How do you combine money, exercise, and the motivations of the heart?

Answer: Paceline

Paceline is a new fitness app that gives rewards for exercising. This app is not the first to combine exercise with rewards, but it has additional benefits. The Paceline app is the first fitness app that I have seen which combines credit card rewards and the ability to receive a free Apple Watch (Series 7).

How it works

First, you download the Paceline app, which connects to Apple Health, Fitbit, or Garmin. Next, you will need a fitness tracker that includes heart rate tracking. The goal is to have 150 minutes of elevated heart rate (eHr) per week (maximum 50 minutes a day). For example, a brisk walk will track an elevated heart rate. You will receive a reward each week that you reach the exercise goal. These rewards include $1 Amazon gift cards and other offers for discounts on products and services.

The real benefit to the program comes with the ability to get a free Apple Watch when you apply for and are approved for a Paceline credit card (issued by Evolve Bank & Trust). After approval (instant for me), you can purchase an Apple watch through a link in their app (this is necessary for tracking the purchase). I bought the Nike version, which cost $429 plus tax. So how is it free? You receive a credit of $8.25 credit ($429/52) for each week that you reach your 150-minute exercise goal. I am currently on week 5, and there is a tracker for the offer that tells me I have 47 more credits to go. The credit card also has a generous rewards structure. You get a base 1.5% cashback on qualifying purchases (everyday purchases) plus 2.5% on Health & Wellness purchases. Once you reach your weekly goal, you qualify for 3% and 5%, respectively. The cashback is credited each day, and once you reach your weekly goal, you will see the cashback doubled. I am not sure how long they will keep paying these higher rewards rates since it is one of the highest amounts I have seen on a card. There are a handful of 2% cards and many rotating 5% cards. There is an annual fee of $60 to also consider.

I exercise a lot each week, so I already surpass the required 150 minutes a week. Therefore, it was a no-brainer to get this card since I could get a free watch and higher rewards on my everyday purchases. However, I wanted to test the card out first before writing about it to ensure it was legitimate and working as promised. I am pleased with the program and hope the competitive rewards structure lasts. You can use my referral link to sign up and receive a $5 Amazon gift card (use my code: VYL6ZJ).

Incentives and Motivations

Incentives are often used to influence people to buy a product (think 20% off discount) or participate in a survey ($5 reward). If you think about it, companies are really good at influencing behaviors to buy a product more often than not. This app seems to motivate exercise with the incentives of gift cards and a free watch. In return, they collect a lot of data, which I am fine with. My primary motivation was the free watch and extra cashback on the credit card. I am curious how many people will meet their exercise goal and get full credit for the watch. My hunch is that 50% or less will fulfill the requirement to receive the full credit. I think our motivations often are fleeting, as excitement wanes over time. It takes discipline to stay on track and maybe a little financial incentive. Now get outside and enjoy some exercise!

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