Middle Age Miles

[Updated 5/14/20] Summary of Consumer-Friendly Changes to Card Benefits and Loyalty Programs

summary compilation changes enhancements credit card benefits loyalty programs elite benefits coronavirus covid-19 american express amex bank of america bofa barclays chase citibank citi american airlines aa caesars rewards delta hilton hyatt ihg jetblue marriott mgm mlife southwest united
We’ve seen a lot of consumer-friendly changes to card benefits & loyalty programs over the past few weeks – it’s hard to keep them all straight!

Introduction

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen credit card companies and loyalty programs introduce many consumer-friendly changes. There have been so many that it’s hard to keep up with everything!

Last week, we published a summary of the consumer-friendly changes that have occurred recently. We’re now updating this list with all of the changes that we’re aware of, up through today. For convenience, we’ve underlined everything we’ve added to this list since our original May 4 article.

Hat tip to Doctor of Credit, whose tireless work and good articles have helped us keep current on the offers on cards we don’t have and programs we don’t follow closely.

If you have corrections or additions to our list, please let us know in the Comments.

Summary of Consumer-Friendly Changes

American Express

  • All new Amex cards:
    • Eligible card accounts approved from 12/1/2019 through 5/31/2020 will receive a 3-month extension to meet card spending requirements for sign-up bonuses
  • Platinum (personal):
    • $20 per month credit for streaming services, May-Dec 2020
    • $20 per month credit for wireless mobile services, May-Dec 2020
    • $200 statement credit for Amex Travel purchases, valid from 8/1/2020 through 12/31/2021 – only for members who renew their personal Platinum card from 4/1 through 12/31/2020
  • Business Platinum:
    • $100 additional statement credit for purchases from Dell for May-June 2020 (total credits $200 for Jan-June 2020)
    • $100 additional statement credit for purchases from Dell for July-Dec 2020 (total credits $200 for July-Dec 2020)
    • $200 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
    • $20 per month credit for wireless mobile services, May-Dec 2020
    • $20 per month credit for shipping services, May-Dec 2020
  • Green (personal):
    • $10 per month credit for wireless mobile services, May-Dec 2020
  • All Amex Hilton co-branded cards:
    • All points earned through spend on these cards that post to the cardholder’s account from 5/1 through 12/31/2020 are considered base points and count toward Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond status
    • See other items below, under Hilton, regarding free weekend night certificates
  • Hilton Aspire:
    • $250 annual “Hilton resort” statement credit can be applied to US restaurant purchases, 6/1 through 8/31/2020
    • 12x HH points-earning at US supermarkets, 5/1 through 7/31/2020 (uncapped)
  • Hilton Surpass:
    • 12x HH points-earning at US supermarkets, 5/1 through 7/31/2020 (uncapped)
  • Hilton Business:
    • $50 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant:
    • $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit can be applied to US restaurant purchases, 6/1 through 8/31/2020
    • 6x Marriott points-earning at US supermarkets, 5/1 through 7/31/2020 (capped at $7,500)
  • Marriott Bonvoy (personal):
    • 6x Marriott points-earning at US supermarkets, 5/1 through 7/31/2020 (capped at $7,500)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business:
    • $50 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Delta Reserve/Platinum/Gold/Blue (personal):
    • 4x Delta SkyMiles at US supermarkets, 5/1 through 7/31/2020 (uncapped)
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve (personal):
    • $100 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum (personal):
    • $50 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Delta Reserve Business:
    • $125 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Delta Platinum Business:
    • $75 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)
  • Centurion (personal):
    • $2,000 statement credit for purchases through Amex Travel or Centurion Membership Services – only for members who renew their personal Centurion card from 4/1 through 12/31/2020
  • Centurion Business:
    • $1,500 “Appreciation Credit” statement credit (appears to be targeted to cardholders whose renewal annual fee will post in May through Dec 2020; must pay next year’s annual fee to receive credit)

Bank of America

  • All BofA-issued personal & business cards:
    • New card accounts approved from 1/1/2020 through 3/31/2020 will receive a 90-day extension to meet card spending requirements for sign-up bonuses

Barclays

  • AAdvantage Aviator Red/Silver/Business:
    • Extension to 6/30/2021 for all companion certificates with an expiration date from 3/31/2020 through 5/31/2021
  • JetBlue:
    • Earnings on all non-bonus category purchases increased to 2x points per dollar, for spend from 5/14 through 6/15/2020

Chase

  • All Chase-issued business and personal cards:
    • New card accounts approved from 1/1/2020 through 3/31/2020 will receive a 3-month extension to meet card spending requirements for sign-up bonuses
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve:
    • 5x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
      • Note that on all Chase cards, Walmart and Target superstores (that include groceries) qualify for bonus earnings in the grocery category
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred:
    • 3x UR points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Marriott Boundless/Bold/Premier & Ritz-Carlton Visa:
    • 6x Marriott points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 7/31/2020 (capped at $5,000 total)
  • Chase United Club/Infinite & Presidential Plus:
    • 5x United miles at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Chase United Explorer & MileagePlus:
    • 3x United miles at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Chase World of Hyatt:
    • 3x Hyatt points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
    • 3 elite nights for each $5,000 in spend, 4/15 through 6/30/2020
  • Chase Hyatt (legacy card):
    • 3x Hyatt points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
    • 2 elite nights for each $5,000 in spend, 4/15 through 6/30/2020
  • Chase Southwest Priority/Premium/Plus:
    • 3x Rapid Rewards points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Chase Southwest Premier/ Priority/Premier Business/Performance Business:
    • Receive 1,500 additional tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases, from the first day of your billing cycle ending in May 2020 through the last day of your billing cycle ending in December 2020 [basically, earn double TQPs]
  • Chase British Air/Iberia/Aer Lingus:
    • 3x Avios at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Chase Disney:
    • 3% cash back at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)
  • Chase IHG Premier/Club Select:
    • 3x IHG points at grocery stores, 5/1/2020 through 6/30/2020 (capped at $1,500/month)

Citi

  • All new Citi cards:
    • 6 months to meet minimum spend requirements for new sign-up bonuses, for all applications made from 12/1/2019 through 5/31/2020
  • Citi Prestige:
    • $250 travel purchase statement credit may be used for dining and/or grocery purchases from 6/1 through 12/31/2020
  • Citi AA Executive:
    • $225 statement credit for all cardholders who had an open account as of 3/31/2020
  • Citi AA Platinum:
    • 6-month extension on Flight Discount certificates with an expiration date from 3/31/2020 through 5/31/2021
  • Citi AA Business Platinum:
    • 6-month extension on Companion Certificates with an expiration date of 12/31/2020 (now expire on 6/30/2021)

Alaska

  • 2020 Mileage Plan elite status extended through 2021
  • All elite-qualifying miles earned from 1/1 through 4/30/2020 are rolled over to count toward earning status during 2021
  • Members who started a status match challenge from 12/1/2019 through 3/31/2020 have the challenge criteria waived, and matched status is extended through 12/31/2021
  • Flexibility on ticket changes and cancellations – see this link for details, on the Alaska Coronavirus advisories page
  • Link to Alaska Mileage Plan Membership Benefits page

American Airlines

  • 2020 AAdvantage status extended until 1/31/2022
  • Reduced elite status qualification requirements for 2020
  • Admirals Club memberships purchased from AA extended by 6 months
  • Up to $400 credit for elite members to use toward an AA Vacations package
  • All spend on AA co-branded cards from 4/13/2020 through 12/31/2020 count for one mile toward Million Miler status
  • Award reinstatement fees waived for travel through 9/30/2020
  • Change fee waivers:
    • For tickets booked on or before 5/31/2020 for travel from 3/1 through 9/30/2020, you can rebook without change fees
    • For tickets purchased from 3/1 through 5/31/2020 for any future travel date, you can change at a later date without change fees
    • If you have a ticket that expires between 3/1 and 9/30/2020, the value of your unused ticket can be used for travel through 12/31/2021
  • 500 bonus AA miles per eligible flight, when you book by 5/18/2020 and fly from 7/1 through 12/31/2020
  • Link to AA press release regarding elite status extensions & changes
  • Link to AA Travel Alerts page, including change fee waiver policies

Caesars Rewards

  • 2020 tier status and benefits extended through 1/31/2022
    • Note that you won’t receive an additional $100 celebration dinner benefit during 2021 if your status is extended; you will only receive an additional credit for 2021 if you requalify for Diamond or higher status based on tier points earned during 2020
  • Reduced qualification requirements for tier status earning during 2020 (for 2021 status; reductions are approximately 20%)
  • Rewards credits will not expire for inactivity until 9/1/2020 at earliest
  • Link to Caesars Entertainment coronavirus information page (scroll down for FAQs about Caesars Rewards)

Delta

  • 2020 Medallion status extended through 2021
  • 2020 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) rolled over into 2021
  • Extensions on program travel benefits, including:
    • Amex Delta cardholder Companion Certificates
    • Amex Delta cardholder $100 Delta flight credits
    • SkyMiles member Upgrade Certificates
    • SkyMiles member $200 Travel Vouchers
  • Delta Sky Club members receive an additional 6 months of club membership
  • Change fee waivers:
    • For (a) travel booked as of 4/17/2020, to occur in from 3/1 through 9/30/2020, or (b) travel credits for flights from 3/1 through 9/30/2020: Change fees waived through 9/30/2022
    • For new tickets purchased from 3/1 through 5/31/2020, change fee waiver for up to a year from the date of purchase
  • Link to Delta Coronavirus Update Center

Hilton

  • Existing and new free weekend night certificates earned by 12/31/2020 are now redeemable on any night
  • Existing free weekend night certificates as of 4/30/2020 are extended through 8/31/2021
  • New free weekend night certificates earned from 5/1 through 12/31/2020 are good for 2 years from the date issued
  • All members whose 2019 status was to be downgraded on 3/31/2020 automatically receive an extension through 3/31/2021
  • 2020 elite status extended through 3/31/2022
  • Paused expiration of all points scheduled to expire from 3/25 through 12/31/2020
  • All reservations (including “non-cancellable”) for arrival on or before 6/30/2020 can be changed or cancelled for no charge, up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival
  • All new reservations (including “non-cancellable”) booked from 3/25 through 6/30/2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled for no charge, up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival
  • Link to Hilton dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) page

Hyatt

  • Existing free night certificates expiring 3/1 through 12/31/2020 are extended through 12/31/2021
  • New free night certificates earned during 2020 with an expiration date in 2020 are also extended through 12/31/2021
  • 2020 elite status extended through 2/28/2022
  • Suspended forfeiture of all points through 12/31/2020
  • All reservations booked on or before 4/1/2020 for arrivals through 6/30/2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival (including Advance Purchase Rate reservations)
  • All reservations booked from 4/2 through 6/30/2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival (including Advance Purchase Rate reservations) (subject to a very narrow exception for Destination Residences and Special Events Rates)
  • Link to World of Hyatt COVID-19 FAQs

IHG

  • Free night certificates expiring on 3/1/2020 and after are extended until 12/31/2020
  • Free night certificates issued in 2020 will expire 18 months after their issue date
  • 2020 elite status extended through 1/31/2022
    • For Spire elite members, this includes the Choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum status to someone each year
  • Elite status qualification requirements reduced by 25% or more during 2020
  • Paused points expiration for Club members through 12/31/2020
  • Bookings made through 4/6/2020, for stays up to 6/30/2020, can be changed or cancelled without a fee (subject to potential exclusions for special event restrictions or peak demand weeks)
  • Link to IHG Travel Advisory Policy, including Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

JetBlue

  • 2020 Mosaic status extended through 2021
  • Reduced Mosaic qualifying requirements during 2020, for 2021 status
    • 7,500 Mosaic qualifying points (instead of normal 15,000); or
    • 6,000 Mosaic qualifying points + 15 segments (instead of normal 12,000 points + 30 segments)
  • Double TrueBlue points for all new bookings from 5/14 through 6/15/2020, for any future travel date

Marriott

  • Free night awards expiring in 2020 are extended through 1/31/2021
  • Suite night awards expiring in 2020 are extended through 12/31/2021
  • 2020 elite status extended through 2/28/2022
  • Paused points expiration until February 2021 (at that time, point will expire only if account has been inactive for at least 24 months)
  • Existing reservations as of 4/21/2020 for any future arrival date (including pre-paid rates) may be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by 6/30/2020
  • New reservations (including pre-paid rates) made from 4/22 through 6/30/2020 may be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date
  • Link to Marriott Travel Information: COVID-19 Update

MGM/MLife

  • 2020 elite tier status extended through 1/31/2022
  • All Point and Express Comp expirations extended through 9/30/2020

Southwest

  • Travel funds set to expire or funds that are created 3/1 through 9/7/2020 will have an extended expiration date of 9/7/2022
  • These same travel funds can be converted to Rapid Rewards points at “the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today” (not yet implemented; should be coming soon)
  • For all Rapid Rewards members, 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status
  • For all Rapid Rewards members, 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits
  • 2020 A-List and A-List Preferred status extended through 12/31/2021
  • 2020 Companion Pass holders extended through 6/30/2021
  • Double Rapid Rewards points when you register, book and travel from 5/12/2020 through 8/31/2020
  • Link to Southwest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Information

United

  • 2020 elite status extended until 1/31/2022
  • Reduced elite status qualification requirements for 2020
  • Doubling PQP for United Explorer cards and quadrupling PQP for United Club cards, for spend from 5/1 through 12/31/2020
  • For 1K and Platinum members, extending PlusPoints expiration dates by 6 months, for all PlusPoints set to expire before 1/31/2021
  • United Club memberships extended by 6 months
  • Other subscriptions for Economy Plus, United Wi-Fi and checked bags extended by 6 months
  • All electronic travel certificates are valid for 24 months from the date they were issued
  • Award redeposit fees waived for travel through 5/31/2020
  • Award redeposit fees waived for award ticket cancellations made more than 30 days before departure, for the remainder of 2020
  • Change fee waivers:
    • For tickets booked on or before 3/2/2020 for travel from 3/3 through 5/31/2020, you can rebook without change fees any time before departure, and travel funds are good for 24 months from the original ticket issue date
    • For tickets booked on or before 3/2/2020 for travel from 6/1 through 12/31/2020, you can rebook without change fees on or before 5/31/2020 only, and travel funds are good for 24 months from the original ticket issue date
    • For tickets booked from 3/3/2020 through 5/31/2020 for any future travel date, you can change for free within 12 months from the original ticket issue date
    • If you have a ticket that expires between 3/1 and 9/30/2020, the value of your unused ticket can be used for travel through 12/31/2021
  • Link to UA press release regarding elite status extensions & changes
  • Link to UA Important Notices page, including Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve found this summary to be helpful to keep up with the many, many changes that have occurred in the past few weeks. It was certainly informative for us to piece it together. Thanks again to tom0963 for giving us the idea for this post as well as a great head start in compiling the extensive information.

And please understand that it’s a moving target; even if everything is correct at publication on the afternoon of Monday, May 4, it may become obsolete as policies evolve. Always be sure to check the different programs’ specific pages for up-to-date policies.

Finally, remember that you’re entitled to a refund if your flight cancels. Airlines have been “hiding” the ability to get refunds and/or making the process difficult, but be sure to stick to your guns and get a refund in the event your flight is canceled. These “no change fee” policies make things much better than usual, but we’d always rather have the cash than airline credit!

Are there any additions or corrections we should make to this list? Please let us know in the Comments!


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7 thoughts on “[Updated 5/14/20] Summary of Consumer-Friendly Changes to Card Benefits and Loyalty Programs

  1. Nun

    > “All BofA-issued personal cards (unknown if this also extends to business cards)”

    It applies to business cards too. I received a letter about this regarding my business advantage cash rewards card. I met the spending requirement by the original due date anyway.

  2. COLIN

    I think JetBlue did a similar extension for bookings made thru 5/31 for up to 2 years. Would appreciate it if you had the time to review and comment in your understandable form!

    How was your move?

  3. NK3

    No mention of Radisson? Do you still have a Radisson card?

    They have been extremely weak. The free night certificates obtained through the US Bank card that were due to expire between March and June were extended until June 2021. I also received a notice for increased earnings on the Radisson Visa, but it was almost laughable. For June & July, 2 extra points per dollar at Grocery & Drug Stores (so 7x total, max of $1K spend). This may be targeted.

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi NK3 – Thanks for the update on Radisson. I still have a Radisson business card, but I don’t believe I ever received an email from them about any extra benefits, extensions or other changes. I’ll admit, I got lazy and didn’t take the time to search for Radisson policies as the article was already very long and time-consuming.

      Hope you’re doing well, and have a great Memorial Day weekend! ~Craig

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