Free 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport Upgrade

Free 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport UpgradeI’ve been a 24 Hour Fitness member for over 10 years now, the last seven of which my annual dues were only $99. I signed up at a time when they allowed you to pre-pay 3 years at regular rates and every year after that would be only $99. It was and still is a great deal considering my monthly gym membership costs me only $8 per month for the rest of my life.

But I’ve been noticing an alarming trend over the past few years that could put my $8 a month membership in jeopardy. My membership gives me access to any Sport level 24 Hour Fitness club across America. Most clubs are either Active or Sport but there are some Super Sports starting to pop up(there are even a few Ultra Sport but only one in California as of 2013) which I don’t have access to. At first, it was a super sport here and there, but now it seems like they’re popping up all across the state.

Why This Bothers Me

Super sports are, as the name would imply, super versions of their sport clubs. They’re bigger and better with more workout area, newer equipment and extra amenities like a basketball court, sauna, etc. All that extra stuff is nice, but personally I don’t really need it. I like going to the gym when the weather forces me inside(which is hardly ever living in SoCal) or if I need to bulk up before a Hawaiian vacation :)

Obviously with extra benefits, comes extra cost. I’ve heard that a super sport membership can range anywhere from $40 – $60/month. When I called in on 10/17/13 they quoted me at $19.99/month extra(in addition to my $99/year) to get access to all super sport clubs. So that would be a total of $28/month for access to all super sports which isn’t a bad deal compared to the $40-$45/month most people pay. I also asked about the monthly cost for a new member to sign up and they quoted me at $45 a month(plus initiation fees).

I don’t really use the gym enough to justify $30/month right now but going forward I’ve found a few ways that could get you free access to a super sport. Most of the time, you’ll know way in advance when an active or sport club is going to switch to a super sport so keep your eyes out on the local media and signs around your club. Since these upgrades are multi-million dollar renovations, there are usually several articles in the newspaper and online before they happen. Once you find out that a super sport is coming, here’s what you can do to get a free upgrade:

1. Original Member

If you originally started your membership at a club that is later remodeled to a super sport, you’ll be automatically grandfathered in. I can confirm this since my home club in Santa Monica was converted from a Sport to a Super Sport a few years ago and I have access to it now. Unfortunately, I don’t get to use it very often though since I don’t live there anymore.

2. Join the Club

If you know that a location is going to be getting upgraded to Super Sport, it might be a good idea to go and join today at the lower Active/Sport rates(generally $30/month or less). That way, once the club is remodeled you’ll be grandfathered in due to the first method above but you won’t have to pay the Super Sport rate of $45 a month.

3. The 50% Rule

I found out about this rule the hard way. Back when I lived in San Diego, I would go to the UTC 24 Hour Fitness Sport and the Mission Valley 24 Hour Fitness Sport all the time. At the UTC location though, they built a brand new Super Sport right next door and once it opened they closed down the Sport. I went in one day and asked them if I was grandfathered in since I’d been coming to that location off and on for the past few years. The rep I spoke with told me that in the last 6 months of a Sport club’s existence(before it becomes a Super Sport) 50% or more of your gym visits have to be at that location in order to get grandfathered in to the new Super Sport.

My total was only around 30% since I went to the Mission Valley location more often as it was right next to my house. Looking back, if I would have known about this rule beforehand, I would have just signed in every time I passed by the location to make sure I got over the 50%. You won’t find anything about the 50% rule on 24 Hour Fitness’ website but I’ve seen it talked about in multiple places. Your results may vary on this one but I think it should work.

Readers, what do you think about 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport membership? Would you pay $45/month, $28/month or just go for a run and do some push-ups at the beach like I usually do?

-Harry @ PF Pro

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By the way, 24 Hour Fitness offers a 3 day free trial to prospective members so if you want to see what all the hype is about, sign up and check them out since there’s no risk except a sales pitch at the end I’m sure :)

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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    • says

      $100-$200?! Wow, that’s pretty ridiculous but I guess if you do a more intense membership like CrossFit or something like that I could see that.

      I’m more of a natural exerciser – I like playing sports, running, biking, walking, etc and I’ll lift weights once every week or two to bulk up!

  1. Mrs.jim - the proletariat says

    Can’t resist. If you just cleaned your own house you wouldn’t have to pay for a gym membership.

    the proletariat who’s paying off her mortgage by not hiring house cleaners – ha!

    • says

      Are you implying that cleaning a house is some type of workout? :)

      I pay $8/month for access to any 24 Hour Fitness in the country – that’s a pittance to the prototypical bourgeoisie. I also pay Firestone to change my oil($30), the car wash to wash my car($10), and Chipotle to cook me dinner twice a month($10). There are lots of things I pay people to do but also things I do myself when I feel there’s value added. Cleaning is not one of them, I’m not going to do a better job than a cleaning lady and if she charges me $20/hr and I make $40-60/hr, it’s a little callous to say but yes, my time is worth more than that.

      More fun reading:

  2. Mrs.jim - the proletariat says

    bourgeois(e) English or French spelling and proletariat – ha! LOVE your language – not your tude, but your language.

    Hey, if you don’t understand how house cleaning IS a workout, you’re just not doing it properly. Nonetheless, I don’t really blame you for paying someone to do something for you that they are more skilled at and something that you hate to do – so long as you can afford to do so.

    Just gotta tell you, buddy – I make more than $60/hour and I still will not pay someone to clean my house. I still think it keeps you human, humble and grateful. That having been said, go ahead and spend your $ in the way you best see fit. Hell, it’s a free country and it keeps the economy going and I’ve no objection to that.

    Now, do me a favor and ask your house cleaner how the hell to clean this tub of mine – for the life of me I can’t get it clean. I think I cleaned it too much and took off the protective covering it used to have. Oh, see – too much of anything is not a good thing.

    Do keep your blog going. I just love your vocabulary!

    Sign me,
    the bourgeois(e) proletariat! – ha! (whose mortgage is going to be dead soon- very, very soon ’cause I picked up after my own sorry a$$).

  3. says

    I got in with $49/year after 3 prepaid. I moved jobs and attended the closest gym, balboa, which changed to supersport 6 months later. My meagar 4-5 visits were still over 50% and luckily I was grandfathered in! I heard about the UTC gym but laziness made me miss out. I regret not trying.

    At only 5/month though, I would rather save my $19.99/month “upgrade” for food! Although I eat out more than I workout lately! (Working on changing that)
    Lynn recently posted…Richard Walker’s Pancake HouseMy Profile

    • says

      Wow Lynn you are my idol! I didn’t even know they had $49/year after 3 prepaid, that must have been a few years before I signed up for the $99/yr after 3 plan :)

      I’ve heard that Balboa SS is pretty nice so congrats on getting ‘grandfathered’ in. The UTC one is pretty awesome, but it’s not worth the extra $$. I’ve made some good investments in my life but when I hear how much people are paying for their gym membership I get pretty happy on the inside haha.

  4. says

    Thanks for the tips! I, too, have the $49/year membership since I signed up for 3 years prepaid at Horton Plaza in San Diego back in ’07. I know people with $29/year memberships who signed up years before me. I’m in Sacramento now and missed out on a couple Super Sport conversions, but will keep an eye out from now on.

    • says

      That’s crazy! I signed up in ’02 and had to pay $99/yr. I’m surprised it went down to $49/year that might be the best investment of the last 20 years considering that’s close to the avg monthly price haha!

      Definitely keep an eye out since I think 24 is going to start phasing all sports to super sports to get rid of people like you and I :)

  5. Rhonda Slade says

    Ha. I pay $20 a year. And I’m requesting my contract and all of my sign ins throughout my membership. I’ve never had a problem getting into super sports ever until my recent surprise. I went into a facility to pay my annual and that is when I got the news :/. Ssssoooooooo. …. I’m doing my research and taking it from there.

    • says

      $20 a year?! Wow that’s pretty good, did you sign up back in the day or what? I’m not exactly sure how you’re getting into Super Sports (unless you’re sneaking in) but more power to you.

      • Rsladar says

        Well up to recently I have been informed that I am longer able to which would go against my original contract. 24 hour fitness is now placing in long time original contracts the exclusion of Super sports… but I’ve done my research and it shows my punch ins show my access, and now law firms are contacting m e regarding class action suits…. I’m so excited to see the outcome

  6. bea says

    Thanks for the article i’ve had membership since 1996 and use to be able to go to whatever 24 fitness was local now the local one is a super sport and i was denied :-| , i don’t thinkg super sports or sports where even around back in the 90’s. BTW my membership is $7 a month and i’m not planning on giving that rate anytime soon, even just to go sit in the sauna it’s worth the $7 a month. And reading through the comments how did people get into cleaning house? I clean my own house i have a 3 bedroom 2 bath home I have to break it up in segmants but i fell i’m the only one who will clean it the way i want it.

    • says

      $7/month is a steal and one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Now all you gotta do is wait for a super sport to open up around you and do all your visits there before it goes under for renovation and you’ll be grandfathered in!

      I have no idea what these people are talking about, I go to the gym or play basketball when I want to work out. I even found a cleaner that does a good job for only $60 now :)

  7. lola says

    What do you? “Now all you gotta do is wait for a super sport to open up around you and do all your visits there before it goes under for renovation and you’ll grandfather” how can one go to the super sport without the membership. I pay 29/ yr since I prepaid for 3 months. I hear there may be super sport oopening soon close to me. I can I get upgraded. I work right across from a sport 24 hours but it’s so disgustingI ddon’t go to it. Any suggestions on getting upgraded. Thanks.
    mean “

  8. Natalie says

    Hey all. I signed up for the same plan back in 03-04 and was suppose to be paying 8month but recently (every six months or so) I get a notice that my fees are being increased. My monthly payment is now close to $10. Anyone experience the same thing? Can they do this? When the original 24hr on balboa moved across the street and became a super sport they tried to cancel my membership altogether. Any suggestions how I should handle it moving forward?

    • says

      Hmm that’s weird, and it must be a different plan than most of us signed up on if you’re paying monthly. Mine is $99/year for the rest of my life. If you signed up at the balboa 24 hr, there’s no way they could cancel your membership :)

  9. Eva Angsuco says

    I signed up in October of ’04. It was their 20th year anniversary and I got the deal where you paid 3 years upfront and 20/yr after. I think it sucks that all the new ones popping up are super sports. I signed up for the sport because there were only a few Super sports. Now it’s beginning to look like they are making the active and spots obsolete.

  10. Jen says

    I originally joined 24 Hour Fitness back in 1994. (Well, it was actually the Family Fitness at UTC before the buy out). I used my membership regularly at both UTC and Balboa (at the time it was an active club). At some point they converted to a “sport” level club. I was grandfathered in, but have no idea if it was because I had a certain % of attendance at that club. I left for grad school in Austin, TX in 98, but held onto my $10/mo membership and used it occasionally when I came home to visit. I was not able to use my membership in Austin since the clubs there were some weird Lance Armstrong something or other. I even joined a different gym once I graduated and lost my free privileges at Gregory Gym on campus. I moved back to SD in 2006 and resumed using my membership at UTC and Balboa. At some point I received notice of a class action against 24 for this exact problem of clubs changing from active to sport. The outcome was that I was offered a $5/mo increase to upgrade to sport. Kind of a waste since I found the PB location to be most convenient and it is a lowly active club. The reality of my life with three kids and a year of health issues made my attendance at the gym spotty at best. Now that school has started for the year I’m ready to get back into a regular gym schedule. I show up at the Balboa location and am told that I am not grandfathered in to their new Super Sport facility. The manager asked me if I wanted to upgrade to a super sport membership and I said that I merely wanted to be grandfathered in as I should be. He offered to let me work out since I was already there, and led me to believe I might be able to designate that club within the confines of my membership. Sorry for the long winded account of my situation. The bottom line is, just as all the actives started converting to sport, the same thing appears to be happening with sport to super sport. If anyone hears of a new lawsuit please post it here. Thanks.

  11. Robin says


    If youre grandfathered from sport to super sport, does it mean thay you can get access to ALL super sport places, or will it be the super sport you went to (50% that rule)?


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