How far have you gone to save money? If your answer is 10,000 steps or more a day, you might want to hear about FitnessBank.
Self-described active lifestyle bank, FitnessBank is an FDIC-insured online member bank that wants you to stay (or get) fit almost as much as you do. By incentivizing fitness progress with financial savings, this modern bank strives to keep you accountable and boost your morale during your wellness journey.
In this post you'll learn:
About Fitness Bank
Though new itself, FitnessBank is a division of Newton Federal Bank, an entity with roots in 1947. But as the only company in America that links physical activity with earnings, FitnessBank is the first of its kind.
This online bank only offers savings accounts: the Fitness Savings and the Senior Savings Account. So if you’re looking for a bank that features checking account options, retirement guidance, investment opportunities, or physical branches, look elsewhere. In addition, this bank operates 100% online, so FitnessBank accounts are only for those fully comfortable using technology to manage their money.
As a non-traditional digital bank, FitnessBank joins the likes of popular FinTech companies such as Simple, Affirm, Chime, Aspiration, and more. If you want to become part of a new kind of banking, keep reading to find out if a FitnessBank savings account will fit your lifestyle.
Fitness Bank Savings Account
FitnessBank’s method for establishing your APY (annual percentage yield) is what sets it apart from the rest of the online savings accounts out there. The interest you earn on your FitnessBank savings account is determined entirely by the physical steps you take. Your average daily step count is calculated each month and your APY adjusted accordingly. Because of this payment method your interest is both compounded and paid out monthly.
A Fitness Savings account is available to anyone U.S. citizen that’s 18 years old or older for an opening deposit of $100, and signing up is easy. The company boasts a straightforward application that takes less than two minutes to complete. Account balance thresholds are:
- Account minimum: $100
- Account maximum: $250,000
With a Fitness Savings account, the following actions and features are free:
- online banking
- external account transfers
- incoming wire transfers
Here is a breakdown of all fees attached to FitnessBank accounts:
|Excessive Withdrawal Fee||$10|
The monthly maintenance fee of $10 is waived for accounts with an average daily balance of $100 or more. The excessive withdrawal fee of $10 per transaction is charged when you make more than six debit transactions (withdrawals or automatic transfers/payments), or your monthly allowance, in a single month. An ACH incoming/outgoing transfer limit of $2,500 per day is enforced.
FitnessBank does not offer debit cards and there are no FitnessBank ATMs, so you will not be able to withdraw funds in-person at any ATM.
How the Step Tracker Works
The FitnessBank business model is made possible by the FitnessBank Step Tracker app. This proprietary app links to a FitBit, Google Play, Apple Health, or Garmin activity-tracking device to log your steps and to your savings account to deposit earnings. You can set monthly APY and step targets for yourself and see your progress toward them right in the app.
Your APY is calculated month-to-month from the previous month’s step data. If, for example, your average daily step count for December is 10,000, your APY for January will be 0.45%. If your average daily step count for January is 8,700, your APY for February will be 0.35%.
The Step Tracker draws data from your chosen activity-tracking device, but the only way for FitnessBank to receive this data is for you to open the Step Tracker app between the first and third of every month. If you forget to do this, FitnessBank will use the previous month’s step data to calculate your average daily steps. If you work hard to increase your daily steps, you’ll want to make sure that the Step Tracker app can see this. Don’t let expired data keep you from earning the rates you’re entitled to.
To further motivate users to perform, FitnessBank features Step Challenges and Leaderboards. Winners earn the rewards and prizes described in each challenge summary. There is a FitnessBank Step Challenge of the Month in which all FitnessBank customers can compete and promotional Step Challenges that are open to the general public. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got an idea for a new Step Challenge.
Members can earn bonus steps in their StepBank for making referrals. These can be used toward an average daily step count or to purchase FitnessBank merchandise, dispensed at the user’s discretion. To connect with other dedicated FitnessBank members with goals similar to your own, consider joining a group.
How to Earn the Best Rate
The savings rate APY for a Fitness Savings account varies from individual to individual, but the rate you will earn is predictable. There are five different APY tiers available through the Fitness Savings account, and these, along with the step count required to qualify for them, are shown in the chart below.
Savings Account Rates
|Daily Step Requirement||APY (Annual Percentage Yield)|
|0 – 4,999||0.50%|
|5,000 – 7,499||0.75%|
|7,500 – 9,999||1.00%|
|10,000 – 12,499||1.25%|
To put these yields into perspective, the current national average for a savings account and money market account sit at just 0.17% APY and 0.18% APY, respectively, according to FDIC data.
Senior Savings Rates
Any U.S. citizen over the age of 65 may apply for a Senior Savings Account with FitnessBank. The rates and step requirements for this type of savings account are:
Senior Fitness Savings Rates:
|Daily Step Requirement||APY (Annual Percentage Yield)|
|0 – 4,999||0.50%|
|5,000 – 7,499||1.00%|
|7,500 – 9,999||1.25%|
The foundation of FitnessBank is staying healthy, but that means something different for every age group. Because of this, seniors are held to different daily step requirements yet entitled to the same opportunities for high APYs. To earn the highest APY possible (3.50%), for example, people over the age of 65 have to take an average of 10,000 steps or more per day rather than 12,500.
Want an Extra 0.10%?
Fitness Bank now offers consumers a rewards checking account with a debit card that can be combined with the savings account to earn an extra 0.10% APY if qualifications are met, putting Fitness Bank’s top APY at 3.60%. Like the savings account, the checking account can also come as a Senior Checking account with the slightly lower step requirement.
The checking account itself also pays an interest on your balance if qualifications are met. These qualifications are:
- Maintain 10,000+ steps per day (7,500 for those 65+).
- 10 PIN-based or signature-based debit card transactions per month.
The top rate of 1.00% APY is paid on balances up to $25,000 if qualifications are met. All balances above $25,000 will earn just 0.25% APY if qualifications are met.
Rewards Checking Rate Tiers
|Daily Step Requirement||APY|
|0 – 4,999||0.10%|
|5,000 – 7,499||0.10%|
|7,500 – 9,999||0.10%|
|10,000 – 12,499||1.00%|
To put these yields into perspective, the average rate paid on an interest checking account sits at just 0.04% currently.
For any already highly-active individual that is looking to combine their personal financial goals with their physical fitness goals, a FitnessBank savings account might be a great option. However, unless you are fully able and willing to commit to 10k steps per day (and have already proved this to yourself) then we would recommend looking elsewhere for an online savings account as you can likely find a better APY with another online institution.
FitnessBank is a fintech firm, so it’s part of a field that’s at the forefront of melding technology with finance. If you prefer your banks to be more traditional and well-established with brick and mortar locations, then you’ll want to look into other options as well.