Concerts and events can be a great primary reason for traveling. They also can be a secondary reason for traveling or simply part of your vacation. This post highlights some of my favorite cards for concerts and entertainment. Spending and perks from the right cards can make your vacation less expensive and more exciting.

 

Citi Premier

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points for $4,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 3x Thank You (TY) points on General Travel and Gas Stations, 2x on Dining & Entertainment

Perks: None

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

The Citi Premier Card is one of the only travel cards with a designated bonus category for Entertainment purchases. Citibank includes the following in its Entertainment category:

  • Amusement Parks (including aquariums, carnivals, circuses, and zoos)
  • Concerts
  • Live Entertainment (including sporting events and theatrical productions)
  • Movie Theatres
  • On-Demand Streaming Media
  • Record Stores
  • Tourist Attractions (including museums and art galleries)
  • Video Rental Stores (if you can find one in 2019)

That’s a lot of places and things to do! Such a list could make the Citi Premier an attractive alternative to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Amex Everyday Preferred, and Amex Gold Card.

 

American Express Platinum Card (Personal & Business)

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points for $5,000 spend in 3 months (Personal); up to 75,000 points for $20,000 spend in 3 months (Business)

Earning: Both cards earn 5x points on airfare booked with amextravel.com. The personal version also earns 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline. And the business version also earns 1.5x on purchases greater than $5,000.

Perks: Many

Annual Fee: $550 (Personal); $595 (Business)

While no version of the American Express Platinum Card has Entertainment as a bonus category, all versions come with a plethora of perks. These perks are some of the best in the industry and the entertainment perks are no exception. I will highlight two of my favorites:

One of the first things I did as a Business Platinum cardholder was visit the Centurion Suite at Staples Center in Los Angeles. There, I watched the LA Clippers play the Miami Heat (my favorite NBA team) and saved hundreds of dollars on seats. I purchased inexpensive nosebleed seats and watched the game from the Suite. This is one of the lesser known perks of the Platinum Card, but its akin to Centurion Lounge access. As a side note, Barclays Center in New York City also has a Centurion Suite.

American Express Preferred Seating is another highlight of the Platinum Cards. This perk lets you purchase event and concert tickets on Amex’s website. However, tickets are often more expensive than sites like Ticketmaster and StubHub. Platinum Cardholders still have this option at their disposal.

 

Capital One Savor

Sign-Up Bonus: $500 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Earning: 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats (through May 2020), 4% cash back on Entertainment & Dining, 2% on Grocery Stores, and 1% on non-bonus spend

Perks: Postmates Monthly Unlimited Credit (through December 2019)

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

Despite its name, this Capital One card is one of the best in the industry for concerts and entertainment. 4% is the best cash back rate for this category. Plus, the 8% Vivid Seats offer is fantastic for users of that site.

This card is one of the few cash back cards with a $95 annual fee. Make sure that you truly want to earn cash back over travel before applying. Also make sure that your bonus category spend is high enough. If it’s not, the no annual fee Capital One Savor One might be a better alternative.

Be careful when applying for Capital One Cards. All Capital One cards require a hard pull from all three credit bureaus upon application. This is the main reason why I don’t always recommend Capital One cards. Caveat emptor.

 

Final Draw

Concerts and entertainment are some of the best ways to make your vacation more enjoyable. Having the right credit card will make such entertainment easier and less expensive. Plus, any benefits used will add to your card’s expected value, taking annual fees into consideration.

 

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