July roundup: The latest credit card benefit changes you need to know

Jul 3, 2021

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post that is updated monthly as issuers announce new perks. 


For over a year, credit card issuers adjusted to a temporary normal where people were traveling less. However, with hopefully the worst of the pandemic behind us, people are hitting the road once again. 

While most issuers have returned back to business-as-usual card benefits, a few cards continue to offer limited-time non-travel perks. And one card has been entirely refreshed. Each month, we’ll be compiling a list of some of the major card benefit updates that were recently announced to keep you in the know. 

Whether you missed the news or want to maximize a perk that’s set to expire, let’s dive right into what benefit updates we’re paying attention to for July — issuer by issuer — for some of the best credit cards on the market today.

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In This Post

American Express

In early 2021, Amex unveiled an array of updated card benefits for both Membership Rewards-earning cards and cobranded credit cards. These limited-time promotions were all announced as part of changes to keep cardholders engaged during the pandemic. 

In July, The Platinum Card® from American Express was heavily revamped, including an increased annual fee from $550 to $695 (see rates and fees).

Top card benefit updates

Here is a card-by-card look at each of the Amex changes. 

Card affected: The Platinum Card from American Express

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

In total, Amex introduced more than $900 in new credits for an annual fee increase of $145 (enrollment is required for select benefits). However, it’s clear from the specific nature of several of these credits that most cardholders will not be able to fully utilize all of these perks.

Although Amex is adding new Platinum perks and raising the card’s annual fee, they aren’t eliminating or changing the card’s existing benefits. Here’s a snapshot of the benefits.

Related: Amex revamps Platinum Card with new ‘lifestyle-focused’ benefits, higher annual fee

New benefit  Annual amount   Notes
Prepaid hotel booking credit Up to $200 Statement credits valid on prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express Travel
CLEAR® membership credit Up to $179 An annual statement credit for a Clear membership. Enrollment required.
Digital entertainment credit Up to $240 $20 monthly statement credits and applicable only for Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock. Enrollment required.
Equinox credit Up to $300 $25 monthly statement credits to select Equinox memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+ fitness app. Enrollment required.

On the dining front, Amex is fully integrating Resy as part of a new initiative after acquiring the restaurant reservations platform two years ago.

The Global Dining Access program by Resy gives Platinum cardholders exclusive reservations at some of the world’s top restaurants, along with access to premium events.

That access includes prime time tables at many of the most in-demand restaurants across the U.S. and internationally, including Carbone New York, Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park, Lilia, The Grey, Osteria Mozza and many more.

Related: Amex Yurt Villages: An incredible dinner at Lilia in New York City

Finally, Platinum cardholders now get up to 40% off the private jet program with Wheels Up. For instance, the initiation fee for the Wheels Up Core membership for Platinum cardholders is $10,500, 40% off the standard initiation fee of $17,500.

Card affected: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

While the consumer Platinum card saw a significant increase to its annual fee to coincide with new perks, the Business Platinum card’s annual fee remained the same at $595 (see rates and fees).

However, Business Platinum cardholders are now eligible for the Clear membership statement credit (enrollment required), the Global Dining Access program by Resy and a discounted Wheels Up private jet membership (listed above).

Delivery Cyclist with Green Uber Eats Backpack
(Photo by Wiewimage/Shutterstock)

Cards affected: Select Delta Amex cards

Whether you’re dining in or taking out, select cobranded Amex cardholders can earn up to $20 per month in card statement credits at U.S. restaurants through the end of 2021, depending on the type of card. To qualify, you must have been a cardholder as of Jan. 1, and enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

  • Up to $10 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99 (see rates and fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

  • Up to $15 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

  • Up to $20 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).
(Photo by The Points Guy)

For small-business cardholders, you can earn up to $20 per month in statement credits through December on U.S. wireless telephone services.

According to Amex, for something to qualify under this category, “the purchase must be for monthly wireless telephone service charges and made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the United States.”

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

  • Up to $10 back per month on U.S. wireless services through December.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (see rates and fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

  • Up to $15 back per month on U.S. wireless services through December.
  • $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

  • Up to $20 back per month on U.S. wireless services through December.
  • $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).
(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

Bonus points on Delta purchases: Eligible Delta Gold, Platinum and Reserve Amex cardholders can earn 5x miles (that’s up to 3x additional miles on top of the miles they already earn) on eligible Delta purchases through Dec. 31.

Status Boost offer: Additionally, as previously reported, in 2021 you’ll be able to receive 25% more Medallion Qualification Miles with an elevated Status Boost perk. This will help cardholders reach Medallion status faster — and is open to both current and new card applicants.

Cards affected: Select Hilton Amex cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Up to $5 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $0 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • Up to $10 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (see rates & fees). Offer ends 8/25/2021.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Up to $20 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $450 annual fee (see rates and fees).

The information for the Hilton Aspire 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.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Up to $10 back per month on U.S. wireless services through December.
  • $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Bonus points earned through eligible purchases through Dec. 31 will be considered base points that count toward elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status.

All newly issued free weekend night reward certificates will be valid through Dec. 31, 2022 (and will be valid any night of the week).

Cards affected: Select Marriott Amex cards

(Photo by Eden Batki/The Points Guy)

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

  • Up to $10 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • No longer open to new cardholders.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Up to $20 back per month at U.S. restaurants through December.
  • $450 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

  • Up to $15 back per month on U.S. wireless services through December.
  • $125 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Card spending offer, up to 75,000 Bonvoy bonus points: You can earn 7,500 additional Marriott Bonvoy points — worth $60 according to TPG valuations — after spending $7,500 on purchases (up to 10 times) through Dec. 31. Note that eligibility for this offer includes the Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantMarriott Bonvoy Business and select Marriott Bonvoy cardmembers.

Top card bonuses and benefits that are ending

Keep in mind that Amex’s monthly and biannual card benefits (such as the up-to-$120 annual dining credit with the American Express Gold Card and the Uber Cash and Saks credit with the Amex Platinum; (enrollment required) do not roll over, so if you don’t use them in the month, half-year or year (depending on the exact perk), then its value entirely goes away. Enrollment is required for select benefits. And the Amex Platinum card’s $30 monthly PayPal credit ended on June 30.

Related: Here’s how to use (and track) your Amex statement credits

Chase

Chase made significant updates last fall for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and many other cobranded travel cards. Additionally, Chase announced that several programs will be extended well into 2021 — including the popular Pay Yourself Back points redemption option (extended until Sept 30, 2021).

Top card benefit updates

Cards affected: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Peloton credit and bonus category: From now through Dec. 31, Sapphire cardholders will get statement credits that can be used to cover monthly Peloton Digital ($13) and All-Access ($39) memberships. Additionally, you can now earn up to 10x points on select Peloton purchases.

Chase Sapphire Reserve 

  • Up to $120 in statement credits.
  • 10x points on Peloton Bike, Tread and accessory purchases over $1,800, with a maximum earning of 50,000 points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • Up to $60 in statement credits.
  • 5x points on Peloton Bike, Tread and accessory purchases over $1,800, with a maximum earning of 25,000 points.

Travel credit: You can use the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 annual travel credit on purchases at grocery stores and gas stations through Dec. 31. 

(Photo by AsiaVision/Getty Images)

Pay Yourself Back: Cardholders can maximize cash back with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back

This feature allows you to redeem each point worth 1.5 cents (on the Sapphire Reserve) or 1.25 cents (on the Sapphire Preferred) toward a statement credit used to offset purchases at grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishments. This has been extended through Sept. 30. 

Renewal annual fee: Finally, many Chase Sapphire Reserve renewals continue to be processed at $450. This applies to existing cardholders only — new applicants are still subject to the higher $550 annual fee.

Cards affected: Select Chase cobranded airline and hotel cards (targeted)

Up to 9x points on groceries, gas, travel, drugstores or general spending (targeted)

Through Aug. 15, many Chase cobranded travel cards have been targeted to offer bonus earnings in a variety of categories. To check if you’ve been targeted for any Chase bonuses, enter your card info on this landing page.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Related: Here are all the ways you can earn bonus points with Chase cards right now

Citi

Like Chase and Amex, Citi also announced updates on some of its top travel cards. Here’s what you may have missed.

Card affected: Citi Prestige® Card

Citi announced Citi Prestige changes that temporarily expanded the criteria for its $250 travel credit. In 2021, you’ll continue to be able to use it at supermarkets and restaurants.

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

Bottom line

Credit card issuers launched value-added perks in the past year, with many limited-time (and longer-term) benefits set to expire in the coming months.

As these individual card program updates and benefits change in the ensuing months, we’ll keep tabs on them to make sure you get the most out of the rewards credit cards in your wallet.

However, while this is a list of the major card updates recently announced — and benefits set to expire — this does not encompass all card coverage. To stay up to date on the absolute latest card news, subscribe to TPG’s daily newsletter.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Amex card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, please click here.

Featured photo by The Points Guy. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.