The latest limited-time credit card spending bonuses can boost your earnings in categories like groceries, streaming, and Amazon

By Jasmin Baron

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Credit card issuers have introduced new ways to earn and redeem rewards and added valuable benefits and perks in response to the coronavirus-related shift in consumer buying habits. To keep their cards at the top of customers' minds (and wallets), banks have also periodically increased rewards earnings in common quarantine spending categories, including grocery stores, streaming services, and food delivery.

The result? Despite the pandemic, many of us are earning more credit card points than ever, even if we've had to curb our spending and stay close to home. This is especially true for those who already make the most of cards with rotating quarterly bonus categories, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back.

Yes, these bonuses can be lucrative — especially if you're already making lots of purchases in these categories. But before you switch your spending to a card with a limited-time category bonus, it's wise to compare the boosted earning rate — and the value of the rewards you'd receive — to what you'd otherwise earn by using one of the best rewards credit cards instead.

You might also skip an increased category bonus if the rewards currency doesn't appeal to you or if you're focused on saving a different type of points or miles for a specific redemption. 

Because these credit card spending bonuses eventually expire, and new offers pop up all the time to meet changing customer needs, it can be hard to keep track and maximize your rewards. To help, we've put together a list of the latest limited-time bonuses in the most popular categories, so you can choose the right credit card for your purchases. 

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Citi 5% cash back for online shopping

Citi just announced a new 5% cash back bonus for online shopping with most of its personal and small-business credit cards. Enrollment is required at citi.com/giving and your card must have been opened before October 23, 2020. You can earn the bonus on up to $500 in online purchases on each card you enroll between November 24 and November 30. 

Citi Prestige 5x for online shopping

Until the end of December, Citi Prestige® Card holders will earn 5x Citi ThankYou points on the first $1,500 spent on streaming services, online purchases, and cable combined (for a maximum of 7,500 points).

Chase Sapphire cards — up to 3x on groceries

Until April 30, 2021, you'll automatically earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on groceries with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and 2x points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, on up to $1,000 in spending each month (then 1x). Normally, these cards earn 1 point per dollar spent at grocery stores, so this is an easy opportunity to earn more points on household purchases you'd make anyway.

In addition, you can stack this bonus with Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature, which gets you more value from your points when you redeem them toward grocery, gas, and home improvement store purchases, as well as charitable donations. When you use this option, your points are worth 50% more if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or 25% more if you're a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, through the end of April 2021.

Chase airline and hotel cards — up to 5x on groceries

If you don't have a Chase Sapphire card (or have already maximized your card's bonus), check your email to see if you're targeted for a grocery bonus on your Chase co-branded credit card. This promotion, which also applies to Amazon purchases, includes select airline and hotel credit cards such as the United℠ Explorer Card and The World Of Hyatt Credit Card .

Depending on the card, you'll earn a total of 3x or 5x points on up to $1,500 in combined grocery and Amazon spending per month in November and December. This offer is targeted, and you'll need to activate it through the link you get in your email — it's not automatic. 

Discover it Q4 rotating category bonus — 5% cash back at Amazon 

It seems you can buy just about anything online these days, so earning increased rewards on Amazon purchases — especially with the holiday shopping season fast approaching — is an easy win. For the fourth quarter of the year, Discover's rotating 5% cash-back bonus categories are Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com.

Once you activate the bonus on cards like the Discover it® Cash Back or Discover it® Student Cash Back , you'll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined category spending (then 1%) through December 31.

Chase airline and hotel cards — 5x at Amazon



As noted earlier, you may be targeted for a bonus of 5x points or miles at Amazon with certain Chase co-branded credit cards. If you're eligible and activate the bonus, you can earn 5x on up to $1,500 in Amazon purchases per month (combined with grocery stores) until December 31. 

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant — 8x at Amazon

Until December 27, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card holders can earn a total of 8x points on up to $3,500 in combined spending at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com after activating the bonus. Usually, you'd only earn 2 points per dollar on these purchases, so this is definitely worth a look if you collect Marriott Bonvoy points.

Keep in mind this bonus doesn't apply to Marriott Bonvoy cards issued by Chase. However, in the coming weeks, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card members can expect a special offer to make the most of their holiday business spending. It's also worth noting that both Marriott Bonvoy cards from American Express currently have limited-time increased welcome offers until January 13, 2021, so if you've been considering either card it's a good time to apply.

Chase Freedom Flex Q4 rotating category bonus — 5% back or 5x points at Walmart

Both the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ card and its older cousin, the Chase Freedom® (no longer open to applications) offer 5% cash back (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 in combined spending in categories that rotate each quarter (then 1% back).

From October through December, the Chase Freedom bonus categories are Walmart and PayPal, and you'll have to activate the bonus by December 14 to get in on the deal. Once you activate, you'll receive the bonus on eligible spending all the way back to the first day of the quarter, so don't fret if you don't remember to activate right away.

Discover it Q4 rotating category bonus — 5% cash back at Walmart.com 

In addition to Amazon and Target.com, the Discover Q4 rotating category bonus includes Walmart.com. You'll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases across these categories until December 31 (then 1% back), but it's important to note that the bonus only applies to Walmart.com purchases online or through the Walmart app (including grocery and in-store pickup).

Shopping at brick-and-mortar Walmart locations won't trigger the bonus, so keep your Chase Freedom Flex handy for those occasions.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant — 8x at Walmart.com

Similarly, until December 27, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card will earn 8x Marriott points at Walmart.com (not in-store) on up to $3,500 in combined spending (along with Target.com and Amazon purchases).

It's hard to beat the transferable bonus points you'd earn with some of the best credit cards for dining, like 4x American Express Membership Rewards points with the American Express® Gold Card or 5x Citi ThankYou points with the Citi Prestige® Credit Card.

Capital One Venture and Savor cards — 5x miles or 5% back with Uber Eats 

Those who prefer to order in rather than dine out could earn a boatload of rewards if they use the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, or Capital One Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

These cards are offering 5x miles or 5% cash back on Uber Eats purchases through January 31, 2021. There's no enrollment required and, even better, no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn.

Capital One Savor cards — earn up to 4% back on streaming subscriptions

Staying home has meant more consumers are turning to streaming services for entertainment, so this is another easy category to maximize for a lot of of people. Capital One introduced a limited-time cash-back bonus on streaming purchases with its Savor cards earlier this year, and it's been extended through April 30, 2021.

With the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you'll earn 4% cash back, and with the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you'll earn 3% cash back on streaming services like NetFlix, Spotify, and Hulu. This is in addition to the regular bonuses for dining and entertainment (which doesn't normally include streaming) on these cards.

Citi Prestige card - 5x on streaming services

Until the end of December, Citi Prestige® Cardholders will earn 5x Citi ThankYou points on the first $1,500 spent on streaming services, online purchases, and cable combined (for a maximum of 7,500 points).

Chase Marriott credit cards — up to 10x at Marriott Bonvoy hotels

If you're a Chase Marriott cardholder and are traveling before December 31, be sure to register your credit card to earn a total of 10x points at eligible Marriott Bonvoy properties (gift cards count, as well). You'll earn the bonus on up to $3,500 in spending until the end of the year, and you can activate the offer either by email link or on the Chase website.

Eligible cards include the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card