Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Entertainment spending usually makes up a large chunk of consumer spending in America — more than gas and clothing.
But despite entertainment expenses being a historically common spending category, few cards explicitly offer bonus rewards for entertainment spending. In part, this is probably because of the ambiguity of the category itself.
Which purchases code as entertainment?
Entertainment spending can theoretically encompass a lot of different things. And many things you’d assume would fall under that umbrella end up coding differently on a credit card statement.
Amusement parks, ski passes and dinner shows are all expenses that could easily be coded as travel or dining depending on the card, the specific merchant and where you make the purchase.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the cards that offer rewards on more general entertainment spending.
The best credit cards to maximize your entertainment spending
|Entertainment rewards rate
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
|$300 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.
|4% cash back (or 8% if purchased through Capital One Entertainment.)
|Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
|$200 after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.
|3% cash back (or 8% if purchased through Capital One Entertainment.)
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
|$150 after you spend $500 in the first three months.
|5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose.
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card and U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
What is Capital One Entertainment?
Capital One Entertainment is Capital One’s ticketing platform, offering access to music, sport and dining events. The two Capital One cards mentioned in this guide offer 8% cash-back on ticket purchases through the platform. However, the boosted cash-back rate excludes:
(i) Tickets purchased through the Capital One cardholder exclusive pre-sales page (www.capitalone.com/pre-sales); (ii) tickets purchased directly through the Capital One Hall or Capital One Arena ticketing services; and (iii) dining reservations or purchases through Capital One Dining.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Welcome bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
Rewards rate: Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, 4% on dining, entertainment purchases and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and 1% on everything else.
How entertainment is defined: Capital One defines entertainment purchases pretty broadly. According to the Capital One website, entertainment purchases include tickets to movie theaters, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, bowling alleys, pool halls, record stores and video rental locations.
Keep in mind: Additionally, Capital One only allows you to carry two personal Capital One branded cards at a time and also tends to restrict you to one new card every six months, including both business and personal cards. If you’re interested in this card, keep these restrictions in mind as you plan an application strategy.
Check out the Capital One Savor card review for more details.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards rate: Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, 3% on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1% on all other purchases.
How entertainment is defined: Capital One defines entertainment the same across both Savor cards, meaning you’ll get bonus rewards on tickets to movie theaters, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, bowling alleys, pool halls, record stores and video rental locations.
Keep in mind: The Capital One Savor may charge an annual fee, but anyone spending a significant portion of their budget on dining and entertainment will still likely get a better value from that card even with the annual fee. The SavorOne is best-suited for beginners and those with smaller budgets.
Check out the Capital One SavorOne card review for more details.
Application link: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 rewards bonus after you apply online and spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back by selecting from two of 12 merchant categories each quarter on your first $2,000 combined purchases, 2% on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants and 1% everywhere else.
How entertainment is defined: U.S. Bank offers two entertainment-related categories that earn 5% cash back: movie theaters; and TV, internet and streaming services. This includes popular services such as Netflix, Hulu and Max. You can opt for both entertainment categories every quarter to maximize cash back if you choose.
Keep in mind: This card offers compelling cash back earning rates for a card without an annual fee. Just don’t forget, you have to opt in each quarter and select your preferred bonus categories to earn the higher rewards rates.
Check out the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card review for more details.
Consider a flat-rate card
Frequent travelers can use the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to earn 2 miles per dollar across every purchase. Business travelers can try out the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, also earning 2 miles for dollar across every purchase. Both only charge a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year for the Spark Miles). There are also no-annual-fee versions of both cards for any beginners with a smaller budget.
If cash back is more your style, a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card (see rates and fees) or Chase Freedom Unlimited is also a viable option. The Citi Double Cash earns 2% on every purchase (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill), while the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% back on all non-bonus categories. Both are no-annual-fee cards, and you can pair them with others within their issuer lineups to maximize your redemption options and value.
Don’t forget about exclusive access perks
There’s more to maximizing credit cards than just rewards (though earning rewards is largely part of that equation).
Some top travel cards offer exclusive perks for entertainment events. Some issuers hold invite-only events that grant you access to purchase hard-to-get tickets with a specific premium credit card. In those cases, it may make sense to use a card that doesn’t necessarily earn rewards on entertainment on those purchases. It all depends on what you find more valuable in each situation.
Related reading: Cards that offer VIP event access
Remember that some purchases may not code within the entertainment category, depending on how and where you make your purchase. For example, Disney tickets may code as entertainment, travel or something else entirely, depending on how you obtain tickets.
Whether you are a rollercoaster aficionado, stand-up comedy fan or something in between, it’s good to have a card that helps you earn additional rewards on those purchases and/or provides opportunities for enhanced experiences.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Benji Stawski and Mike Cetera.