Review: Active Advantage Membership

Cupid’s Chase 5K

Last fall, Active.com offered a Schwaggle deal for their Active Advantage memberships. It sounded like a good deal, so I jumped on it for $25.

So was it worth it? Active Advantage members can save money three ways:

  • Discounts on races (I found that the discount was usually just enough to offset “registration fees”)
  • Free races (if you were fast enough to claim the limited number of free entries), or discounts (usually $5) on the same races once the free entries were gone
  • 20% off all Schwaggle deals
  • Additional discounts on other web sites
  • Free training plans

Of course I kept track of how much that membership “saved” me.

  • $11 off of a $75 Schwaggle voucher for $125 at Trisports.com (hmm that’s not 20%)
  • Free entry to the Cupid’s Chase 5K ($35 value)
  • $8 off the Chicago Half Marathon (which equalled the “registration fee”)
  • $8 off 13.1 Chicago (also equalled the registration fee)
  • $3.88 off the Chicago’s Perfect 10 (again, cancelled out the reg fee)
  • Free entry to the Jim Gibbons 5K ($35 + $1.64 fee)
  • $3 off $15 Schwaggle for the Beverly Turkey Trot 5K
  • $3 off $15 Schwaggle for the Jingle Bell 5K

Total savings = $108.77

Jim Gibbons 5K

Definitely more than the $25 I paid for the membership, and more than the $60 it would cost me to renew. However, I raced a lot this year. I jumped on free race registrations, and in both cases, those races were within a week of another race I was doing, and I probably would not have signed up if I had had to pay.

I did try to use the free training plans offered on the site, but found them confusing to use. I like a format that I can print or easily copy and paste into a Google doc, so I can easily add dates to my training plan. It seemed like the Active Advantage ones required you to log in regularly to see what your upcoming workout was. Which is not my style.

Ultimately, I decided not to renew my Active Advantage membership for another year. I don’t plan on racing as much in 2013, so I would not be as likely to jump on free races, and in the absence of those free races, I only saved $37.13 this year.

However, if you race a lot, or you purchase a lot of Schwaggle deals, or do a lot of online shopping for running gear, or you can figure out the training plans, the membership might save you some money.

Are you an Active Advantage member? Do you think it’s worth it? 

7 Comments

  • 17 November, 2012 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    This is a really helpful post. After getting so irritated at all those registration surcharges every time I signed up for a race, I finally caved in and signed up for a free 30-day Active trial membership. So far I’ve gotten exactly zero value out of it. I haven’t been able to take advantage of any free race registrations, and I haven’t seen any Schwaggle deals so far that I wanted to buy. Most of the races I’m planning on doing next year don’t go through Active, either. So I don’t think I’m going to maintain my membership after the 30-day trial.

    • 19 November, 2012 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      I did the free trial and be sure to let them know before the trial was up! I was automatically charged the amount of a full membership (about $50). They were quick to clear it up but the transaction took a couple days to go through. With Holiday shopping around the corner, you may want to check before they automatically take out $50! :)

  • 17 November, 2012 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure we used this for that Matteson Race into the New Year 5K too, didn’t we? That being said, most races I register for are not thru active.com. And I’m NEVER fast enough to get the free races, in addition to the fact that I’m not traveling downtown for a 5K race when there is one on every corner within 15 miles of my house. I’m pertty picky about which races I’m willing to travel too b/c of hubby having to watch Michael.

    I only purchased a couple swaggle deals too. I think I bought pro compression socks, a running skirts.com swaggle and maybe a couple races. I think I saved my $$ but I would only do the membership again if it came up for the $25. I (personally) would never get my $$ back otherwise.

    • 17 November, 2012 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      The Matteson race was a Schwaggle, but I didn’t buy the $25 membership until after I registered for that race.

  • 17 November, 2012 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I have never had a active advantage but I do pay for the Calumet Striders every year. Its $20 and you get discounts on a really fair amount of all the Northwest Indiana local races. Usually at least $1-$2 per race. There are about 40 races which you can get this discount. They also offer a “gold cup” feature where you can compete with others in your race age/gender. I like this because it keeps me having goals.

  • 17 November, 2012 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I havent signed up for the active advantage because I’m injured most of the time and try not to register for too much given my history. That being said, it seems like the majority of races ive registered for this year weren’t through active- so I doubt i’d see a benefit with it.

  • 28 December, 2012 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I also did the $25 deal for membership and I’ve saved about $200. I used it to buy a ton of gifts at Active GearUp. You save 20% on already discounted gear. I bought shoes for everyone including a new pair of INOV-8s that I have been watching on Amazon for awhile – way cheaper! I didn’t get any free races but the money I saved on the races I did was worthwhile too. I also sign up all my friends for their races so they can use my discount. I’m going to renew.

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