COVID Credit Card Enhancements Ultimate Guide: Now with Amex dining & wireless credits…

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The COVID Credit Card Enhancements Ultimate Guide has now been updated with Amex’s restaurant, wireless, and spend offers for Delta, Hilton, and Marriott cards.  See also:

Travel rewards credit cards don’t have the same appeal during a pandemic.  To keep our business, card issuers have been throwing temporary new perks our way.  We’ve seen a constant barrage of COVID credit card enhancements like category bonuses, purchase rebates, and rewards for everyday needs such as groceries, dining, and gas.

While those bonuses are very welcome, it’s hard to keep it all straight.  So, here we are to the rescue.  This guide lists all of the COVID inspired credit card enhancements, along with a few related pre-COVID perks so that you can get all of the info in one place.  We have been updating this COVID Credit Card Enhancements post regularly as things change.

Many of the temporary card enhancements relate to grocery, gas, drugstore, and dining purchases. So, we’ve organized details accordingly.  Also, in some places we’ve included a column called “RRV”. This column shows the effective rebate that you’ll get with the bonus earnings.  We based the value of the rebate on our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).  For example, our Reasonable Redemption Value for Chase Ultimate Rewards points is 1.5 cents per point.  Given that RRV, we calculate the Sapphire Reserve card’s 3X earnings as: 3 points per dollar X 1.5 cents per point = 4.5%.

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COVID Credit Card Enhancements: Recent Updates

  • 2/1/21: Added Amex’s restaurant, wireless, and spend offers for Delta, Hilton, and Marriott cards.  Added new wireless phone service category.
  • 1/3/21: Added drugstore category, Chase spend offers, Platinum PayPal credits; Citi Prestige benefits; and more.
  • 12/29/20: Belatedly added news that Hilton free night certs issued in 2021 will be valid any day of the week and through Dec 31 2022.  Details here.
  • 12/10/20: Added Delta Platinum & Delta Reserve bonus Status Boosts for 2021.

Drugstore

Registering for the Chase spending offers: See this post for registration links.

Gas

Registering for the Chase spending offers: See this post for registration links.

Business Platinum 5X offer: Amex Business Platinum: 5X gas station, wireless, office supply, shipping, and advertising. Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Grocery

Registering for the Chase spending offers: See this post for registration links.

Restaurants, Take-Out, and Delivery

For details about the Amex dining credits, see these posts:

Eligibility for these Amex Offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Wireless Phone Service

For details about the above offers, see these posts:

Eligibility for these Amex Offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

COVID Credit Card Enhancements (by Credit Card)

All Amex Cards: Variis by Equinox Credits

Variis by Equinox is a fitness app & membership which costs $39.99 per month plus taxes.  Starting October 9, eligible existing Amex card members can enroll and receive statement credits to partially offset the membership cost:

  • Eligible existing Platinum Card Members: $25 back each month in statement credits
  • Eligible existing Blue Cash Preferred Card Members: $10 back each month in statement credits
  • Other eligible Card Members: $10 back each month in statement credits for the first three months (available through 4/1/2021)

Sign Up Details: “Eligible Card Members will be notified over the coming weeks with more information on how they can enroll and receive these credits.” Once notified, you can join here: variis.

Amex Delta Cards

Eligibility for the following offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Delta Gold Consumer Card

  • February through December 2021:
    • Earn monthly $10 rebate for U.S. restaurant spend. Must load Amex Offer.
    • Earn 5X for Delta spend. Must load Amex Offer.

Delta Gold Business Card

  • February through December 2021:
    • Earn monthly $10 rebate for U.S. wireless phone spend. Must load Amex Offer.
    • Earn 5X for Delta spend. Must load Amex Offer.

Delta Platinum Consumer Card

Delta Platinum Business Card

Delta Reserve Consumer Card

Delta Reserve Business Card

Amex Hilton Cards

Hilton’s free nights are usually redeemable only on weekends, but Amex and Hilton have relaxed the rules for free nights issued through 2021.

See also: Hilton free weekend nights become anytime nights valid for 2 years, and New Hilton changes: extended 2021 free night certs, reduced elite requirements, and more.

Amex Hilton (Fee Free)

Eligibility for the following Amex Offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Amex Hilton Surpass

  • February through December 2021: Earn monthly $10 rebate for U.S. restaurant spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • February through June 2021: Earn 10,000 bonus points for each $5,000 spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • Weekend night becomes anytime night.  Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night rewards issued through December 31, 2021 can now be used any night of the week.
  • New free nights valid for up to 24 months.  New weekend free night awards issued from May 1 to December 31 2020 are valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (previously 12 months).  Free nights issued in 2021 are valid through December 31 2022.

Amex Hilton Aspire

  • February through December 2021: Earn monthly $20 rebate for U.S. restaurant spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • February through June 2021: Earn 10,000 bonus points for each $5,000 spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • Weekend night becomes anytime night.  Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night rewards issued through December 31, 2021 can now be used any night of the week.
  • New free nights valid for up to 24 months.  New weekend free night awards issued from May 1 to December 31 2020 are valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (previously 12 months).  Free nights issued in 2021 are valid through December 31 2022.

Amex Hilton Business

  • February through December 2021: Earn monthly $10 rebate for U.S. wireless phone spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • February through June 2021: Earn 10,000 bonus points for each $5,000 spend. Must load Amex Offer.
  • Weekend night becomes anytime night.  Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night rewards issued through December 31, 2021 can now be used any night of the week.
  • New free nights valid for up to 24 months.  New weekend free night awards issued from May 1 to December 31 2020 are valid for 24 months from the date of issuance (previously 12 months).  Free nights issued in 2021 are valid through December 31 2022.

Amex Marriott Cards

Eligibility for the following Amex Offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Amex Marriott Bonvoy

Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business

Amex Platinum Consumer & Business

  • The Hotel Collection Complimentary Night or Property Credit: U.S. Consumer and Business Platinum Card Members and Gold Card Members can receive a complimentary night or property credit of $150 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at participating Hotel Collection properties. Required booking dates and travel dates vary by property. Terms apply.
  • Fine Hotels + Resorts® Complimentary Night or Property Credit: U.S. Consumer and Business Platinum Card Members can receive a complimentary night or property credit of $250 or more after booking an eligible stay through American Express Travel at more than 200 participating Fine Hotels + Resorts® properties. Required booking dates and travel dates vary by property. Terms apply.
  • Recommended Flights: U.S. Consumer and Business Platinum Card Members can access lower fares on select routes, flights and seats, with the ability to save up to 20% off the publicly listed ticket price. These lower fares are available with participating airlines for eligible flights and seats booked between January 10, 2021 and March 31, 2021 for travel from January 10, 2021 through May 31, 2021. Terms apply.
  • Pay with Points on Prepaid Car Rental Bookings: For those renting a car to enjoy a local getaway, Membership Rewards® program enrolled U.S. Card Members can now use Pay with Points or earn 2X Membership Rewards points on prepaid car rental bookings through AmexTravel.com.

Amex Platinum (Consumer)

No registration required

Amex Offers (requires registration)

Eligibility for the following Amex Offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Amex Offers for Platinum cards that were active as of Nov 1, 2020.  See this post for more details.  All of the following expire 6/30/2021:

  • bestbuy.com®: Spend $50 or more, get $50 back. Up to 2 times (total of $100).
  • HomeDepot.com – Ship to Home or Store: Spend $50 or more, get $50 back. Up to 2 times (total of $100).
  • Instacart: Spend $250 or more, get $50 back. Up to 2 times (total of $100).
  • Goldbelly: Spend $100 or more, get $50 back. Up to 3 times (total of $150).
  • WineInsiders.com: Spend $30 or more, get $30 back. Up to 2 times (total of $60).
  • Scribd – Book, audiobook, and podcast subscription: Spend $9.99 or more, get $9.99 back. Up to 5 times (total of $49.95).
  • Home Chef: Spend $50 or more, get $50 back. Up to 3 times (total of $150)
  • The Container Store: Spend $150 or more, get $50 back. Up to 2 times (total of $100).
  • Samsung: Spend $1,000 or more, get $200 back.
  • Avis Car Rental: Spend $250 or more, get $75 back. Up to 2 times (total of $150).
  • Equinox Virtual Personal Training: Spend $780 or more, get $130 back. Up to 5 times (total of $650).

Amex Platinum Business

  • Earn 5X gas station, wireless, office supply, shipping, and advertising. Up to 80K bonus points per category.  Make sure to load to Amex Offers.  Valid only for those who have had their card prior to November 1, 2020.  Expires 6/30/2021. Details here.  Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Capital One

Venture, Venture One

Savor, Savor One

Spark Miles, Spark Miles Select

Chase Statement Credits

If you have any Chase cards it can be well worth calling Chase to ask if there are any offers available on your account.  For details of my experience, see this post: My $575 phone call (complete in 20 minutes).

Here are examples of free money that people have earned through a simple phone call (or sometimes a few calls):

  • Sapphire Reserve: $150, $250
  • Sapphire Preferred: $60
  • Ritz Card: $150
  • Southwest Priority: $70
  • Southwest Premier: $100
  • Southwest Plus: $70
  • Ink Plus: $50, $95
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: $50, $100
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business: $50
  • Hyatt: $35, $50
  • IHG Premier: $50
  • IHG Rewards Club Select: $25
  • Freedom: 2500 points, 5000 points

Chase Sapphire Reserve & Sapphire Preferred

  • Pay Yourself Back at full travel value: Through April 30 2021, use points to pay yourself back for grocery, dining, home improvement, and select charity spend.  Details here.
  • Grocery bonus November through April: Nov 1 through April 30 2021, earn 2X (Sapphire Preferred) or 3X (Sapphire Reserve) for grocery spend on up to $1K spend per month.  Details here.
  • Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit via gas and grocery: Travel credit reimburses gas and grocery purchases through June 30, 2021.
  • Peloton credits: Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn up to $120 and Preferred cardmembers up to $60 in statement credits for eligible Digital and All-Access Peloton memberships, through December 31, 2021

Citi Prestige

US Bank Altitude Reserve

US Bank is offering this temporary pandemic inspired enhancement to the Altitude Reserve card.  This is valid from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 June 30, 2021:

  • Earn 3X points per $1 on takeout, food delivery and dining purchases.
  • Takeout, food delivery and dining purchases qualify toward the $325 annual travel credit
  • No registration required.

Expired COVID Credit Card Enhancements

We update the COVID Credit Card Enhancements Guide as frequently as possible. Here’s what’s expired…

  • Amex Expired Offers
    • All Amex cards: Free year of CALM.  Register by Dec 31 2020.
    • Amex Marriott Bonvoy earn 8X at Amazon, Target, and Walmart on up to $3,500. Expired 12/27/20.
    • Delta Gold: Earn 4X restaurants and 5X Delta August 17 through December 31, 2020.
    • Delta Platinum & Reserve: Earn 5x miles on Delta purchases and also earn 500 Bonus Miles and 500 MQMs after spending $1,000 in purchases on your enrolled Card (up to 25K Miles and 25K MQMs).  Valid through 12/31/20.
    • Amex Platinum:
      • Book discounted domestic flights through AmexTravel.com. Book by December 31st for travel through March 31 2021.
      • Get a one-time $150 Statement Credit after booking a prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts stay. Enroll and book by 12/7/20. Details here.
      • $20/month cell service rebate + $20/month streaming services rebates: May 2020 to Dec 2020.
    • Amex Business Platinum:
      • $20/month cell service rebate + $20/month shipping rebates: May 2020 to Dec 2020.
      • Additional $100 Dell rebate May – June 2020 + another additional $100 Dell rebate June – December 2020.
    • Amex Green Card: $10/month cell service rebate May through Dec 2020.
    • Amex Bonvoy Cards earn 10X at US gas stations, US restaurants, and Marriott hotels: Up to $7,500 spend in each category.  Expired 10/31/2020.  Details here.
    • All Amex Bonvoy Cards earn 6X at supermarkets: May 1 through July 31, 2020, earn 6X at grocery stores, up to $7,500 per card.
    • Bonvoy Brilliant: Dining, takeout, and delivery qualify toward $300 Marriott statement credit benefit (through August). Consumer Card Members’ eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will now qualify toward the $300 Marriott statement credit benefit (June through August 2020).
    • Delta SkyMiles Cards earn 4X at supermarkets: Delta SkyMiles Reserve, Platinum, Gold and Blue Consumer Card Members earn 4X miles at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020).
    • Hilton Aspire: Dining, takeout, and delivery qualify toward $250 resort credit benefit (through August). Consumer Card Members’ eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will now qualify toward the $250 Hilton resort credit benefit (June through August 2020).
    • Hilton Surpass and Aspire: 12X points at U.S. supermarkets (through July). Hilton Surpass and Aspire Consumer Card Members will now earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets (May through July 2020). Bonus Points earned through eligible purchases on all Hilton American Express Cards, that post to the Card Member’s Hilton Honors account between May 1 through December 31, 2020 will be considered Base Points and will count towards Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond Status.
  • Chase Expired Offers
  • Other Expired Offers
    • Bank of America Premium Rewards: Through December 31, earn a $50 statement credit for grocery store, dining, and takeout purchases through December 31, 2020.
    • Bank of America Travel Rewards: Through December 31, 2020, both the consumer and business Travel Rewards cards are allowing points to be redeemed for full value towards grocery store, dining, and take-out purchases. This is in addition to the usual ability to redeem points towards travel purchases.
      UPDATE: This benefit is now permanent.
    • Citi Prestige:
      • 5X Online (through August): Citi Prestige cardholders can now earn 5X on online purchases up to 7500 points (i.e. up to $1500 in purchases) for “online purchases” through August 31, 2020. Examples Citi provides of qualifying online purchases include: retailer website orders, online grocery orders, online drugstore orders.
      • 5X Online & More (through end of year): Citi Prestige cardholders can now earn 5X for online, cable, and streaming purchases (up to 7500 points) through the end of 2020.
    • American Airlines Cards: Between May 1st and December 31st, 2020, every dollar spent on an American Airlines credit card counts toward million miler status.
    • Alaska Airlines Card:
      • [Expired] Earn 2,500 elite qualifying miles for each $5K spent on purchases from June 1st through September 30th
      • [Expired] 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and on take-out and delivery from June 1st to July 31, 2020 on up to $1500 in spend
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