If you’re often first in line to buy tickets to see your favorite band or the buzziest new movie, a credit card offering entertainment perks can save you over a hundred dollars a year. These cards offer increased rewards on entertainment events and exclusive access to presales, premium seating and venue lounges.
Below, CNBC Select takes an in-depth look at three of the best credit cards for entertainment spending as well as the added entertainment perks issuers provide to all cardholders, regardless of whether you have an entertainment rewards card.
How entertainment rewards credit cards work
Entertainment rewards credit cards offer bonus rewards on all your entertainment related purchases, whether that’s concerts, plays, movies or sporting events — in some cases even streaming services. Bonus rewards means a cardholder earns a minimum of 2% cash back or 2X points per dollar spent.
The Capital One® Savor® Rewards Credit Card offers 4% cash back on entertainment, which is one of the highest rewards rates available. This card tops our list of the best credit cards for entertainment spending since you can earn an estimated $129 in rewards on entertainment related purchases each year, assuming an average $3,221 annual spend on entertainment (from a sample budget created by location intelligence firm Esri).
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a high 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, which include popular services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Prime Video Unlimited.
And if you want to save at movie theaters and on TV, internet and streaming services (which includes 15 providers such as Comcast, Apple Music and Hulu), the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® offers 5% cash back on two bonus categories each quarter, on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases, then 1%. So, you can select both categories and benefit from increased rewards.
Depending on what type of rewards credit card you have — cash back, points or miles — you can redeem rewards for statement credit, gift cards, travel, merchandise and more.
How to maximize your perks and rewards
Entertainment rewards credit cards often offer enhanced perks for various events and may even offer elevated rewards.
In addition to 4% cash back on entertainment, the Capital One® Savor® Rewards Credit Card offers cardholders who buy tickets through Vivid Seats, a ticket resale site, 8% cash back (through May 31, 2020), which is double what you’d typically earn.
How to get exclusive entertainment experiences
Beyond entertainment-specific credit cards, many card issuers and networks also provide access to exclusive entertainment events, ticket presales, premium seating, lounge access and more. To take advantage of these perks, you simply need to be a cardholder.
- American Express: Cardholders can benefit from exclusive experiences, such as tickets to see the Eagles and Blake Shelton, with the Amex entertainment access benefit. And as the official card of Ticketmaster, Amex cardholders can access premium seating and presales at many events. Plus, there are special By Invitation Only® events exclusively for The American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® members.
- Capital One: Take advantage of exclusive access to various music events, such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball and Taylor Swift’s tour. You can benefit from VIP packages, on-site cardholder lounges and more.
- Citi: The Citi Entertainment benefit provides early access and special perks at music, theater, dining and sports events, such as Keith Urban in Las Vegas, Broadway shows and the Basketball Hall of Fame showcase.
- Chase: With Chase Experiences, you can benefit from premier event access to concerts, shows, sports and dining events. Plus enjoy special offers at select venues including food, beverage and merchandise discounts and Chase Lounge access, when available.
- Mastercard: Cards with the Mastercard logo receive access to Priceless, which provides various entertainment events from art and culture experiences, such as a show at Carnegie Hall, to early access to Off-Broadway two-for-one tickets, MLB games and much more.
Is an entertainment rewards credit card worth it for you?
Since entertainment is such a big expense ($3,221 annually or roughly $268 monthly) for the average American, it can be a good idea to consider a card that offers higher rewards on entertainment spending. The cards mentioned above can save you over $100 annually on concerts, movies and other entertainment events, making these memorable experiences more affordable.
Even if you’re not sure whether an entertainment credit card is the best option, you can choose a card from an issuer or network listed above that provides exclusive entertainment access for all cardholders.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.