Best credit cards for streaming services
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You’re stuck at home. So are we. There’s no way to earn bonus points on travel charges while going from one room to the next in your house or apartment. You may, however, be seriously considering signing your family up for an extra streaming service to help pass the hours and days, so we want to help you choose the best card for your purchase.
Normally, if you pay for only one streaming service a month, that’s not much to sweat in terms of maximizing your dollars. But once you subscribe to a bunch of them — such as Apple Music ($9.99 per month), Disney+ ($6.99 per month), Hulu ($5.99 per month), Netflix ($8.99 to $15.99 per month), Pandora Premium ($9.99 per month), Sirius XM Select ($16.99 per month), Showtime ($10.99 per month) or Spotify Premium ($9.99 per month) — we’re talking about more than a few cups of coffee worth of expenses.
Whether you’re joining new services right now or just need to earn as many rewards as possible on the ones you already have, here are credit cards that offer bonus points or cash back for streaming services.
Best credit cards for streaming services
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for earning cash back
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best for easy rewards with no annual fee
- U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: Best for customizable 5% cash back
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for earning 2x on everything
- Citi Premier℠ Card: Best for earning transferable points
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon purchases
- Chase Freedom: Best when streaming is a 5x bonus category
Related reading: Stuck at home? Stream these 7 movies to cope with travel wanderlust
Earning bonus points for streaming services
Here’s a breakdown of earning rates for some of the top credit cards for streaming services — as well as the related welcome bonuses and annual fees. Note that some streaming services may code as entertainment, or even shopping, so pay attention to how the individual services code on your statement to ensure you’re earning the appropriate bonus points or cash back each month.
Also know that, in many cases, making one annual payment for a streaming service is cheaper than making monthly payments.
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Annual fee||Earning rate on streaming|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Terms apply.||$95 (see rates & fees)||Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services. Terms apply.|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card||Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.||$0||Earn 3x points on select streaming services.|
|U.S. Bank Cash+™Visa Signature®Card||Earn $150 in cash back after spending $500 in purchases in first 90 days.||$0||Earn 5% back (on up to $2,000 per quarter) if you select streaming as one of your two 5% bonus categories.|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Earn 50,000 miles (worth $700 based on TPG valuations) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.||$0 first year, then $95||Earn 2x miles on all charges.|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||Earn 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.||$95||Earn 2x points at restaurants and on entertainment.|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.||$0, but need Amazon Prime||Earn 5% cash back at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com purchases.|
|Chase Freedom||Earn $150 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases.||$0||Earn 5% back (or 5x points) on rotating bonus categories up to $1,500 each quarter you activate.|
The information for the Citi Premier, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, Wells Fargo Propel, Chase Freedom, U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Here’s an in-depth look at the rewards these credit cards offer for streaming services and in other bonus categories.
Streaming rewards: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Listed eligible services include Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Apple TV+, AT&T Now, Audible, CBS All Access, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, HBO Now, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Kindle Unlimited, Luminary, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, Netflix, NHL.TV, Pandora, Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium and YouTube TV.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. Earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (taxis and ride-sharing services, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first three months.
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)
Keep in mind: Cash back is received in the form of reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Streaming rewards: Earn 3x points on select streaming services when you pay your bill with your card. Listed eligible streaming services include Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio Inc. and Spotify Premium.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 3x points on dining (eating out and ordering in) and travel, including flights, hotels, home stays, car rentals, taxis, gas station purchases and ride-hailing. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
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 if you have another card that earns Go Far Rewards points, such as the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card.
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.
The information for the Wells Fargo Visa Signature has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Streaming rewards: This card allows cardholders to choose their own bonus categories each quarter — including two 5% bonus categories and one 2% bonus category — on up to $2,000 in eligible 5% spending each quarter. “TV, internet and streaming services” are one of a dozen options for the 5% bonus category.
Other rewards and perks: Select two 5% bonus categories each quarter for up to $2,000 in spending and one everyday 2% bonus category.
Welcome bonus: Earn $150 in cash back after spending $500 in purchases within 90 days.
Annual fee: $0
Keep in mind: This is a card for people who prefer cash to traditional travel rewards. Once earned, your cash back may be redeemed as a statement credit, reward card or a deposit to your U.S. bank savings, checking or money market account. There’s no minimum redemption requirement.
Streaming rewards: Earn 2x miles on all purchases — including streaming, regardless of how it codes as a purchase.
Other rewards and perks: The Capital One Venture is a solid rewards credit card. It provides a credit for TSA or Global Entry application fees, has multiple hotel and airline transfer partners and offers extended warranty protection. You can also use your miles toward fixed-value travel redemptions, gift cards or transfer them to select travel partners.
Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 miles (worth $700 based on TPG valuations) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $95.
Keep in mind: Although this credit card doesn’t have streaming listed as a specific bonus category, it’s a strong card for most everyday charges because it awards 2x on all expenses. This makes it an easy winner if you just want to keep things simple.
Streaming rewards: Earn 2x Citi ThankYou points on select entertainment, including live entertainment, live theatrical productions, concerts, live sporting events, movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, record stores, video rental stores and on-demand internet streaming media.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 3x points on travel (including gas stations), 2x points at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Based on TPG valuations, these points are worth $1,020.
Annual fee: $95
Streaming rewards: Earn 5% back at Amazon, including the annual Amazon 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: Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.
Annual fee: None, but you must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. Prime subscriptions cost $119 per year or $12.99 per month.
Keep in mind: This card doesn’t technically come with a bonus rewards category for streaming, but you can get 5% back on your Prime membership, which includes access to Amazon’s video and music streaming services, Prime Video and Prime Music. You could also pay for Amazon’s premium streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs $7.99 a month with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You’ll earn just 1% cash back when you pay for streaming services not owned by Amazon.
Rotating bonus credit cards
If you want to really maximize your spending, sometimes the best card for any given bonus category, such as streaming, isn’t always the same card 365 days per year. Instead, yom may want to use different cards over time. For example, the Chase Freedom awards 5% cash back (5x points) on rotating bonus categories throughout the year.
For the second quarter of 2020, which ends on June 30, Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5x on the first $1,500 spent at grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships and select streaming services (activation required). If you also have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can even move the rewards to your Ultimate Rewards account and potentially increase their value.
While streaming services likely aren’t anywhere near as big of a monthly spending category for your family as groceries or even gas, it’s still nice to maximize your earnings on as many dollars spent as possible. And if you’re ramping up your streaming expenses for a little while, we’d love to know which cards you are using for the charges.
Featured photo photo by skynesher/Getty Images.
Additional reporting by Mike Cetera
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, click here.
WELCOME OFFER: $250 Cash Back Terms Apply.
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $250
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: New! Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back on transit. Plus earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees