Best credit cards for streaming services in 2021

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Disney+ surpassed 100 million subscribers in March 2021, just 16 months after launching. According to Business Insider, Disney+ will overtake Netflix as the undisputed streaming leader in 2024.

This goes to show just how competitive the streaming market has become—saying nothing of other players like Hulu, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Paramount+ and more. With so many subscribers cutting the cord and joining the streaming revolution worldwide, it’s no wonder that credit card issuers are offering rewards on streaming service subscriptions.

Read on to find out where you can get the best bang for your buck when it comes to streaming rewards.

Best credit cards for streaming services in 2021

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back

The Blue Cash Preferred doles out the highest cash back rate on this list for eligible streaming subscriptions: a whopping 6 percent. 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, Paramount+, DirecTV Stream and Spotify. For a full list of eligible streaming services, review American Express’s list of rewards-eligible retailers on their website.

Also, if you’re a frequent Amazon.com shopper, you’ll love the welcome offer of 20 percent cash back (up to $200) on Amazon.com purchases in the first six months of card membership. If Amazon isn’t your bag, you’ll still earn a $150 statement credit if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership (You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits). Other benefits include:

  • 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent)
  • 3 percent cash back on transit
  • 3 percent cash back on U.S. gas station purchases
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that

Pro Tip: “If you have a high annual expenditure, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred ranks as the highest value.  You pay a $95 annual fee, but, along with streaming, you also receive 6 percent back for your groceries, which can be recouped pretty quickly with a large family ($3,200 or $62 a week is break-even). Plus, you can shop anywhere you’d like.” — Lisa Witkowski, associated director of communications at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. The Blue cash preferred earns 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for travel

Chase’s list of rewards-eligible streaming services is much smaller than American Express’s. Currently, only the following streaming services will earn the boosted rewards rate: Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube TV. While this list includes the major streaming players, it’s missing HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Peacock.

In addition to 3X points on select streaming services, the Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards 5X points on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 2X points on travel purchased elsewhere. Plus, your points can be transferred 1:1 to many leading travel loyalty programs for airlines and hotels.

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. Plus, there are the 100,000 points you get as part of the new account bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from opening your account which translates to $1,250 worth of travel rewards when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Portal. The following benefits are also noteworthy:

  • 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 25 percent more value for points when redeemed for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • $95 annual fee.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card is excellent if you’re all about indulging in dining and entertainment. Not only does it give you 4 percent cash back on popular streaming services, but dining (including takeout) and entertainment as well, setting you up for the perfect night out on the town or at home.

Keep in mind that some streaming services are excluded, including Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max, along with audiobook subscription services like Audible. Check out Capital One’s list of rewards-eligible merchants for a full list of streaming services that earn 4 percent cash back.

Thankfully, there are numerous other benefits from the Capital One Savor Rewards that still make the card worthwhile and justify the $95 annual fee:

  • 3 percent cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay with Rewards: Use your rewards to pay for purchases with PayPal and Amazon.com
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards don’t expire for the life of the account and cash back can be redeemed for any amount
  • Complimentary concierge service for dining, entertainment and travel

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon and Whole Foods

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a bit of a stealth streaming rewards card, as it doesn’t explicitly give cash back on streaming. However, the card rewards Amazon.com purchases at 5 percent cash back, including your Prime subscription fee, which gives you access to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. You’ll also receive 5 percent cash back on Whole Foods purchases.

Still, you are required to have an annual Prime subscription, which costs $119 a year and translates into a fairly steep “annual fee” (there’s no additional annual fee on the card itself). However, if you do shop at Amazon often enough, it’s well worth it, especially when you factor in the other ancillary benefits you will receive:

  • 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Redeem through Chase.com and receive gift cards, cash back or travel rewards
  • Pay for Amazon purchases in full or in part with your rewards
  • 24/7 Visa Signature concierge for dining, entertainment and travel
  • Travel accident and baggage delay insurance
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection

Pro Tip: “With 5 percent cash back on all Whole Foods and Amazon purchases, (including Amazon Prime) you can rack up some significant cash back. Using this credit card, I can easily earn enough to pay for my Amazon Prime subscription and have enough money left over to cover my Netflix and Disney streaming subscriptions as well!” — Nermeen Ghneim of The savvydollar.com personal finance blog.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best for no annual fee

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 select two spending categories in which you’ll earn 5 percent cash back (on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter). Aside from streaming services, other categories to choose from include gyms and fitness centers, cellphone providers, home utilities and more.

Account holders can also choose one category—restaurants, gas stations or grocery stores—to earn 2 percent cash back. Surprisingly, this card comes with no annual fee.

Other benefits include the following:

  • 1 percent cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a $200 reward bonus when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 120 days of account ownership.
  • Redeem cash back for a statement credit, a rewards card or cash deposited into your U.S., Bank checking or savings account.

Pro Tip: “This card allows you to choose your 5 percent category for the first $2,000 you spend in that category. I personally set this category as streaming and have my Netflix, Spotify and Disney+ subscriptions on this card, which gives me back over $20 per year! While that might not seem like much, it definitely adds up over time.” — Chloe Choe, personal finance blogger at Off Hour Hustle

The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for living your best life

The Platinum Card from American Express is the one card on this list for those who truly have premium tastes and spending habits because the annual fee is a hefty $695. That being said, the value of the credits and benefits offered here more than make up for what you spend. Streaming service benefits come in the form of up to $240 of digital entertainment credits annually (up to $20 back each month) for any one or more subscriptions to Audible, Peacock, The New York Times and Sirius XM.

Though the streaming services that count toward the credit are limited, there are a boatload of high-value benefits (providing around $1,400 in value annually) that more than make up for it:

  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through Amextravel.com
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel up to $500,000 in purchases per year.
  • 1X points on other eligible purchases
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Reward Points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership.
  • Earn 10X points at restaurants globally
  • Earn 10X points when you “Shop Small’ in the U.S. on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. Shop Small means small businesses located on the offer map at americanexpress.com/shopsmalloffer
  • Up to $200 in airline fee credits (annually) for incidentals with a select airline
  • Up to $200 in annual credits for prepaid hotel bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties via American Express Travel
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash for rides and delivery (you’ll receive $15 in Uber Cash for rides or eats orders in the U.S. every month plus a bonus $20 in December1, delivered through an exclusive Uber app experience. That’s up to $200 for Uber rides or eats orders annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only)
  • Up to $300 in Equinox fitness membership credits per year (up to $25 statement credit per month, enrollment required)
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck
  • Up to $100 statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks.com ($50 for Jan. through June and $50 for July through Dec.)
  • Up to $179 statement credit on a CLEAR membership annually
  • Access to exclusive global dining experiences through Resy
  • Terms apply

Pro Tip: “My pick has to be the Platinum Card from American Express. You can get up to $240 a year in statement credit for digital entertainment. For me, that’s one and a half streaming services for free.” – Rick Hoskins, founder of air filter subscription service, Filter King.

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 American Express Platinum offers up to $20 per month in reimbursement for eligible streaming services like Peacock and Audible. Peacock costs $4.99 per month, while Audible costs $14.95 per month, which together adds up to $19.94, a price that’s fully covered by the $20 in statement credit provided by the Amex Platinum, so 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. For example, in addition to $240 in annual digital entertainment statement credit, the Amex Platinum 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 they 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 a sometimes steep annual fee and you should never have to pay for a streaming service again.

*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card,  Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Written by
Aaron Broverman
Personal Finance Writer
Aaron Broverman has been covering personal finance for over a decade for Bankrate and Creditcards.com, starting with its former sister site Creditcards.com Canada. His personal finance work has also appeared on Yahoo and Money Under 30.
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