Is wellness the new airline miles?

Ness is a new credit card company that rewards members for health and wellness purchases.

If you’ve got 96k unused SkyMiles (that’s me, actually), but visit your local yoga studio or smoothie bar regularly, Ness might be for you.

Is wellness the new airline miles?

It’s a new credit card company that rewards members for everyday healthy purchases, not just occasional travel splurges.

How it works

Ness’ first product is a Mastercard-backed charge card — meaning there’s no interest, but you pay your balance every month.

  • Members earn 5x points for “healthy” purchases and 2x points elsewhere.
  • They can be redeemed at marketplace vendors, including Sweetgreen, Warby Parker, and Canyon Ranch wellness retreats.

CEO and founder Derek Flanzraich…

… who previously founded media platform Greatist in 2011, told The Hustle that today’s health and wellness landscape has branched beyond just “eating well, working out, and looking sexy.”

“That’s why we reward people not just for gyms and healthy food, but for salons and spas, therapy, health care and health insurance, groceries, pharmacies — anything that contributes to a more holistic, modern understanding of what health really means,” he said.

Why now?

The $450B+ US wellness market continues to grow, with Gen Z and millennials at its forefront.

Yet wellness can also be expensive, even when you’re not trying everything Goop recommends or buying a Peloton. Flanzraich’s hope is that rewarding healthy purchases with healthy things will ultimately make it more affordable.

  • That said, Ness’ first card comes with a $349 annual fee, but a $99/year card is in the works. Future plans include revolving cards and integration with HSAs and FSAs.

Fun fact: Ness recently named Jonathan Van Ness of “Queer Eye” fame as its “chief self-care officer,” but the shared name is coincidental. “Ness” comes from “wellness” — and Flanzraich’s love of Scotland and its Loch Ness monster.

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