With travel largely shut down for the first half of 2020, Chase has bolstered its lineup of travel rewards credit cards with bonus earning opportunities on grocery purchases for the past few months. And while the majority of those temporary grocery bonus earnings are going away in July (with the exception of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, which earn bonus points until August), a new lineup of bonus perks should help fill the gap.
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New Bonus Categories
While the precise nature of the bonuses will depend on your card (more on that later), the categories are the same for both. From July until the end of September, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will earn bonus points on purchases from Instacart, gas stations, and select streaming services.
While not a perfect replacement for the grocery bonus it's replacing, this new perk will improve your earnings on grocery delivery from Instacart, which delivers goods from major chains like CVS, Target, and Costco to your door.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 5x points on Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 across the three-month promotional period.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 3x points on Instacart delivery and pickup orders on up to $3,000 across the three-month promotional period.
In addition, holders of both cards will have access to a $50 statement credit towards the purchase of an Instacart Express membership. That'll save you half off a $99 annual membership if you pay up front, or get you three months of the service (through the end of the promotional period) for free if you pay month-to-month.
Instacart Express is an optional add-on if you're using Instacart, but it does come with the following perks:
- Free delivery on orders of $35 or more (typically $3.99-$7.99).
- Reduced service fees (typically 5% for non-Express members).
- No busy pricing fees during peak delivery hours.
For many of us, traveling in 2020 means road trips and car camping, so this new perk category should come in handy for the rest of the summer:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 5x points at gas stations on up to $1,500 across the three-month promotional period.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 3x points at gas stations on up to $1,500 across the three-month promotional period.
In my experience with other Chase cards that have offered gas station bonuses, this category should trigger on both fuel purchases and on snacks and drinks from inside gas stations, but it usually won't work at gas stations operated by grocery stores.
Needless to say, we've all gotten well acquainted with streaming services over the past few months, and now, you can earn more back on your subscription fees for the next three months.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 10x points on select streaming services on up to $1,500 across the three-month promotional period.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 10x points on select streaming services on up to $1,500 across the three-month promotional period.
The bonus includes both music and video services, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV. It would be difficult--if not impossible--to max out that $1,500 in three months, but it's still worth updating your billing info, particularly if you have a Sapphire Reserve. 10x points don't come around very often.
Using Your Points
While you might not be using them much in the near future, The Points Guy values Ultimate Rewards points at $.02 each, meaning 5x points back is like getting 10% back, and the Reserve's 10x return on streaming service is really like getting 20% back.
The points are worth that much because they can be instantly transfered to a variety of travel rewards programs like Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, and United MileagePlus, allowing you to take advantage of lucrative redemptions whenever they pop up. Our advice remains the same as over the last several months: take this opportunity to stockpile as many points as you can, so when travel resumes in earnest, you'll have enough points in your balance to take the trip of your dreams.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Photo by svetikd