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NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for Entertainment Spending

Dec. 12, 2018
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

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It wasn’t always easy to find a credit card that could reward you for painting the town in your signature color, or even for enjoying a relaxing night in front of the TV.

But whatever your definition of “entertainment,” whether it’s barhopping or binge-watching, there are now plenty of cards that rake in rewards for spending on fun.

Here are a few credit cards that can help you maximize rewards on entertainment spending:

For a night out

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards:

  • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment.
  • 2% back at grocery stores.
  • 1% back on everything else.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it: If you frequently go out on the town, the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card could be an ideal companion. Stop and grab dinner first at a restaurant, cafe, bar or lounge — or even at a fast-food joint, bakery, nightclub or coffee shop — and earn triple points back per dollar spent.

Then, go earn that same rewards rate at a variety of eligible fun zones, including movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, pool halls or bowling alleys, not to mention purchases at record stores or video rental locations. (You won’t, however, earn the 3% rate on purchases like cable, digital streaming or subscription services.)

Alternative options: For an even higher rewards rate on entertainment, consider this card’s big brother, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card — if you don’t mind paying an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. Or you could consider the Uber Visa Card, which has a $0 annual fee and offers 4% cash back on dining, including restaurants, takeout and bars. There’s no separate category for “entertainment,” but perhaps your favorite local watering hole also has a jukebox, a pool table, darts or shuffleboard. Plus, the card earns 2% back on video and music streaming services.

The Marvel Mastercard

Rewards:

  • 3% cash back on dining, eligible entertainment purchases, Marvel.com purchases and Marvel’s official merchandise booths.
  • 1% back on everything else.

Sign-up bonus: $25 Statement Credit after your first purchase.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.49% - 26.49% Variable.

Why we like it: The Marvel Mastercard offers a nice cash-back rate considering that its annual fee is $0. Marvel fans will also appreciate the additional discounts on merchandise, but you don’t even have to be a fan to reap the rewards with this card. You just have to be a foodie who likes to get out of the house.

Grab dinner and head over to the movie theater to catch the latest Marvel flick, or another movie of your choice, and snag 3% cash back on all of your purchases. Earn the same rate on a variety of other entertainment purchases, such as video rental and game stores, theatrical performances, concerts, amusement parks, music, books and newsstands, among others.

For a Netflix night

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining out or ordering in.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming services.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on gas stations, rideshares and transit.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals.
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else.

Welcome offer: New! Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months that's a $300 cash redemption value.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 26.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it: Maybe your idea of an exciting evening is grabbing some takeout or having some pizza delivered as you catch up on “Stranger Things.” In that case, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a good option for you. It doesn’t offer a specific “entertainment” rewards category, but it does offer triple points on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify Premium. It offers that same high rewards rate on dining, too, whether you choose to dine out or take your meal home.

In fact, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers high rewards rates on a variety of popular spending categories, all for an annual of $0. It’s not only a good “entertainment” card; it’s a good card for all-around use.

For moviegoers

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on two categories of your choice (on up to $2,000 spent per quarter on combined purchases).
  • 2% cash back on an everyday category of your choice.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: New Cardmember bonus: $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it: The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card lets you choose your own bonus categories every quarter, allowing you to earn more rewards on frequent purchases. Through September 2018, the card’s 5% bonus categories include fast food and movie theaters (among several other choices). Also, one of the card’s 2% categories is restaurants.

Some of the categories rotate on a quarterly basis, and you’ll have to opt in every time to earn the higher rates.

For entertaining at home

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rewards:

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% back).
  • 3% back at U.S. gas stationsand select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% on everything else.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome offer: $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $95.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it: When you’re the entertainer, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can earn you back some value on supermarket spending for a party, barbecue or dinner celebration. And if you’re spending big on an impromptu celebration, the introductory offers can provide some breathing room.

If an annual fee is a deal breaker, check out the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express; it earns lower rewards, but for an annual fee of $0.

For travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it: If your version of entertainment requires a trip farther from home than the local watering hole, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s introductory offer and ongoing rewards can help you pay for that excursion. Plus, your points earn 25% more value when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

The card has an annual fee — $0 for the first year, then $95 — but you can easily offset that cost if you spend a lot on dining out.

For broad categories

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

Rewards: 

  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.

Why we like it: First, the drawbacks: You won’t get a sign-up bonus, and other credit cards offer higher rewards rates on dining and entertainment.

However, it should be noted that the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has one of the broadest definitions of entertainment. It covers most dining purchases, but also a wide range of live or in-person entertainment options (concerts, sporting events, movies, theatrical productions, amusement parks, museums, art galleries, circuses, carnivals, etc.), plus on-demand internet streaming media.

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card also provides Citi Private Pass, a feature that can give you early access or preferred seating options for certain live events.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Rewards: 

  • 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay it off.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.

Why we like it: Entertainment optimizers can earn higher rewards rates with other cards. But with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of any categories. You’ll earn a high flat rate back on all purchases.

For limited credit

Deserve® Pro Mastercard

Rewards:

  • 3% cash back per dollar spent on travel and entertainment and 2% cash back at restaurants.
  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.99% - 24.99% Variable.

Why we like it: Most cards rely on the traditional FICO scoring model to determine your creditworthiness. The Deserve® Pro Mastercard is a bit different. It’s designed for applicants who do have some credit history — but Deserve’s underwriting process may allow exceptions if you can meet income and employment verification requirements. 

Plus, unlike other cards aimed at those with limited credit, the Deserve® Pro Mastercard offers rewards without you having to pony up a security deposit or annual fee.

In the category of entertainment, you can earn 3% cash back on things like movie tickets, sporting events, comedy clubs, plays, live shows and concerts. It also applies to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and others.

When it comes to travel, 3% cash-back categories include hotels, airlines, cruises, public transport, and even Uber or Lyft — which can take you to that late-night restaurant, where you can be served a side of 2% cash back.

Information related to the Uber Visa Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.