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!