If you’re considering signing up for the new HBO Max streaming service, check if you have one of these cards to earn rewards on your subscription.
On May 27, 2020, HBO launched a new streaming subscription service called HBO Max.
The network that’s given us cult classics like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” introduced a new platform with more than 10,000 hours of binge-worthy content. Subscribers can enjoy over 2,000 movies, well-loved TV shows such as “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,” as well as HBO Max original series.
The subscription costs $14.99 per month, which is more than the majority of other streaming services. Luckily, if you have a right rewards credit card, you can earn rewards while paying for the service – or cover the costs altogether.
Best cards for HBO Max
There are a few cards that let you earn rewards for streaming services, but only American Expresses has added HBO Max to its list of qualifying purchases so far.
American Express cards to use with HBO Max
|Card||Streaming service benefits|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Up to $320 in statement credits when using the card on select streaming and wireless telephone services (up to $20 per month on each, through December 2020)|
As you can see, with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card you can get a generous rewards rate on your streaming subscriptions. For example, if you pay for HBO Max with the card, you can earn about $11 in cash back after a year of using the service. While it might not seem like much, the rewards add up quickly when you consider that the Blue Cash Preferred also offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% cash back on general purchases.Additionally, Amex is currently giving a $20 monthly streaming credit to Amex Platinum cardmembers. This limited-time offer is a part of the issuer’s effort to assist its customers amid the coronavirus outbreak and can save you a few months’ worth of HBO Max payments.
You might also be able to earn rewards on HBO Max if you have a U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card or U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card, depending on the merchant category code. For now, it remains to be seen how the new service will show up on a card statement.
“It really comes down to how the streaming service is coded on their end,” a spokesperson from U.S. Bank explained. “If it is coded the same as the other streaming services, yes, HBO Max would be included.”
Another card that earns rewards for streaming services is Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, which earns 3 points per dollar on eligible streaming services, dining, travel and transit and gas station purchases.
Unfortunately, HBO Max is not included on this card’s list of qualifying streaming services as of today. However, it’s safe to assume that the new service may be added in the future, so keep an eye out.
Should you get a rewards credit card to pay for HBO Max?
While being able to rack up rewards on streaming services is a nice perk, it shouldn’t be the sole reason to apply for a rewards credit card. For example, if you’re considering the Amex Blue Cash Preferred to pay for HBO Max, make sure the rewards it offers align with your spending habits. Like the majority of rewards credit cards, it comes with an annual fee, so you’ll need to break even before you start seeing the earnings.
On the other hand, you can always apply for a flat rate cash back credit card. While the cash back rate on such cards might not be as high, you can be sure you earn rewards on every purchase. For instance, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 2% cash back – 1% when you buy and an additional 1% when you pay off your purchases – and has no annual fee for you to worry about.
If you have the right credit card, you can earn rewards while binging your favorite TV show with the new HBO Max subscription. Whether it’s a flat rate cash back card or a rewards card that includes HBO Max in its qualifying list, make sure to use it when choosing a payment method before you sink into your couch to watch your favorite show.