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Disney’s various streaming services, which comprises of Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, Hulu and ESPN+, now have over 235 million global subscribers as of Oct. 1, 2022, according to Variety. At that number, the media company has officially surpassed Netflix’s global subscriber number, which stands at 223.1 million.
This goes to show just how competitive the streaming market has become — saying nothing of other players like Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and more. However, it seems like the streaming scene is slowly starting to consolidate, showcased by the merger between Paramount+ and Showtime, which has rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime. With these consolidations, it seems like streaming services are here to stay, so it’s likely that rewards on streaming service subscriptions will stick around as well.
Read on to find out where you can get the best bang for your buck when it comes to streaming rewards.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best for everyday value
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express doles out the highest cash back rate on this list for eligible streaming subscriptions: a whopping 6 percent. The eligible streaming services include the usual suspects, like Hulu, HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+, YouTube TV and Apple TV+, but also smaller players like Luminary, FuboTV, Sling TV, Peacock and DirecTV Stream. For a full list of eligible streaming services, review American Express’ list of rewards-eligible retailers.
Overall, the Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great card for everyday essentials, offering cardholders 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent), 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3 percent back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases and 1 percent on all other purchases. As a welcome bonus, you’ll receive a $250 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months.
Sweetening the deal for consumers looking to earn on streaming services, the card also offers up to $84 back ($7 back each month) when you spend $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to the Disney Bundle.
Plus, if you have a high annual expenditure, the $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) will easily pay for itself. With such high-earning rewards across a variety of spending categories, the Blue Cash Preferred provides the flexibility that makes maximizing your cash rewards simple.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for travel
Chase’s list of rewards-eligible streaming services is much smaller than American Express’ list. Currently, only the following streaming services will earn the boosted rewards rate: Apple Music, Apple TV, Disney+, ESPN+, FuboTV, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Paramount+, Peacock, Showtime, SiriusXM, Sling, Spotify, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV and Vudu. While this list includes the major streaming players, it’s notably missing Amazon Prime Video.
In addition to 3X points on select streaming services, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards 3X points on dining and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), 5X points on Lyft Rides (through March 2025), 5X points on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 2X points on general travel and 1X points on everything else. Plus, your points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Chase’s transfer partners, many of which are leading loyalty programs for airlines and hotels.
The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, making this card easy to offset with its rewards structure. By simply spending around $264 per month across the card’s 3X categories, the annual fee will be covered. There are also no foreign transaction fees, and you’ll get a 25 percent value boost for your points when redeemed for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
But where the Sapphire Preferred Card shines most: On every account anniversary, you’ll receive a 10 percent points match and $50 in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. For a sign-up bonus, you can earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening your account.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best for fast food
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is perfect for those who want a high rewards rate but don’t want to pay a premium for the privilege. With this card, you’ll select two spending categories in which you’ll earn 5 percent cash back (on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter, then 1 percent).
Aside from TV, internet and streaming services, you may choose from other categories such as gyms and fitness centers, cellphone providers, home utilities and more. Account holders can also choose one everyday category — restaurants, gas and EV charging stations or grocery stores — to earn 2 percent cash back.
Other rewards include 5 percent back on prepaid airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through the Rewards Travel Center and 1 percent back on all other purchases. New cardholders can also earn a $200 rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 120 days of account membership.
The main selling point of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is the incredible flexibility of the card’s rewards structure. You have the ability to choose not one, but two spending categories that earn 5 percent cash back — and you can change them each quarter, if you’d like. The best part: This rewards-rich card comes with no annual fee.
The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for luxury travelers
The Platinum Card® from American Express is meant for those who truly have premium tastes and spending habits due to its hefty $695 annual fee. That said, the value of the credits and benefits offered here more than make up for what you spend.
Rather than earning rewards based on your spending, the card’s streaming service benefits come in the form of statement credits worth up to $240, for any one or more subscription to Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM and The New York Times.
Though the streaming services that count toward the credit are limited, there are a boatload of other high-value Amex Platinum benefits (providing around $1,400 in value annually) that more than make up for it. These benefits include 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on airfare, flights and prepaid hotels booked directly through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through Amex Travel and 1X points on all other purchases.
You may also earn an intro offer of 80,000 Membership Reward points after spending $8,000 in the first six months of card membership. However, this card truly shines when it comes to American Express card benefits and annual reimbursements. Cardholders have access to premium perks such as extensive airport lounge access, annual travel credits, elite hotel status deals, comprehensive travel protections and much more.
Nevertheless, the Platinum Card’s steep annual fee and limited bonus category coverage don’t make sense for the average consumer — especially if you’re solely looking for streaming coverage. Luckily, the long list of benefits is worth well over $1,400 and can easily cover the annual fee. However, that’s only possible if you’re able to take full advantage of the Platinum Card’s features — and then some.
Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for customizable rewards
With the no-annual-fee Citi Custom Cash® Card, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on up to $500 in purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (then 1 percent back), plus 1 percent on all other purchases. The following categories are eligible as a top spend category: select streaming services, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit and more.
You don’t have to activate the categories in order to earn 5 percent back because you’ll automatically earn that rate on whichever eligible spending category you spent the most in. So if most of your budget is already going toward your streaming subscriptions, this card will make it easy to maximize your return each month.
Some of the streaming services that qualify are Amazon Prime Video, Apple Music, Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, NBA League pass, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube TV and more.
The Citi Custom Cash Card makes sense as a secondary credit card in most wallets. If you can manage to pay all of your main subscriptions in one billing cycle, you could earn 5 percent back on a wider variety of purchases across the year’s billing cycles.
Plus, you’ll get 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months and enjoy a 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR after).
Is a card that rewards streaming services right for you?
Your streaming subscription isn’t likely to break the bank, but if you’re subscribed to multiple streaming services, those costs do add up. A credit card that offers rewards for streaming subscriptions is at its best when the cost of at least one of your subscriptions is exceeded by the cash back received.
For example, the Amex Platinum offers up to $20 per month in reimbursement for eligible streaming services like Peacock. Peacock costs $4.99 per month, a price that’s fully covered by the $20 in statement credits provided by the Amex Platinum. You’re essentially getting two streaming services for free just for having this credit card.
Streaming service cash back is not enough to carry the day on a rewards card, but when looking for a card with streaming rewards, choose one with a plethora of other benefits that make the card (and its annual fee) worthwhile. In the case of the Amex Platinum, other than its up to $240 in annual digital entertainment statement credits, the card offers plenty of additional credits and benefits that allow you to easily get your money’s worth.
How to choose a card that rewards streaming services
In addition to making sure the credit card you select rewards the streaming services you actually subscribe to, look for cards with more common reward categories, like travel, dining, gas and groceries. This way, points or cash back are a little easier to earn and go toward something more than just a $20 streaming subscription.
The bottom line
With streaming taking over the TV entertainment landscape, streaming rewards on credit cards are only going to get more popular. Just be sure there are additional benefits to cover an occasionally steep annual fee, and you may never have to pay for a streaming service again.