Which Credit Card to Use During COVID-19

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Which credit card should you use during Coronavirus? Between travel restrictions placed and the decrease in overall expenditure, many of us will find that we no longer require the often high annual fee, travel credit cards that we once used. As the country continues to face the ramifications of coronavirus and being locked at home, it’s important to re-evaluate personal finances by cutting any unnecessary costs, while simultaneously making the most out of the money you do spend.

Here are the best credit cards to use to maximize your spending during the coronavirus:

Amex Blue Cash Preferred

For those of us staying at home and cooking most of our meals, it’s helpful to have a credit card that offers a cash back incentive on groceries. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card is one of the credit cards I use the most, and has remained in my wallet even before the coronavirus. Among the top selling points for this card are the high reward spending categories. This card boasts a 6% cash back return on all grocery store purchases. This is essentially a 6% discount on your total grocery expenditures.

As if this weren’t good enough, there is also a 6% return on U.S. streaming services, which is ideal when we’re all stuck at home trying our best to pass the time and stay distracted. That’s 6% back on your Netflix or Disney+ account. There is also a 3% cash back at gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases.

 

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

Rundown

  • $250 statement credit after $1,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 6% Cash Back at supermarkets (on up to $6000 per year)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases (12 months)
  • $95 Annual Fee

AMEX Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is a daily driver card that offers 4% back on restaurants and grocery stores. This is a perfect way to get a return if you’re someone who plans on ordering in during the lock down, or mix it up between restaurant food and home cooking. The fact that it covers both of these categories is its primary selling point. Please keep in mind that your return will come in the form of American Express Membership Points, which can either be traded in for cash back at 0.6 cents per point, or transferred to airlines or hotels for a significant return. These points can be banked for later use once the coronavirus outbreak is contained, and travel restrictions are lifted. However, if you are looking for a return as soon as possible to offset expenditures, the Blue Cash Preferred would be a superior option for grocery purchases.

American Express Gold Card review
American Express Gold Card

Rundown

  • 40,000 Membership Rewards points after $4,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide
  • 4x points at grocery stores/supermarkets on the first $25,000 spent per year
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with an airline or through amextravel.com
  • $100 Airline Credit Fee on incidental charges
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases (12 months)
  • $250 Annual Fee

Feel free to use this referral link for the American Express Gold Card if you want to help us out.

Chase Ink Cash

If you are one of the millions of Americans who are now forced to work from home, you may be in need of office supplies. For those of you at home who are small business owners, this card can come in handy. The Chase Ink Cash card comes with 5% cash back on office supply purchases, and on internet, cable and phone services. Whether you’re setting up that new monitor for your home office, or stocking up on printer paper, the Ink Cash card will let you get a solid return if used in an office supply store (ie: Staples). As an added bonus, there is a 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases.

Also note that this is a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, which earns precious “UR Points” with Chase that can be transferred over to airlines or hotel partners. If you still prefer the cash redemption, each point is worth 1 cent, meaning that the $500 sign up bonus is equivalent to 50,000 UR points. This is also a no annual fee, so you can keep this one with you forever at no extra cost.

Chase Ink Cash Credit Card

Rundown

  • $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • 5% cash back on purchases at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services (on the first $25,000 per year)
  • 2% cash back on purchases at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 per year)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases (12 months)
  • No Annual Fee

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon is easily the biggest place to shop these days, as people are opting to have everything delivered to them from the comfort (and safety) of home. Not only does the Amazon Prime card get you 5% cash back on Amazon purchases, but it also gives you 5% back on all Whole Foods purchases as well. If your primary spending is being done on Amazon and you also shop at Whole Foods for groceries, this is the card for you. There is also a 2% cash back for restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.

Please note that you require a Prime Membership to be eligible for this card.

Amazon_Prime_Rewards_Card

Rundown

  • $70 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods
  • 2% back on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores 
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No Annual Fee
Closing Thoughts

Depending on your needs and primary spending habits, each of these cards brings strong benefits. To make the most out of purchases made during Coronavirus, it’s good to have a credit card that will give you 2-6% return on every purchase that you’d need to make anyway. In our opinion, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is the most versatile card on the list, with its many spending categories. The Amazon Prime card is a good runner up if you’re not risking leaving the house for anything. For business owners who require office and internet related payments, the Chase Ink is the way to go. For those focused on groceries and dining, the Gold is very flexible and also comes with a host of other benefits.

The sign up bonuses should also be a consideration if you know you can meet the minimum spending requirements. Additionally, don’t be afraid to do a temporary downgrade or cancel travel cards that you may no longer need at the moment. While the AMEX Plat comes with a suite of incredible travel benefits, it may not be worth having one if all the flights you need are grounded. 

In the end, it’s up to you to figure out which one would most suit your needs. If you already have one or more of these cards, you can always use multiple cards — use a different one for each spending category to maximize your return. 

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