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The World Tourism Industry estimates that, by the end of the year, international tourism will show a drop between 60% to 80% worldwide. Travel restrictions are still in place around the US and many people are avoiding travel to slow the spread of COVID-19 — and this pattern could continue well into next year and beyond.
What does that mean for your credit card rewards? If you have a cash-back credit card that lets you redeem your rewards for a statement credit or a check in the mail, probably not a lot, since you can continue to get money back as usual.
But if you have a stash of airline miles, hotel points, or credit card points you’re wondering how to handle, you have options too. Here are some of the best ways to redeem rewards for something other than travel.
Redeem rewards for statement credits to cover your credit card bill
First, check if you have the option to redeem your rewards for statement credits to cover part of your credit card bill. While cash-back credit cards have long offered statement credits as a redemption option, flexible rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards also offer this option.
Note that you may or may not get 1 cent per point in value if you opt for statement credits with a flexible rewards program like the ones mentioned above. Chase Ultimate Rewards gives a flat 1 cent per point for statement credits or cash back, for example, but you’ll only get around 0.6 cents per point in value with American Express Membership Rewards if you choose this option.
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program, which lets you earn points in with cards like the Citi Premier℠ Card, lets you cash in your rewards for cash back at a rate of 1 cent per point, although you’ll have to redeem in increments of $50 or $100.
Pay yourself back with Chase
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can take advantage of a recently introduced feature that lets you get extra value from your Ultimate Rewards. Through Pay Yourself Back, you can cash in Chase points to cover dining, grocery, home-improvement, or charity purchases with your Sapphire card.
This option lets you save money on the types of purchases that are common during quarantine — not only that, but you get a 25% to 50% bonus in value from your points. That means you get 1.25 cents per point (rather than just 1 cent) with the Preferred, and 1.50 cents per point with the Reserve.
See if you can use rewards to pay your minimum due
Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the Citi ThankYou Rewards program has also made it possible for consumers to use rewards to cover the minimum payment on their credit cards. This feature can be extremely helpful if you’ve lost your job …read more
Source:: Business Insider