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NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for May 2020

May 3, 2020
Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
NerdWallet's Best Credit Card Tips for May 2020
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As May comes to a close, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact household expenses. Whether you’ve shifted the bulk of your spending toward groceries or you’re supporting local businesses by ordering out, savings are top of mind right now.

Whichever course your budget has taken, credit cards can offer plenty of value during these times. Here’s what you need to know to spend smart this month.

» MORE: See our archive of monthly credit card tips

Keep your eye out for savings

Opt into Targeted or one-time deals

Every little bit saved can help, especially right now — and your credit card’s app may offer savings opportunities for purchases within your budget. Amex and Chase Offers, for example, provide in-app discounts to cardholders who shop with qualifying merchants.

The types of discounts vary, but often they’ve included deals on subscription services, restaurants and more. If you redeem an offer, the amount saved is returned to your account in the form of a statement credit.

Double-dip on rewards

Whether you’re shopping for everyday household expenses, a graduation gift or summer preparations, you rake in rewards twice over by using a cash-back site like Rakuten.

For example, if you have a flat-rate credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, use it while shopping via Rakuten and you’ll double-dip — snagging cash back both from your credit card and from the website’s offer.

Be aware of limited-time offers

As household spending has shifted during the pandemic, credit card issuers have responded in a variety of ways, including temporary changes to rewards structures, perks and redemption options. Look for possible updates in your mobile app or inbox.

Use the right card on groceries

In the second quarter of 2020, the Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in these categories: grocery stores, fitness and gym memberships, and select streaming services (1% back on everything else).

But several other Chase cards have added bonus rewards on grocery store purchases for a limited time, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and multiple co-branded travel cards.

» MORE: Chase adds bonus rewards for groceries on dozens of cards (limited time)

And multiple American Express cards — including co-branded cards with Delta, Hilton and Marriott — have temporarily either added U.S. supermarkets as a bonus category or boosted the rewards you can earn there. Terms apply.

» MORE: AmEx cards offering extra rewards, statement credits in new categories (limited time)

Order a side of rewards at restaurants

Through May 31, 2020, eligible Chase cards such as the Chase Freedom® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earn 5% cash back or 5 points per dollar spent on up to $500 in purchases when you make restaurant orders using the food delivery platform DoorDash or the delivery and reservation platform Tock.

And through June 30, 2020, Capital One is allowing eligible travel credit card customers to use their miles to cover purchases of things like restaurant delivery and takeout, at a value of a penny per mile.

Qualifying cards include both the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

Information related to the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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