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Credit card issuers have introduced new ways to earn and redeem rewards and added valuable benefits and perks in response to the coronavirus-related shift in consumer buying habits. To keep their cards at the top of customers’ minds (and wallets), banks have also periodically increased rewards earnings in common quarantine spending categories, including grocery stores, streaming services, and food delivery.
The result? Despite the pandemic, many of us are earning more credit card points than ever, even if we’ve had to curb our spending and stay close to home. This is especially true for those who already make the most of cards with rotating quarterly bonus categories, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back.
Yes, these bonuses can be lucrative — especially if you’re already making lots of purchases in these categories. But before you switch your spending to a card with a limited-time category bonus, it’s wise to compare the boosted earning rate — and the value of the rewards you’d receive — to what you’d otherwise earn by using one of the best rewards credit cards instead.
You might also skip an increased category bonus if the rewards currency doesn’t appeal to you or if you’re focused on saving a different type of points or miles for a specific redemption.
Because these credit card spending bonuses eventually expire, and new offers pop up all the time to meet changing customer needs, it can be hard to keep track and maximize your rewards. To help, we’ve put together a list of the latest limited-time bonuses in the most popular categories, so you can choose the right credit card for your purchases.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Chase Sapphire cards — up to 3x on groceries
Until April 30, 2021, you’ll automatically earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on groceries with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and 2x points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, on up to $1,000 in spending each month (then 1x). Normally, these cards earn 1 point per dollar spent at grocery stores, so this is an easy opportunity to earn more points on household purchases you’d make anyway.
In addition, you can stack this bonus with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature, which gets you more value from your points when you redeem them toward grocery, gas, and home improvement store purchases, as well as charitable donations. When you use this option, your points are worth 50% more if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or 25% more if you’re a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, through the end of April 2021.