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What’s the Best Credit Card for Tailgating?

Feb. 10, 2020
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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If you’re a football fan, your favorite time of year has finally arrived. A big game often means a really big tailgate, so it’s a good idea to think about which credit card will reward you for buying all the stuff you need to support your favorite team.

Here are the Nerds’ favorite credit cards for tailgating:

If you’re hitting the road to cheer your team: Chase Freedom®

When you’re doing a lot of driving to catch your favorite team in action, it’s a good idea to choose a credit card that gives good rewards on gas. In this case, the Chase Freedom® is a great choice.

With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Historically, the Chase Freedom® has featured gas stations as a 5% retailer at least one quarter per year. Plus, you have the opportunity to earn big rewards at other retailers throughout the year.

The Chase Freedom® has an annual fee of $0 and provides a small signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. With the Chase Freedom®, you can feel good about driving from city to city to see every touchdown live.

>>More: NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Offers For Entertainment

If you’re loading up on snacks at the grocery store: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Hosting a good tailgate party means stocking up on tons of snacks and drinks. If you’re going to be hitting the grocery store hard this football season, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a great option.

With it, you’ll earn 3% cash back on a spending category of your choice and 2% cash back at the grocery store or the wholesale club, up to $2,500 in combined spending per quarter. Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gets you started with a sign-up bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. And the annual fee? $0. If earning 2% back on potato chip and soda pop purchases sounds good this tailgating season, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is one to consider.

If you’re going to be catching the games at a local bar: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If you’ve given up cable, a local bar may be your best bet for catching the game. If so, you’ll want to bring along the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

As far as rewards go, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has great earning power: Every time you use the card, you’ll be getting 2 points per dollar spent on dining in restaurants and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Generally, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth one cent apiece.

However, they’re worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which drives the value of each point up to 1.25 cents. You also have the option to transfer your points to a participating frequent travel program; depending on how savvy you are at travel hacking, you could be getting even greater value out of each.

Since most bars count as restaurants as far as credit card companies are concerned, you’ll earn big points on the beer and wings you’re enjoying as you watch the game.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll score a great signup bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Just remember that you’ll also pay a $95 annual fee.