Citi is the latest credit card issuer introducing new travel incentive requirements. The issuer now allows Citi Prestige Cardholders to redeem their annual travel statement credit at supermarkets and restaurants through the rest of 2020. The $250 credit applies not only to in-store dining but also takeout. This makes it a useful perk for those quarantined at home.
The new statement credit spending options offer significant value to cardholders struggling through the economic impact of COVID-19. The $250 credit significantly reduces the shopping budget for families, as it provides the offer of “free” groceries. For those needing a break, it also provides the chance of several takeout meals to reduce the stress of the current climate.
American Express and Chase
The new Citi Prestige travel credit categories bear similarity to American Express, offering credits towards streaming service and mobile telephone services for travel cardholders. While Citi’s offer isn’t a new credit, it does provide further value for those unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In this respect, Citi’s more closely mirrors that of Chase. Chase is also combating the economic hardships of COVID-19 by offer bonus rewards on groceries for Sapphire and co-branded credit cards for a limited time.
Time Extensions for Signup Bonus Spending Requirements
The additional value for Prestige Cardholders also follows on the heels of the news that new Citi cardholders have extra time in which to earn their signup bonus. The issuer is notifying new accounts that they will have an additional three months to meet minimum spending requirements. This extra time means new cardholders have six months to reach spending goals to receive signup bonuses.
The Long-Term Impact of Coronavirus
While moves from credit card companies are welcoming, the long-term impact of the coronavirus is worrying. The continued economic insecurity poses a significant danger to consumers and lenders alike. If the recent trend of declining cases of the virus continues, the damage to consumer confidence may subside. A second outbreak, however, would likely cause significant damage to finance worldwide.
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