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If you pay for just one streaming service a month, that’s not much to sweat. But once you start to subscribe to a bunch of them — like Apple Music ($9.99 a month), Hulu ($7.99 when paired with Spotify Premium), Netflix ($10.99), Pandora Premium ($9.99), Sirius XM Radio ($15.99) or Spotify Premium ($9.99) — now we’re talking more than a couple of cups of coffee.
Still, these aren’t car or home payments, so paying for streaming probably isn’t top of mind when it comes to choosing a rewards credit card. It shouldn’t be.
But when Wells Fargo introduced its revamped Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card in July 2018, it added a bit of incentive for fans of shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu) or “Stranger Things” (Netflix): Propel now offers 3x rewards when you pay for select streaming services with the card.
The move pushed the Propel into rare company. Here, we look at five cards that may offer rewards to cardholders who like to watch or listen on the go — or who have cut the cord at home. Streaming may be an enticing second or third bonus category to watch out for when choosing your next credit card. It could save you 2% or more on your monthly bill.
Points You’ll Earn Paying for Select Streaming Services
Here’s how your returns would stack up when paying for a variety of popular streaming services with different cards that offer bonuses on this spending. Note that we left out the Citi ThankYou Preferred because that card is no longer open for applications.
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card||Uber Visa Card||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card||Sony Card from Capital One|
|Amazon Prime ($119 annually)||119 points worth $1.19 to $2.08||$2.38 cash back||$5.95 cash back||595 points worth $5.95|
|Apple Music ($120 annually)||360 points worth $3.60 to $6.30||$2.40||$1.20||120 points worth $1.20|
|288 points worth $2.88 to $5.04||$1.92||$0.96||480 points worth $4.80|
|180 points worth $1.80 to $3.15||$3.60||$1.80||180 points worth $1.80|
|396 points worth $3.96 to $6.93||$2.64||$1.32||660 points worth $6.60|
|360 points worth $3.60 to $6.30||$2.40||$1.20||120 points worth $1.20|
|Sirius XM Radio ($192 annually)||576 points worth $5.76 to $10.08||$3.84||$1.92||192 points worth $1.92|
|360 points worth $3.60 to $6.30||$2.40||$1.20||600 points worth $6.00|
Here’s a more in-depth look at the value each one of these cards offers for streaming services and in other bonus categories.
Streaming rewards: Earn 3x points on select streaming services when you pay your bill with your card.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 3x points on dining and travel, including flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, taxis, gas station purchases and rideshares. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, charity donations or cash back. Points are generally valued at 1 cent apiece, but you can redeem points for airfare at 1.5 cents each on the Wells Fargo travel portal when you own another card that earns Go Far Rewards points, like the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card. And if you spend $50,000 in a calendar year on the Wells Fargo Visa, that redemption rate jumps to 1.75 cents per point, which would make 3x points worth as much as 5.25 cents per dollar when redeemed for airfare.
Streaming services that earn 3x points include Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio and Spotify Premium. Amazon Prime is not included on the list of eligible streaming services.
Uber Visa Card
Streaming rewards: Earn 2% back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services (certain online purchases are excluded, including third-party payment services).
Other rewards and perks: Earn 4% cash back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including UberEats; 3% back on airfare, hotel and vacation home rentals and 1% on all other purchases. You’ll also receive mobile phone insurance for up to $600 for damage and theft when you use the card to pay your phone bill, and if you spend at least $5,000 on the card in a year, you’ll get a $50 credit that will automatically be applied toward online subscription services such as Netflix.
Welcome bonus: Earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: Uber says you can earn 2% back from online purchase from Amazon, which should include your Amazon Prime membership. The card’s online FAQ says the 2% return is good on “music and video streaming services,” and then names a few, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now and Apple Music. Rewards are issued as points worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for Uber credits, cash back or gift cards.
Streaming rewards: Earn 5% back at Amazon.com, including the annual Prime membership fee.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 5% back at Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval.
Annual fee: None, but you must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. Prime subscriptions cost $119 annually.
Keep in mind: This card doesn’t technically come with a bonus rewards category for streaming, but you can pay for your Prime membership, which includes access to Amazon’s video and music streaming services, Prime Video and Prime Music, and get 5% back. You could also pay for Amazon’s premium streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs $7.99 a month with a Prime membership. But you’ll earn just 1% cash back when you pay for streaming services not owned by Amazon.
Sony Card from Capital One
Streaming rewards: Earn 5x points for entertainment purchases, which includes “select pay TV/radio/streaming services.”
Other rewards and perks: Earn 5x points for purchases of Sony products at authorized retailers and 1x points for all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit after making your first purchase.
Annual fee: None
Keep in mind: You’ll earn 5x points on your Amazon Prime subscription as well as on monthly subscription charges for Hulu, Vudu, Netflix or Spotify. The entertainment category otherwise is fairly broad, including concert and sporting events, music and video downloads and movie and theater tickets. Points can only be redeemed for Sony products, gift cards and other items available at SonyRewards.com. Points are typically worth 1 cent apiece or less depending on your redemption choice.
Since you’re probably only going to spend a couple hundred bucks a year on streaming services, this may not even be a category that matters to you. In that case, using a card like Citi Double Cash Card, which offers 2% cash back — 1% when you make the purchase and 1% when you pay your bill — on all purchases, including streaming. But if you like the other rewards categories beyond streaming, one of these cards could be worth a look for you.
Featured photo by Hero Images/Getty Images
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One of the most unique benefits of this card is that you can get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel Amex. This card is also a great option for gas purchases since you'll earn 3X points and the 30,000 point sign up bonus is worth $300 cash back.
- Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value
- Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
- Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
- Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
- Earn 1X points on other purchases
- $0 Annual Fee
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 14.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
- Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions