Planet Fitness hiking new membership prices for first time since 1998

Planet Fitness unveils a brand new mini Planet Fitness within the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena on November 7, 2016 in Pasadena, California.

Planet Fitness has announced increased base-level membership prices for new customers, making the first hike since 1998. 

This decision comes as the gym operator notes a growing concern among consumers about costs and an uncertain economic future. 

New pricing structure 

Starting this summer, the price for a Classic card membership will rise to $15 per month for new members. This represents a 50% increase from the long-standing price of $10 per month the company was always known for. 

However, despite the price hike, Planet Fitness confirmed in its recent quarterly earnings report that current members will not see an increase in their rates. They will continue to pay $10 per month for the duration of their membership. 

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"It will take some time for the benefit of the price change to expand our store level margins as the price increase will only be on new classic card membership," said Tom Fitzgerald, the company’s outgoing chief financial officer. 

Introduction of higher pricing for Black Card memberships

Planet Fitness said in its earnings report that price hikes come after several months of testing prices in various markets nationwide. The company said it’s adjusting its membership fees to improve its financial performance following a report of weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue and a downward revision of the fiscal year guidance. 

This summer, Planet Fitness will begin testing higher prices for its premium Black Card membership, which currently starts at $24.99 monthly. 

The Black Card offers members additional benefits, including access to any Planet Fitness location, digital content, and other perks.