Amex and Chase Add Limited-Time Changes to Select Credit Cards
The COVID-19 crisis has completely changed society for the time-being, and companies are adjusting practices as a result. Under normal times, travel credit cards present a great value for the cardmember due to perks like travel spend bonuses and fee credits. Since no one is traveling at the moment, American Express and Chase have adjusted several of their cards to make their cards more attractive and usable in the short-term.
COVID-19 Forces Amex and Chase Credit Card Changes
Chase Credit Card Grocery Spending
Chase has been noticeably absent from grocery store spending bonuses in the past, but that has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, many of their cards will earn either 3x or 5x on $1,500 a month in grocery spend in May and June 2020.
5X Grocery Cards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Unite Club Infinite Card
- United Presidential Plus
- United Club Infinite Card
3X Grocery Cards
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- World of Hyatt Credit Card
- Hyatt Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
- United Explorer Card
- United MileagePlus Card
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card
- British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Disney Premier Visa Card
- Iberia Visa Signature Credit Card
This is great news for those of you that have Chase credit cards. No registration is necessary to take advantage of this offer.
American Express Platinum
The American Express Platinum has a $550 annual fee, which is normally an excellent value for a frequent traveler. I utilize my Amex Platinum for its airline fee credits of $200 a year, $100 a year in Saks Fifth Avenue credits, $15 in monthly Uber credits, and Centurion Lounge access.
With no one traveling, all of those travel perks are less useful. Amex has previously made changes to the monthly Uber credits, enabling cardmembers to use them for Uber Eats. That’s great right now with many restaurants open across the country for delivery (tip: you can order for pickup from Uber eats, saving on any delivery fees).
Another recent change is the addition of $320 in statement credits. Per Amex, you can get:
- Up to $320 in statement credit on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020).
There are only certain streaming services that qualify (we’ve ranked many in our guide to streaming services):
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- AT&T Now
- CBS All Access
- Fubo TV
- HBO Now
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
The Business version of the Amex Platinum card has added:
- Up to $320 in statement credits on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020).
- Up to $200 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell Technologies, for a total of up to $400 in statement credits in 2020 when added to the existing Shop Dell with Business Platinum benefit ($100 in additional statement credits from May 1 through June 30, 2020 and up to $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and December 31, 2020).
This is great news for both personal and business Platinum cardmembers. Many people are spending more on streaming services than ever before, and this gives some folks money back in their pocket. For businesses, $20 in shipping services and $20 off your phone bill each month is sure to save some money, too.
Amex Green Card members, who already have perks like $100 Clear membership credits and $100 per year through LoungeBuddy, will now receive:
- Up to $80 in statement credits when they use their Green Card to pay for wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $10 per month, from May through December 2020).
Again, this helps cardmembers potentially keep the card, which features a $150 annual fee. With no one traveling currently, I’m not sure if the new statement credits save me from keeping this one in my wallet.
Delta SkyMiles Cards
Many of Delta’s co-branded cards have already extended benefits due to the crisis:
- If you had the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you have a $100 Delta flight credit if you spend $10,000 on purchases during the year. That benefit’s expiration date has been extended by 6 months.
- Delta Platinum Credit Card and Reserve card members who had a companion certificate expiring March 1st-June 30th, 2020 can now use them to book and fly by 12/31/20. Those with expiration dates 7/1/2020-4/1/2021 have a six-month extension.
Additionally, now the Reserve, Platinum, Gold, and Blue Delta cards will earn:
- 4 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets from May through July 2020
Some of these cards have large annual fees, and they’re most rewarding if you’re flying Delta often. I value Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents per point, so that’s like 4.8% back for grocery spend. There are better cards for grocery spending out there, but if you don’t have those cards currently, this may be a nice bonus.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex
This card normally features a $300 annual statement credit to use towards Marriott spend. Now, Amex is making some positive changes:
- Your $300 Marriott statement credit can now be used at U.S. restaurants, between June and August 2020
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on up to $7,500 in U.S. Supermarket spending from May through July 2020
The statement credit definitely saves people some money on the hefty $450 annual fee as not many Marriott stays are happening currently. I also like the 6 points per dollar at grocery stores, though that’s only 4.2% back based on my valuation of 0.7 Marriott points per dollar.
Additionally, every personal Marriott card will be eligible for the 6 points per dollar at grocery stores. The Business Amex Marriott card, however, is excluded.
Hilton Honors Aspire Amex Card
However, in light of COVID-19, here are the temporary changes made to the card:
- Earn 12 Hilton Honors points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets from May through July 2020
- U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, will now qualify toward the up to $250 Hilton resort credit benefit from June through August 2020
- Bonus points earned through eligible purchases, if they post to the card member’s Hilton Honors account between May 1 and December 31, will be considered base points and will count towards elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status
- Unexpired free weekend night certificates, plus new ones issued through December 31, 2020 can be used on any night of the week now. New certificates issued from May 1st-December 31st will be valid for 24 months!
These are amazing changes. While I value the grocery benefit at about 6% back in rewards, based on my .5 cent per point valuation of Hilton Honors points, that’s still a hefty return (I still prefer my Amex Gold card for grocery spend). Additionally, being able to use your $250 credit at restaurants is huge, and weekend nights now eligible to be used any day of the week frees up a ton of possibilities once travel resumes.
Hilton Honors Surpass and Hilton Honors Amex Cards
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card also is offering 12 Hilton Honors points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, points towards elite tier and lifetime status qualification, and weekend night extensions, identical to the Aspire card above. The Hilton Honors American Express Card will offer bonus points counting towards elite status qualification and lifetime elite status qualification.
These are huge changes and excellent perks for the cardholders that may be affected by this crisis. I feel that it’s a smart business move for companies to be offering more back to customers during this time. For me, it’s another reason why Amex is one of my favorite credit issuers.