Best Credit Cards To Use During The Pandemic

2020 is almost over, and we are still fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Despite all of our collective hopes, the virus is still affecting our everyday lives, eight months after it first came to the US. 

As we enter December, infections are rapidly rising, and it seems unlikely that things will go back to how they were any time soon. With the new year right around the corner, it might be a good time to rethink your credit card habits and consider a card that can help you adapt to the new normal.

What Are The Best Credit Cards To Use During The Pandemic?

You’ll never see a credit card company advertising their product as a COVID-specific card. But according to Money, you could use this term to refer to a credit card that most aligns with consumers’ financial struggles during this time. These struggles could be related to their health, wages, or prospects of traveling in the upcoming months.

As Money explained, those employed in hard-hit industries might be experiencing an income disruption. As a result, they could benefit from a credit card with a 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers during the welcome period.

Alternatively, those who were previously frequent fliers and racked up travel bonuses from their purchases might be considering a new game plan until it becomes safer to travel. And of course, some people may have to travel and want a card that will reimburse them for flight cancellations, delays, or interruptions related to the virus.

Best 0% APR Card

Citi Diamond Preferred

Did you lose your job this year, experience a wage cut, or work fewer hours? If so, the Citi Diamond Preferred may offer you the most benefits. If you apply now, you won’t have to pay any interest until 2022, thanks to its 18-month promotional period for purchases and balance transfers. 

Aside from a 3% fee for balance transfers, this card has minimal costs, including no annual fee. That means you get a relatively basic credit card with no special perks, but if you need to cut your expenses and could use a year and a half with no interest, that probably isn’t as important to you.

Best Cash Back And Miles Rewards

Citi Double Cash

What good does a credit card for frequent fliers do if you can’t travel as often during the pandemic, anyway? But still, you might already be dreaming about booking your next trip once traveling becomes less risky. For this reason, you may want a card that gives you some flexibility when it comes to your rewards.

The Citi Double Cash credit card is ranked at the top of many best cash back rewards lists. With it, you can enjoy 1% cash back on every purchase, plus another 1% when you pay your bill for a total of 2% — with no limits on spending or rewards.

And if you are daydreaming about your next vacation, you can earn travel points when you redeem your cash back through Citi’s ThankYou points rewards program. You can exchange these points for miles with over 15 airlines, such as JetBlue, AirFrance/KLM, Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, and more.

When you redeem your cash back, you can earn one mile for every penny. So if you need to book a pricey last-minute flight or a ticket for international, business, or first class, you can get even more value from your miles. 

The Citi Double Cash card has no annual fee and offers zero APR for 18 months for purchases and balance transfers, plus a 3% fee.

Best For Travel Perks

Chase Sapphire Reserve

If the pandemic didn’t stop you from traveling this year, then you might want to consider a credit card that offers protection if you or a travel companion must self-isolate or becomes infected. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll be insured up to $10,000 if your trip is canceled or interrupted for pandemic-related reasons. 

In addition, Chase will also reimburse up to $100,000 for medical evacuations or transportation if you come back home to receive medical care. You’ll also get covered for other travel-related expenses like trip delays, roadside assistance, and rental car insurance.

With this card, you can earn triple points on every dollar you spend on travel and dining. And when you book your next trip through the Chase Travel portal, your Ultimate Rewards become even more valuable. 

New cardholders can qualify for 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening an account. Keep in mind that for all these benefits, there’s also a $550 annual fee.

Bottom Line

No one could have anticipated something like the pandemic, but you can plan for the future now that it’s here. So much has changed, including perhaps your spending habits. That’s why now may be the best time to apply for a credit card that aligns with these changes. 

By using the best credit card for your needs during the pandemic, you’ll know that you have a reliable payment method while the pandemic continues.


  • Steele, Jason. “Do You Need a New Credit Card That’s Suited for the COVID Era?” Money, 10 Aug. 2020,
Ian Schindler