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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How to Throw a Super Bowl Party on a Budget

Here's how to throw a Super Bowl party with food on a budget.

I don’t know how Super Bowl Sunday got to be one of the biggest parties of the year, but I’m glad it’s almost here. Even if I have no interest in any of the teams participating, I find any excuse to get together with friends to be a good one.

Hosting a Super Bowl party can be a lot of fun, but if you’re not careful, you could end up spending way more than you expected. Between the delicious appetizers and frothy adult beverages, it’s easy to get carried away and put your budget in a bind for the rest of the month. (You can keep tabs on your spending and debt levels by viewing your free credit report card, with updates every 14 days, on Credit.com.)

Here are a few suggestions on how you can host a Super Bowl party on a budget.

1. Start With a Budget

How much do you want to spend on the Super Bowl party? If you want to stick to a budget, you need to know how large it’ll be. The party you throw when you have $5,000 to spend is different than the one you throw when you’re looking to keep it to under $100. Once you’ve established your budget, you can start employing some of the strategies below to keep your spending within limits.

2. Limit the Guest List

Much like a wedding, keeping costs low while having a great time involves getting the right people together. Parties are fun because of the people. The more people you invite, the more expensive the party will be, and the longer the cleanup afterward. Fortunately, a Super Bowl party isn’t a personal marquee event like a wedding, where people may feel slighted if they aren’t invited. Feel free to keep the group small if you need to.

3. Potluck Meals & Appetizers

Food is one of the biggest expenses of any party, and a Super Bowl party is no different. The easiest way to reduce that expense is to host it potluck-style — that is, have each of your guests contribute a dish to the party. We use a Google Doc to coordinate who brings what so we don’t end up with eight bowls of crab dip.

If you want to make a signature “meal” while leaving the appetizers to your guests, you can always go with something like a stew or a chili. Stews and chilis are typically easy to prepare, relatively cheap, very filling, and delicious. You can buy meat in bulk from a wholesale club like Costco, and with so many people coming over, you won’t be stuck with a ton of leftovers. Bonus points if you prepare it in a slow cooker so you can leave it alone during the party.

As back up, we also pick up a few frozen pizzas. If you are afraid you’re going to run out of food, it’s probably going to happen late in the game. At that point, anyone who is hungry will happily welcome a slice of fresh oven-baked pizza.

4. BYOB

For adult beverages, have your guests bring their own. If you’re hosting and responsible for coordinating the party and cleaning up afterwards, the least a guest can do besides bring a snack is bring their own beverages. It’s unlikely anyone will balk at this.

The party will likely go for about four to five hours, and if everyone shows up with at least a six- or 12-pack, and no one gets too rowdy, you won’t need much more to keep the party going. As the host, you might want to supplement with your own supply just in case, but you know your friends best.

Alternatively, you can always make a delicious punch. It can be simple, like some champagne and fruit juice (think citrus) that your guests mix on their own. Or you can get more elaborate and look up some boozy punch drinks on sites like Pinterest.

5. Skip Decorations

You might be tempted to go out and buy Super Bowl decorations because they exist, but don’t. It’s a waste, and you’re better off spending that money on food or drinks.

Instead, focus on what might increase excitement in the game. For instance, you can coordinate a game of Super Bowl squares. It’ll turn people with zero interest in the outcome of the game into raving fans. Super Bowl squares is simply a 10×10 grid where each person picks a square. You put the numbers at the top and side of the square, and they correspond to the score after the first, second, third, and fourth quarters. You can have each contestant contribute to a pool prize or just do it for fun.

5. Remember Seating!

One last thought: If you’re hosting a lot of guests, chances are you won’t have enough seating. Ask some of your guests to bring folding chairs. Not everyone will be seated at all times, so you won’t need as many chairs as people, but it helps to have a few extra just in case.

Remember, a Super Bowl party can be fun without being expensive if you’re smart about it. Just try to keep your budget in mind.

Image: dszc

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