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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
As a self-proclaimed sports fanatic, travel rewards credit cards were the focal point of my strategy to visit all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) ballparks and save considerably on flights and hotels. I accomplished this personal bucket list in 2017 and it wouldn’t have been possible without the points and miles I earned from some top credit cards.
Most rewards cards aren’t tailor-made for sports fans. That said, several major sports leagues offer cobranded credit cards for fans to show off their team loyalty — and potentially earn extra rewards on ticket purchases. Furthermore, some cards — particularly premium travel rewards cards — will even offer exclusive VIP access for select cardholders at sporting events.
Let’s take a look at the top cards for sports fanatics in more detail.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
Annual fee: None
Rewards rate: Cardholders can earn 8% cash back when purchasing event tickets through the Capital One Entertainment ticketing platform, powered by Vivid Seats — including the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball. Also, earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on other eligible purchases.
Keep in mind: The Capital One SavorOne and its elder sibling, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, are the only two cards that feature generous earning rates (8% return) on sporting event ticket purchases through Vivid Seats.
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit 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.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening
Annual fee: None
Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services (1% thereafter). Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (1% thereafter on eligible purchases).
Keep in mind: Office supply stores such as OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples usually carry gift cards from StubHub — the world’s largest ticket marketplace. That means you can earn 5% cash back by purchasing StubHub gift cards at an office supply store. You can then use the gift cards on StubHub to book your sporting event tickets.
If you have an Ultimate Rewards card — Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve — you can transfer the cash back earned on the Ink Cash to any of those three cards. This, in essence, converts the points to more valuable Ultimate Rewards points, opening up a plethora of additional redemption options.
You may also be able to purchase StubHub and other sporting-related gift cards at your nearest grocery store and earn extra bonus points or cash back by using the right credit card.
Apply here: Ink Business Cash Credit Card
NFL Extra Points Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn $100 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
Annual fee: None
Rewards rate: Earn 3% back on qualifying NFL purchases and NFL Team purchases, 2% on grocery store, food delivery, restaurant, gyms and sporting goods store purchases and 1% on everything else
Keep in mind: While this card may be a niche choice for some, a Sports Show survey illustrates the NFL’s dominance as the most-watched sport in the U.S. If you’re a die-hard fan of an NFL team and are tuned in on Sundays (and Thursdays and Mondays), the NFL Extra Points Credit Card rewards you for your fandom.
Cardholders can redeem points for cash back or a statement credit, NFL gift cards, or even unique NFL and team experiences like meet and greet with NFL players, pre-game sideline passes, and even Super Bowl tickets. Other perks include a 20% discount at NFLShop.com as well as financing for eligible NFL tickets. While rates outside of NFL and team purchases earn a paltry 1 point per dollar, the redemptions you can unlock with NFL Extra Points can be worth thousands, in addition to a lifetime of memories.
The information for the NFL Extra Points Credit 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.
NHL Discover It Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Discover will match all your cash back earned during your first 12 months of card membership
Annual fee: None
Keep in mind: Hockey fans can customize their card design by choosing their favorite NHL team logo.
The information for the NHL Discover it 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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership
Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees)
Rewards rate: Earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point on other eligible purchases.
Keep in mind: While you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar on event tickets and stadium/arena purchases with the Amex Platinum, the card comes with a plethora of valuable benefits for the sports enthusiast that can help offset the hefty annual fee.
In addition to up to $200 in annual Uber Cash, up to $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits and up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits, cardholders have a designated American Express Concierge team that can help you score that hard-to-find, big-game ticket. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Amex Platinum cardmembers can also gain access to VIP experiences, such as experiencing the Amex Centurion Suite at the US Open and the ability to purchase tickets to By Invitation Only events in key lifestyle areas like travel, dining, wellness, retail and entertainment.
Related: Cards that offer VIP event access
Furthermore, Amex cardholders who double as NBA fans can get a replacement jersey within 90 days for free if their favorite player changes teams. Just use your American Express card to buy your favorite players’ jersey from the NBA Store and submit a Jersey Assurance claim form if that player leaves your team. This benefit is available to all Amex card members.
Los Angeles and New York Amex Platinum cardholders can enjoy extra sporting-event benefits, including the use of an exclusive entrance, concession discounts and access to a hospitality suite.
Apply here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Consider a flat-rate card
There are also plenty of other fixed-rate cards on the market, ranging from top cash back cards and valuable travel rewards cards to those catering to small-business owners. If cash back is more your style, a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card 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.
Visa Signature/Mastercard Priceless benefits
All Mastercard cardholders (regardless of what type of card they have) receive access to the treasured Mastercard Priceless Program. Sports fans get amenities and members-only privileges at over 1,000 golf courses worldwide, plus discounts, use of private club facilities, and access to priority tee times.
A lucrative points-earning card customized for sports fans may not exist yet, but plenty of credit cards feature solid rewards and extra perks for sports fanatics.
If you love sports, a card that earns bonus points on event ticket and entertainment purchases (through Vivid or StubHub via gift cards purchased at office supply stores) may be for you.
If you’re a huge fan of a particular team or league, a valuable cobranded card can help you display your fandom proudly. However, you should know that other reward cards on the market offer more points or cash back per dollar spent in popular everyday categories.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Liz Hund.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.