Travel Credit Cards Add New Perks During the Pandemic

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Travel Credit Cards Add New Perks During the Pandemic

With cardholders traveling less, banks boost rewards for other spending

The coronavirus epidemic has wrecked havoc on the travel sector, both in the United States and throughout the world. According to the Transportation Security Administration, airport traffic from April to August 2020 was around 18% of what it was a year before. 1 With fewer people traveling, several travel credit card companies have introduced new features or repurposed existing ones to give more value and, perhaps, deter cardholders from canceling their accounts.

Key Takeaways

  • The pandemic coronavirus has had a significant influence on travel—and travel expenditures.
  • As a consequence, several travel credit card issuers are introducing new or expanded incentives to match how cardholders are already spending their money.
  • These improvements may assist those whose purchasing habits have evolved away from travel and toward other areas such as shopping, restaurants, and streaming services.

How Credit Card Issuers Have Enhanced Their Perks

Many of the biggest credit card issuers are giving considerable additional value to customers who have been remaining at home during the epidemic and spending more in various non-travel categories, ranging from bonus points to flexible redemptions and bill credits. The following is a list of prominent issuers and how their rewards systems have evolved.

American Express

  • If you don’t already have a Calm Premium app membership, you can get one for free for a year if you have a U.S. consumer card.
  • Holders of the American Express Platinum Card may get up to $20 per month in statement credits for eligible streaming and telephone wireless purchases from May to December 2020, for a total of $320. In addition, if consumers spend $100 or more on Dell goods through January 31, 2021, they will get a $100 statement credit.
  • Holders of the American Express Business Platinum Card may get up to $20 per month in statement credits for eligible streaming and telephone cellular purchases from May to December 2020, for a total of $320. In addition, customers may get up to $200 in extra statement credits for Dell purchases every year, for a total of $400.
  • From May through December 2020, American Express Green Card members may get up to $10 per month in statement credits for eligible cellular phone purchases, for a total of $80.
  • New cards who created an account between December 2019 and May 2020 earned three more months to achieve the one-time bonus spending threshold.
  Farm Credit System (FCS)

Bank of America

  • Through December 2020, Bank of America Premium Rewards credit cardholders may get a $50 statement credit for qualified dining and grocery purchases.
  • Holders of the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card and the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard may redeem points for qualified grocery and dining purchases until December 2020.

Capital One

  • Through September 2020, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card members may redeem miles for qualified takeout, delivery, and streaming services.
  • Through September 2020, Capital One Spark Miles for Business and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business cards may redeem miles for qualified takeout, delivery, and phone services.
  • Through September 2020, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card customers can get 4% cash back on qualifying streaming services.
  • Through September 2020, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card customers can get 3% cash back on qualifying streaming services.

Chase

  • Through September 2020, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will earn 3 points per dollar on up to $3,000 in Instacart purchases (plus $50 in Instacart membership credits), 3 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in gas purchases, and 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 spent on select streaming services. Cardholders may also earn 1.25 cents per point for supermarket, dining, and home improvement shop purchases.
  • Through September 2020, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will earn 5 points per dollar on up to $3,000 in Instacart purchases (plus $50 in Instacart membership credits), 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in gas purchases, and 10 points per dollar on up to $1,500 spent on select streaming services. Cardholders may also use their petrol and grocery expenditures toward their $300 annual trip credit and earn 1.5 cents per point on grocery, dining, and home improvement shop purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy cards may earn 6 points every dollar spent at petrol stations and restaurants until September 15, 2020. To take advantage of the bonus, cardholders must register.
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Citi

  • New cards who created an account between December 2019 and May 2020 get three months extra to fulfill one-time bonus spending criteria.
  • Through November 11, 2020, cardholders having ThankYou Rewards points may utilize them to earn cash back or make their minimum payment.
  • Citi Prestige cardholders may use their $250 yearly travel statement credit benefit on purchases at supermarkets and restaurants.

Discover

  • Learn about it. Miles cardholders will be able to redeem their miles as a statement credit on restaurant and petrol expenditures indefinitely.

U.S. Bank

  • Holders of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card will receive 3 points every dollar spent on takeout, food delivery, and dining expenditures until June 2021. They may also use their $325 yearly travel credit for dining, takeaway, and food delivery purchases until June 2021. Cardholders will also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels and auto rentals booked directly via the Altitude Rewards Center.

The Bottom Line

As a consequence of the coronavirus epidemic, several of the largest credit card companies have stepped up to give improved advantages depending on their clients’ current spending patterns. If you already have one of the cards mentioned above, make sure you’re taking advantage of the new bonuses.

If not, you may still have time to apply for and enjoy the new advantages with certain cards. However, keep in mind that many of these cards have annual fees, and if you can’t make up for the price via rewards and advantages, it may not be worth it.

Investopedia asks authors to back their work with original sources. White documents, government statistics, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts are among them. Where necessary, we also cite original research from other credible publications. Our editorial policy has additional information about the criteria we use to provide accurate, balanced material.

  Federal Credit Union – FCU

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