14 Synonyms for “Run for Their Money”

Are you looking for the best way to say someone is tough competition?

Perhaps you’re worried that “run for their money” is a bit informal or too idiomatic for some instances.

Luckily, you have other options.

This article will teach you how to say you can give someone a run for their money.

Other Ways to Say “Run for Their Money”

  • Pose a genuine threat
  • Offer stiff competition
  • Provide strong opposition
  • Give a challenge
  • Be a contender
  • Give a good fight
  • Present a challenge
  • Offer strong resistance
  • Contest closely
  • Contest fiercely
  • Give a good contest
  • Provide serious competition
  • Make a strong showing
  • Be in the race


  • “Run for their money” is a correct idiom that shows someone will offer a difficult challenge or competition.
  • “Pose a genuine threat” is great to use as a formal synonym that establishes how challenging something might be.
  • “Offer stiff competition” is great as a more informal alternative if you want to spice things up.

Keep reading to learn how to say “run for their money” in other words. We’ve provided you with some great sayings that will help you to mix things up, depending on the tone you need to use.

Also, the final section will teach you whether the phrase is correct. So, you can refer to that one if you think it’s more important for you to know this before writing it!

Pose a Genuine Threat (Formal)

Another way to say “run for their money” is “pose a genuine threat.”

This is not an idiomatic expression. Instead, it’s a professional and direct way to show that you might need to be cautious of someone or something.

For the most part, you can use this when discussing your competition. It might relate to a competing company trying to get ahead of you.

So, you can review this email sample to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Team,

This company poses a genuine threat to our services.

We must keep on top of customer service to ensure people keep coming back to us.

Bert Willis

It’s also good to use something like this in a business plan. It’s a good way to preach confidence and show what you intend to achieve as a company.

This sample will also help you to understand a bit more about how it works:

We want to pose a genuine threat to every major chain in this field. That’s why we’re pushing these products as hard as we can.

Offer Stiff Competition (Informal)

For something a bit simpler, you can use “offer stiff competition.” This time, it’s a more informal phrase that works well to show that someone or something is challenging you.

For the most part, you can use this when encouraging employees to work hard.

It is generally a friendly and light-hearted way to remind them that their work matters.

The harder they work, the more competitive they’ll be with their colleagues. And the better they look compared to their peers, the more likely you might consider them for a raise or promotion.

This email sample will also help you to understand it:

Hey Marcus,

I want you to offer stiff competition to your team.

At the end of this project, I’m going to give the most impressive candidate a bonus.

Freya Hardly

It’s also worth using this when texting a friend before a big sports competition. You might want to use it to encourage them to push themselves.

This text message sample should also help you with this:

You have to offer stiff competition when you get out there! I want you to show them what you’re made of.

Is It Correct to Say “Run for Their Money”?

It is correct to say “run for their money.” It’s a good idiom used in multiple contexts when someone is good competition for you or offers you a challenge.

For the most part, it’s a well-known phrase. So, most people will understand what is meant when included in your writing.

You should also review this email sample to learn more:

Dear Michael,

Of course, we know he’s going to give them a run for their money.

That’s why I’ve entrusted you with the opportunity to beat him.

All the best,
Charlotte Spencer

It’s also worth looking into these extensions to learn a little bit more about how the phrase works:

  • Give them a run for their money
  • Make them run for their money
  • A good run for their money

And, of course, you can always switch the pronoun “their” out for whatever is more suitable in your writing.

For example:

  • Run for my money
  • Run for your money

Finally, you should also bookmark this page to remind yourself of the best phrases to use instead of “run for their money.” After all, you never know when the synonyms will come in handy.