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California college offering students cash to skip spring break

March 09, 2021
3 min read
California college offering students cash to skip spring break
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With pandemic fatigue setting in and spring break fast approaching, one university is taking a novel approach to encourage students to stay safe and not travel.

UC Davis, the third-largest school in the California university system, is partnering with the city of Davis to offer students $75 if they choose to stay in Davis for spring break, scheduled for March 22–26. This comes as public health officials worry about a possible spike in COVID-19 cases if people get careless and don’t practice social distancing. Images of huge crowds of college students partying at traditional spring break hot spots like Fort Lauderdale, Florida, have only heightened concerns of superspreader events.

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Students have until March 10 to apply for the money, which is known as the Spring Break Grant. Only the first 750 qualified applicants will get the money, which could be used at certain businesses in the Northern California city during Spring break week. The incentive payment comes as Davis' Yolo County enters “red tier” status in California’s pandemic reopening plan. This stage means certain businesses have been allowed to reopen, and restaurants have been able to resume indoor dining.

Related: California lifting stay-at-home orders

The CDC’s just-announced guidelines for what activities people who are fully vaccinated can do offered some optimism that we could soon be “returning to normal.” Those who have gotten the vaccine can gather indoors with other vaccinated people without masks. However, the CDC is still cautioning against travel, even if you have been fully vaccinated. That decision led one health expert to say it defied common sense.

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Related: CDC unveils new rules for those with vaccines

Even though Florida has been “open for business” for some time – Orlando theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios have been open for months, unlike their California counterparts -- the pandemic has still been devastating for its tourism industry.

The Sunshine State generated $91 billion from visitors as recently as 2018, but officials estimate it lost billions last year due to the pandemic. This year, Miami tourism officials spent $5 million on its largest national advertising campaign in two decades, hoping to get visitors to return to its beaches, bars and restaurants.

Related: State-by-state guide to coronavirus reopening

Still, some universities continue to look for ways to keep their students from putting themselves at risk. While paying students to skip spring break is far from the norm, some universities have taken other measures to protect students from possibly putting themselves in harm’s way. Schools like Texas A&M and the University of Alabama either shortened spring break or got rid of it altogether.

Featured image by Moment Editorial/Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more