Temporary (COVID-19) card benefits

Some card issuers have been extending special offers due to COVID-19, particularly for travel cards where the benefits are not particularly useful right now.

Of note, my Amex Hilton Aspire card is offering 12 pts per dollar for groceries through July 31, allowing the $250 annual resort credit to be redeemed for restauraunt purchases in June and August, and counting credit card points as base points rather than bonus points from May through December 2020.

Chase Marriott Bonvoy is offering 6 pts per dollar for groceries up to $5k from May through July 2020.


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Good post. I have not heard anything from any of my travel cards on adding categories, or redemption options but it’s a good thread to keep track of such changes.

I assume a lot of cards with annual fees will probably look at doing some of this otherwise they could lose a lot of customers who have no way to get back those annual fees.

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I also have the 12x points on groceries from my Amex Hilton Surpass card

My Amex Delta card is 4x miles on groceries

Marriott Bonvoy is 6x groceries

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It’s a different kind of card, but a number of my Rewards Checking accounts are lowering the required number of debit card purchases each month to qualify for the reward rate.

Amex giving out a bunch of “free” stuff, especially on Biz Plat. They’re probably still way ahead considering they can furlough their entire lounge staff and won’t payout much if anything to Priority Pass.

If anyone still has a reliable grocery gift card loop going, these bonus offers are good.

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Just received an email for 5X points on grocery spend from May 1 to June 30 on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. “No activation required” according to the email. Up to $1500 per calendar month.


I should decide on downgrading this sooner rather than later. Priority pass seems useless now. Not planning rental cars either. And I’m almost at the 48months since opening (current terms requires) that I could open a Chase Sapphire Preferred for an opening bonus.

I haven’t burned the travel credit yet, I guess I could get southwest giftcards (assuming they won’t go bankrupt). Also haven’t burned the doordash credit.

I wonder if I can hold three chase freedoms at once…

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I’ve decided my best card to gain the most bonus’s is Citi Double Cash. We have agriculture & I charge all or most expenses & (of course) pay off every month. I also use my Alliant Visa card for 1 store. Costco will only accept the Visa.

Depending on the month I can run that Citi DC card up over $15K. Bonus bucks in my pocket.

Yeah PP is worthless and even with these bonus offers, they aren’t making up for the full loss in benefits.

They tried to make up some ground with the Hilton Aspire, by offering the 12x points on groceries and allowing you to use the $250 resort credit on restaurants. But you’re also paying for PP and the $250 in airline credits that are both essentially unusable. I’ve made out on the card so far this year (we used the $250 resort credit earlier, and I used the free night certificate on a Waldorf-Astoria room in February) but if travel is going to continue to be hard, I might downgrade this card back to the no-AF version.

The current situation has made the pure cashback cards, like Citi DC, and the bonus category rotator cards like Chase Freedom and Discover It, to be a lot more palatable. Credit cards with benefits went all-in on travel… the oddball cards that didn’t are looking pretty good right now.

I’m probably keeping that one for another year (I have 5 months to decide – I’m definitely not downgrading mid-year). The night cert is good for 24months instead of 12. So, IF you say that’s worth ~$200, and add it to the $250 restaurant you have your AF back.
Additionally, the airline credits can still be cashed out, they haven’t yet blocked off one route. I haven’t cashed mine out yet for this year, I probably should soon. Messaged with the way to do so. Of course there’s always the possibility Amex goes back and claws back the airline credit, but it hasn’t happened yet except for refunds.

Not exactly a temporary card benefit… but…

I have $300 travel from CSR and $75 Southwest credit from Southwest Priority card to use. I need to decide to convert these to Southwest gift card (CSR), and whether I want a travel fund (southwest priority), or if I want to convert to Southwest Rapid Reward points (Southwest says you will be able to convert travel funds to points).

Amex Delta Platinum:
" $50 Statement Credit
You will be eligible to receive a one-time $50 statement credit after Card renewal. The statement credit will be applied to the eligible card account within 8-12 weeks of the account renewal month. This statement credit is limited to Basic (not Additional) Card Members only. Offer is non-transferable. If the eligible Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is cancelled, or you have downgraded or upgraded your Card up to 45 days after the first day of your renewal month, you will not receive the one-time $50 statement credit. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time."

They of course had raised the fee last year… but since I’m on my first year now I’ll probably keep it 2 months past renewal and permanent downgrade then (day 59). Should also have the companion cert by then, whatever that’s worth.

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So I just got a mail from AMEX about the Hilton Aspire card that outlined these upgrades (again). This mail though was interesting, because of this tidbit:

"Bonus Points earned through eligible purchases on your Card that post to your Hilton Honors account between May 1 and December 31, 2020 will be considered Base Points, which count toward elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond Status.* "

I wasn’t aware that these credit card base points were going to count towards lifetime diamond. That’s a nice little perk.

Is there any value to lifetime diamond with hilton anymore? Don’t you also need 100000 nights and 10000000000000 base points? And then all you get is… Diamond… which you can just get for free anyways?

Doesn’t draw me in because I’d be losing $$ putting purchases to earn hilton pesos instead of UR.

Edit: A year ago I’d have valued the 12 points/$ grocery at ~4.8% value which isn’t terrible. But not seeing myself go to grocery stores anytime soon. And hilton pesos have been devalued too frequently and I have too many sitting there already (almost 1 million).
I’d guess the value of hilton pesos is worse now with the actual room rates being lower, but i haven’t bothered to check.

Eh, I am a sucker for the perks. I have been treated pretty well as a diamond, although good point, you get it for free with this card.

And yes, in my experience hunting out values to desirable destinations, they’re worth about .6 cents per point if you use the “Buy 4 nights, get fifth free” deal - they’re worse than SkyPesos but a little better than .4 cents per point. So I value the 12 pts/$ at about 7.2% cash back.

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I put them at 0.4 cents without the 5th night (i haven’t stayed 5 nights often) . Need to subtract discounts I’d usually get in the rate (MVP rate code usually) and also subtract the points that aren’t earned on reward redemptions (which is ~15%+). However, last year I did manage to redeem 2 nights of 40k(? going from memory… could have been 50k) a night where the cash rate was ~$600 a night. But then again I wouldn’t have paid that $600 or stayed there if I weren’t paying with points.

Yeah, I’m sitting on about 750k worth of Hilton points after having cancelled a few upcoming trips. We pivoted to a cancellation-friendly road trip in the summer, mainly hitting Hilton hotels along the way, but the payout on points for those hotels is really poor. The other annoying thing with points is that the ‘premium room rewards’, which are usually only a small increase to book with cash, often cost tens of thousands of extra points per night to book, so you’re stuck with a base room when you book with points.

I’m also sitting on about $1000 worth of Priceline Visa credits, which I really have to redeem for either non-refundable Priceline hotels or airline flights to maximize value on… and neither of those is likely to happen anytime soon.

I’m probably going to apply for a pure cashback card in the interim to avoid having too many eggs in these baskets.

I just received a surprise check in the mail for $50.

Nationwide Insurance sending relief in your hands quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Got that letter last week & was impressed that they really followed through.

So now I sit here with checks CITI DC $529. + $50 Covid-19. Wow I’m headed into town to shop…
Oh no I’m still stuck in house. :woozy_face: