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The Paceline Credit Card is designed to encourage cardholders to lace up their sneakers and get moving. It earns an elevated cash-back rewards rate for health and wellness purchases, plus a points boost every week you achieve 150 minutes of elevated heart-rate activity per week. The card, which is issued by Evolve Bank & Trust, essentially provides motivation to keep up a fitness habit.
But the card becomes significantly less rewarding if you catch a cold or pull a muscle and take a week off to recover. If you don’t reach that 150-minute activity minimum, you earn as little as 0.5% cash back on non-wellness purchases. Considering how many cash-back cards earn at least 1.5% back — three times that rate — without the fitness requirement, the Paceline Credit Card is truly geared toward those who want to tie their credit card rewards to their physical activity.
Here are five things to know about the Paceline Credit Card.
1. You can earn up to 3% back, but you have to work for it
The base cash-back earnings rates are as follows:
1.5% cash back on eligible health and wellness purchases, including gym memberships and workout classes, sporting goods and fitness equipment, and select merchants that sell athletic apparel.
0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
That’s about as exciting as dropping a dumbbell on your foot. But you’ll double your earnings to 3% on health and wellness and 1% on everything else every week you achieve a Paceline Streak. To do this, complete 150 minutes of heart-elevating activity, which Paceline defines as a brisk walk at the minimum. That's an average of 30 minutes five days per week.
2. Cash-back rewards are paid out daily
It’s typical for rewards cards to dole out the points on a monthly basis after your billing cycle ends, and you may need to accumulate a minimum number of points to redeem for cash back. With the Paceline Credit Card, you get near-immediate gratification. Earned cash back is applied to your account as a statement credit the day after you make an eligible purchase. Initially, you’ll just earn the base points. If you achieve a Paceline Streak for the week, you’ll get the added rewards.
3. The annual fee will leave you short of breath
The Paceline Credit Card charges a $120 annual fee. You’d need to spend $4,000 in health and wellness purchases per year to offset that cost, assuming you also achieve a Paceline Streak every week and get 3% cash back as a result.
The most high-end cash-back cards charge fees under $100, and many charge no annual fees at all. If you can stick to your fitness goals without the incentives the Paceline Credit Card provides, you may find another card more beneficial.
4. Get statement credits toward an Apple Watch
With the Paceline Credit Card, there’s no sign-up bonus in the traditional sense. Instead, you can work your way toward a reimbursement on an Apple Watch purchase with your card. Over 24 months, you can earn up to $429 total, in weekly statement credits, if you achieve your Paceline Streak each week and spend at least $500 per billing cycle on the card. It’s compelling if you have your heart set on an Apple Watch, but it’s a heavy lift. You’ll need to spend $12,000 on the Paceline Credit Card over two years — and get moving for 15,600 minutes — to get the full $429. By the time you pay off the watch, it’ll be time to upgrade to a new one.
5. You can’t track fitness activity manually
To achieve a Paceline Streak, you can’t log your minutes using the honor system. Paceline works in tandem with specific devices, like an iPhone, Apple Watch, Fitbit or Garmin watch. Also note that total exercise minutes may not equal the total time of your workout. Those moments where you stretch or drink water are important, but they don’t get counted toward the total.