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Health and fitness remain a priority for many people during the pandemic, and American Express continues to respond to the demand for at-home wellness options. On Thursday, the issuer announced the addition of statement credits for most of its US credit and charge cards toward the cost of monthly memberships for Variis by Equinox, an at-home health and fitness app.
Starting October 9, eligible personal and small-business American Express card members can enroll and redeem statement credits toward a monthly Variis membership. The Variis app provides on-demand classes led by expert instructors, a library of weekly programs, live classes from SoulCycle and more.
Card members with The Platinum Card® from American Express can receive $25 in statement credits each month toward a Variis membership, while those with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can get $10 in statement credits each month.
All other US personal and small-business Amex card members will be able to get $10 in statement credits for each of the first three months of their Variis membership. These three-month credits are available through April 1, 2021, and are not available on corporate Amex cards.
A Variis by Equinox membership normally costs $39.99 plus taxes, so while these credits won’t completely eliminate the membership fees, they result in an effective discount of 25% to 63% off the regular monthly price. Variis memberships also typically come with a seven-day complimentary trial period.
Eligible card members will first need to enroll their cards to receive these credits, and also need to purchase their monthly subscription online through a dedicated American Express and Variis site, which will be active starting October 9 when the credits come into effect. Eligible card members will be notified over the coming weeks with more information on how to enroll and receive the credits.
American Express and Equinox have also partnered for the new Amex Centurion Lounge at New York’s JFK airport, which will open to the public in the coming days. The Equinox Spa inside the JFK lounge features the Equinox Body Lab, a restorative therapy program normally only accessible at Equinox clubs. CNN Underscored recently got a sneak peek at the new JFK lounge, which is the largest Centurion Lounge in the world and the first to have two full floors open to guests.
This is the second major wellness option added to a broad range of American Express cards since the start of the pandemic. In May, the issuer began offering a complimentary one-year premium membership to Calm, a sleep and meditation app, for all its personal and corporate US card members. That offer was originally scheduled to expire on September 30 but was recently extended to October 31, 2020.
After the first complimentary year is over, card members can get a second year of the Calm app premium membership, which normally costs $69.99 per year, at 50% off with an automatic renewal.
There are many American Express cards available with rewards ranging from cash back to travel points and perks that include lounge access. Some Amex cards also have limited-time benefits still in place, including up to $20 in credits each month for US wireless and streaming services on the Amex Platinum card, which also currently comes with a 60,000-point welcome bonus for new card members after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account.
The Blue Cash Preferred card also currently comes with a welcome bonus that’s been increased for a limited time. Now through December 10, 2020, new Blue Cash Preferred card members will get a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95 thereafter) and can earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months after opening the account.
So if you don’t already have an American Express card, you may want to consider whether it makes sense to get one to have access to some of these wellness benefits.