How to Negotiate a Better Membership Rate at Your Gym

Posted on 01/12/2011

When money’s tight you might be tempted to forgo your gym membership. But you may want to try another option—negotiating a lower rate. Experts agree that now is the best time to improve your bill. Here are some steps to take to save money and stay fit.

Ask Your Associations - You may already have access to a discount and not even know it. Check around with your school or workplace and find out if they’ve struck a deal with any area health clubs to get students or employees better rates.

Gather Your “Family” - Most gyms offer a family price and individual rates. If you have a large family the price per person is a much better deal than the individual membership cost. Find out what constitutes as a family member and try to recruit relatives to join with you. You can split the cost of the monthly membership fee and end up paying much less.

Volunteer at the YMCA - There are more than 10,000 YMCA locations around the country so chances are there is one near you. You may be able to volunteer for the Y and earn a free or discounted membership in exchange for your work. You may also qualify for a lower membership rate depending on your income status.

Request Extra Perks - If you hit a wall with the gym’s membership director and aren’t able to negotiate lower rates, ask for extra perks instead. Some negotiators have reported scoring free personal training sessions or massages which helped reduce the sting of the monthly bill.

Shop Around - Research the going rate at competing gyms in your area. Take that information to the fitness center you really want to join and see if they’ll match or beat the competitor’s fee. Plenty of places will price match because they won’t want a few dollars to mean the difference between signing up a new member and losing one.

By Alison Storm

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