4 Credit Cards for Die-Hard NFL Fanatics

Love the NFL? You'll also love being rewarded for loving it.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Football season is fast approaching, and die-hard NFL fans will be spending a lot on their favorite sport. Whether you love tailgating and seeing live games, throwing game day parties or hitting your local sports bar, you might be spending a lot of dough as a fan.

Some credit cards can help you unleash your inner football fanatic, earning rewards as you spend and support your favorite team. Here are four credit cards for NFL fans.

1. NFL Extra Points Credit Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on NFL and team purchases, one point per dollar spent on other purchases
Signup Bonus: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for six months on eligible NFL ticket purchases, then variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% on all other purchases; 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%.
Why We Picked It: NFL fans earn double points on NFL purchases and get exclusive discounts.
For the NFL Fan: You’ll earn double points on your NFL and team spending, including tickets, in-stadium purchases and at team pro shops. Points can be redeemed for cash back, game tickets or NFL experiences. You’ll also get 20% off purchases at NFLShop.com. Plus, eligible NFL ticket purchases are interest-free for six months.
Drawbacks: You’ll only earn double points at a limited number of officially approved merchants.

2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on other purchases
Signup Bonus: 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn double points on dining and entertainment purchases, including sporting events. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) 
For the NFL Fan: If you go to a lot of games, the double points you earn on sporting events can rack up quickly. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, electronics, travel and more. There’s a 15,000-point signup bonus.
Drawbacks: If you tend to watch games at home, you won’t get as much value from this card.

3. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offers may vary)
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: If you love to tailgate or throw game day parties, this card can help.
For the NFL Fan: The 6% cash back rate at supermarkets comes in handy when you pick up food for tailgating or game day parties. You can also earn a hefty signup bonus.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

4. Capital One Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 15.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: Fans who spend game day at sports bars can earn cash back all day.
For the NFL Fan: If you like to watch games surrounded by wings and beer at your local sports bar, you’ll earn 3% cash back on dining purchases on game day. Plus, there’s a $100 signup bonus.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend a lot at restaurants, keep looking.

How to Choose a Card for Your NFL Purchases

The best card for your football fandom depends on your spending habits and how you wish to earn rewards.

Try to pick a card that rewards the way you spend. If you go to a lot of games, a card that rewards ticket or entertainment purchases might be right for you. If you throw a lot of game day parties, a card that rewards grocery purchases might be a good fit. If you like to hit sports bars, a card with dining rewards could be the right choice.

You should also take a close look at the card’s rewards and redemptions. Cash back and points rewards have varying redemption options, so make sure the card you’re considering earns rewards you’ll be motivated to redeem.

What Credit Is Required for a Card for Football Fans?

Cards with cash back or points rewards typically require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be confident in your chances of approval, as a hard credit inquiry resulting from a credit card application can ding your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: ActionPics

At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred, Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and Capital One Premier Dining Rewards 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.

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12 Ultimate Rides for Tailgate Parties

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Photo: Steve Debenport

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What It Costs to Go to the Super Bowl This Year

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There’s really no way around it: Going to the Super Bowl costs a ton of money. And this year, the festivities have the potential to be the most expensive in the 50-year history of the event.

The whole 50th-anniversary thing is part of the higher-than-usual cost, said Brian Learst, CEO of QuintEvents, a company that partners with the NFL to sell Super Bowl travel packages. On top of that, the location (the Bay Area) is really attractive.

“It’s in San Francisco and it’s never been there, and then when you have the 50th anniversary that makes it more special,” Learst said. “The demand’s been very high, and you only have so many seats in the stadium, so it’ll be one of the more expensive ones.” He said prices have been about 20% to 25% higher than they were at similar points last year.

Tickets started at about $4,000 and they stayed about that price for months, but it’s hard to predict where they’ll end up,, said Patrick Ryan, a ticket resale consultant and co-founder of Eventellect. Prices heavily depend on which teams play and the resulting demand for tickets. Of course, the ticket is only one part of the overall cost of attending the Super Bowl.

“What I consider very interesting for this year is the cost of amenities,” Ryan said. “In San Francisco, if you’re staying in the city and wanting to stay in one of the premier hotels, those rooms are extremely expensive … You could be looking at upwards of $2,000 a night for a room.”

Even if you’re not going for the high-end accommodations, you could easily spend $500 a night, Ryan said. Then there’s the fact that the stadium is in Santa Clara, so you have to get there from wherever in the Bay Area you might be staying.

“Transportation is definitely going to be more critical this year,” Learst said. Stadium parking is limited, which is contributing to higher ground transportation prices than what has been in other cities. Learst said people will have to spend “a couple hundred dollars” getting to the game, which isn’t much in comparison to the ticket, airfare and hotel accommodations. Those are the big three factors determining the price tag of a Super Bowl experience.

So, if you’re putting together a trip to the Super Bowl, Ryan said it could easily cost you about $6,000 or $7,000 as an individual. You might be able to bring down the cost by aggressively deal-hunting for airfare and accommodations, though that could require a lot of legwork throughout the experience. If you go through a company that sells Super Bowl travel packages, you’d maybe see a starting price around $9,000, Learst said. For some people, the conveniences offered through packages can be worth the extra expense, because attending the Super Bowl can be logistically very difficult.

Then, there’s the “budget” option: Plan your trip to the host city and see if ticket prices come down to a point you can afford. If not, just hang out and enjoy the spectacle — and watch the game at a bar.

“There are thousands of people that do that every year,” Learst said. “If they can’t get a ticket they go to the parties and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Remember, high credit card balances can hurt your credit, so if you’re late to the game (pun intended) and thinking of charging a trip to your travel credit card, make sure you’re OK with that unintended consequence. You can see how your credit card balances are currently affecting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.

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Image: iStock

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