As some Americans begin planning for spring break or summer vacation, rising admissions prices for popular attractions across the country may join the influx of increasing costs in recent months. But with the right credit card, you can mitigate some of those extra costs in rewards value.
Admissions to some of the nation’s top attractions are the highest they’ve been for the past four years — some tickets cost as much as 100% more. Admission to Funland, an amusement park in Delaware, rose from $15 in 2017 to $30 today, according to a study conducted by coupon site, DealA. And the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City switched from a donation-based pay-as-you-wish system to a $25 standard ticket price.
But some credit cards offer rewards you can use to save on visiting attractions — whether you have a spring break road trip planned or you’re spending a weekend exploring your own city — even as prices mount. Plus, you can boost rewards earnings even more with savings on everyday purchases. Our favorite card right now for saving on entertainment and other tourist attractions is the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers cash rewards on entertainment, dining, grocery stores, and popular streaming services for no annual fee.
Here’s how you can use it to save on purchases at-home and away, while you make the most of its entertainment perks.
How to Maximize the Capital One SavorOne Card
Cash Back Rewards
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card has good cash rewards that could be used for entertainment and everyday expenses. You’ll get 3% cash back in select bonus categories — including dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card also offers up to 8% cash back on Vivid Seats ticket purchases.
Based on average American spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve estimated the value of this card to be $355 per year, after a first-year value of $555, thanks to the welcome bonus. Here’s how you can maximize rewards categories:
If you’re planning a trip, this card’s entertainment bonus category is great for the attractions you’ll visit while traveling, from museums to sporting events. But it can be useful at home too, whether you have kids who enjoy days at the zoo or aquarium, or you’re an avid moviegoer who frequents the theater.. Here’s a full list of what Capital One includes under the entertainment category:
- Movie theaters
- Sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events)
- Theatrical promoters
- Amusement parks
- Tourist attractions
- Dance halls
- Record stores
- Pool halls or bowling alleys
In addition to the 3% rewards, you can earn even more on tickets with Capital One’s partnership with Vivid Seats. If you buy event tickets through Vivid Seats, you’ll earn 8% cash back.
You’ll earn the same 3% cash back rate on dining with this card, from restaurants and cafes to bakeries and fast-food chains.. For instance, use your SavorOne card when you get your morning Starbucks coffee or for your next takeout order. This bonus category is also useful while traveling between attractions on vacation, especially if you like to try new restaurants when you travel.
Make sure you set your SavorOne card as your preferred payment method on your monthly streaming platforms to earn 3% cash back. Many popular music and video streaming services are eligible, including Netflix and Hulu. However, Prime Video, AT&T TV, and Verizon FIOS on Demand do not qualify for entertainment cash back rewards. Audiobook subscription services and fitness programs don’t qualify either.
You’ll also earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, including supermarkets, dairy product stores, and specialty markets. But there are exclusions: superstores like Walmart and Target are excluded, as well as purchases made at discount stores, specialty stores, and warehouse clubs (like Costco and Sam’s Club) These retailers only qualify for 1% cash back.
If you spend $400 per month on eligible groceries and use your SavorOne card, you can earn $12 per month in cash back, totaling to $144 in cash back each year on groceries.
With the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening. Before you apply, consider timing your application for when your upcoming purchases might help you reach this spending threshold more easily.
For instance, maybe you’re planning a road trip to a concert this summer. As you plan your trip, you can earn your welcome bonus and rewards by charging the concert tickets to your SavorOne card, along with any regular grocery bills, streaming, and dining out. Then, you’ll also have the card when you’re ready to take your trip, so you can save on more entertainment and dining along the way.
0% Intro APR
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card has 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, and a variable APR of 15.24% – 25.24% after that. If you’re planning to use the card for attractions or dining out on an upcoming trip, you can take advantage of the introductory 0% APR to pay off your vacation expenses over time without paying interest or taking on debt.
Just remember to pay your balance in full by the end of the 15 months. Otherwise, you’ll pay interest on your remaining balance.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Intro offer:$300
- Annual fee:$95
- Regular APR:16.24% – 24.24% (Variable)
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Learn more At our partner’s secure site
Should You Use a Credit Card for Entertainment?
Using a credit card for concert tickets, amusement parks, and other entertainment can be a great way to earn rewards on costly ticket and admission prices. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card not only offers a great rewards rate for those purchases — which are expensive but could be less frequent in your budget — but also on everyday expenses and at-home entertainment.
Just remember to practice good credit habits by only charging what you can afford, paying your balance in full each month, and keeping your credit utilization ratio low.
Other Cash Back Cards with Entertainment Perks
Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
With the Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card, you can earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services. And you’ll earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. The 8% cash back partnership with Vivid Seats (until January 2023) also applies with this card.
The card comes with a $95 annual fee and a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. Based on average spending, we’ve calculated that most people can get more value from the no-fee SavorOne long-term, despite the higher first-year value after the bonus. But the Savor may be worth it if most of your spending is on entertainment, dining, and streaming.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card lets you earn 5% cash back on your top eligible spending category, up to the first $500 spent each billing cycle, and 1% cash back after that. The card also offers unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Your top spend category is automatically applied, so you don’t need to activate or opt-in to get the rewards rate. Eligible categories include live entertainment, select restaurants, travel, and transit, among others.
You can also earn a $300 welcome bonus when you spend $750 within the first three months of account opening.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
If you prefer both at-home and live entertainment, you may prefer the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card. It offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% thereafter. And you’ll earn 6% cash back on select subscription services. Plus, you’ll earn 3% at U.S. gas stations and transit — including taxis, rideshare, parking, buses, and more — which can help you save money when traveling to an event or activity. 1% cash back is for all other purchases.
You can also earn a $300 welcome bonus if you spend $3,000 within the first six months of account opening.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
If you’re a fan of watching TV shows and movies, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is a good choice. You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined eligible quarterly spending in two categories of your choice, then 1% after that. Categories include movie theaters, TV, internet, and streaming services; ground transportation; and more. You can also get unlimited 2% cash back in another category of you choice, between gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
The card is also a Visa Signature Card, and comes with a $200 welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 within 120 days of account opening.
Even though a card like the SavorOne can help you save money on leisure activities, it’s best to only charge what you can afford to pay off in full each month, and seek out rewards on purchases already in your highest spending categories. The best way to use a cash back credit card for entertainment is to choose a card with rewards and extra perks that you can use for nights out and excursions as well as your frequent everyday spending.
*All information about the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.