Make sure you’re using the right card for your streaming service subscriptions
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You’ve likely been spending far more time at home these days. So have we. For some of us, that has meant catching up on missed movies and TV shows that have popped up on streaming services lately. (Hello Hamilton, which has been streaming on repeat since it dropped July 3 on Disney+.)
Thankfully, streaming services are a credit card bonus category that has gotten much more competitive in recent months.
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), Spotify Premium ($9.99 per month), HBO Max ($14.99), Starz ($8.99) or the Disney+ bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN+ ($12.99) — we’re talking about more than a few cups of coffee worth of expenses.
Whether you’re joining new streaming services right now or you 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.
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Best credit cards for streaming services
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
The information on the Capital One Savor, Wells Fargo Propel, U.S. Bank Cash+, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
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 sign-up 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||Sign-up Bonus/Welcome offer||Annual fee||Earning rate on streaming|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening||$550 (see rates & fees)||Get an up to $20 monthly statement credit on eligible U.S. streaming services|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.||$95.(see rates & fees)||6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services.|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.||$550||10x on select streaming services (such as Spotify or Netflix) — on up to $1,500 from July 1 – Sept. 30.|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||$300 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.||$95||4% on select streaming services through Sept. 30.|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card||20,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.||$0||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||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 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.||$95||2x miles on all every day purchases.|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$70 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.||$0, but need Amazon Prime membership||5% cash back at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com purchases.|
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, Wells Fargo Propel and 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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Streaming rewards: Get an up to $20 monthly statement on select U.S. streaming services from May – Dec. 2020.
Listed eligible streaming services: Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Apple TV+, AT&T TV Now, Audible, CBS All Access, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, HBO Max, HBO Now, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Kindle Unlimited, Luminary, MLB.TV, NBA, League Pass, Netflix, NHL.TV, Pandora, Peacock, Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV
Welcome offer: 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 onpurchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)
Why you should get it: Normally, the Platinum Amex is a solid choice for those who travel frequently, want access to the Centurion Lounge and Delta SkyClub network and other travel perks. However, right now the card is above average for purchase protections and it has a number of limited-time benefits, such as the $20 monthly U.S. streaming credit and also a $20 monthly wireless telephone statement credit from May through December. This is in addition to the monthly Uber benefit, that can also be used on Uber Eats.
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, HBO Max, 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 offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)
Why you should get it: The Blue Cash Preferred has one of the highest bonus multipliers 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.
Related reading: Guide to saving money on streaming services
Streaming rewards: 10x points on select streaming services — on up to $1,500 from July 1 – Sept. 30
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual fee: $550
Why you should get it: Much like the Amex Platinum, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a power card for those who typically do lots of travel and eating out. But, it has adapted to this new (hopefully temporary) reality famously. In addition to the temporary 10x bonus on streaming, the card also has a temporary 5x bonus on spending via Instacart The card’s annual $300 travel credit can temporarily be used at grocery stores and gas stations through the end of the year. With this card, you also have DoorDash credits available to you.
The Sapphire Reserve is also temporarily allowing cardholders to redeem points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards a statement credit used to offset purchases at grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishments through Sept. 30.
Streaming rewards: Earn 2x miles on all purchases — including streaming, regardless of how it codes as a purchase.
Listed eligible streaming services: N/A
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
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 at least 2x on all expenses. This makes it an easy winner if you just want to keep things simple. Keep in mind that the Venture currently earns 5x on Uber Eats and you can redeem your miles at a fixed value for a number of non-travel expenses through Dec. 31 — including streaming services. You’ll still get more value by transferring to partners, but it is nice to have it as an option.
Streaming rewards: 4% back on popular streaming services through April 2021
Sign-up bonus: Earn $300 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
Annual fee: $95
Why you should get it: The Capital One Savor has remained one of the best cash-back cards for dining and entertainment since it’s launch, with 4% back on those broad categories, plus 2% back on grocery spending. But Capital One has now entered into the streaming space with a temporary 4% back bonus category for popular streaming services. You’ll also earn 5% back on Uber Eats as another temporary earning category. While this may not be the best card for long-term spending on streaming services, it could be worth getting for its long-term benefits with the added bonus of being a great temporary option this summer for all of your streaming needs.
Streaming rewards: Earn 3x points on select streaming services when you pay your bill with your card.
Listed eligible streaming services: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Amazon Music Unlimited, Audible, ESPN+, Disney+, fuboTV, HBO Now, Headspace, Kindle Unlimited, NHL.TV, Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio and Spotify Premium.
Sign-up 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 (a list to which they just added 12 new eligible 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.
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.
Sign-up 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 5% back at Amazon, including the annual Amazon Prime membership fee and Amazon-specific streaming services.
Listed eligible streaming services: Amazon Prime
Sign-up bonus: Get a $70 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 by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
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.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- 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