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If you don’t have a Peloton bike, you probably know someone who does — or you have seen it on social media, where Peloton selfies or posts with pedaling stats are becoming more and more common.
The at-home fitness company, launched in 2012, has exploded in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. With gyms closed or cautiously reopening, many have turned to Peloton for their exercise, and not just in the U.S. Peloton says it’s now available in Canada, the UK and Germany, and expanding. Its sales surged 172% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to a year earlier, and the company’s share price has climbed 270% this year.
But while a Peloton bike and the accompanying membership are arguably the hottest fitness trend of 2020, they don’t exactly come cheap.
You don’t have to pay full price, though. There are some tricks you can employ to help offset the cost — or you can find a cheaper alternative altogether.
How Much Does a Peloton Bike and Membership Cost?
The entry-level Peloton Bike will cost you $1,895 or $49 per month for 39 months. The more advanced Peloton Bike+ sells for $2,495 or $64 per month for 39 months. It’s equipped with more perks than the standard model, such as a larger touchscreen and better audio quality. Due to demand, both types of exercise bikes can take up to 12 weeks to arrive at your doorstep, according to the company.
Once you have the bike, you’ll also have to pay for a monthly membership. Peloton’s Digital Membership costs $12.99 per month, and offers one user access to a handful of live and on-demand outdoor running, strength, cycling, yoga, bootcamp and meditation classes. The Peloton All-Access Membership, on the other hand, is $39 per month and includes Peloton’s entire library, with far more class options than the Digital Membership. You can also add up to 10 profiles with this type of membership, paving the way for potential savings if you split the cost with a group.
A Peloton spokesperson noted “If you divide the cost of any of these products by 2, 3 or 4 people in your household who are using them regularly, it becomes quite cost effective very quickly,” also adding that the monthly price of the original bike is “less than the average cost of a gym membership in the US.”
One of the biggest draws of a Peloton membership is its leaderboard, which shows your own stats — including resistance and speed — compared to others in your class, in real time.
Note that you do not need to have the Peloton bike to sign up for a Peloton membership, which is where things get interesting. We’ll explain how that works.
How to Save on a Peloton Membership
Cardholders who have a Chase Sapphire credit card will receive, thanks to a Chase partnership with Peloton, statement credits to help cover the cost of their memberships.
Those who have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® card will receive up to $120, and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders will receive up to $60 toward the membership of their choice. The membership statement credit is available through Dec. 31, 2021, and will be applied automatically until you reach the full amount offered on your card.
Keep in mind that the annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is $550, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is $95; these credits can help offset the cost of each. If you have one of these cards and do not currently have a Peloton membership, head here to sign up. If you’re an existing cardmember, all you have to do is change your Peloton payment option to your Chase Sapphire card to cover part of your membership cost.
Joan Kagan, a marketing manager in New York City, is one of the cardholders who will use this perk to save on her Peloton, but she was already using a basic trick to cut Peloton costs: “I am sharing my membership with my family, which saves them on the app price.” She says she also spent more money on fitness classes before the pandemic than she does on her Peloton membership now.
“I was a diehard SoulCycle person who never thought I’d get a Peloton,” Kagan says. But she did her research — including trying Variis, a Peloton competitor in the home-fitness industry — and ultimately settled on Peloton in the summer. There’s a credit card offer available also for people who have Variis, which hosts live and on-demand SoulCycle classes. It’s from American Express, and it also helps cover the cost of monthly memberships.
You can also take advantage of Peloton’s 30-day free trial before you take the plunge. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can send your Peloton back for no charge.
How to Save On an At-Home Cycling Bike
There are plenty of other ways to get the Peloton experience without the Peloton price tag.
Facebook groups might help you there. With a little bit of luck and perseverance, you can find a secondhand Peloton bike for a fraction of the retail price. One of the most popular groups is Peloton Buy Sell Trade (BST), which currently has 124,000 members.
Cassandra Caggiano, an account manager for a financial real estate company based in New Jersey, was able to save almost $600 in March on her Peloton by using the group. “My boyfriend and I just stalked it until we found one that was close enough to us,” she says, “and then messaged the woman who was selling it. We went the next day to pick it up.” She noted she got lucky, though, as “this was back when they told us we were only going to be in quarantine for two weeks so there wasn’t a huge need yet.”
Of course, scoring a discounted bike through this method largely depends on your location and timing. Consider that you’ll also likely need to pick it up from the seller’s home.
But a discounted Peloton is still on the pricey side. There are a handful of alternatives to look into here, too.
For example, you can order one of Schwinn’s IC indoor bikes, starting at $429. You can combine that with one of the ongoing promotions that can save you money on Amazon purchases by using credit card points, and you’re looking at an enticing deal compared to a Peloton.
Look into Facebook groups to knock a few hundred dollars off the retail price for a Peloton bike.
The Bowflex C6 bike is another alternative to the Peloton, and is only about half the price at $999. Better yet, you can save even more money on it by taking advantage of cash back portals such as Rakuten, which works on a variety of consumer and sporting goods websites, such as Dick’s and Sears.
New York City-based digital media executive Scott Kidder bought the Bowflex bike based on its favorable reviews after “it became clear gyms weren’t opening in NYC anytime soon.”
He ended up giving Peloton a try with the 30-day free trial, and liked it so much that he ended up signing up for a Digital Membership. He propped up his iPad on the Bowflex bike, signed into the Peloton app, and is now able to participate in Peloton classes.
The only downsides, he notes, are that the resistance on the Bowflex and the Peloton isn’t the same, and you won’t get access to an “output” number or participation in the leaderboard, Peloton’s dashboard that shows live class statistics. On the plus side, “you can pause classes on demand, unlike with the real bike, and that was worth $1,000 of savings to me.”
If you really want to go the budget bicycle route, take a look at Facebook Marketplace. It’s the social media giant’s platform for users to buy and sell goods within their communities, and can include solid deals on spin bikes.
Hollie Hopf, a New Jersey-based associate at an investment firm, says she was able to search for cycling bikes on Facebook Marketplace and found someone re-selling them from a spin studio that went out of business. “I spent $400 on a great quality spin studio bike that was just a few years old,” she says.
You can then top it all off by attaching your iPad or tablet, complete with your preferred fitness membership, and you’re good to go. If you’re opting for Peloton, you can find the Peloton App on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku TV.
Peloton itself isn’t opposed to these creative solutions. In fact, the company endorses them.
“If you have an old indoor bike or treadmill in your home, you can simply dust it off, download one of our TV apps and (…) just like that, you’ve created a connected fitness experience using equipment you already have,” a spokesperson said in an email. “This goes back to our goal of making Peloton more accessible to more people, and that means offering them various entry points into the brand, based on where they are.”
How to Take Advantage of Peloton’s Referral Program
Peloton also has a referral program. Once you get your Peloton bike, you can refer up to 12 people per year within the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They will get $100 off accessories including shoes and weights, and you can receive $100 off your next apparel order at the Peloton Boutique. Aside from standard workout apparel, you can purchase Peloton-branded accessories, such as water bottles, backpacks and even phone cases.
Other Ways to Save on At-Home Workouts
Even if you’re not sold on jumping on the Peloton bandwagon altogether, there are still plenty of ways to get your sweat on for little to no cost while staying safe at home. We have rounded up some of our favorites.
There’s no doubt getting a Peloton bike is pricey. If you’re still hesitant about buying one, there are a handful of ways to find discounted Peloton bikes or less expensive competitor options. Combine that with new credit card perks that help cover the cost of your membership, or split one with a larger group, and you’re looking at some cost-effective ways to work out by pedaling at home.