Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Ever since we first heard about the Pact app a few years ago, we were suspicious of the concept that you could get paid to workout.

But we have a few clients who have used it and said they earn cash every week.

So rather than completely dismiss the concept, we had everyone on our team sign up with the app and give it a try for a month.

In this Pact App review, we’ll tell you exactly what it’s about and how it works, as well as give you some information on the limitations we found.

What Is Pact?

Pact is a smartphone app that claims to work as a motivational tool to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

The best way we can describe it is that it takes a kind of carrot and stick approach.

What do we mean by that?

Essentially, you commit to certain levels of activity and eating habits per week, and you back it up with a pledge of money. What happens then is that if you don’t meet the goals you set, then the money is taken off your credit card.

However, if you do make the committed number of trips to the gym, then you get a share of the money pledged by all users who didn’t succeed.

It seems like a simple concept, but we're a bit suspicious of how you would actually be able to verify that people were at the gym.

So we set out some tests to see if we could “trick” the app and still get some cash.

Let’s take a closer look.

How Does It Work?

So, we broke the process down into smaller steps to give you an idea of how it works.

1 - Register An Account

pact app

The first thing you need to do is install the app from Google Play.

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be available anymore on iOS, which is quite a limitation.

When you first open it, you’ll need to register, and we used our PayPal account information to set up Pact.

Then you just need to confirm the account with the email you receive.

2 - Set Goals For The Week

On the home screen of the app, you’re presented with three choices.

We’ll focus on the first one here.

Gympact is where you would indicate how many times per week you plan to workout. The options range from 1 to 7 days a week. And you can change this on a regular basis as well.

Just make sure you base your choice on the fitness goals you have. Also, keep in mind that things might come up, and you’ll need to skip a day.

3 - Set Some Diet Goals

diet goals

There are two ways of doing this.

First, you could use the Veggie Pact option where you commit to eating a certain amount of vegetables per day.

Or you could use the Food Logging Pact, which requires MyFitnessPal to be linked.

4 - Set A Wager For Each Goal

This is the interesting part.

For each of the goals that you set, you would wager a certain amount of money for every time you don’t achieve the goal.

The amount you can pledge ranges from $5 - $50 in $5 increments.

What does this mean?

Let’s say your goal was to go to the gym three times, and each missed trip was set to $10. If you missed going to the gym one time, then you would be charged $10.

The same concept applies to food goals.

5 - Search For Gym Near You

OK, so your goals are set, what do you do now?

You have two options.

Either you use the gym search feature once you arrive at the gym or choose to work out at home.

The gym search is a cool idea, as it claims to use your GPS location to verify that you’re at a gym.

Then you start the activity tracking, which would link up to either the phone or a tracker like a Jawbone Up.

6 - Workout At Least 30 Minutes

Here’s the important part: you have to make sure that you register physical activity for at least half an hour [1].

We did try to trick it by just starting the tracking session and then leaving the phone on a bench, but it seems to be smart enough to tell when people are actually active.

7 - Connect To Other Activity Trackers

Calorie Tracking

Another thing you can do is connect the app to say your Fitbit.

If you took at least 10,000 steps in one day, then that should count as a workout session and a completed goal.

But it could also work by syncing it with other wearable devices that monitor your activity to verify that you actually worked out.

Some people don’t like having a bulky phone on them all the time. And on some gym equipment, a phone might not actually register activity.

8 - Track Your Food Intake

For the Food Logging and Veggie Pact, you need to use MyFitnessPal to log all the food you eat. And for the veggies, it expects you to take a selfie with the portion, which is then verified by a member of the Pact team.

This could be a good way to get your five veggie portions a day [2].

“Depending on their age and sex federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruitexternal icon and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetablesexternal icon as part of a healthy eating pattern.“

-Center for Disease Control

We only tried this for a couple of days, as it just seemed to be a lot of effort.

9 - Get Paid

At the end of each week, the app will check if you registered the right amount of days at the gym. If you missed one, then you would get charged, and the money goes into a pool to be shared out with those that succeeded.

In our tests, we got paid between $0.80 and $1.20 per gym session. It’s not a huge amount but might be enough for a cup of coffee or two.

Pros And Cons Of The Pact App

pros and cons

We’re big fans of all types of motivational tools to help folks ?with weight loss. And the idea of losing some money if you don’t exercise enough seems to work for a lot of users.

We also liked that it set the minimum exercise time to 30 minutes as this is quite achievable. Research also suggests that it’s a good minimum per day to create healthy fitness levels [3].

Based on our testing, we didn’t find an easy way to cheat the system. I guess you could just shake your activity tracker and see if that works, but for the money you could earn, it’s really not worth it.

Pros
  • Seems to be a good motivational tool
  • Daily steps can be counted as a completed workout
  • Doesn’t seem to be easy to cheat
Cons
  • You can’t track multiple workouts per day
  • Some people reported issues with being billed even when they completed goals
  • Doesn’t provide workout recommendations

Pact App Disadvantages

pact app

Our own testing was based on about four weeks of use, but we also wanted to check user reviews from people who have been using it for a longer time.

It seemed like some of our suspicions about the service were experienced by others.

One of the main disadvantages is that the app won’t give you any kind of exercise recommendations. All it does is check if your motion tracking actually registered the required amount of activity.

The second issue we read a few times was people not receiving their rewards and being billed on their PayPal accounts.

This didn’t happen to us, and I would say that you need to make sure every workout appears fully logged.

How Much Does The Pact App Cost?

So, the app itself is free to download, and registering a new account is also free. You will need to link to your Paypal or credit card account, and here’s why.

The only way you should be charged is if you pledge a certain amount of money and then don’t log the number of gym sessions you committed to.

Also, you’ll need to make sure that you upload a good quality image of any veggie portions you committed to as well. If the picture isn’t good enough quality and doesn’t show the full portion, then you could end up being charged as well.

Here are other recommended apps you can try as alternative to Pact:

Pact Reviews

One thing we noticed on Google Play was that the average review rating was less than three stars. That’s pretty low, so we had a look if there was something that stood out in the comments.

Here are four summaries of reviews that should give you a better idea.

Dan seemed to have been using the app for different pacts on a regular basis. He found it forced him to make more healthy lifestyle choices during the day and was pretty happy.

-Dan from Atlanta

Chris liked the extra motivation he got from seeing the occasional money come out of his account when he didn’t log all his pacts. But after a while, he noticed charges even when he had completed all goals.

-Chris from Houston

While she found it did make her think about her lifestyle on a daily basis, after a month, she gave up on it as it just lacked features for suggesting exercise routines.

-Michelle from Vancouver

JJ seemed to have problems from the start. His iPhone didn’t seem to register all the motion activity at the gym. He ended up paying even after checking in with the app at the gym.

-JJ from Palo Alto

FAQ

Is Pact free to install?

Yes, Pact app is free to install. Once you launch it for the first time, you’ll need to register an account. You should only end up paying if you don’t complete all the pacts on a weekly basis.

Do you really get paid for using Pact?

Yes, you really get paid for using Pact, but don’t expect to make much money. Even if you worked out seven days a week for 30 minutes, it would make you less than $10 a week.

How much can you earn with Pact?

You can earn about $1 per gym session with Pact. This mainly depends on the number of people that have pledged and failed, as the charges are shared between all those who succeeded.

Is Pact a scam?

No, Pact isn’t a scam, but some people have reported issues with being incorrectly billed. You would have to ensure that your phone tracks all the motion activity correctly to avoid missing out on the money rewards.

Do We Recommend Pact?

To be honest, we weren’t overly impressed with it. Yes, the money aspect could motivate you, but you might achieve the same if you start similar pacts with some friends at the gym.

There is a significant lack of features, and you won’t be given any advice on how to plan your workout sessions.

There’s also no dietary advice, so there’s very little that impressed us.

From a motivation and support perspective, you should try out Noom instead (check out our review here).

You get access to a real personal trainer and diet expert to help you exercise and eat in a way to get you to your goals.

noom app | noom vs ww

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About the author

  • First of all, thank you Isaac. I so love product! Imagine? I lost 25 pounds in just a few months. I totally cannot believe it since I’m a busy mom of three. By the way, the meals work for me and are pretty good. You get to add in your own fresh fruits, veggies, dairy products, and seasonings if you get bored. I kind of hated the pizza so I chopped up the crust and sprinkled the cheese into a salad. Get it! You can get lots of tips like that once you get to know other people who take this as well. Let me know how I can help you too! If you hit a slump and can’t stop thinking about food, what I always do is just get busy cleaning out my closet of all the fat clothes that don’t fit anymore. It feels really refreshing. Nothing taste as good as fit and healthy feel! Really!!! I’m down to my High School weight, wearing sizes I haven’t worn since Junior High after having twins a year and a half ago. Change your life, change your relationship with food, and stop making excuses. I can’t believe I am saying this but you can do it as well. Thanks Isaac!

  • I have just bought this product in conjunction with taking a natural diet and casual physical activities. I delayed trying this product because everyone I have asked said it tastes so bad. It really made me anxious and I don’t want to waste my money fo it. However, so far, I find this to not be the truth. I bought it a few months back when I learned about this through Isaac’s post. Luckily I had a huge discount of 40% off. Also, if you get this diet you might want to get some non-fat powder milk, natural peanut butter, and frozen veggies and fruits without sugar. I highly recommend you to. That is, if you want to not have to keep going to the store. One of my friends also recommend me to eat veggies and fruits. THE PRODUCTS DO NOT TASTE THAT BAD AT ALL FOR BEING A PILL THAT HELPS YOU LOSE SOME WEIGHT, AND EVERYTHING IS IMPROVING IN TASTE, OR IS NOT NEAR AS BAD AS OTHERS HAVE MENTIONED! Also there are a variety of ways you can couple this with your food. This really helps especially if you enjoy and love what you are eating. With my experience, after your first few weeks, you know what you like and don’t like, but just stick with the goal. I’ve heard and seen too many people lose weight having this combination. Will try to keep you posted on my results. It’s not just about a diet, it is about livelihood and well-being. If you do not see an update from me in a few months, I might have forgotten as life gets really busy at times. I will tell you whatever will help or how good it worked. Let’s help each other out as Isaac has been helping us. Good luck to everyone!

  • Before I will start, thank you Sir Robertson. Okay. I will say this product does work. I love the food, and it actually gives you a meal plan to go with the food, you also have to work out, like go for a walk, or go the gym. Honestly, this whole thing about losing these unwanted fats is not an instant gratification thing. So yeah, I am happy about this, I was 220 pounds, and now I’m at 172 pounds. It has given me results in just a few months. But that of course is combined with working out on a daily basis. Definitely, it is up to the person how he wants to do this thing. As for me, I’m happy with the results. To begin with, everybody is different on how the results for this system. I’m just happy to say that this does work. You just have to follow the system, and work at it. Nothing will ever work for you if you yourself will not starting working for yourself. So to everyone who is skeptical about this, don’t knock it until you try it. Keep up the work. You deserve it for yourself. Cheers! To a healthy body for everyone.

  • Thank you Isaac. Before sharing my experience, I just want to address every person out there in the world that claims that the food is too small and you’re “starving”. This is a product package meant to lose weight. What the hell are you supposed to have? Which means, it is meant to teach you how to properly eat. It states everywhere that it is portioned for attaining your weight goal in correct food PORTIONS. If you feel that it’s not enough food then I’m sorry to say that you do not eat correct portions – hence you’re looking at weight loss remedies right? This food is DELICIOUS compared to other methods to remove your fats, like strict gym meal plans. I am thankful for that. Imagine eating spinach, tomatoes, egg whites, chicken breast with no sauces and other healthy foods four times a day, six times week? It can get disgusting. The product package even lets you add more vegetables to your meals! At the end of the day, I’m full and WOW, I lost weight too!! That is the goal, right? Look, don’t expect to eat huge portions and lots of BAD food and expect to lose weight! It’s common sense. This package is teaching us that you can eat delicious items. Of course, as long as it’s the correct portions. So to those out there still complaining, how about train your stomach to eat correctly? I will for sure buy this again. I am a lot healthier and lost 4 pounds within just a week and I’m keeping it off. Thanks Isaac. I hope everyone understands what they wanted to begin with. Keep writing!

  • Honestly, I don’t see the point as to why everyone keeps complaining about the food. You sound like a broken record. I mean, though perfectly portioned most of the food is processed. Obviously a part of you did not want to prepare your own meals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have turned to this product. You can’t expect gourmet while on a pre-packaged plan. As for me, I found the food delicious!! In the back of my mind I was thinking, I may enjoy it more than some because I didn’t have a fatty diet in the first place. I’m only 5’3″ and 140 pounds maximum, I just eat way to many sweet foods and sugars. However I can’t even tell you when was the last time I had a chocolate muffin, or pizza, or mashed potatoes. So this was just so awesome for me! I feel like because I’m already “small” compared to others in this product, I won’t get to enjoy the rapid output some have. But actually, I have noticed a difference in body mass! I had my dramatic weight loss while on another product many years ago when I lost a whopping 80 pounds. But I did not like it. I had to deal with other problems because of that. That is why I turned in to this product instead. So if you think you’re “starving” while on this product, you’d be passing out but getting thin when you do this along with a strict physical exercise plan. Nonetheless, I’m buying another 5-day for week 2 of this product. Thank you for your patient explanation Isaac. I do hope those who complain will understand you.

  • I am on day 2 so I have not seen any significant changes in my body but I am experiencing less of an appetite. The dinners are a good portion size to get you through the day. You will be eating small meals every 3 hours which are very light to the stomach. I simply love it. I know I will be losing this unwanted weight. Also the muffins are delicious, a few of the items are not so good but the whole goal is to get you to eat smaller meals. Overall, I am happy and satisfied. I’m going to stay on it for a year if I can still manage to with this. Thank you Isaac.