[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Citi ThankYou Premier credit card and American Express Platinum. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Many credit cards provide a few built-in advantages for nightlife fanatics who love great restaurants, live events and nights out on the town. In addition to rewarding you for spending and getting you exclusive access to events, credit cards (when used responsibly) can help you track your spending while you’re out. They also provide extra fraud protections if you lose your card at the club or leave it behind at the bar.
Some credit cards go further and can reward you for a fun night out. Whether you’re hitting a concert, going out dancing or just having bite to eat, these cards offer you more than an empty wallet and a hangover. Just remember: Credit cards, in general, and rewards credit cards in particular, work best when you pay your balances off in full. Otherwise, all the perks get eaten away by interest. As such, it’s important to keep your nights out within your budget.
With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite nightlife credit cards and the rewards they provide to social butterflies.
1. Citi ThankYou Premier Card
The Citi ThankYou Premier credit card (you can read our full review here) earns you double points for every dollar spent on restaurants (including cafes, bars and lounges) and entertainment, like concerts, theater events and movies. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) In addition, you earn triple points for every dollar spent on travel, which for Citi includes gas, public transportation, taxis and even parking. All other purchases earn you one point per dollar spent. As a signup bonus, Citi gives cardholders 40,000 bonus points when they make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Citi’s ThankYou points can be redeemed for dining, entertainment, retail and travel. Cardholders also get Citi Private Pass, which provides access to tickets for thousands of annual entertainment events. Citi even provides a 24/7 concierge service that helps book travel, reservations and a last-minute babysitter.
The card’s annual percentage rate (APR) is a variable 14.49% to 23.49% for purchases and there is a $95 annual fee.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card (you can read our review here) is a good option for both nightlife and travel. You can earn two points for every dollar spent on travel and restaurants worldwide (including most bars) and one point per dollar spent on other purchases. Chase is also currently offering 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months.
You can redeem points for cash, gift cards and travel. When you use them for travel, points are worth 25% more, which means that your restaurant and bar points will be extra valuable for vacations. Chase members also get access to exclusive entertainment, including culinary events and concert series.
The APR is a variable 16.24% to 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers. There is a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.
3. American Express Platinum
This card is a bit different than the other two, as it is a charge card, which means the balance must be paid in full each month, but the rewards are still plentiful. The American Express Platinum card (you can read our full review here) is a premium credit card designed to reward frequent travelers, with five points earned for every dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through American Express travel. Purchases you make at bars and restaurants earn one point per dollar spent. At the time of publishing, American Express is offering 40,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise and travel benefits.
But the nightlife wow factor is the range of built-in entertainment perks. Your card gets you access to American Express’s Invitation Only custom experiences. These experiences include sports, fashion shows, fine dining, and performances exclusive to Platinum cardholders. Platinum concierges can also get you access to exclusive and acclaimed restaurants and advance ticket sales for all sorts of entertainment.
There is no APR because, as we mentioned, you pay your balance in full each month. The card does come with a hefty $450 annual fee, so you’ll want to make sure this fits into your yearly budget before applying.
Adding New Plastic to Your Wallet
If you’re looking to add a new credit card to your collection, whether one of the cards we listed above or not, it’s a good idea to review your credit as part of your research process. After all, most rewards credit cards require you have a good or excellent credit score to qualify, so you don’t want to apply and take the credit score ding just to find out you are denied for the card. You can see where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Citi Thank You Premier and American Express Platinum card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.