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How Credit Card Issuers Are Responding to COVID-19

General assistance is available with a phone call or online chat, but some issuers are taking specific steps for individual cards.
Aug. 3, 2020
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
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As the COVID-19 crisis grows, most major credit card issuers have alerted cardholders that help is available. Initial guidance was mostly general: Conduct transactions online; be aware of updated customer service hours; contact us and we may be able to help.

But many issuers have been releasing more details about the terms and conditions of assistance, with certain aid even targeted to individual credit card products. Here’s what you can expect from your issuer.

NerdWallet Guide to COVID-19

Get answers about stimulus checks, debt relief, changing travel policies and managing your finances.

American Express

CARDDETAILS
All American Express cards• Extended time to earn new cardholder bonus: If you were approved for an eligible account from Dec. 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, and you're eligible for a "welcome bonus," you get an extra three months to spend enough to earn that bonus.

"Shop Small bonus": Make a purchase of $10 or more at participating small businesses and earn a $5 statement credit. You can earn the credit on up to 10 separate purchases, for a maximum of $50 in credit.

Calm Premium: Cardholders can get a free year of Calm Premium, plus half off the subscription for the following year. (Offer applies only to those who don't already have a subscription.) Subscribe at calm.com/americanexpress by Sept. 30, 2020.
The Platinum Card® from American Express• Streaming and wireless credits: Get up to $320 in statement credits when you use the card to pay for select streaming and wireless telephone services from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month on each, May-December 2020).

• Credit for travel purchases: Eligible cardholders will get $200 in statement credits when they use the card for qualifying purchases via the American Express Travel platform from August 2020 through December 2021. Cardholders will be notified when the benefit becomes available.
American Express® Green Card• Wireless credits: Get up to $80 in statement credits when you use the card to pay for wireless phone services from U.S. providers (up to $10 per month, May-December 2020).
DELTA AIR LINES CARDS ISSUED BY AMERICAN EXPRESS
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 4 miles per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 1 mile per dollar).
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 4 miles per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 2 miles per dollar).

• More time to use flight credit: If you earn a $100 Delta flight credit on this card, you typically have a year to use it. Delta says members who have earned a credit will get a six-month extension.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 4 miles per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 2 miles per dollar).

• More time to use companion certificate: Members with companion certificates that have an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can use them when they book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020. Certificates that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the expiration date.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 4 miles per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 1 mile per dollar).

• More time to use companion certificate: Members with companion certificates that have an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can use them when they book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020. Certificates that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the expiration date.

• More time to use lounge guest passes: The one-time guest passes you get with this card typically expire after a year; that's being extended six months.
HOTEL CARDS ISSUED BY AMERICAN EXPRESS
Marriott Bonvoy American Express• Bonus rewards in multiple categories: From Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2020, earn 10X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotels, on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases in each category. Enrollment required.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card• Bonus rewards in multiple categories: From Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2020, earn 10X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotels, on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases in each category. Enrollment required.

• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 6 points per $1 spent on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 2 points per dollar).

• Credit for restaurant spending: U.S. restaurant purchases from June through August 2020 will qualify toward the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit. Typically, that credit applies only to purchases at Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card• Bonus rewards in multiple categories: From Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2020, earn 10X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotels, on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases in each category. Enrollment required.
All Hilton cards issued by American Express • Base points: Any bonus points that post to your account between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, will be considered base points, meaning they’ll count toward elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status. (Usually, they don’t count for this.)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 12 points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 6 points per dollar).
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card• Bonus supermarket rewards: Earn 12 points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets through July 2020 (up from 3 points per dollar).

• Credit for restaurant spending: U.S. restaurant purchases from June through August 2020, including takeout and delivery, will qualify toward the $250 Hilton resort credit benefit.

 

  • Hardship program online: American Express allows cardholders in difficult circumstances to directly access its financial hardship program online. Most issuers don’t have dedicated websites for such programs and don’t publicize them in this way. (To inquire about hardship accommodations with other issuers, you often must go through general-purpose customer service first, which can increase your wait time for assistance.)
  • More time to earn bonuses: AmEx announced in early April 2020 that new cardholders would get more time to earn the welcome bonus on eligible credit cards. The three-month extension was phrased this way: “Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from December 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible cards are U.S. consumer and business cards issued by American Express National Bank to a basic card member.” Terms apply. This offer extends to AmEx’s co-branded hotel and airline cards, too.
  • Limited-time bonus rewards on multiple cards: And in May, American Express unveiled multiple limited-time offerings across a number of its credit cards, including bonus rewards on groceries plus statement credits in new categories such as select streaming services. See our story for a full list of cards affected. Terms apply.
  • Additional limited-time travel credit for select holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express: “To show our appreciation for their ongoing membership,” AmEx says that select holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express will get up to $200 in statement credits when they use the card for qualifying purchases via the American Express Travel platform from August 2020 through December 2021. Terms apply. AmEx notes that eligible cardholders will get more information about this offer “when it becomes available.” Terms apply.
  • Limited-time statement credit for purchases at small businesses: From June 20 through Sept. 20, 2020, qualifying AmEx cardholders who make a purchase of $10 or more at participating small businesses can earn a $5 statement credit. You can earn the credit on up to 10 separate purchases, for a maximum of $50. Terms apply.

» MORE: AmEx partners with Calm app to help cardholders decompress for less

Delta credit cards issued by American Express

Delta is extending certain benefits for eligible cardholders because of the impact from the pandemic, the airline said in a statement. (NOTE: American Express is Delta’s credit card partner, but these extensions come from the airline, not the issuer.)

According to Delta, the extensions apply for any benefit listed below “that is valid now or has expired since March 1, 2020”:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: This card offers a $100 Delta flight credit toward future travel when you spend $10,000 in purchases on the card during a calendar year. Typically, the credit expires one year from the date it’s issued, but Delta notes that members who have earned a flight credit will get a six-month extension. Terms apply.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: This card grants an annual companion certificate upon renewal, which is good for one round-trip domestic flight in the main cabin for someone traveling with you (minus taxes and fees). Normally, travel for the companion certificate must be booked and completed by the date on the front of the certificate. But Delta says that members with companion certificates that have an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can use them when they book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020. And certificates that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the expiration date. Terms apply.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: This card also offers an annual companion certificate upon renewal, but it’s good for one round-trip domestic flight in first class, Delta Comfort+ or the main cabin for someone traveling with you (minus taxes and fees). Usually, the same booking rules apply as with the Platinum version of the card, but Delta is granting the same extension terms. In addition, the Reserve card normally offers two one-time guest passes each year to Delta Sky Club lounges, and those guest passes typically expire within one year from the date they’re issued. But Delta is giving members a six-month extension for those passes. Terms apply.

“As coronavirus continues to dramatically impact travel across the globe, you don’t have to worry about your benefits — they’ll be extended so you can enjoy them when you are ready to travel again,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty, in a statement.

» MORE: What to know about American Express’ COVID-19 credit card relief

Marriott cards issued by American Express

From Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2020, holders of the following cards will earn 10X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, on up to $7,500 in eligible purchases in each category:

 

Bank of America®‎

» MORE: What to know about Bank of America’s COVID-19 credit card relief

 

 

Barclays

Payment deferrals: Barclays is allowing eligible cardholders to skip the minimum payment due on their next two payment due dates, noting that interest will continue to accrue during those two months. (The issuer also notes that you’ll need to cancel repeat payments on your account yourself.)

American Airlines credit cards issued by Barclays

In early May 2020, Barclays announced changes meant to help customers who hold its co-branded AAdvantage Aviator credit card products:

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®: Eligible cardholders who earned a flight discount certificate that expires between March 31, 2020, and May 31, 2021, will get a six-month extension to redeem it from that initial expiration date. In addition, eligible cardholders who have a companion certificate that expires anytime between those dates will get an extension through June 30, 2021.
  • The same companion certificate extension terms apply to eligible holders of the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® and the AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®.

» MORE: 5 things to know about the AAdvantage Aviator Red and Silver Mastercards

 

Brex

  • New limited-time bonus reward categories: As of March 31, 2020, and for a limited time, customers who have the Brex Card for Startups can opt in to new bonus rewards categories. Normally, the card offers bonus rewards on things like rideshares, travel and restaurants. The new rewards structure focuses on categories such as remote collaboration tools and food delivery. In a news release, the corporate card issuer noted that the move reflects “the new operational and business climate borne from the effects of COVID-19.” The new rewards structure is optional, available upon request, and you can switch back to the old rewards at any time. You’ll automatically revert back to the card’s original rewards on Sept. 30, 2020.
  • New discounts: Brex also rolled out additional one-time discounts with select vendors, accessible to all Brex cardholders, not just those with the Brex Card for Startups. They include deals for Amazon Web Services, Slack and Dropbox.

“The economic and public health ramifications of COVID-19 are devastating to many, and Brex wants to do everything it can to help its customers during this time,” said Henrique Dubugras, co-founder and co-CEO of Brex, in a statement.

» MORE: What is a credit card hardship program?

 

Capital One

CARDDETAILS
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card • Bonus rewards on streaming: Through Sept. 30, 2020, earn 4% back on eligible streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+.

• Bonus rewards on Uber Eats: Through Jan. 31, 2021, earn an unlimited 5% cash back per $1 spent on Uber Eats orders.
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card • Bonus rewards on streaming: Through Sept. 30, 2020, earn 3% back on eligible streaming services.

• Bonus rewards on Uber Eats: Through Jan. 31, 2021, earn an unlimited 5% cash back per $1 spent on Uber Eats orders.
 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem miles for eligible restaurant takeout and delivery, plus qualifying streaming services. Miles will be worth one cent each when used this way.

• Bonus rewards on Uber Eats: Through Jan. 31, 2021, earn an unlimited 5 miles per $1 spent on orders via Uber Eats.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem miles for eligible restaurant takeout and delivery, plus qualifying streaming services. Miles will be worth one cent each when used this way.

• Bonus rewards on Uber Eats: Through Jan. 31, 2021, earn an unlimited 5 miles per $1 spent on orders via Uber Eats.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem miles for eligible restaurant takeout and delivery, plus eligible phone services. Miles will be worth one cent each when used this way.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem miles for eligible restaurant takeout and delivery, plus eligible phone services. Miles will be worth one cent each when used this way.

 

Here are more details on these temporary changes. (All offers are for a limited time, as noted above):

Venture cards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card will allow redemption for eligible restaurant takeout and delivery, plus qualifying streaming services. Miles will be worth a penny apiece for these categories.

Through January of next year, both cards will also earn an unlimited 5 miles per $1 spent on orders via Uber Eats.

Spark cards

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business will also allow redemption toward qualifying takeout and delivery, but instead of streaming services the offer includes eligible phone services. Miles will be worth a penny apiece for these categories.

“We understand that our customers’ day-to-day lives have changed, so we’re continually looking at providing value in new and different ways,” a Capital One representative tells NerdWallet.

» MORE: Need help from your card issuer? A phone call is typically best

Savor cards

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card will earn 4% back on eligible streaming services. The card will also continue to earn 4% back on dining and entertainment; 2% back at grocery stores; and 1% back on all other purchases.

The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card will earn 3% back on eligible streaming services. The card will also continue to earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment; 2% back at grocery stores; 1% back on all other purchases.

Through January of next year, both cards will also earn an unlimited 5% cash back per $1 spent on Uber Eats orders.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for streaming

 

Chase

CARDDETAILS
All eligible Chase cards• Extended time to earn new sign-up bonuses: If you were approved for a new credit card between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2020, and were eligible for a sign-up bonus, Chase granted an extra three months to spend enough to earn that bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®• Reduced annual fee: Cardholders whose accounts renew between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, will be charged a renewal fee of only $450. Normally, the card's annual fee is $550.

• Bonus rewards in new categories: From July 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, in addition to the card's normal rewards, it also earns 5X back on Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 in spending over those three months; 5X back at gas stations on up to $1,500 spent over the three-month period; 10X back on up to $1,500 in purchases with select streaming services like Spotify and Netflix over the three months. (From May 1 to June 30, 2020, the card also earned 5X back at grocery stores on up to $1,500 in spending per month.)

• Instacart Express statement credit: Also through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders are eligible for up to $50 in statement credit toward an Instacart Express membership.

• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem points for statement credit against purchases at grocery stores, restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores at a value of 1.5 cents per point.

• Travel credit flexibility: Through 2020, purchases at gas stations and grocery stores will count toward the card's $300 annual travel credit.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card• Bonus rewards in new categories: From July 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, in addition to the card's normal rewards, it also earns 3X back on Instacart Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 in spending over those three months; 3X back at gas stations on up to $1,500 spent over the three-month period; 5X back on up to $1,500 in purchases with select streaming services like Spotify and Netflix over the three months. (From May 1 to June 30, 2020, cardholders also earned 3X back at grocery stores on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.)

• Instacart Express statement credit: Also through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders are eligible for up to $50 in statement credit toward an Instacart Express membership.

• Redemption flexibility: Through Sept. 30, 2020, cardholders can redeem points for statement credit against purchases at grocery stores, restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores at a value of 1.25 cents per point.
Chase Freedom®• Richer bonus for new cardholders, including increased earnings at grocery stores: New applicants are eligible for the following sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. On top of that, the card will earn 5% back on grocery store purchases in the first year of card ownership, on up to $12,000 in spending.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®• Richer bonus for new cardholders, including increased earnings at grocery stores: New applicants are eligible for the following sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. On top of that, the card will earn 5% back on grocery store purchases in the first year of card ownership, on up to $12,000 in spending.
AIRLINE CARDS ISSUED BY CHASE
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 7 Avios per dollar spent in those three categories, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 7 Avios per dollar spent in those three categories, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
Iberia Visa Signature® Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 7 Avios per dollar spent in those three categories, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
United℠ Explorer Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
United Club℠ Infinite Card• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 5 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
HOTEL CARDS ISSUED BY CHASE
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card• Bonus rewards: From July 15 to Sept. 15, 2020, cardholders earn 10 points per $1 spent on up to $3,500 in purchases at restaurants and gas stations combined. (From May 1 through July 2020, cardholders could also earn 6 points per dollar spent on up to $5,000 in purchases.)
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through July 2020, cardholders could earn 6 points per dollar spent on up to $5,000 in purchases during the promotion.
The World Of Hyatt Credit Card• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
OTHER CO-BRANDED CARDS ISSUED BY CHASE
Disney Premier Visa• Bonus rewards at gas stations, grocery stores: From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, earn 5X per $1 spent at gas stations and grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending.

• Bonus rewards at grocery stores: From May 1 through June 2020, cardholders could earn 3 points or miles per dollar spent on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.
Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card• Bonus Stars: On May 21, 2020, cardholders received 150 bonus Stars deposited into their accounts automatically.

 

  • Grace period, fee waivers/refunds: In Chase’s Q1 2020 earnings call, held in mid-April, CEO Jamie Dimon discussed some general the ways the bank was helping struggling customers, including credit cardholders. “We’re providing relief such as a 90-day grace period for mortgage, auto and card payments as well as waiving or refunding certain fees,” Dimon noted.
  • More time to earn bonuses: The week of April 13, Chase began notifying eligible cardholders that they would be getting more time to earn welcome bonuses, much like AmEx and Bank of America® are doing. Chase’s three-month extension applies to credit card accounts opened from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2020, a Chase representative confirms. The extension will be automatic and doesn’t require activation.
  • Limited-time bonus rewards on multiple cards: On May 1, Chase announced that more than two-dozen travel credit cards in its portfolio would start earning bonus rewards on groceries for a limited time. See our story for a full list of cards affected. Also, from July 15 through Sept. 15, 2020, multiple Chase-issued Marriott and Ritz-Carlton credit cards will earn 10 points per $1 spent on up to $3,500 in purchases at restaurants and gas stations combined. And from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, multiple Chase co-branded airline and hotel cards will earn either 5X or 7X back — depending on the card — per dollar spent on groceries, gas and/or restaurants, on up to $1,500 per month in combined spending. See our story for a full list of cards affected.

Chase is also offering highly targeted help for specific cardholders, as follows:

Both Freedom cards

As of July 24, 2020, both the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are offering new cardholders a cash sign-up bonus on top of a massive 5% back on grocery store purchases in the first year of card ownership, on up to $12,000 in spending.

See the full story on these changes here.

Chase Freedom®

When the Chase Freedom® announced its bonus categories for the second quarter of the year in mid-March 2020, initially there were only two:

  • Grocery stores.
  • Gym memberships and fitness clubs.

But by the time the quarter officially began April 1, “select streaming services” had been added to the list — or rather held over from the previous quarter’s bonus categories. Eligible services include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Sling, YouTube TV, SiriusXM, Spotify and more.

“We wanted to provide our customers opportunity for additional earning given the current environment where we are all looking for creative ways to stay occupied,” a Chase spokesperson said.

The Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter in categories that rotate (activation required). All other purchases earn 1% back. The card’s bonus categories for Q3 2020 are Amazon.com and Whole Foods.

» MORE: Eligible Chase cards offer 5X back on DoorDash and Tock (limited time)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

annual fee tweaks

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is making accommodations for eligible cardholders, including a temporary rollback of an increase in the annual fee.

In January 2020, the card increased its already steep annual fee to $550, from $450. That new fee applies to all new cardholders.

But for existing cardholders, the timing of the fee increase depended on your card renewal date. Those with cards that renewed after April 1, 2020, were to be charged the new $550 fee. (Cards renewed before then retained the $450 fee for another year, before incurring the $100 increase.)

The fee increase took effect April 1, but Chase sent a notification to some cardholders that day, noting that it would be issuing a $100 statement credit to offset the increase and acknowledging that “COVID-19 has affected people in many different ways.” To be eligible for that credit, your card renewal date must be from April 1 to July 31, 2020.

Chase then said in May that cardholders whose accounts renew between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, will be charged a renewal fee of only $450 — in other words, no increase and no offsetting credit. Presumably, the fee upon renewals will return to $550 in 2021.

» MORE: See Chase’s trip management hub if you need to change or cancel travel

Bonus rewards in new categories

From July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will earn:

  • 5 points per $1 spent on Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 in spending over those three months.
  • 5 points per $1 spent at gas stations on up to $1,500 spent over the three-month period.
  • 10 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in purchases with select streaming services like Spotify and Netflix over the three months.

Cardholders are also eligible to receive up to $50 in statement credits toward an Instacart Express membership during this time.

Previously, Chase had announced that from May 1 to June 30, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® would also earn 5 points per $1 spent at grocery stores on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.

REDEMPTION FLEXIBILITY

From May 31 through Sept. 30, 2020, holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can redeem points for statement credit against purchases at grocery stores, restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores at a value of 1.5 cents per point. (Typically, that rate applies only to travel purchases made via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.) Read our story for more details.

TRAVEL CREDIT FLEXiBILITY

From June 1, 2020, through the rest of the year, purchases at gas stations and grocery stores will count toward the Chase Sapphire Reserve®‘s $300 annual travel credit. (Normally, only eligible travel expenses count toward that credit.)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Bonus rewards in new categories

From July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will earn:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 in spending over those three months.
  • 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations on up to $1,500 spent over the three-month period.
  • 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in purchases with select streaming services like Spotify and Netflix over the three months.

The same $50 statement credit for an Instacart Express membership also applies.

Previously, Chase had announced that from May 1 to June 30, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would also earn 3 points per $1 spent at grocery stores on up to $1,500 in purchases per month.

REDEMPTION FLEXIBILITY

From May 31 through Sept. 30, 2020, holders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can redeem points for statement credit against purchases at grocery stores, restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores at a value of 1.25 cents per point. (Usually, that rate applies only to travel purchases made via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.)

» MORE: Chase Sapphire cards boost benefits for limited time

Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card

Chase announced that on May 21, 2020, holders of the Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card would be getting 150 bonus Stars (the card’s rewards currency) deposited into their accounts automatically. No action is required.

Chase notes that the rewards can be used to buy a beverage, breakfast item or parfait.

“Everyone could use a little surprise and delight right now,” a Chase representiave said in an email.

» MORE: What to know about Chase’s COVID-19 credit card relief

 

Citi

CARDDETAILS
All eligible Citi cards• Extended time to earn new sign-up bonuses: All new cardholders who opened an account between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, are eligible for a three-month extension.
Citi Prestige® Card• Travel credit flexibility: Until Dec. 31, 2020, customers can use the card's $250 travel-credit benefit toward purchases at supermarkets and restaurants, including takeout.

• Bonus rewards on online purchases: Through Aug. 31, 2020, cardholders can earn 5 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on online purchases up to 7,500 points.
Citi Premier Card• Expedited change in rewards structure: As of June 2, 2020 — instead of the originally scheduled Aug. 23 — existing cardholders earn 3X back on supermarket and restaurant purchases.
AMERICAN AIRLINES CARDS ISSUED BY CITI
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®• Courtesy credit: Upon card renewal, eligible cardholders who had an open account as of March 31, 2020, or before will receive a one-time "courtesy credit" of $225.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®• Flight Discount certificate extension: Eligible cardholders who have earned the card's $125 Flight Discount certificate will get a six-month extension to use it. (Certificate must have an expiration date between March 31, 2020, and May 31, 2021.)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®• Companion certificate extension: Eligible cardholders who earned a companion certificate with an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2020, will get a six-month extension, making the new expiration date June 30, 2021.

 

  • Credit line increases, collection forbearance: In early March 2020, Citi told cardholders via email that relief may be available for those affected by COVID-19. “Please contact us at the number on the back of your card to find out about ‘always on’ assistance programs that may be available to you, such as credit line increases and collection forbearance.”
  • Late-fee waivers, payment deferrals: In early April, Citi expanded upon that assistance, noting in a news release that cardholders who request help might qualify for waivers on late fees and deferral of minimum payments for two months. “We will report an account as current to the credit bureaus during the waiver period, unless the account was delinquent before the waiver period began,” Citi noted in the release. Citi says cardholders should submit requests for help digitally. For forbearance programs, the issuer was more specific: “Customers should text ‘App’ to 692-484 and we’ll send them a link to Message Us in the Citi Mobile App.”
  • More time to earn to earn bonuses: In early May, Citi announced a temporary sign-up bonus extension period for its credit cards. All new cardholders who opened an account between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, are eligible for the three-month extension.

Citi also has rolled out the following tweaks for specific cardholders:

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Premier Card

  • Starting June 2, 2020 — instead of the originally scheduled Aug. 23 — existing Citi Premier Card cardholders will earn 3X points on supermarket and restaurant purchases.

» MORE: What to know about Citi’s COVID-19 credit card relief 

American Airlines credit cards issued by Citi

In early May 2020, Citi announced changes in benefits for the following airline credit cards, to ensure that they “continue to drive value for our customers throughout these unprecedented times.”

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: Eligible cardholders who had an open account as of March 31, 2020, or before will receive a one-time “courtesy credit” of $225 credit upon renewal of the card. Citi notes this is in recognition of the fact that Admirals Club lounges have been temporarily closed as a result of the pandemic. “Cardmembers will see the credit within two billing statements after the annual fee bills to their account,” Citi said.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: Eligible cardholders who have earned the card’s $125 Flight Discount certificate will get a six-month extension to use it, as long as the certificate has an expiration date between March 31, 2020, and May 31, 2021.
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Eligible cardholders who earned a companion certificate with an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2020, will get a six-month extension, meaning the new expiration date is June 30, 2021.

» MORE: Visit Citi’s coronavirus resource page for more information

 

Discover

Possible payment deferrals: Discover hasn’t released specifics about COVID-19-related relief, but the issuer confirmed to NerdWallet that help may be available and that it varies by customer. “Qualified customers who are experiencing financial difficulty caused by the spread of the COVID-19 [virus] may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees and late payments,” Discover said via email. The issuer noted the possibility of “skip-a-pay payments,” which it said are the same thing as payment deferrals. To learn more about your possible options, call Discover customer service or message the issuer, either via your account on desktop or via Discover’s mobile app.

More flexible redemptions: On July 23, 2020, Discover announced that Discover it® Miles cardholders would be able to redeem their miles as a statement credit toward travel purchases that now include restaurants and gas stations. This applies to all eligible transactions posted on or after June 9, 2020. Miles are still worth a penny each when redeemed this way, and cardholders can also still convert their miles to cash at the same rate, in the form of a direct deposit.

 

Goldman Sachs (Apple Card)

Payment deferrals: In March 2020, the Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, offered customers the option to defer that month’s payments by enrolling in a “customer assistance program.” That option was also made available for April, May, June and July.

“We understand that the COVID-19 situation poses unique challenges for everyone and some customers may have difficulty making their monthly payments,” Apple told cardholders via email. “Should you need assistance, please click here to be connected to Apple Card Support via Messages and enroll in our Customer Assistance Program, which will allow you to skip your June payment without incurring interest charges.” Apple says your account will still be reported as current to credit bureaus.

Note that enrollment in the program is required, even if you already did so for the previous month.

» MORE: Apple Card expands interest-free financing to Macs, iPads and more

 

HSBC

Payment deferrals, fee waivers: In an email to customers in early April, HSBC noted that help was available. “We can defer or reduce your payments during the hardship, and waive cash advance, insufficient funds, overdraft protection and late fees for 60 days from the time you enroll,” the message noted. “We’re also protecting your credit by preventing negative credit reporting.”

To take advantage of the assistance, HSBC said credit cardholders should log into their personal banking accounts and send a secure message, or call 866-949-2351, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Also, HSBC announced “COVID-related product changes” for the following credit cards, from May 1 through June 30, 2020:

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card:

  • Earn 3X points at grocery stores, convenience stores and wholesale clubs. (These are not typically bonus categories for this card.)
  • The card’s annual $100 rideshare statement credit now extends to Uber Eats orders. Cardholders will automatically receive a statement credit worth up to $20 per order.

HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card

  • Earn 2X points at grocery stores, convenience stores and wholesale clubs. (These are not typically bonus categories for this card.)
  • The card’s annual $50 rideshare statement credit now also includes Uber Eats orders. Cardholders will automatically get a statement credit worth 20% per order.

Also, from April 1 to June 30, all of HSBC’s consumer cards — except for the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card and HSBC Platinum Mastercard® credit card — will offer the following reward redemption promotions:

  • 10% off all charity items (Red Cross donations or CharityChoice gift cards).
  • 20% off all merchandise.

» MORE: Visa making introductory trial terms more transparent

 

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Through the end of 2020, the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card will now earn 3 points back per $1 spent on dining purchases, which are normally not a bonus category for the premium travel card. The rest of the card’s rewards structure remains unchanged:

  • 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel and mobile wallet spending.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Also through the end of the year, dining purchases will now count toward the card’s annual $325 travel credit.

 

Wells Fargo

Payment deferrals, fee waivers: Wells Fargo is offering credit card payment deferrals for three billing cycles, although terms and conditions apply. During this time, your balance won’t accrue interest, and all fees will be waived — including annual fees in some cases.

“If you have an annual fee, that fee will be waived if your annual fee would have posted to your account between the payment assistance activation date and September 30, 2020,” Wells Fargo says on its website.

During a deferral period, the issuer notes you’ll still be able to use your credit card as normal within your credit limit, assuming your account is in good standing.

Wells Fargo suggests applying online via your account, which will be faster than by phone given high call volumes.

» MORE: What to know about Wells Fargo’s COVID-19 credit card relief

 

Where to start if you need assistance

All major credit card issuers have coronavirus resource pages, which discuss generally how they may be able to help cardholders experiencing hardships. For more specific assistance, contact your issuer directly.

NerdWallet writers Sara Rathner, Claire Tsosie, Melissa Lambarena and Greg Karp contributed to this report. We will continue to update this page as developments unfold.

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