Advertiser Disclosure

Best Credit Cards for Entertainment Spending

Oct. 2, 2018
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

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.)

If you’re looking for an even higher rewards rate on entertainment, you could also 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.

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: 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). Terms apply.
  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores. Terms apply.
  • 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 in the same categories, 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 17.74% - 24.74% 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 for purchases up to $500 per billing cycle (combined).
  • 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.

One important note: You’ll earn these elevated rewards rates on only $500 worth of spending per billing cycle, for all bonus reward categories combined. Still, that can be pretty darn rewarding, especially for a starter card.