[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
If your evening plans often include multiple bars and clubs, you may need sober rides to ferry you and your friends between party spots or take you home after last call. But cabs, ride services and public transportation costs can get expensive, especially when combined with a bar tab. (Check out what happened when one Seattle bar went completely cashless.)
Some credit cards can help you go out for drinks and get home responsibly. These credit cards can earn you rewards at your neighborhood party spots and on your ride home or help pay for cab fare.
Here are four credit cards to help you barhop responsibly.
1. The Platinum Card From American Express
Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on flights booked with the airline or American Express Travel and on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
Signup Bonus: 60,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $550
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): None. You must pay the balance in full each month.
Why We Picked It: Automatic Uber credits can help pay to get you home.
For Your Night Out: When you link this card to your Uber account, you’ll automatically get $15 in monthly Uber credits and a bonus $20 in December, for a total of up to $200 in annual credits.
Drawbacks: The card offers a wide range of benefits, but there’s a steep $550 annual fee.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: With this card, your night out earns you points for travel redemptions.
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn double points on travel spending, which includes passenger trains, buses, taxis, limos and more. Plus, you can earn double points at restaurants and some bars.
Drawbacks: Some bars that don’t serve food may not earn double points if they don’t use the right merchant category.
3. Discover it Miles Travel Credit Card
Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all miles you earn in the first year
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases, then variable 11.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: The miles matching policy boosts the first-year value of this card.
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn 1.5 miles on all spending, including drinks and transportation, and Discover will match all miles you earn after one year. Since miles can be redeemed for cab fare, that first year bonus can pay for many sober rides.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait a year for your signup bonus.
4. Citi ThankYou Premier
Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on travel, two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: Variable 15.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: There are many ways to rack up points while you party. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn three points per dollar spent on transportation, including ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis, limos and more. Plus, you’ll get two points per dollar spent at bars, restaurants and lounges and on live entertainment.
Drawbacks: The signup bonus is smaller than some other rewards cards.
How to Pick a Card for Your Night Out
The best card for responsible barhopping depends on how you spend. If you frequently need a cab because you’ve been hitting the bars, you’ll likely want to pick a card that rewards you for racking up bar tabs and catching a ride home. With any card, pay special attention to the merchant categories that earn the most rewards.
Beyond that, the right card for you depends on your goals and spending habits. If you simply want a card to take to the club, a card with strong rewards at restaurants and bars might suffice. But if you want a card to use for everyday spending, you might want to expand your search to include cash back cards and other types of rewards.
What Credit Is Required to Get a Card for Barhopping?
Cards that reward travel expenses and bar tabs often require good to excellent credit. If you aren’t sure where your credit stands, you should check your credit report and credit score before you apply. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Discover it Miles and Citi ThankYou Premier credit cards are 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.