Author Topic: Should I cancel my gym membership?  (Read 1105 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Should I cancel my gym membership?
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:24:21 AM »
My gym opened on June 1, and will start charging members again. There was a temporary closure and pause of charging for COVID in April and May. I do not feel it is safe to start going back despite their reopening. I am wondering if I should cancel my membership?

$50/yr annual fee
$20/mon monthly fee

Initiation Sunk Costs: ~$85/mon already paid
Cost if I kept the membership for a year and used it actively: ~$30/mon

I prepaid the last month when I signed up (company policy). Additionally, due to weird COVID charging at the beginning of the crisis, the gym is offering 3 months "free" that you redeem when you cancel. It would be tacked onto the end, so if I cancel the membership, I will miss out on 4 months of "free" membership, since I don't think it will be safe to use the gym in the next 4 months. Also, I will lose on all the front-heavy costs that were charged when I signed up (initiation fee, first and last months, annual fee). However, if I don't cancel, I just continue paying $20/mon indefinitely without even getting to use the gym. That doesn't seem valuable either, especially with the uncertain future.

The saying goes if you wouldn't buy it then you should sell it. There's no way I would sign up for a gym membership right now, so should I cancel? My fear is that I lose out on all those costs, and if this virus goes away anytime soon, and I want to rejoin, I will have to pay again. Should I just eat the costs?

Back when it was safe, I used the gym 4 times/week. It was good because I would fit it in my schedule so that I was forced to work out. I struggle with self motivation when trying to work out at home.

I know this isn't the biggest concern or cost anyone is facing, but I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Paper Chaser

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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 08:35:53 AM »
I think it all comes down to when you might feel comfortable going to the gym again. I'd say if you think it might be 6 months or more, then cancel. That would put you at Jan 2021, which means New Years Resolution sign up specials will be going on if you wanted to reassess at that time.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 09:40:40 AM »
I agree that it depends on when you are comfortable.

We went to the Y several times/week in the Before Times. They didn't charge anyone for April or May, but they are now in the process of reopening and have started to charge again.

I just don't think that we'll be comfortable doing anything inside, or using the pool, this summer or this fall. I'm going to ask if there's a way to pause our membership, but if not I think we'll have to quit.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2020, 10:00:16 AM »
You didn't mention if your gym is a chain or a locally owned business. If I were you, I would continue to support a local gym, but I would cancel a corporate membership. Depends on your situation, finances and values.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2020, 10:34:00 AM »
If your gym is the gym I think it is (and it definitely sounds like it from your description of the annual fee, first/last/initiation and monthly dues...) call your local gym, ask for a free two or three month freeze for now, you could try pushing for 4, but in my area of the country employees are told to limit it to three months.  Do NOT let them talk you into paying the $10 a month freeze fee.  Any employee can waive that fee for you.  This gives you some more time to figure out if you want the membership.  Then after the three months, reassess.... (Although I do not know how long they will let all employees waive that fee.  Previously only the Operating Managers had that access.).

If they tell you no, find a number for another gym in your area and call again or ask for the Member Services number (you may be on hold for a looooong time).  Also know that this gym membership can be difficult to cancel.  You have to go in person and speak to an Operating Manager or mail a written letter to the corporate location (also backed up right now... I have people calling into our gym who sent in cancellation letters 30 days ago that have still not been processed).
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 10:37:36 AM by lisabobisa »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2020, 11:38:31 AM »
This is a corporate chain with many locations. My situation/values/finances also allow me to support local businesses right now, but this gym does not fall into that category. I'm sure lisabobisa has the right idea for which chain it is.

Your advice was great. I went in person to try to cancel or get the free freeze. One employee (not an Operating Manager) offered me one complimentary freeze month, but I asked for more and they gave me two months in the end. Perhaps I should have asked for 4 directly, and then maybe I would have gotten three months freeze for free. I believe in August the $10/mon freeze fee will kick in, but at that time I will reevaluate and ask for another extension or just cancel.

I doubt my state will get it together in that time, but this at least nets me two months without needing to make a decision. I don't know that I will be comfortable going in 2020 at all, but we'll see.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 11:43:44 AM »
I work for a large "corporate chain" gym! I just came here to say that while we may look like a large, global "chain" we are a franchise, so 99.9% of our locations typically owned by members of your community.

I can't tell you to close or not, but I saw the sentiment about "local owned" vs "corporate chain" and wanted to say pop in and say they aren't necessarily exclusive. Our owners are definitely struggling, even though we look like a giant, global corporate gym.

That's all!


  • Bristles
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 01:57:07 PM »
If you're unsure I would go with the freeze. Another idea is depending on what you do there and the amount of space you have it might be better to just buy equipment. I was able to do a basic weight set, bench, and barbell for a few hundred dollars.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I cancel my gym membership?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 07:05:27 AM »
If you made a payment in the month of June at all, the freeze would be for July and August.  Your next billing would be in September.  The next billing date should be on your receipt which can be emailed to you.  From what I know, it will NOT automatically go into a $10 a month freeze but back to your regular billing after the freeze period.  Just something to keep in mind.

(If you couldn't tell I work for said large corporate gym with many locations nationwide.)