This file photo released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from Netflix's series, "House of Cards." A gift of membership to Netflix is a perfect present for a movie lover. (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell) Image Credit: AP

Netflix’s popular political thriller House of Cards will return for its third season on February 27, the online streaming platform said on Monday.

Netflix Inc, which tapped into new “binge” watching habits by making all episodes available at once, unveiled the new season with a silent 12-second clip of star Kevin Spacey as President Francis Underwood ascending stairs to a plane with Robin Wright, who plays his wife, Claire.

A black presidential limousine sits on the tarmac in the background, underscoring the ruthless Underwood’s new role as US president.

House of Cards, the first online-only series to win an Emmy Award, also finds itself in the middle of a real-life political debate in Maryland over tax credits the show received as part of a production deal to film in the state.

Maryland lawmakers say the $60.2 million (Dh221 million) in tax credits given to House of Cards and HBO political satire Veep together do not produce long-term economic gains for the state, which faces a budget shortfall next year of $600 million.