Best credit card for your guilty pleasures
March 10, 2020
A credit card is a powerful tool. With a decent line of credit, you can buy almost anything you need — or want.
Some personal finance experts suggest using credit cards for everyday purchases and to try to pay down your balance each month. This helps you avoid accruing interest on your debt. But you can also use a credit card to make a big purchase, then pay it down over time.
Almost everyone’s guilty of using a credit card on a guilty pleasure at one time or another, be it an expensive vacation or a new pair of shoes. This can be a slippery slope if you’re not careful, but if you’re strategic about your credit card spending, you might as well get some rewards in return for having some fun.
Here are some of the best reward card offers on the market for your guilty pleasures.
The best credit cards for dining out
Credit cards in this category often provide cash back for eating out at restaurants, but you may also be interested in a credit card that gives you dining rewards for everyday purchases. If you’re a gourmand, these are the cards you should consider putting in your wallet:
Savor Rewards from Capital One
The Capital One Savor Rewards credit card offers unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. It also comes with a one-time, $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months after opening an account. If you’re thinking about paying for an expensive group dinner within the next three months, this might be a good opportunity for you to earn some cash back because of it.
You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores, if you prefer to wine and dine at home, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.
There’s no annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $95 per year. This credit card has a variable APR of 15.99% to 24.99%.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
In addition to offering great travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is also a great option for anyone who loves to eat out. Earn 3x points per dollar for dining at fine dining restaurants and cafes around the world, and one point per dollar on other purchases.
The card comes with an APR of 18.49% to 25.49%. The one drawback is the annual fee, which is $550 — plus $75 for each authorized user.
The best credit cards for moviegoers
If you’re a movie lover, consider a rewards credit card that gives you benefits for making entertainment purchases. Here are the best credit cards to consider if you spend a lot of time at the cinema:
The Marvel Mastercard
The Marvel Mastercard is a very niche rewards card, but if you’re a fan of the Marvel movie franchise, it’s worth considering. This card earns 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, as well as 3% cash back on purchases made online at Marvel.com and at Marvel’s official merchandise booths.
The card also offers 10% off merchandise purchases at MarvelShop.com every day, as well as free shipping offers during certain times of the year. There is no annual fee associated with this card.
Sony Visa Credit Card
The Sony Visa Credit Card is a good choice for music lovers, especially if you listen to music on Sony products. But it also has some substantial rewards for entertainment purchases, including movie tickets.
This credit card earns 5x points per dollar on purchases like concerts, sporting events and movie tickets, not to mention 5x points per dollar on Sony purchases at authorized retailers. If you’re thinking about buying a new Sony home entertainment system, for example, using this card is a great way to earn some rewards on it.
Additionally, the card provides you with 2x points per dollar on restaurant purchases and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The card has no annual fee, and you can earn a $50 credit when you use the card within 60 days of opening your account, plus another $50 credit when you spend $500 within the first 60 days.
The best credit cards for travelers
Travel is one of the most popular categories for rewards credit cards, and there are quite a few options available to choose from. Here are some travel credit cards that stand out:
Venture Rewards from Capital One
The Venture Rewards credit card from Capital One is a great option for people with excellent credit who want travel rewards with no high annual fees. Earn 2x miles per dollar on every purchase you make with this card, and get 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.
The card also comes with other perks, like credits toward the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs, and reservations at exclusive restaurants. There is no annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $95. Based on your credit score, you could qualify for an APR of 17.24%, 21.99% or 24.49%.
If you want to avoid the annual fee, you can opt for Capital One’s VentureOne credit card, but it only gives you 1.25x miles per dollar on every purchase.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The American Express Platinum Card® is one of the best travel credit cards in the world, but it’s not easy to qualify for. It was designed for luxurious travelers, so it requires an excellent credit score and has an annual fee of $550.
Nonetheless, the benefits of this card are almost without equal. Earn 5x points per dollar on flights and on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. Earn an additional 75,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account.
If you’re interested in travel perks, you’ll be well taken care of with The Platinum Card. This card unlocks over 1,200 airport lounges around the world, savings on rides with Uber and complimentary benefits at over 1,000 hotels, among other perks.
The best credit cards for shoppers
Shopping is a broad category. Some credit cards provide substantial benefits for people who shop regularly at multiple stores, while others provide benefits to shoppers who frequent a single store. Still, here are some of the best shopping rewards credit cards you should keep on your radar:
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card was designed for everyday shopping, and it’s one of the best cash-back credit cards available to most consumers. It gives 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, and 1% cash back after that. It also provides 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on everything else.
This card program includes a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, and then switches to a variable APR of 14.49% to 25.49% after that. If you qualify, this might be a good option for a low-interest credit card. There is no annual fee.
If you want even more shopping rewards, and don’t mind an annual fee of $95, consider applying for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express instead. For example, this card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Almost two-thirds of all Americans (about 90% of America’s online shoppers) bought something on Amazon in 2018. If you’re a regular Amazon customer and you have an Amazon Prime membership, consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.
This card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Receive a $70 Amazon gift card just for signing up and earn Amazon rewards anywhere you shop. Earn 5% back when you make purchases at Amazon.com or at Whole Foods Market (which is owned by Amazon); 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores; and 1% back on all other purchases.
The card comes with other perks too, such as purchase protection and great rates at hotels in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. The APR is 15.99% to 23.99% and there is no annual fee.
The best credit cards for music lovers
If you’re a fan of streaming and downloadable music services, you sign up for a rewards credit card that gives you a discount on your favorite tunes. Here are the best credit cards to consider:
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
In addition to being a great rewards credit card option for everyday shopping, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers music rewards worth mentioning.
First, cardholders earn 6% cash back on select streaming subscriptions. In addition to several video streaming services, you can earn cash back on subscriptions with Spotify, Sirius XM Radio and Audible. If you’re into concerts, this card also gives you access to ticket presales and event perks that are only available to card members, including Broadway shows and concert tours.
This credit card comes with a 0% APR for 12 months. After that, it has a variable APR of 14.49% to 25.49%.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is another great option if you love streaming music. Earn 3x points per dollar on popular streaming services, like Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and Sirius XM Radio. And earn 3x points per dollar on eating out, rideshares, gas stations, flights and car rentals, as well as one point per dollar on everything else.
Unlike the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, this card comes with no annual fee. It has a 0% APR for the first 12 months, followed by an APR of 15.49% to 27.49%.
Get the credit card that fits your lifestyle
Spending money on guilty pleasures can be expensive, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to earn something back for doing it. At least one of the cards on this list should fit your lifestyle. Whether you love to travel or you’re a huge movie buff, don’t waste another dime on doing what you love without getting something in return.