invested a fair amount in setting up the perfect home gym.

If you’re spending on fitness and wellness too, here are ways to maximize points and miles on these purchases.

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Fitness gear and apparel



a close up of a bridge: (Photo via Shutterstock)


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(Photo via Shutterstock)

Workout clothes (or athleisure) are my go-to not only for exercising but for working from home. Whether you’re shopping for new sweatpants or running shoes, you’ll want to maximize each purchase.

By using CashBack Monitor, you can search your favorite stores to see which shopping portal to use. I searched for Lululemon and got these results.



graphical user interface, table: Screenshot courtesy of Cashbackmonitor.com


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Screenshot courtesy of Cashbackmonitor.com

Even better, Alaska, American, Southwest and United’s shopping portals are currently offering bonus miles based on spending. These offers end throughout August, so be sure to check them out if you’re planning to shop online:

Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping Portal
  • Spend $150, earn 300 bonus miles
  • Spend $300, earn 750 bonus miles
  • Spend $500, earn 1,500 bonus miles
Offer ends Aug. 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
American AAdvantage eShopping Portal
  • Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles
  • Spend $300, earn 1,000 bonus miles
  • Spend $500, earn 2,000 bonus miles
Offer ends Aug. 17, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal
  • Spend $125, earn 250 bonus points
  • Spend $300, earn 900 bonus points
  • Spend $550, earn 2,000 bonus points
Offer ends Aug. 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
United MileagePlus Shopping Portal
  • Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles
  • Spend $350, earn 1,500 bonus miles
  • Spend $600, earn 2,500 bonus miles
Offer ends Aug. 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET

 

Here’s an example of how many points you can score. On a $150 Lululemon purchase, I would use the American Airlines shopping portal and pay with a Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants). This would result in 600 AAdvantage miles (valued at $8.40) and 600 Chase Freedom cash back/points (worth $6). With the current American AAdvantage shopping portal bonus, I would earn 500 bonus miles (a $7 value). I would earn about $21 in rewards off the bat or a 14% return on spending.

And if you have an Ultimate Rewards-earning Chase card, you can convert your Freedom cash back/points into Ultimate Rewards. This doubles the value of your points. With a return ranging from 14-18%, the points stack up quickly the more you spend.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Gym memberships

The average gym membership costs $58 per month or about $700 per year. With recurring purchases, you’ll want to charge them to the right credit card. By using a card best for everyday spending, you’ll earn a solid amount of points and miles or cash back.

There are even cards that offer bonus points on gym membership, meaning you’ll earn even more rewards in this category

Gallery: Most Americans Waste $100 a Year on Bank Fees: How To Avoid This Costly Mistake (GOBankingRates)

Chase Freedom



a close up of text on a black background: (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)


© The Points Guy
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Keep an eye out for cards that have rotating bonuses, like the Chase Freedom. This year, it offered a second-quarter bonus, including fitness clubs and gym memberships. Cardholders earned 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent each quarter they activate. It’s always good to keep an eye out for promotions like this one. With a current sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, this is a great cash back card to consider.

Review: Chase Freedom card review

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card



(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)


© The Points Guy
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Every quarter, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card also earns 5% cash back in two rotating categories of your choice. These categories include gym/fitness purchases. Once you choose your two categories, you’ll earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases per quarter. Since gyms and fitness centers are included, you’ll want to make sure to select that as one of your bonus earning categories. This card also has an introductory bonus offer of $150 after spending $500 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

The information for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card



a close up of a card: (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)


© The Points Guy
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

One of the best hotel credit cards rewards you for health and fitness purchases, too. You’ll earn 2 Hyatt points per dollar spent on fitness club and gym memberships, among other bonus categories targeted for everyday spending.

With the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. Plus, another 25,000 when you spend a total of $6,000 within the first six months. So, if your goal is to earn free hotel nights, this card is worth signing up for.

Review: World of Hyatt Credit Card review

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card



a hand holding a cellphone: (Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)


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(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

If you’re looking for a general travel rewards card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. You can then transfer your Capital One Miles to 10+ airline and hotel partners. You’ll get a fixed 2.8% return (based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer) when using this card and transfer your points.

The card is currently offering a limited time bonus of 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months from account opening. Or still earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards credit card

Meditation apps

Living a healthy lifestyle goes beyond exercise. While juggling a work-life balance, meditation and mindfulness are just as important.

If you’re an American Express cardholder, you’re in luck. Through Sept. 30, 2020, you can sign up for a year-long subscription of Calm, the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Available in your Amex offers, it’s easy to sign up. If you renew for the following year, the membership is half off.



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If you’re a World of Hyatt member, you can access Headspace, a guided meditation app. You’ll find free mindfulness and sleep content on the World of Hyatt app. Members can also try Headspace Plus for 30 days free, valid until Oct. 31, 2020.



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Related: The best apps for keeping calm during turbulent moments

Bottom line

Health and fitness are important parts of daily life, so why not earn rewards while you’re at it? Especially during a pandemic, staying healthy is a top priority. Everyday purchases, like fitness and wellness, can lead to travel rewards to use down the road.

Featured photo by visualspace/Getty Images

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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