Which card should I use? A guide to navigating COVID card bonuses and benefits

Sep 16, 2020

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information.

If you’re overwhelmed by which credit cards to use in the midst of these unprecedented times, you’re not alone. Credit card companies have announced myriad changes to cater to changing spending behaviors. However, it can be a challenge to keep up — especially if you have multiple cards in your wallet and truly want to maximize your purchases.

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Thankfully, TPG is here to help.

While we have existing guides to the best rewards credit cards and best cash back credit cards, the information below is related to ongoing coronavirus-related benefits and bonuses. Curious about limited-time perks on consumer cards? Just click on your category in the table of contents below.

Without further ado, let’s find out which card(s) you should be using during the pandemic.

Related: September roundup: The latest credit card benefit changes you need to know about

In This Post


What to use for online groceries

Grocery delivery has surged in recent months with shoppers eager to have their essentials shipped straight to their homes. While most consumers have returned to the store, card issuers have continued to offer a select number of bonuses.

Online grocery companies include Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Shipt and Peapod, and they typically trigger the grocery bonus on most major cards. Here’s what you need to know.

Limited-time perks on:

Related: A closer look at the best cards for groceries during the pandemic 

The information for the Citi Prestige and Amex EveryDay cards have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What to use for in-store groceries

If grocery shopping in store is more your style, there are still several limited-time bonuses remaining that you should be aware of. Keep in mind that these cards would trigger bonuses if you purchased online as well.

Limited-time perks on:

Related: How to ensure you earn bonus points for grocery purchases

What to use for dining (including takeout and delivery)

Many dining establishments are starting to reopen, especially for outdoor seating. However, you can even take advantage of these bonuses for takeout and delivery should you so choose. These are the cards you should be paying attention to.

Limited-time perks on:

*The information for the Capital One Savor and Discover it cards have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What to use for streaming

Streaming is one of the most hotly contested categories among card issuers. It’s no surprise considering the average U.S. consumer has 12 subscription streaming services. These cards will help you maximize your latest binge-watch.

Limited-time perks on:

Related: Your credit card has you covered if you forget to cancel a subscription service

*The information for the Wells Fargo Propel and the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa cards have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What to use for gas

Hitting the road instead of taking to the skies? That will continue to be a popular option in the months to come. Whether you’re just driving around town or around the country, these are the limited-time and permanent bonuses that you should know about when it comes to gas.

Limited-time perks on:

The information for the Citi Premier card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Tips on how to use the best card

To get the most out of your card portfolio, you have to know when to use the right card for each respective purchase.

  • Label your cards with a piece of tape (a low-tech solution, but it works).
  • Be willing to swap cards in and out of your wallet on a regular basis.
  • If you’re looking to earn a sign-up bonus, use that card instead.

Related: Going on road trips this summer? Consider using these credit cards

Bottom line

Even if you’re not traveling now, it pays to be strategic about earning points, miles and cash back. To help cut through the clutter, refer to this guide if you need to figure out what card to use and when.

And if you’re looking for all card benefit changes broken down by issuer, we have you covered too.

Like all things related to the pandemic, card benefits are constantly evolving. Feel free to bookmark this page as it will be updated with new information as we receive it. If you have questions, leave them in the comments below — or join our TPG Lounge Facebook group where I’ll answer your credit card benefits questions every Monday and Thursday.

Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.