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Your travel rewards card may now reward more than just travel

Several card issuers have made adjustments as the pandemic has limited travel

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Consumers who have a travel rewards card may find that it hasn’t been all that useful during the pandemic since travel has been limited. But a number of card issuers have found other ways to offer their customers perks, even when they don’t leave home.

MyFICO recently reported on how some card issuers are rewarding their home-bound cardholders. They’re expanding their higher-earning rewards categories to appeal to the shift away from travel spending. 

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is now offering more points for grocery purchases. Cardholders can earn two points per dollar on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. 

At the same time, cardholders can also accumulate two points per dollar spent on dining, which includes eligible delivery services and takeout.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is also offering more rewards on groceries and gasoline purchases. From June 30, 2020 through June 30, 2021, cardholders are getting an automatic statement credit on gas and grocery store purchases of up to $300.

Grocery store purchases made between November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 will earn three points per dollar.

Restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations

Citi Premier, another popular travel card, has beefed up its points offered on restaurants, supermarkets, and gas purchases. Cardholders get three points per dollar when they use the card at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations -- and it still rewards travel. Travelers get three points per dollar on travel expenses.

Ordering out has become a household routine during the pandemic, and Capital One travel cards reward customers when they use UberEats. From now through January 31, 2021, the Capital One Venture and VentureOne are offering five points per dollar on UberEats food delivery purchases.

If you’ve already racked up a lot of miles and points on your travel card, remember that they don’t always have to be redeemed for travel. If you check into your card’s rewards options, you may find that you can cash in your miles for statement credits, gift cards, and even merchandise.

If you carry a travel rewards card in your wallet, it’s important to make it rewarding in some way. Many of these cards carry a hefty annual fee. If you aren’t getting rewards to at least cover the fee, there are many more efficient options.

While closing an account can negatively affect your credit score, you may be able to stay with your same provider but switch from a card with an annual fee to one without one.

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