For cardholders who crave memorable experiences, like sporting events and concerts, it’s worth that swipe to use a card that rewards you for spending discretionary dollars on entertainment.
In a post-pandemic world, most, if not all, live events have returned such as concerts and food festivals and basketball games. Music giants like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé have announced upcoming tours after years of being away from the road.
For credit card users who plan on attending more concerts or going to the movies in the upcoming months, it’s worth that swipe to use a card that rewards you for spending discretionary dollars on entertainment.
Some of the best credit cards for entertainment spending offer presale access. Others will let you earn bonus points or cash back on live events or provide entry to exclusive entertainment experiences. Here are few of our top choices for earning on your entertainment:
Capital One Savor Card: Best for all entertainment
Why we picked it: Consistently providing bonus cash back on entertainment expenses, year after year, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card* rewards you with 8 percent cash back on Capital One Entertainment and 4 percent cash back on popular streaming services.
Previously earning you 8 percent for Vivid Seats purchases, the issuer now rewards you for Capital One Entertainment purchases, which gives cardholders presale access to events and allows them to purchase VIP packages. Whether you want to meet your favorite basketball player or singer or dine with Michelin-starred chefs, the Capital One Savor Card has got you covered.
- Also earns 4 percent on dining and 3 percent at grocery stores
- Uber and Uber Eats purchases earn you 10 percent cash back (through Nov. 14, 2024)
- Sign-up bonus of $300 after you spend $3,000 in three months
- No foreign transaction fees and access to Capital One Travel
- $95 annual fee
- High purchase APR of 20.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable
Who should apply: Cardholders who crave real-life experiences, like sporting events and concerts, as well as appreciate snuggling up on the couch for a movie night will appreciate the Capital One Savor Card.
Who should skip: If you don’t feel like you need bonus rewards on live entertainment all year round (maybe all your favorite musical festivals mainly occur in the spring and summer), then you should skip this card. Or, perhaps you’d prefer a no-annual-fee card that still earns bonus rewards on live entertainment.
Citi Custom Cash: Best for moderate spenders
Why we picked it: The Citi Custom Cash® Card is a unique kind of flexible category card, with an earn rate of 5 percent cash back, on up to $500 in purchases per month, in the eligible category where you spend the most (1 percent thereafter). All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.
One of those eligible categories is live entertainment, making the card a great choice for those who frequently watch theater or visit Disneyland or go to the movies. And since it’s unlikely you’re spending the most on entertainment every month, you can always switch to earning 5 percent on an everyday category like grocery stores the next month, if you shift most of your transactions to that preferred category. This way, when you’ve got expensive tickets to buy you’ll earn tons of cash back but when you’re trying to stay in more the card continues to provide value.
- Welcome bonus: $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 in six months
- Cash back fulfilled as ThankYou points — expanding redemption options
- No annual fee
- 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and new purchases (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable)
- $500 spending cap on 5 percent cash back category
- No other fixed bonus categories other than the flexible category one
Who should apply: Anyone who enjoys live entertainment but mainly only during a few months in a year, say during football season, will enjoy the flexibility of the Citi Custom Cash in earning bonus cash back in other everyday categories. It’s also a great card to pair with other Citi cards, such as the Citi Premier® Card, to quickly pile up ThankYou points to book your next vacation.
Who should skip: If you tend to spend more than $500 in a billing cycle on live entertainment, you’ll find the spending cap too restrictive. And if you prefer to continually earn bonus cash back in entertainment all year round, without having to organize your purchases so that entertainment stays your top spend category, you should look toward other options.
U.S. Bank Cash+: Best for high rewards
Why we picked it: A great alternative for cardholders who’d like to earn bonus rewards on entertainment consistently, the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card allows you to choose two categories in which you’ll earn 5 percent cash back, on up to $2,000 in purchases per quarter. Though you must choose your bonus categories once a quarter, you may choose TV, internet and streaming and movie theaters every quarter.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Card doesn’t stop there, though. You can also choose one everyday category — gas stations and EV charging stations, restaurants and grocery stores and grocery delivery — to earn 2 percent cash back. All other purchases will earn 1 percent cash back.
- Also earn 5 percent cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked via Rewards Travel Center
- No annual fee
- Sign-up bonus: $200 if you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in first 120 days
- $2,000 purchase limit per quarter on 5 percent categories
- Must activate two choice categories to earn 5 percent cash back
- Cash back automatically expires after 36 months
- Limited redemption options: statement credit or direct deposit into a U.S. bank account
Who should apply: Those who spend roughly around $660 a month ($2,000 quarterly spending cap divided by three months in a quarter) on cable television and various streaming subscriptions and attending the movies will love this card. Others who would enjoy its rewards structure are cardholders who’d want to earn cash back in another fixed category, other than entertainment.
Who should skip: If you prefer live entertainment (music festivals, sporting events, zoos or amusement parks) to digital media (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and the like), you won’t find much use in this card.
Blue Cash Preferred: Best for streaming services
Why we picked it: Earning 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best credit cards to help you stay on top of the streaming wars. Not only is its 6 percent one of the highest earn rates on streaming services, but the category has no spend cap, unlike other cards featured on this list.
Other than rewards, Blue Cash Preferred cardholders will receive a statement credit of up to $84 every year if they spend $12.99 or more each month on The Disney Bundle (Disney+ Hulu and ESPN+). For those who’d still like to attend live events, you’ll be able to access American Express Experiences, which allows you to book VIP tickets or gain presale access to shows or sports games.
- 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases a year, then 1 percent)
- 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (up to $6,000 in purchases a year, then 1 percent)
- Up to $120 ($10 monthly) statement credits toward Equinox+ access
- $95 annual fee waived for first year
- Terms apply
- $6,000 purchase cap on the 6 percent and 3 percent categories
- $95 annual fee (after first year)
Who should apply: If you simply cannot get enough of your streaming subscriptions, the Blue Cash Preferred will return some solid cash back on all the money you spend on your services, so you can earn money even as you binge your favorite TV show for the fifth time.
Who should skip: Cardholders who care more about listening to live music or witnessing their favorite football team win a game won’t find much use in the Blue Cash Preferred and its emphasis on digital entertainment.
Comparing the best cards for entertainment spending
Though each credit card is fairly distinct, we know it can be difficult to choose between them all. The following comparison table should help you better understand the key differences between all our top picks.
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
|$300 if you spend $3,000 in 3 months
|Citi Custom Cash
|$200 cash back if you spend $2,500 in 6 months
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
|$200 if you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in 120 days
|Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
|$250 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in 6 months
|$95 ($0 intro annual fee for first year)
How to choose a credit card for entertainment
As live events become more and more normal and it becomes clearer that streaming subscriptions are here to stay, getting a card that earns rewards on entertainment is a good idea for many cardholders. Be sure to weigh the following factors when deciding on which card you’d like to apply for:
- Live entertainment or streaming services: Entertainment credit cards tend to earn rewards mainly in live entertainment (concerts, dining experiences, amusement parks, museums, art galleries and the like) or streaming subscriptions (Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, DirectTV Stream, NBA League Pass, Netflix, Spotify and more). Some, like the Capital One Savor Card and the Citi Custom Cash earn rewards in both — be sure to consider where most of your expenses skew so that you can easily maximize them.
- Other bonus categories and features: Depending on your monthly budget, it might not be worth applying for a new credit card if you’re only angling for rewards on entertainment. In that case, make sure the card you decide on earns boosted rewards on everyday categories you spend in, or presale ticket access (so you can nab your VIP tickets before the general public).
- Annual fee: Since entertainment isn’t considered an everyday category, you should make sure you can manage your new card’s annual fee. Either calculate your projected rewards, so that the card essentially pays for itself, or opt for a no-annual-fee option.
Whether you love banging your head to your favorite song in the car or at a live show, a credit card for entertainment spending is a good asset to add to your wallet. It’s especially worth it if you plan on tailgating at football games next season or renewing your subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video or Paramount+ with Showtime.
*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.