Paceline: A Surprising New Competitor for the Best Grocery Rewards Credit Card

Many people might say that credit cards motivate them to spend too much. But what if your credit card encouraged you to exercise more frequently? the Map of Pacéline offers 5% cash back on eligible health and wellness purchases and 3% cash back on everything else, provided cardholders exercise 150 minutes per week. Otherwise, returns are halved.

Paceline defines health and wellness very broadly. This includes groceries, pharmacies, gym memberships, workout classes, fitness apparel, and sporting goods.

The grocery category stands out for me

In fact, it’s probably the most lucrative grocery credit card out there, provided you meet the weekly exercise requirement. Unlike most cards that offer high grocery rewards, Paceline has no spending cap.

For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets, but there is an annual spending limit of $6,000. Purchases above this threshold only earn 1% cash back. Its annual fee of $95 is also higher than the $60 fee charged by Paceline.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a no-annual-fee card that offers 5% cash back on cardholders’ main eligible spending category (and groceries is one of the options). But it also has a spending cap. In this case, it’s $500 per monthly billing cycle (which also equals $6,000 per year). Other purchases only earn 1% cash back.

The American Express® Gold Card is another top contender. Although he technically has a limit on his Grocery Rewards, it’s much higher. Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in US supermarket purchases each year. The annual fee is also much higher ($250). And points are only worth 0.6 cents each when redeemed for cash back. It’s more of a travel rewards card, which works for some people, but can be trickier than cash back.

Paceline defines grocery stores by their merchant category codes. This basically means that as long as Visa treats the business as a grocery store and you exercise 150 minutes that week, you’ll earn 5% cash back on those purchases. It doesn’t matter if you buy kale, ice cream or something else. These grocery rewards are a huge perk of what might otherwise be considered a niche offering for fitness enthusiasts.

Note that food purchased from Target and Walmart likely won’t count, as these retailers are generally not coded as grocery stores. Still, Paceline’s base rewards rate of 3% cash back on non-health and wellness related purchases (provided you meet the exercise threshold) is very high.

Paceline’s main mission is to improve health and well-being

Paceline’s credit card debuted this month, but a separate (and free) card rewards program has been available for a few years. By exercising at least 150 minutes per week, you can earn points for gift cards from various merchants. Special discounts are also available.

Jess Bieligk, Chief Commercial Officer (COO) of Paceline, who previously spent a decade at Capital One, describes Paceline as a next-gen performance marketing platform. She says fewer than one in five Americans exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, which is considered a key threshold for healthy living.

How it works

Paceline cardholders and rewards program members can connect popular fitness trackers (such as Apple Health, Fitbit, and Garmin devices) to the Paceline app to measure their physical activity. Speaking of Apple, over the course of a year, Paceline cardholders can earn up to $429 off an Apple Watch Series 7. The way it works is cardholders purchase the watch using their Paceline card, then after reaching 150 minutes of exercise in a week, they get a partial credit of the purchase price divided by 52 weeks. For example, a purchase of $429 divided by 52 weeks would result in weekly credits of $8.25.

If there’s a week where a cardholder doesn’t exercise for 150 minutes, they won’t receive Apple Watch Credit or their double refund that week, but they can get back on track the following week. . Bieligk also said special accommodations are possible if there’s a good reason a cardholder couldn’t exercise that week (illness, surgery, etc.).

She said the Paceline card is for applicants with good to excellent credit (which typically means a credit score in the mid-600s and above). The APR is a variable from 15.99% to 29.99%, depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. So, like most rewards credit cards, it’s only worth it if you can pay your bills in full each month.

The bottom line

I’m a big fan of what Paceline does. Grocery rewards on the Paceline card are top-notch and widely attractive. Fitness enthusiasts will get even more value since few other credit cards offer lucrative rewards on gym memberships, workout classes, sporting goods, and apparel. And 3% cash back on all other purchases (assuming you hit the weekly exercise goal) is another amazing perk. As long as you’re regularly able to sweat, this card is really hard to beat.

Have a question about credit cards? Email me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help.

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