The Latest in Credit Card News: Chase Sapphire Cards Might Get Better, Pandemic Card Benefits Expiring Soon, Amex Platinum Fee Spikes to Almost $700

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Many major credit card issuers are pulling out all the stops on special offers and deals this summer. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the latest example of this. It’s currently offering an elevated welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, up from an earlier promotion offering 80,000 points, if you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. According to Chase, those 100,000 points are worth around $1,250 when redeemed for travel, which is arguably the best deal among all travel rewards credit cards right now.

Whether you missed the news on a new bonus offer or want to maximize a benefit set to expire, here’s a roundup of what happened in July for some of the best credit cards on the market today:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card upped its welcome offer to an exceptionally good 100,000-point sign-up bonus earlier this year, but card issuers change bonus offers frequently. Here’s when the card’s 100,000-point bonus will likely end, according to experts we spoke to. 
  • Two of the top travel rewards credit cards — the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — may be getting a revamp in August to align more with cardholders’ post-pandemic lifestyles and travel habits, although Chase hasn’t said exactly what those changes may be. 
  • A few months ago, we heard rumblings of an annual fee increase on The Platinum Card® from American Express to $695 (See rates & fees) — and those rumors came to fruition in early July. The card, previously clocking in at a $550 annual fee, hiked its price to almost $700. It also introduced a host of more lifestyle and experience-based perks, including a $200 airline fee credit, $200 annually in Uber Cash, and more.
  • In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, many card issuers quickly introduced temporary perks that helped cardholders find value in their travel-focused cards, even though they were staying at home. Here are five pandemic credit card benefits that can save you money before they expire.

What You Should Know Before Applying for a Credit Card

Credit cards can be helpful tools for saving money and building credit but can also lead to high-interest debt if you don’t pay your bill on time and in full each month. Before opening a new credit card — especially a rewards or travel credit card with a higher APR and other fees — consider your budget, spending habits, and prepare to use it responsibly. It may also be helpful to review the basics of how credit cards work. 

Establishing healthy credit habits, like paying your balances in full and on time each month, will help boost your credit score and make borrowing easier in the future. But it’s important to remember there are no credit card points or rewards worth carrying a balance for. The interest you’ll pay on balances rolled over can quickly wipe out the benefit of rewards or cash back.

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