Pandemic-Friendly Rewards Programs From 4 Major Credit Card Issuers

Let’s be real: losing the opportunity to make the most of your credit card rewards during the pandemic should be the least of your concerns. But if you’re paying a steep annual fee for a rewards card that gives you access to airport lounges and discounts on travel, you may feel like you’re throwing away money.

Credit card companies know this, and they’ve made an effort to provide their customers with modified rewards that better reflect the new normal. Below are some of the new perks a few of the most popular credit card providers are providing. For the full list, check out Business Insider’s review.

American Express

American Express Platinum cardholders have several new benefits to make up for lost travel rewards. For example, cardholders can get $30 in PayPal statement credits every month from now until June 2021. It’s as simple as linking your credit and PayPal accounts and using PayPal to pay for your online purchases.  

If you use the full $30 every month, it’s basically like getting $180 every year, which can make up part of the card’s $550 annual fee. New cardholders can also receive 75,000 bonus points when they spend a minimum of $5,000 within six months of opening an account.

Additionally, qualifying Platinum Card members can earn as much as $1,700 in statement credits if they opened an account before November 1, 2020. Individual offers must be activated and used before June 30, 2021. This offer includes statement credit for popular retailers like:


  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Home Chef
  • Wine Insiders
  • Scribd
  • Instacart
  • Samsung
  • Avis
  • Samsung
  • The Container Store
  • Goldbelly
  • Equinox Virtual Personal Training


Capital One

With Venture cardholders unable to take advantage of their travel rewards, Capital One gives card members more options to use their miles. For example, you can redeem your miles to pay for qualifying food when you use your credit card. And from now through the end of April 2021, you can pay for Netflix and Hulu subscriptions with your points. 

Besides that, Capital One Spark Cash for Business or Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders can redeem their miles to pay their phone bills until the end of April 2021. This includes Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Members can also apply their miles for discounted delivery purchases.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards, Savor One Cash Rewards, Venture Rewards, and BentureOne Rewards cardholders can enjoy additional rewards when using Uber Eats until the end of January 2021. Savor members can get 5% cashback, while Venture cardholders can earn five times the miles on their orders.


Chase was quick to adust its rewards program in 2020, and it’s extended the new rewards until the end of June 2021. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use their $300 annual travel credits for supermarket and gas station purchases. If you have a Chase card in your wallet, make sure you take advantage of this benefit before it expires because it’s a great way to save on two of the most significant monthly expenses.

In addition to gas and grocery savings, Chase customers have another way to use their Chase Ultimate Rewards Points through the Pay Yourself Back Program. Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred members can use their points to pay for their next home improvement project and even donate their points to a charity of their choice through the end of April 2021.

Lastly, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can earn one point for every 1.5 cents, while Sapphire Preferred members get one point for every 1.25 cents. These redemption rates are an improvement over the regular program, which offers one point for every penny. Cardholders sitting on a mountain of rewards could save big by redeeming them before this offer ends.


Citi Prestige Card customers can enjoy more flexible categories when they redeem their $250 annual travel credit. Citi broadened its program when the pandemic began, and it’s decided to keep the change until the end of 2021. Now members can redeem their travel credit for dining, delivery, and takeout purchases as well as at the grocery store. And of course, the statement credit is still applicable for travel purchases such as airline miles, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.


  • Baron, Jasmin. “Credit Card Issuers like American Express and Citi Have Added COVID-Friendly Credits, Bonuses, and Flexibility – Making It Easier to Earn and Redeem Rewards during the Pandemic.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 Jan. 2021,




Ian Schindler