Subscription-based companies have grown by more than 300% over the last seven years. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by banks, who have curated some of the best credit cards for subscriptions.
Whether you’re a Netflix and chill type of person, would like to broaden your music catalogue with Spotify or want to settle in to read the book of the month on Audible, there’s a subscription for just about any hobby or interest.
And while most of these subscriptions are paid monthly, the cards below offer rewards that can lower your subscription fees and even give you added benefits to your monthly plan.
Best Cards for Food Subscriptions (HelloFresh, Postmates, Etc.)
If you’re more into steaming than streaming, a good food subscription may be for you.
Whether you like food you can prepare yourself, or a fresh-cooked meal delivered to your doorstep from your favorite restaurant, these cards provide benefits that can make your next lunch or dinner much more affordable.
1. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card is currently not available.
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card lets members earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertaining — which includes many popular meal delivery and subscription services. You’ll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases, making this a foodie’s dream credit card.
- Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
- No foreign transaction fee
- No annual fee
0% for 15 months
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers slightly lower rewards than its Savor® Cash Rewards sibling, but doesn’t charge an annual fee. With this card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment — including many popular meal subscription services — as well as 2% back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Chase recently announced its new partnership with DoorDash that benefits Chase Freedom, Chase Slate, and Chase Sapphire cardholders with free DashPass unlimited delivery. This service waives the delivery fee on qualifying orders for a minimum of 12 months for Chase Sapphire and Reserve cardholders and three months for Chase Freedom and Slate cardholders.
Reserve cardholders also enjoy a $60 DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021 ($120 total). Plus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card already earns bonus points on dining purchases, so you’ll get even more bang for your buck when you link your Chase card to a DoorDash account.
Best Cards for Streaming Services (HBO, Netflix, Etc.)
Gone are the days of heading to Blockbuster to rent a movie or to Turtles to look for a new record or CD. Today, you can watch thousands of movies or listen to millions of songs without leaving your couch or struggling to remove the wrapping from a DVD or CD case.
And, with one of the cards below, you can lower the cost associated with accessing these media libraries.
4. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express pays out a whopping 6% cash back when you charge any U.S.-based streaming subscription to the card. That significantly cuts the cost of popular services, including Netflix, HBO Now, and Spotify.
You’ll also earn 6% cash back at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases each year) as well as 3% on U.S. gas station and transit spending. For the average consumer, that can provide valuable savings.
5. U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card allows cardholders to choose from a list of quarterly bonus categories to find the two options that best suit their spending needs. The two you choose will earn 5% cash back, with one option being, of course, streaming services.
You can also earn a $150 cash back bonus after you spend at least $500 in eligible purchases during your first 90 days with the card. And you’ll never pay an annual fee for card membership.
6. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card provides 3X points in spending categories that include gas stations, rideshares, flights, hotels, and many popular streaming services.
The card charges no annual fee and currently offers a reduced interest rate on purchases and balance transfers made during your first 12 months with the card. There’s no annual fee, your points never expire, and there are no earning caps.
Best Card for Amazon Prime Subscriptions
Amazon’s popular Prime membership made its debut in 2006 as a way for members to get free two-day shipping on qualifying Amazon orders. Over the years, Prime has expanded into a media subscription that provides access to a substantial music, movie, and television database — while still offering the same shipping perks.
7. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card adds to its popular service by providing cardholders with 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Markets, as well as 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. New cardholders also receive an Amazon gift card upon approval.
Best Cards for Other Subscriptions (Ipsy, BarkBox, Etc.)
Subscriptions aren’t just for food or media. Whether you’re into beauty supplies, fashion, or pet accessories, there’s a subscription for you.
The cards below help you unlock discounts and bonus cash back when you use them to pay your monthly bill.
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you won’t pay an annual fee while earning cash back on all of your purchases — including subscription services. New cardholders can also take advantage of regular 0% interest introductory periods that can run as long as 15 months after opening your account.
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- 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
- 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
- $0 annual fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99% - 23.99%
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back in the category of your choosing, one of which is online shopping. This includes subscriptions you sign up for online.
You’ll also earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs as well as 1% back on all other purchases.
The Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t offer a specific deal for subscription purchases, but its 2% cash back makes up for it. With this card, you’ll earn 1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off, no matter the purchase.
Can You Use a Credit Card for Monthly Subscriptions?
Yes, in fact, many streaming services require a credit card for monthly payments.
While some services allow you to link an active checking account to make monthly ACH payments (which can be done through PayPal), you’ll find that many services prefer you use a credit card. This helps them avoid declined transactions for insufficient funds.
The rise in popularity of subscription-based services has many credit card issuers partnering with such services — like Chase’s recent partnership with DoorDash — to offer discounts, added bonuses, and other perks for cardholders who choose to use the issuer’s card to pay for their subscription.
Whether it’s the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offering 6% cash back on streaming services or the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card offering 4% cash back on dining and delivery, you can find a better deal when you use the right card to maintain your favorite account.
Just remember that those added perks only become worthwhile if you pay your bill on time and in full each month. While 6% cash back is substantial, it’s very little compared to the 20% or more in interest you’ll pay for your purchases if you allow the balance to roll over on your card each month.
By paying the bill off each month and maximizing your potential perks, you can lower your costs and increase your entertainment budget virtually overnight.
Can I Dispute a Credit Card Charge for a Subscription?
You can dispute any charge to your credit card, within reason.
Once you file a dispute, the bank may freeze your card while it investigates the matter. The investigation will include contacting the subscription service provider to verify your account and whether you authorized the charge.
If the charge is found to be fraudulent, the bank will refund you the amount charged to your card. If the issuer finds you liable for the charge, it will simply let the charge remain, and, in some instances, close your account for fraudulently filing a dispute.
Fraud isn’t the only reason to dispute a charge. You may also file a dispute if the merchandise you received was defective, you see billing errors, or if you never received the item at all.
Banks often refer to filing a dispute over a charge you know is legitimate as “friendly fraud.” The practice costs card issuers billions in refunds and investigation expenses each year.
Before you call your credit card issuer to file a dispute, you should first understand what you can and cannot dispute. By researching your options, you can not only improve your financial know-how but also minimize your chances of unknowingly committing friendly fraud.
That’s a big deal because, depending on the size of the transaction you’re disputing, a fraudulent claim can result in criminal charges.
Can Prepaid Cards be Used for Monthly Subscriptions?
Yes, they can. Prepaid cards work just as credit cards do, as long as there’s enough money loaded onto the card to fund the transaction.
Prepaid cards run on the same payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover) as credit cards, and merchants generally accept them as they would any other card.
Prepaid cards can’t be used for monthly subscriptions if you don’t have enough money in your card account to cover your purchase, whereas some credit cards allow you to slightly surpass your credit limit before declining the transaction. Prepaid cards offer no such protection.
You could experience a disruption in service or even cancellation of your account if you don’t have an adequate balance on your prepaid card when your subscription service attempts to charge your monthly fee. But with a sufficient balance, you can use the card to make regular purchases and sign up for recurring billing on your subscription-based accounts.
In fact, prepaid cards may be your best option to sign up for a subscription service if you don’t have a credit card or active checking account, but you’ll lose out on the added cash back savings and other perks a credit card will afford you. You can see our top-rated prepaid cards here.
Don’t Miss Out on Valuable Savings
Subscription services are a fun way to stream your favorite entertainment options, find new restaurants in your area, or just make your life more convenient by having a box of razors sent to you via Dollar Shave Club, for example.
Whatever your interests, you can take part in the booming subscription economy with one of the best credit cards for subscriptions listed above. These cards offer bonus cash back, free services, and other added perks you’d miss out on by charging these services to a debit card.