Fitness is its own reward. The true value of an activity tracker is the motivation to move more throughout the day. Even so, I am going to let you in on a little secret. It is possible for your Fitbit (or other activity tracker) to pay for itself! You can do this through incentive programs that link with your tracker.
Most of these programs connect with a numerous activity tracking devices. This is, by no means, a comprehensive list. I included programs that I have used and where I have personally earned rewards. There are other legitimate programs out there that I have not used.
|Your steps and workouts can help your earn rewards!|
Five Activity Incentive Programs:
|Screenshot from achievemint.com|
I love this incentive program. I have redeemed $75 so far during the past 6-9 months. I love that it is so low maintenance. You connect apps or services that you use and those apps report your activity to AchieveMint. After you accumulate enough points, you can claim a $25 or $50 reward. My first reward was in the form of a pre-paid virtual Visa. The other rewards have been cash transferred into my bank account. AchieveMint is an evolving service, so the reward fulfillment has been different every time. One caveat, I find the pay out can be slow, I’ve had to wait months in most cases after redeeming a reward. However, it is free money for doing things I should do anyway, so I can’t complain.
Rewards: $25 or $50
Activities Counted: Steps reported by linked activity tracker, healthy check-in’s, workouts logged on various sites, blood pressure measurement (with linked blood pressure monitor), health-related tweets, and many more options.
Trackers You Can Connect: Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Misfit Shine, Garmin, FitBug, Withings
Other Apps You Can Connect: Myfitnesspal, Runkeeper, Twitter, MapMyFitness, Moves, Foursquare/Swarm and many others.
You can sign up or learn more at: www.achievemint.com
|A screenshot from earndit.com|
Earndit was the first incentive program I joined. You can participate in challenges or redeem your points for rewards. The rewards and challenges change frequently. Over the past couple years, I’ve redeemed points for a $60 gift card to an online men’s retailer, a free sport ID wrist band, a water bottle that filters, some dried fruit, a virtual appointment with a trainer, and numerous charitable donations. My first Fitbit pretty much paid for itself just from this site. I haven’t won any of the sponsored challenges, but they do add a motivating social element.
Rewards: Charitable donations or discounts on goods and services
Activities Counted: Steps or mileage tracked by a linked activity tracker or select GPS apps, gym check-ins
Trackers You Can Connect: Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Omron, BodyMedia
Other Apps You Can Connect: Foursquare, Runkeeper, Moves, and others
You can sign up or learn more at: earndit.com
3. Every Move:
|Screenshot from everymove.org|
I have mainly used this for charitable donations, though I did win a free year subscription to Runkeeper Elite. So far, the discounts have been for products I don’t normally use.
Rewards: Charitable donations and discounts on various goods and services
Activities Counted: steps, logged workouts
Trackers You Can Connect Include: Fitbit, Polar, Garmin, BodyMedia, Nike Fuel, Nike+, Misfit, Fitbug, Omron, Swimsense, Jawbone Up, Withings
Other Apps You Can Connect: Strava, Walkmyfitness, Twitter, Runtastic, Geocaching, Fitocracy, GolfNet, Zombies, Run! and others
You can sign up or learn more at: everymove.org
|Screenshot from gym-pact.com|
Pact is a little different than the programs I mentioned earlier. Pact allows you to make a “pact” about your activity goals for the coming week. Currently, there are three types of PACTs: gym pact, veggie pact, and food logging pact. I have only tried the gym pact. Each week, I specified how many days I would exercise–for every day that I fell short of the weekly goal, $5 would be removed from my bank account (you can choose the stake amount, but $5 was the minimum stake). And for every day that I met the goal (up to the stated goal), I was entered into the winners pool. The “winners” receive a portion of the money that those who didn’t meet their goal contributed.
According to Pact, payouts for meeting goals are usually anywhere from .30 to 5.00 a week depending on the number of goal activities completed. I found that to be true. I didn’t miss any days, but it did take me weeks to build up enough to claim a reward. I only used Pact for a couple months, the truth is I was too nervous about the stakes. During that time, I did claim about $20 paid into my Paypal account. For the Gym Pact, there are a few options. The activities need to be verified. The workouts need to be at least 30 minutes–verified by Pact.
Rewards: Cash via Paypal, you can withdraw a reward when you accumulate at least $10.
Activities Counted: Meeting a step goal, GPS tracked workouts, spending at least 30 minutes at your gym or fitness studio (verified by in-app GPS), tracking a home workout with your phone’s built in accelerometer (in-app)
Trackers You Can Connect: Jawbone UP, Fitbit, or Moves
Other Apps You Can Connect: Runkeeper, Mapmyfitness
You can sign up or learn more: at www.gym-pact.com
|Screenshot from nexercise.com|
This one doesn’t link to Fitbit or any activity tracker (that I know of). I included it because it does offer rewards for activities you likely do anyway. For logged activity and bonus activities, you earn points. The points can be redeemed for rewards. Through this app, I have earned about 20.00 in Amazon gift cards. I did best when I used the in-app accelerometer tracking option during my workouts. I must warn this was a slight battery drain (as was Pact) since it uses GPS tracking when outside and the phone’s built-in accelerometer when tracking (inside or outside). On the downside, I find the user interface a little cumbersome. Still, it is one of my favorite programs as the rewards apply to things I actually use.
Rewards: Gift cards from select retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Home Depot, Fandango, Barnes & Noble, Sephora, and more. Other rewards include merchandise, charitable donations and entry into prize drawings.
Activities Counted: Just about anything–their list is huge. You either use the in-app tracking or you manually log your activity.
Trackers You Can Connect: None that I know of, other than a compatible smart phone
Other Apps You Can Connect: Runkeeper
You can sign up or learn more: in the app store or nexercise.com
Through participation in these activities my Fitbit has paid for itself. I accumulated over $230 in cash, gift cards or merchandise through these programs over a couple of years. This has more than paid for (retroactively) the two Fitbit devices I purchased in this time period. The real value does come from the activities, but this is one more motivation tool. I usually use the rewards for fitness products or for small indulgences to reward myself for meeting my activity goals.
You May Also Like:
- Ten Tips to Increase Your NEAT Activity (and increase your step count to get healthy and earn rewards quicker! )
- How to Measure and Calibrate Your Fitbit Stride Settings
- A Detailed Review of the Fitbit One