American Express has been at the forefront of adding “lifestyle benefits” to its premium charge cards and credit cards during the coronavirus pandemic. Now the company appears to be planning a more widespread rollout of these perks across their card range. Here’s what you need to know about Amex’s new lifestyle benefits, according to its latest earnings call.
American Express and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how credit cards provide value for users. With travel at a standstill, many issuers are seeking new ways to entice cardholders to renew their cards next year.
American Express has taken the lead in this regard, offering a bevy of benefits for cardholders. From free Calm premium subscriptions for all Amex cards, to statement credits for streaming services and mobile phone providers on premium travel cards, the issuer is undoubtedly leading the initiative.
Lifestyle Benefits Are Here to Stay
According to American Express CEO, Steve Squeri, the extension of these “at home” and “lifestyle” benefits is a trend that will continue into the future.
“What we’ve done in the short-term is some stopgap measures in terms of various credits and extension of benefits and things like that, which support…doing two things: number one, showing our customers we’re thinking about them; but number two is actually getting more engagements in categories that we didn’t have as much engagement in. We increased our engagement in wireless, and we increased our engagement in streaming.”
How Other Issuers Have Responded to COVID-19
American Express isn’t the only issuer adding lifestyle benefits to its credit cards. Other lenders are also adding limited-time perks, including leading names like Capital One and Chase.
Chase has introduced the “Pay Yourself Back” program for its Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred cards. That program allows cardholders to use their Ultimate Rewards points to receive statement credits for grocery store, dining, and home improvement purchases.
Citi has a similar program for those with Citi credit cards that earn ThankYou Points.
Capital One, for its part, has added limited-time bonus categories on its Savor and Venture credit cards. Cardholders now earn up to 5X points on Uber Eats purchases through January 2021.
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