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Sports credit cards offer plenty to cheer about

A card that carries your favorite NFL, MLB or NHL team’s logo can be quite rewarding

Summary

Often, when a company slaps its logo on a product, it’s not the best deal for consumers. However, the credit card carrying your favorite sports team’s logo might be very worthwhile. Here’s a look at some of the most rewarding sports credit cards.

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Often, when a company slaps its logo on a product as part of a marketing partnership, it’s not the best deal for consumers.

For example, my daughter’s eyes may be drawn to the macaroni and cheese with cartoon characters on the box, but it costs twice as much as the store brand and tastes worse.

However, the credit card carrying your favorite sports team’s logo might be very worthwhile.

Read more from our credit card experts.

Ask Ted a question.

NFL credit cards

The most unique sports credit card is the NFL Extra Points Card, which is issued by Barclays. It really shines when it comes to special events. Cardholders can redeem their rewards points for game tickets (including the Super Bowl), sideline passes, behind the scenes tours, dinner with a head coach, lunch with team alumni and many other unforgettable and unmatched experiences.

Cardholders earn 1 point per dollar on most purchases (2 points per dollar on NFL and team purchases). They’re also eligible for a 20% discount at NFLShop.com. The card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and it offers a 10,000-point welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days.

If you redeem your points for cash back, they’re worth 1 cent apiece. That’s not very exciting – that means most purchases only offer a 1% return (2% when you buy directly from the NFL or one of its teams).

But if you save up 175,000 points, you can get two tickets to the Super Bowl! For 225,000 points, you can nab two seats in a more premium location. On the secondary market, a pair of the cheapest tickets for last season’s big game went for around $8,500. At that valuation, 175,000 points were worth almost 5 cents apiece. That’s something even a dedicated travel hacker would be proud of.

It might take you a while to save up those points, but it could be well worth it. Or you could redeem fewer points for regular season games and NFL-themed meet-and-greets. For dedicated NFL fans, some of these perks are so exclusive that you can’t really put a price on them.

See related: Unlock hidden rewards card value through experiences

MLB and NHL credit cards

If you’re more of a baseball or hockey fan, those leagues have compelling credit cards, too. They put their own wrappers on already popular cards. The MLB credit card from Bank of America is essentially the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card* with your favorite team’s logo. And the NHL® Discover it® card is basically the Discover it® Cash Back with team branding. They’re both good cards.

The MLB version gives 3% cash back on a category of your choosing (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings) plus 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. There’s a $2,500 combined quarterly spending limit on the 3% and 2% categories. After that, and on other purchases, you earn 1% cash back.

If you have at least $20,000 in deposits or investments with Bank of America, your rewards are worth 25% more. There’s a 50% bonus if you hit the $50,000 threshold and 75% if you eclipse $100,000. Especially at that level, this card is hard to beat. There’s no annual fee, and a $200 introductory bonus if you spend $1,000 in your first 90 days.

The NHL card focuses on rotating 5% cash back categories (after activation, up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1% after that). These often include – but are not limited to – grocery stores, restaurants, e-commerce sites and gas stations. Its version of a sign-up bonus is to double the cash back you earn in your first year. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, either.

See related: Discover cash back calendar

PGA Tour credit cards

This is another twist on the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. In addition to the aforementioned MLB card benefits, the PGA Tour Cash Rewards Mastercard has other golf-centric perks, such as discounted greens fees, a 20% discount on regular-priced merchandise at TPC Shops and exclusive access to participating courses. Golf enthusiasts can also receive two tickets to the PGA Tour event of their choice after spending at least $95 in the first 90 days after opening the account (note: students are not eligible).

NBA credit cards

Feeling left out, basketball fans? Sorry, the NBA discontinued its credit card a few years ago.

Other benefits

Many credit card companies have relationships with stadiums and teams that extend beyond the leagues’ official credit cards. For example:

  • American Express has a special entrance for all of its card members at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There’s also an exclusive Centurion Suite for customers who have The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Centurion card.
  • At Capital One Arena in Washington, Capital One cardholders enjoy a separate entrance along with ticket, food and merchandise discounts.
  • Citi cardholders can buy one ticket and get another free for Monday through Thursday games at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

Of course, these in-person elements are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, the cash back benefits of the MLB, NHL and PGA Tour cards are more lucrative. Hopefully, we’ll be able to return to our favorite venues soon. But even beyond the stadium, many sports credit cards offer plenty to cheer about.

Have a question about credit cards? E-mail me at ted.rossman@creditcards.com and I’d be happy to help.

*All information about the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, MLB credit card, PGA Tour Cash Rewards Mastercard and NHL Discover it card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. These offers are no longer available on our site.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 23rd, 2020
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.48%
Cash Back
15.94%
Reward
15.78%
Student
16.12%

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