Creative problem solving so as to not die prematurely

It turns out that if you don’t exercise, you get fat and feel shitty and die early, so I decided it was time for me to join a gym again. The problem with this brilliant idea is that in a city like NYC that’s gonna run you at least $100 per month, and fuck that shit. I just need some dumb cardio and weight machines within a 5 minute walk of my house so I can get the whole thing done at the crack of dawn before I wake up enough to realize what I’m doing.

My friend Anthony clued me into Planet Fitness, which is a national low-end gym chain (with some independent franchises) that’s only, wait for it, $39 annually, plus $10 per month. Now we are talking!

I looked into the one near my house, and it’s pretty much an ugly purple and yellow themed basement hellhole full of machines, which is all I actually need. And it’s open 24 hours! Which is not an irrelevant detail, in my case. If I can’t sleep, why the fuck not go tire myself out and ostensibly get healthier at the same time?

The catch? There’s always a catch. The catch is the individually owned & operated franchise near requires I pay my membership via a monthly ACH debit from a checking account. But then the real kicker, I learned after doing my homework, is that PF’s business model doesn’t just include having inconsistent staff, but also making it extremely difficult to cancel a membership. So much so that someone started a business where you pay $20 to have them prepare the bullshit certified letter or whatever it is you need to do to.

Anyway, whatever, my job is to figure out how to make things work to my advantage, and a company with functional ellipticals but iffy ethics is not one that I want having access to my checking account. So I consulted the ever-resourceful community at /r/churning, and asked on their daily question thread whether anyone could recommend a free and easy “disposable” checking account.

And, as they always do, they came through: someone suggested Discover Bank. As long as you keep $25 in there, there really is no fee, and I was literally signed up with a checking account in 5 minutes. I barely blinked.

Now I can set up a recurring ACH transfer into my Discover Bank account from my usual checking account, and give the Discover Bank ACH info to Shady Gym Planet Fitness. Then, when I decide I’m done with them because either a) they suck, or b) I suck because I don’t go, if they give me any trouble, I can just empty or entirely close the Discover Bank account.

THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY. It’s the churner’s motto!


5 thoughts on “Creative problem solving so as to not die prematurely

  1. Jack

    This is brilliant. I can see using this for other bullshit gyms (Planet Fitness isn’t the only one that in essence requires a lawyer to get involved to quit them), as well as other ethically challenged companies that want to charge a recurring fee. Thanks for the tip.

      1. Ivan X Post author

        Good point, and I would make sure it’s cancelled properly anyway. I just wanted the safety, in case they are unprofessional about it, of not giving them direct access to my checking account while it gets sorted out — better to have them fight for their money from me, rather than to have me fight to have my money refunded by them. I can’t assume it’s *impossible* to cancel, so it’s really just protecting myself if they drag it out for a few billing cycles. I wouldn’t want to leave myself in a position where they’d be racking up charges indefinitely — if I thought that were a real risk, I wouldn’t have joined.

  2. Yosh

    I feel like this is off topic. I want to know how to fly to Cincinnati for free in business class on Delta using seven different credit card sign up bonuses and transferring points to an eastern European airline I’ve never heard of. Now I have to be reminded that I’m gonna die cause I haven’t gone to the gym in years. Just sayin


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