Hulu now allows downloads — make sure you’re using the right credit card for your subscription

Oct 15, 2019

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

This has been a big year for the streaming services industry. Original shows and movies have been a hit, new streaming services have been announced and fan favorites have moved platforms. Hulu is once again switching things up by allowing users to download shows and movies to watch while offline.

For travelers who like to download shows before flights where they won’t have Wi-Fi, this is a big value-add for Hulu. Personally, this will make it so much easier to stay up to date on my favorite shows with my travel schedule. For those who have been hesitant about downloading Hulu, this news may just make it worth the subscription price.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to have so many streaming services in your arsenal, I have some good news for you. As streaming has become more popular, multiple credit cards have started offering select streaming services as a bonus category.

Maximizing rewards for your streaming services

(Photo by skynesher / Getty Images)
(Photo by skynesher/Getty Images)

Here are some of the top streaming services and which cards you should use to maximize your rewards for each.

Hulu

For a while, Hulu was Netflix’s only major competitor. In my opinion, Hulu tends to offer fewer “binge-able” series and movie options, but the service does offer its own original content — including the cult favorite “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the revival of “Veronica Mars” — along with live TV streaming options.

Plus many popular cable series episodes are available on Hulu the day after they air, which is what ultimately makes it worth it for me personally. Now that you can download shows and movies onto your devices for offline viewing, Hulu is even higher on my list of favorite streaming services.

You’ll find that your credit card options are the same for Hulu as they were Netflix, which means you’ll also get the best return when you use the Blue Cash Preferred:

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (6% cash back on select US streaming services)
  • Citi Premier Card℠ (2x ThankYou points on select entertainment, including on-demand internet streaming media)
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express card (3x points on select streaming services)
  • Uber Visa Card (Earn 2% cash back on online purchases, which includes streaming services like Netflix)
  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card (Streaming providers is one of the available 5% cash back categories; on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter — enrollment required)

Netflix

Netflix changed the game back in 2007 when it introduced streaming services. Even though some movies and shows are moving to other services, Netflix is still worth keeping around. Between the content that is sticking around and Netflix’s original content, there’s still a lot to love about the service. Plus, it’s easy to find a credit card that offers some serious rewards on your subscription.

Most cards that offer streaming services as a bonus category include Netflix:

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (6% cash back on select US streaming services)
  • Citi Premier Card (2x ThankYou points on select entertainment, including on-demand internet streaming media)
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (3x points on select streaming services)
  • Uber Visa Card (Earn 2% cash back on online purchases, which includes streaming services like Netflix)
  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card (Streaming providers is one of the available 5% cash back categories; on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter — enrollment required)

Currently, you’ll get the highest rewards rate when you use your Blue Cash Preferred to pay for Netflix. It’s one of my favorite overall cash-back cards right now because of the great rewards I earn for most of the streaming services I use, transit (which is defined broadly), U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets. Those categories make up a decent portion of my spending each month, and I enjoy being able to use the same card for all of those purchases without sacrificing rewards.

HBO Now (And HBO Max — Coming Soon)

Now that “Game of Thrones” has officially ended, some people may have ditched their HBO subscription. However, once HBO Max launches next year, this streaming service will have a lot more to offer.

Unfortunately, HBO Now isn’t included in many issuer lists of eligible streaming services. The only card that explicitly names HBO Now as an option is the Blue Cash Preferred. As HBO Max gains traction after it’s official launch, we might see more cards added to this list, but here are your current options:

Amazon Prime

(Photo by Guillaume Payen / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images)
(Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget that Amazon Prime also comes with streaming options, but it is included in your Prime Membership. Unfortunately, because Prime Video is just one part of the larger Amazon Prime service, many credit cards don’t count it has a select streaming service.

If you’re looking to maximize your rewards for your newfound obsession with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or any of Amazon’s other top-notch series, here are your best options:

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card (5% back at Amazon, which includes Prime)
  • Uber Visa Card (Earn 2% cash back on online purchases, which also includes Prime)

Keep in mind that the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card also earns 5% back at Whole Foods Market and 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, so it’s good for more than just your Amazon addiction.

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards 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.

Disney+

Disney’s streaming service will be available on Nov. 12., but  no issuers have officially added it to their list of approved streaming services. That is expected to change once it launches.

Considering the Blue Cash Preferred has the most comprehensive list of streaming services included, I’m going to assume that Amex will add it to the list sometime this year. Citi doesn’t offer an official list, so I’ll also assume it will earn rewards. With that in mind, here are the cards that will most likely give bonus rewards for Disney+:

Other card options

There are some excellent flat-rate card options that will also help you maximize rewards on streaming services. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is currently offering $150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months, which makes it a solid choice. The Citi Double Cash Card will earn 2% cash back on everything, including streaming purchases (1% when you purchase; 1% when you pay off the bill). If you’re hoping to use your rewards on travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also offers a flat 2x miles on all purchases, which will include any and all streaming services.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

With so many changes happening across streaming services, it’s not a bad idea to take inventory of the services you currently pay for and the ones you’ll want to join.  Luckily, there are plenty of options for earning rewards on your subscriptions.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • New 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • New 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
14.49%-25.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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