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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Comments

    • 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.

    Signed,
    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: http://www.thefourhourworkday.com/how-much-is-your-time-worth/

  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

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