5 Pandemic Credit Card Benefits That Can Save You Money Before They Expire

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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the issuers of travel rewards credit cards were quick to change strategies to retain users. Many quickly introduced temporary perks that helped cardholders find value in their travel-focused cards, even though they were staying at home.

Many travel rewards cards have annual fees, with some costing hundreds of dollars. Issuers scrambled to add benefits unrelated to travel so that people would not ditch those credit cards — and you can still take advantage of some of those pandemic perks. 

Travel still has a long way to go before it returns to normal, along with the rest of the world — but when it comes to some COVID-related benefits, card issuers have already put an expiration date on them. So let’s look at what the benefits are, how they can save you money, and when they expire.  

Uber Eats Pass Benefit

Back in February, some American Express cardholders were treated to a new perk: A complimentary Uber Eats Pass for up to 12 months (you must enroll by December 31, 2021). Eligible cards included: 

With the Uber Eats Pass, you’ll get 5% off and pay no delivery fees on orders over $15 on eligible restaurant purchases (taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward order minimum). The subscription costs $9.99 per month or $119 for the year, so there’s an opportunity to save big and get value out of the membership, especially considering the high annual fees for all three of these cards. 

DoorDash Credits and DashPass Membership

While the DoorDash credits for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders were introduced in January 2020 — mere months before the onset of the pandemic — it certainly turned out to be very valuable as COVID-19 hit. 

With this perk, Reserve cardholders receive $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020 and another $60 in 2021, as well as a complimentary DoorDash Dash Pass membership for a minimum of one year (if activated by December 31, 2021). This membership would cost $9.99 per month otherwise and includes free deliveries on eligible orders, as well as lower service fees.

This perk can be very valuable for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders and potential cardholders who frequently use the third-party food delivery service and are looking to save money on their orders. Better yet, you don’t even have to enroll — you’ll automatically receive a statement credit for up to $60 on your DoorDash orders through December 31, 2021.

Clear Membership

This perk is squarely a travel-related benefit, which can come in handy as flying returns, however cautiously — and it expires this fall. 

It applies to some American Express cardholders who recently found a targeted offer in their accounts: 100% back on a single purchase of up to $179 on a Clear membership. Clear is a biometrics company that uses your fingerprints to bypass long security lines at airports, and a membership costs $179. This new Amex Offer covers exactly the cost of one.

“The new CLEAR Amex Offer is targeted to select U.S. Consumer American Express Cards,” a spokesperson for American Express says, without specifying how people would get selected for it. It’s worth noting, though, that a new official benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, whose annual fee was just raised to $695 from $550, is a Clear membership statement credit. This means the offer will likely be found on other consumer cards, such as the American Express® Gold Card, which has much lower annual fees.

If you’re eligible for the offer on any of your Amex cards, keep in mind that it expires on October 30, 2021.

Peloton Membership Credits

Exercise-bike maker Peloton doubled its sales in 2020 as many gyms closed and people were confined to exercising at home. There are several ways to save money on your overall Peloton experience, and one of them applies to some Chase cardholders.  

In October, Chase announced new benefits for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders. Through December 31, 2021, people who have a Sapphire Preferred earn up to $60, and those with a Sapphire Reserve earn up to $120 in annual statement credits for eligible Peloton memberships. The statement credit will be applied automatically until you reach the full amount offered on your card, just as long as you add your Sapphire card to your Peloton account. 

Gas Station and Grocery Store Credits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has long come with a valuable perk for frequent travelers: A $300 travel credit that can be used across a broad range of categories, including airfare, hotels, and train travel. This benefit alone can offset more than half the cost of the $550 annual fee.

However, through December 31, 2021, cardholders can apply this benefit to grocery and gas station purchases as well. Eligible purchases in these categories will be covered by a statement credit on your bill automatically. If you’re not getting much use out of the $300 towards travel due to the pandemic, this is a great way to find value in the card while we wait for travel to restart fully.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of valuable COVID-related credit card benefits still floating around. Understanding what temporary perks your card may have can help you save money on many purchases that you might be making anyway. If you need to enroll in any benefits, you’ll want to do so sooner rather than later, so you can get as much value out of them as possible.

*All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for some American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.