Credit cards

Best Credit Cards for Football Fans

Football is back, and it’s possible to show off your fandom and save money with the right credit card. Here are some of the best options:

Hunting Freedom Flex

From July 1 through September 30, 2022, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card is offering cardholders 5% cash back on select live entertainment purchases, a category that includes major professional sporting events (among others). Major ticketing agencies such as SeatGeek, StubHub, Ticketmaster, Vivid Seats are all eligible. I suspect that many college football ticket purchases will also count, especially if made through one of these intermediaries.

Gas stations, movie theaters and rental car agencies are other 5% cash back categories this quarter. There is a combined spending limit of $1,500 on these Q3 bonus categories, after which cardholders earn 1% cash back on these categories. Activation is required by September 14.

Citi Personalized Money

This popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” card offers 5% cash back on each cardholder’s primary qualifying spend category each monthly billing cycle (up to $500 in purchases; all other purchases earn 1% cash back).

Live entertainment is an option that appeals to football fans. What’s especially nice is that you’re not locked into just one category each month. The Citi Custom Cash℠ card automatically adapts to your spending habits without any action on your part. Your main spending category could be live entertainment one month and something completely different the next (the list of possibilities includes gas, groceries, travel and more).

Capital One Savor

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card was one of the first to adopt an entertainment rewards category. It offers unlimited 4% cash back on entertainment, streaming, and dining purchases, 3% cash back on groceries, and 1% cash back on everything else. This card covers a wide range of football-related expenses – from match tickets to food to streaming the action from your couch.

Find out Cash back

Another popular 5% cash back card with rotating quarterly categories, the Discover it® Cash Back Card rewards 5% cash back on restaurant and PayPal purchases in the third quarter of this year. This is followed by Amazon.com and digital wallets in the fourth quarter. Like the Freedom Flex, activation is required and the high earn rate applies for up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases (then 1% cash back thereafter). There’s a lot to like about this list for football fans, especially PayPal and digital wallets because they’re so widely applicable.

American Express Preferred Blue Cash

Whether you’re tailgating in the parking lot before the big game or hosting a party at your house, if grocery shopping is part of your football plans, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a great choice. It gives 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in annual purchases, then 1% cash back thereafter). Some streaming services are also eligible for 6% cash back, so this card is especially good if you’re watching the action from home and snacking while you’re at it.

NFL Extra Points Credit Card

The National Football League’s officially licensed credit card, the NFL Extra Points Credit Card, is also worth considering, but it’s important to note that it has its limitations. The card’s website says the product gives 3% rewards on NFL and team qualifying purchases, 2% on groceries, food delivery, restaurants, gyms and sports items. sport and 1% on everything else. The use of “percentage” is a bit misleading though, as the rewards are only worth half that amount when applied as a statement credit.

It really is a point card. I think a better way to think about it is that it awards 3 points – not 3% – per dollar spent on NFL and team qualifying purchases, 2 points per dollar on groceries, food delivery, restaurants, gyms and sporting goods and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Each point is only worth 0.5 cents when used for statement credit.

It is possible to get more value from some of the other redemption opportunities (such as gift cards, merchandise, and exclusive NFL experiences). For example, a cardholder can redeem 1,000 points for a $10 Fanatics gift card. In this example, each point extends twice as far as it does when redeemed for a statement credit.

A representative from Bread Financial, which issues the card, says the exact value of each point varies. For example, each experiential reward is valued differently. Some of them sound like really fun, like meet-and-greets with NFL stars, stadium tours, game-day passes, and access to major events like the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. the NFL. A true superfan might find them invaluable in a way, though the math might not work out so favorably.

Bread says point values ​​vary based on experience. VIP Training Camp experiences are valued at around 10,000 points, for example. Whether or not it’s worth it depends on your personal preferences and level of fandom. For example, would you prefer that or a $50 credit or a $100 gift card? In general, most cards tend to offer better redemption rates on travel, cash back, and bottom-selling gift cards, merchandise, and experiences (at least on a cents per point basis). ).

If you want a real cash back card, you’re probably better off using something else. Still, for a certain type of cardholder, the NFL Extra Points Card has some great benefits. There’s a $100 introductory bonus after spending $500 on non-NFL purchases in your first 90 days with the card. New cardholders also get a free NFL+ membership if they apply and are approved by October 31, 2022 (NFL+ is the league’s streaming platform that provides access to live game video local and regular season prime time).

Plus, cardholders get a 20% discount when they buy anything from NFLShop.com with their Extra Points card. And special financing is available for cardholders who buy $250 or more in game tickets directly from an NFL team or from Ticketmaster, StubHub or SeatGeek. Finally, you can show your loyalty with the logo of your favorite team on your card.

The bottom line

A key theme of any good credit card rewards strategy is matching the right cards with your lifestyle. Think about how you spend your money and what you want to get out of your rewards. If you’re a football fan, for example, look to earn rewards on the money you’d otherwise have spent watching and munching throughout the season.

Have a question about credit cards? Email me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help.