Make sure you’re using the right card for your streaming service subscriptions
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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 (as much as we wish we could). You may, however, be considering signing up for an extra streaming service to help pass the hours and days. 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
- Chase Freedom
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Citi Premier℠ Card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
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||$250 after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.||$95 (see rates and fees)||Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services.|
|Chase Freedom®||$200 after you spend $500 in the first three months of account opening.||$0||Earn 5% back in Q2 2020 (up to $1,500 per quarter) for select streaming services.|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card||20,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.||$0||Earn 3x points on select streaming services.|
|U.S. Bank Cash+™Visa Signature®Card||$150 after you spend $500 in the first 90 days of account opening.||$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||50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||$95||Earn 2x miles on all charges.|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.||$95||Earn 2x points at restaurants and on entertainment.|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$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.|
The information for the Capital One Venture Card, 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 streaming services: 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.
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)
Why you should get it: The Blue Cash Preferred has the highest bonus multiplier on this list, offering 6% back on eligible streaming services. Amex also offers the most extensive list of eligible services. But this card is good for more than just your new streaming habits. You’ll also get 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (taxis and ride-hailing services, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Streaming rewards: Earn 5% back on quarterly rotating categories — including streaming services throughout Q2.
Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $500 in purchases in your first three months.
Annual fee: $0
Why you should get it: The Chase Freedom earns 5% (or 5x Ultimate Rewards points if you also have an eligible UR card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card) on rotating categories that change each quarter. The categories during Q2 2020 are grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships (including many online gym memberships and subscriptions) and streaming services. There is a $1,500 cap on bonus spending each month and you have to activate the new categories each quarter, but that is still a solid $75 in cash back (or 7,500 points) each quarter possible with this card.
Streaming rewards: Earn 3x points on select streaming services when you pay your bill with your card.
Listed eligible streaming services: Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio Inc., Spotify Premium.
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
Why you should get it: In addition to 3x on popular streaming services, you’re earning a solid 3x points on dining (eating out and ordering in) and travel, including flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, taxis, gas stations and ride-hailing. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. 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 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.
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.
Listed eligible streaming services: U.S. Bank doesn’t give a specific list of what services it counts for bonuses, but it’s a broad category with TV, internet and streaming services all included. This would include your cable bill and Wi-Fi on top of your streaming subscriptions, which makes it one of the more valuable on this list.
Welcome bonus: Earn $150 in cash back after spending $500 in purchases within 90 days.
Annual fee: $0
Why you should get it: In a changing world, customization is increasingly valuable. You might need a card that earns on categories like streaming and grocery stores right now, but you may not subscribe to as many streaming services once we’re back traveling and getting out of the house more often. This card gives you the chance to change your categories to fit your specific spending habits throughout the year. 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.
Listed eligible streaming services: N/A
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: $95
Why you should get it: 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. You can also (through June 30, 2020) redeem your points for a fixed value of 1 cent per point on streaming services, takeout and delivery. You’ll still get more value by transferring to partners, but it is nice to have it as an option.
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.
Listed eligible streaming services: N/A
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
Why you should get it: In addition to earning 2x on entertainment (which includes on-demand streaming media), you’ll earn 3x points on travel (including gas stations), 2x points at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. But keep in mind that after Aug. 23, 2020, these categories are changing. New applicants won’t earn 2x on entertainment as of that date, and the new structure will be 3x on air travel, hotels, gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants. This new structure is still valuable, but you are losing out on your bonus points for streaming services.
Streaming rewards: Earn 5% back at Amazon, including the annual Amazon Prime membership fee and Amazon-specific streaming services.
Listed eligible streaming services: Amazon Prime
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.
Why you should get it: If you are considering adding Amazon Prime to your subscriptions, this could be a great card. It 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. Keep in mind that you’ll earn just 1% cash back when you pay for streaming services not owned by Amazon, but you will get 5% back at Whole Foods Market and 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.
Streaming services probably aren’t as big a monthly spending category for your family as groceries or even gas, but it’s still nice to maximize your earnings on your spending. Plus, some of the cards on this list actually reward you for spending in other categories (like groceries and gas) as well.
Featured photo photo by skynesher/Getty Images.
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.
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