Credit card points and rewards change amid coronavirus

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The coronavirus has changed the way millions of Americans spend. Now, credit card companies are changing the way customers earn and spend rewards to keep pace.

Here are the highlights of how several of the biggest credit card companies are changing their rewards.

In general, the changes fall into two camps. Some issuers give new cardholders more time to meet the revenue thresholds they need to meet to get their sign-up bonus point cache. And some issuers are expanding the types of purchases for which customers can earn points or accelerated miles to include items like streaming entertainment services and supermarkets.

American Express

With a strong focus on travel cards and experiential rewards, AmEx has revamped much of its rewards structure for now. In March, the company found that premium cardholder spending on streaming subscriptions, wireless services, groceries and food delivery had increased by nearly 20%.

From May, consumers and businesses Platinum cardholders receive up to $ 20 per month (up to a total of $ 320) in statement credits on most streaming and wireless phone service purchases through December. Green card holders receive up to $ 10 per month (up to a total of $ 80) in credits.

Also from May and through July, AmEx increased the earning rates of rewards for supermarket purchases on its co-branded Delta, Marriott and Hilton cards. (Redemption rates and other program details such as earning points for status or stay / flight credits vary by loyalty program and link.)

Bank of America

Customers who applied for business and consumer credit cards between January 1 and March 31 of this year are granted an additional 90 days to meet spending thresholds and earn their sign-up bonus.

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Until June 30, Capital One will allow Venture and VentureOne cardholders to earn and redeem miles for takeout and restaurant deliveries, as well as purchases of streaming services.

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Credit cards opened between January 1 and March 31 are granted an additional three months to reach their sign-up bonus earning thresholds.

There are also enhanced rewards for existing cardholders. Until the end of May, Chase Sapphire and Freedom cardholders will earn 5x the rewards on DoorDash or Tock purchases up to $ 500.

Throughout the month of June, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve and most Chase co-branded cardholders earn additional rewards on the grocery store. Sapphire Preferred and United Club, Club Infinite and Presidential Plus cardholders earn 5x more points for $ 1 spent on grocery purchases, including online pickup and delivery orders, up to $ 1,500 per month. Chase Sapphire Reserve and most other airline and co-branded hotel cardholders get 3X points for $ 1. Chase Marriott Co-branded Cardholders get 6 times the points for $ 1, up to $ 5,000.

Southwest Premier Consumer, Premier Business, Priority, and Performance Rapid Rewards cardholders now have the option to use only their spending (as opposed to a combination of flights and non-flight expenses) to achieve A-List status. Previously, cardholders could earn 1,500 qualifying points for every $ 10,000 in qualifying purchases, with a cap of 15,000 points per year. The new program eliminates this cap and doubles the number of points earned to 3,000 for every $ 10,000 spent.


New Citi cardholders who applied for their card between December 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 are granted an additional three months to meet their spending thresholds and receive their signup bonuses.

Current Citi Prestige cardholders can apply their annual travel credit of $ 250 for 2020 to grocery and restaurant purchases in addition to travel.

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