What are the best credit cards for streaming services?
You probably pay for at least one streaming service. Maybe you like Netflix for on-demand content, or Sling TV for live TV, or Spotify for music.
Whatever your preference, paying for streaming services lets you consume digital content when you’re at home or on the go. And you’re not alone. The average household spent $55 per month on streaming services in Q2 2021, according to J.D. Power.
As it turns out, your streaming habit isn’t a totally sunk cost. Some of the best cash-back credit cards, travel rewards credit cards, and even gas credit cards offer impressive rates of return on eligible streaming purchases. You just need to pick the right one.
Best Credit Cards for Streaming Services
These are the best credit cards to purchase streaming services with right now.
Each has a distinct audience determined by its other rewards categories or features. But all have one important thing in common: They reward streaming purchases very well indeed.
Best Overall: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is our top pick for streaming content fans. It earns a better return on streaming purchases than any other card on this list: 6%.
Blue Cash Preferred’s list of eligible streaming services is expansive. It features the most popular visual streaming providers, including but not limited to Netflix, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and DirecTV Stream. It also features audio or multimedia streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and Stitcher.
- 6% cash-back on the first $6,000 in eligible U.S. supermarket purchases each year, then 1% back (cash-back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits).
- 3% cash-back on eligible transit purchases, including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses.
- 3% cash-back on eligible U.S. gas station purchases.
- 1% cash-back on other purchases.
- Introductory APR Offer: 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. Following the end of the introductory period, the regular APR is variable (currently 13.99% to 23.99%), depending on prevailing rates and your personal creditworthiness. See this card’s rates and fees page.
- Welcome Offer: Earn $300 back after you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first six months. Cash-back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
- $95 annual fee after the first year.
Best for Frequent Travelers: U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is the best streaming credit card for frequent travelers. In fact, it’s one of the best credit cards for frequent travelers, period.
That’s because it earns 4x points on eligible travel purchases, including gas stations, airfare, hotels, and car rentals. It also provides up to $100 to offset your TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry® application fee once every four years. See this card’s rates and fees page.
Altitude Connect earns an impressive rate of return on eligible streaming purchases too: 2x points. And it’s the only card on this list to offer direct statement credits against eligible streaming purchases: up to $30 per year.
- 2x points on eligible restaurant dining, grocery store, and grocery delivery purchases.
- Spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening to earn 50,000 bonus points.
- Up to $600 in cellphone protection coverage per incident (less $25 deductible).
- $95 annual fee; no foreign transaction fee.
Best for People Who Like In-Person Entertainment Too: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the perfect hybrid for entertainment lovers. In addition to a very solid 3% cash-back rate on eligible streaming purchases, it earns 3% cash-back on purchases of in-person entertainment and restaurant dining (including dine-in and takeout).
- 3% cash-back on eligible grocery store purchases.
- Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
- 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening — thereafter, variable regular APR applies (currently 14.99% to 24.99% variable).
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
Best for Students: Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is the best student credit card for streaming purchases. Like the adult version, it delivers unlimited 3% cash-back on eligible streaming purchases — a nearly unheard-of rate of return for an entry-level credit card designed specifically for young people.
- 3% cash-back on eligible grocery store purchases, entertainment purchases, and restaurant purchases.
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
- You could be considered for a higher credit line after six months of responsible use and timely payments.
Best for Frequent Online Shoppers: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you’re a paid-up Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earns unlimited 5% cash-back on all eligible purchases in the Amazon ecosystem, including Amazon Prime Video (on-demand streaming) purchases. That’s something, even if it doesn’t apply to your Netflix or Hulu subscriptions too.
- Earn 5% cash-back on eligible Whole Foods Market purchases.
- Earn unlimited 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
- Get a $100 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval — exclusions apply; see terms for details.
- Amazon Prime membership ($119 per year) is required to earn 5% cash-back on Amazon-ecosystem purchases — otherwise, earn 3% cash-back on Amazon purchases.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Credit Cards for Streaming Purchases
We use five key factors to evaluate the best cards for streaming entertainment purchases. Each relates to a specific cost or benefit for card users, like annual fees or return on streaming spending.
1. Return on Streaming Purchases (Rewards Rate)
Return on streaming purchases is the most important consideration for anyone seeking a streaming rewards credit card. This rate determines how handsomely your card rewards you for purchasing streaming services.
2. Return on Spending in Other Rewards Categories
None of the credit cards on this list reward only streaming purchases. They wouldn’t be very good rewards credit cards if they did.
After confirming that the card’s return on streaming spending is acceptable, look at what else its rewards program has to offer. Most of the cards on this list earn impressive rates of return — often 3% or better — on everyday purchases like gasoline, restaurant spending, and groceries.
3. New Cardmember Offers
Many credit cards use generous new cardmember offers to entice sign-ups. Also known as sign-up bonuses, welcome offers, or early spend bonuses, these promotions can deliver hundreds of dollars in value. To earn it, you usually need to clear a particular spending threshold during the offer period, which typically lasts three to six months.
A similar number of credit cards, including several on this list, offer another enticement for new cardholders: 0% APR introductory promotions on purchases, balance transfers, or both. If you need to pay off high-interest credit card debt or aim to finance a major purchase right after opening your account, a 0% intro APR promotion could save you hundreds of dollars in interest charges.
4. Other Card Benefits
The best streaming credit cards are more than the sum of their rewards programs and new cardmember offers. They also offer perks for travelers, protections for shoppers, and fringe benefits that can quickly stack up in value.
Each of the cards on this list has something else to entice cardholders. For example, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card, our top pick for frequent travelers, has a generous travel credit that nearly offsets its annual fee.
5. Account Fees
Credit card fees reduce the value of rewards programs, new cardmember offers, and other card benefits.
This is particularly true of annual fees, which penalize folks who don’t spend very much (and thus don’t earn rewards very quickly). Likewise, foreign transaction fees erode card value for people who regularly travel abroad or make purchases from international merchants.
Become a Streaming Credit Card Rewards Expert: Your Questions Answered
You have questions about the best credit cards for streaming services. We have answers.
How Do Credit Cards Define Streaming Services?
That depends on the credit card. To understand how a particular card defines “streaming services” — and therefore which streaming services qualify for bonus points or miles — you’ll need to read its rewards program’s fine print.
Generally, though, popular visual streaming services qualify for bonus rewards. This includes popular movie and TV streaming services such as:
- Hulu and Hulu + Live TV
- Amazon Prime Video
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Stream
- YouTube TV
Some credit cards also reward purchases with audio streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.
Can You Get Streaming Entertainment for Free With Any of These Cards?
Only one of these cards offers permanent discounts on or credits against streaming entertainment purchases: the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card, which is good for up to $30 in annual statement credits for eligible streaming services, including Netflix and Spotify.
Keep your eyes peeled for limited-time promotions of this sort though. And bear in mind that some other cards may offer credits against certain types of streaming entertainment services (and related services like Peloton streamed workouts).
Can You Qualify for a Streaming Credit Card With Bad Credit?
Never say never, but it won’t be easy. The credit cards on this list market themselves to applicants with good credit or excellent credit, as do most of the top rewards credit cards on the market.
If your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be, consider applying for a secured credit card or entry-level unsecured card first and working to build your credit. With time, your score may improve to the point where you’ll have your pick of these cards.
How Do You Choose the Best Streaming Credit Card?
Figure out what you value most in a credit card, then work backward from there.
If maximizing your return on streaming purchases is your top priority, you’ll want to target the card that offers the best payback: the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. But you may have other priorities, such as:
- Maxing out your rewards in other spending categories
- Earning the biggest possible new cardmember offer
- Qualifying for a long 0% intro APR offer
- Reaping benefits that fit your spending patterns or lifestyle
- Minimizing card fees
Once you have your credit card priorities straight, all that’s left to do is review our list of the best streaming cards and choose the one that fits your life best.