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Best Credit Cards for Golf Rewards

Aug. 19, 2015
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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  • Citi Prestige® Card

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Chase, Citi and American Express are helping golf fans cut costs by offering great golf-related perks. Goodies include VIP access to major tournaments, free rounds of golf at courses around the world and ongoing discounts on green fees.

The Nerds found three credit cards that offer great deals that both seasoned golfers and novices will find hard to pass up. Golf isn’t a cheap hobby, so think of this as a little added incentive to head for the links.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: VIP passes to the majors

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the Nerds’ favorite travel cards, but what sets it apart for golf aficionados is its relationship with the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. In May 2015, Chase and the PGA of America announced a multiyear partnership naming the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card the official card of the PGA of America and the PGA Championship. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card holders receive exclusive access to VIP packages to attend the 2016 PGA Championships and the 2016 Ryder Cup.

You can also use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to shop at Golfsmith through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards bonus mall, where you can earn 4 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, as of August 2015.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, the card also comes with a killer sign-up 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®. You can use your points to book travel to golf resorts or other destinations on the Ultimate Rewards site at a 20% discount. Click here to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. 

Citi Prestige® Card: Play free at resorts around the world

If you’re looking to play upscale golf courses, the Citi Prestige® Card has your back. This elite card offers three complimentary rounds of golf at more than 2,400 public and private golf courses around the world, a savings of up to more than $200 per 18-hole round. Search the list of courses using the menu tabs here.

The card also comes with huge travel rewards. It comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening* (This offer is no longer valid on our site) You’ll also get access to select airport lounges, an annual $250 airline incidental fee credit and a complimentary fourth night stay at any hotel of your choice. See our full review for all the card’s benefits.

Being treated like royalty comes at a price, however. The Citi Prestige® Card charges a $450 annual fee, though you’ll more than make up for that if you take advantage of all its luxurious perks. Click here to apply for the Citi Prestige® Card.

Gold Card from American Express: The ultimate golf package

The Gold Card from American Express is a solid credit card on its own, but its partnership with Preferred Golf makes it a compelling choice for golfers of every background and skill set. The Gold Card from American Express gets you a complimentary one-year membership with Preferred Golf, a Preferred Hotel Group membership program, that is worth $295. Here’s a list of benefits you’ll get with membership:

  • A free round of golf with every consecutive two-night stay at more than 85 world-class golf resorts
  • Save up to 25% on green fees at select Preferred Golf resorts
  • VIP golf concierge service
  • Buddy trips with group VIP services, best rates and upgrades
  • Free room upgrade and in-room Wi-Fi at Preferred Golf resorts

The Gold Card from American Express isn’t quite as fancy as the Citi Prestige® Card, but it does come with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, and then $160. The free one-year Preferred Golf membership alone is worth almost double that, so you shouldn’t shy away too quickly.

Other Gold Card from American Express perks include 2X points for flights booked directly with airlines and U.S. restaurant purchases, no foreign transaction fees, room upgrades and hotel credits for two-night hotel stays and preferred access to entertainment, including concerts, Broadway shows and sporting events.

The takeaway: Whether you have a handicap of four or you’re still trying to stay out of the sand traps, these credit cards offer great golf perks that you can’t get anywhere else.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @benluthi.

Image via iStock.