Travel rewards enthusiasts have a dilemma. Most of us have been staying close to home since the pandemic began and are unlikely to resume regular travel until sometime next year. But when that time comes, a lot of us are incredibly excited to use our credit card points and miles to see the world again.
So what do you do in the meantime with credit cards and rewards points, while we are all in this holding pattern? Is it better to stay the course with your travel rewards cards or switch to products that focus on rewards for the kinds of spending you do when you’re staying at home?
Luckily, a new addition to the bonus rewards for two of Chase’s premier travel cards can offer the best of both worlds.
Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve: New Grocery Rewards
Starting November 1, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards will earn the same bonus at grocery stores that they offer for travel purchases. This means that you’ll earn 2x points at grocery stores with your Sapphire Preferred and 3x points with your Sapphire Reserve. (Normally, you earn 1 point for each $1 spent at grocery stores with these cards.) The bonus points are limited to the first $1,000 spent each month, and this promotion ends on April 30, 2021.
Also, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use gas and grocery purchases to count towards their $300 annual travel benefit. Previously, cardholders received up to $300 in statement credits each year towards travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, rental cars and even parking and tolls. But now, through June 30, 2021, this credit can also be triggered by your first $300 in gas and grocery store purchases each year. These additional rewards are automatic, so there’s no activation required.
More Cards With Great Grocery Rewards
Right now, the best cards for grocery purchases include the American Express Gold card, which offers you 4x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent per calendar year), slightly above the bonus offer from Chase’s travel cards.
Another contender is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, which features 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each year on groceries. But in some cases, 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points or 4x American Express Membership Rewards points can be even more valuable than 6% cash back (see more details below).
Other New (Non-Travel) Rewards
The new reward-earning opportunities from Chase come on top of additional benefits that have already been announced. For example, Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a 12-month complimentary DashPass subscription, which offer unlimited restaurant deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 from both DoorDash and Caviar. To take advantage of the offer, all you have to do is activate it by December 31, 2021. You also get up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through 2021, including $60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021.
Also, the Chase Dining program is now offering ways to use your points to enjoy culinary experiences. Offers include virtual farm tours and cooking demos, as well as delivery and pickup meals from Tock To Go. There are even Chase Cardmember Tables at some exclusive restaurants. Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive 25% more value when redeeming for Chase Dining experiences and Sapphire Reserve cardholders enjoy 50% more value for their points.
About the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card offers double points on all travel and dining purchases, and the Ultimate Rewards points that you earn are worth 25% more towards travel booked through Chase. Points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners. Sapphire Preferred cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
About the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers 3x points on travel and dining purchases, and includes a $300 annual statement credit towards travel expenses. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase. Also included is a $100 credit towards the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership.
New applicants can earn 50,000 bonus points, worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
In years past, you often had to choose between cards that offered the best rewards for travel, and ones that were ideal for use at home. But with these recent improvements to leading premium rewards cards, you can now have both.