An entertainment card can help you save money on movies, concerts and more while also giving extra rewards on the dollars you spend. We’ll help you choose the right card, and plan your entertainment expenditure to maximise the benefits.
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UOB Yolo Card
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UOB Yolo Card
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An entertainment credit card is designed to provide benefits that make going out and having fun more affordable and more rewarding. Some credit cards are dedicated to maximising your entertainment benefits, while other cards include an extensive range of entertainment bonuses inside a wider package of benefits.
In essence, if you want to get more out of your entertainment spend you should look for a card that offers the right mix of discounts, rewards promotions and entertainment perks, covering the types of after-hours thrills you enjoy most.
How do they work?
You can expect to get special discounts on cinema tickets for example, or to enjoy a multiplier on the usual award earnings rate when you dine out, book holidays or go golfing. Benefits are designed to encourage you to spend more by providing more value for every dollar you spend.
Credit card companies usually offer these benefits for two reasons. First, merchants negotiate discounts for credit card holders because they are perceived to be high spenders who will bring in additional revenue. Second, your credit card company may charge an annual fee to help cover the costs of the entertainment benefits on your card.
Features of entertainment credit cards
Extra rewards when you treat yourself. An entertainment credit card can give you bigger rewards when you spend money on leisure activities. Instead of a single reward point per dollar on purchases, eligible spending may earn you two, three or five points for each dollar you spend.
A higher cashback rate. If your credit card is geared for cashback, you could see a higher cashback rate when you spend on cinema, travel, dining out and other leisure activities.
Special discounts. Pay with your entertainment credit card and you could qualify for lower prices, 2-for-1 offers and more.
Perks for cardmembers. Some merchants will offer a special perk such as a free drink when you book entertainment options with your credit card.
How to compare entertainment cards
Benefits. Get the right benefits – a card which offers discounted or free access to a golf course will not benefit you if you are not a golfer. On the other hand, if you regularly go to the cinema you could save a lot if your card offers a discount on cinema tickets.
Overall package. Credit card benefits vary widely and you should always see the entertainment benefits on your card in the context of the entire package. For example, you shouldn’t pass up big savings on fuel just to get a small discount on cinema tickets.
Cashback. Keep an eye on high cashback offers. Sometimes the headline percentage is only offered on an initial level of spending, with a cap on the total available cashback.
Charges and fees. Watch out for high interest rates and annual fees. Always make sure that the real value of the benefits you get on the card outweigh the annual fee and avoid keeping a balance on a card as it will attract interest.
Pros and cons
Get more back. Cards with good entertainment benefits will get you more value for every dollar that you spend. If you spend heavily on entertainment these additional benefits can really add up to a big percentage return on your spend.
Easy benefits. The mix of benefits on entertainment cards is often automatically applied. You should see automatic posting of higher cashback or increased rewards whenever you spend at eligible merchants.
Free perks. Many entertainment cards offer benefits and perks without any cost to you, including cards with no annual fees.
Benefit restrictions. Carefully consider the individual card benefits. Discounts and 2-for-1 offers may be restricted during peak hours, for example.
High fees. Generous entertainment benefits are sometimes financed with very high annual fees. Even if your credit card offers benefits that save you money, you should make sure any savings cover the annual fee.
Cashback limits. Cashback on entertainment spending is terrific, but credit card companies are wary of high spenders so you could find cashback is limited to a certain amount of spend, or a certain amount of paid cashback.
Be wary of temporary annual fee waivers. Your first year of holding an entertainment benefit credit card may be free, but the following years can land you with a high annual fee that erases the benefit you get from using the card for leisure spending.
You should also take a close look at the timing of offers and how permanent these offers are. The best entertainment credit card benefits tend to come and go, so check whether the benefits you are most interested in will continue for a suitably long period of time.
Frequently asked questions about entertainment credit cards
If a benefit is defined on your credit card provider’s website you should be able to take advantage of the offer. It’s advisable to check before you make a purchase as sometimes expired offers are not published. It can also happen that restrictions set by the merchant are not clearly communicated to cardholders.
Depending on the entertainment benefit you might find that there’s nothing for you to do. For example, cashback and extra rewards points are usually automatically credited. For other benefits, you may have to make special mention of your benefit before you book a table or a ticket, or download discount vouchers from your credit card company. However, many benefits are applied automatically when you make a transaction so an entertainment credit card can be a very easy way to save money.
Entertainment benefits on credit cards are in part a promotional tool and in part a credit card benefit. You may find that your credit card offers excellent entertainment benefits at no cost to you – including cards with no annual fees. Some of the more interesting entertainment benefits are matched with a high annual fee, so you need to make an individual calculation to determine whether annual fees are worth paying.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. She's also one half of the Pocket Money podcast. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone. Sally has a first-class Honours degree in Communications and Media Studies (majoring in Journalism and Professional Writing) from the University of Wollongong.
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