Best Credit Card Rewards for Sports Fans

How do I find the best credit card to match my lifestyle?

From Major League Baseball to the NFL, NHL, PGA and NASCAR — there’s a credit card offer for every type of sports fan. But just like all credit card offers, it’s important to look past the logo and focus on the card’s terms and conditions.

Whether it’s a unique fan experience or discounted tickets and team merchandise — sports affiliated credit cards can be enticing offers. However, when you’re considering getting a new credit card you should try to make your decision on the financial benefits and try to avoid being swayed by team loyalty. Instead, focus on finding a credit card rewards program that helps you build reward points you will actually use.

Here’s what to watch out for when shopping for a new credit card:

Rewards

Sports affiliated credit cards generally offer special discounts for purchases made at the league’s online store and, in some instances, even game tickets. Typically, cardmembers can earn one bonus point for every dollar charged to the card, and the points can be redeemed for official team apparel, fan experiences, tickets, cash back and travel.

As with most rewards cards, it’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t pay your balance the interest may exceed the value of any points you earn. Also, even though a credit card may not have your team’s logo, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in sports related perks.

For example, Discover is the official Card of the NHL, NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Awards™ and the NHL Draft™, which provides cardmembers the opportunity to redeem their Cashback Bonus rewards to attend select events and receive discounts on merchandise, subscriptions and more.1

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Game tickets

Whether it’s winning tickets to the Super Bowl or scoring tickets to your favorite team’s next big game, being able to get discounted game tickets or access to premium seating is a major draw to sports credit cards.  However it’s important to make sure the rewards you’re interested in earning aren’t completely out of your reach. Sure, earning a free team jersey is great, but if the rest of the credit card’s terms aren’t in your favor, you’re really not getting the best deal.

Discounted Apparel and Merchandise

While most sports credit cards provide cardholders with discounts at their team or league’s official online store, did you know that you may be able to still get great discounts on your team’s apparel and merchandise? If you have a rewards card, you can score great deals like cash back on all your purchases just by shopping online through your credit card rewards mall.

Interest Rates

The APR (annual percentage rate) is the annual interest rate that the credit card company charges when you make a purchase with your card. It’s important to keep in mind that many credit cards charge different APRs for purchases, cash advances, or balance transfers. Most credit card companies have terms and conditions that allow them to increase the APR if certain conditions are not met.  For example, if you are late with a payment, your credit card company could raise the APR on new purchases and/or charge a penalty or late fee.

0% APR and Balance Transfer Offers

If you know that you will most likely be carrying a balance from month to month, it’s important to look for a card that offers a low 0% APR intro rate for at least six months. Make sure that you understand what happens once that introductory 0% interest rate expires, what the new interest rate is, and if anything else besides the interest rate changes once the introductory period is over.

Fees

The credit card’s APR isn’t the only factor that determines whether or not the card is a good deal. Annual fees, penalty fees or other additional charges like late fees also need to be figured into the value of any deal. While most sports affiliate credit cards do not have an annual fee, it’s important to check for other fees like foreign transaction fees, late payment fees and overlimit fees.

For most diehard sports fans, the plastic they carry in their wallet is another place to show off their team pride. However, when choosing a credit card it’s usually best to be loyal to your financial goals and pick a card based on your needs rather than its relationship with a particular sports team.

1.  Press Release: “Discover and NHL Agree to Extend Partnership” Nov 2, 2011

Discover card believes that consumers should be armed with the information they need to help them make informed credit decisions.

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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