4 Perks of Using Your Credit Card During a Pandemic
Paying with plastic provides flexible credit card rewards that are particularly useful during uncertain times.
Article originally published on August 18, 2020 and refreshed on March 18, 2021.
For something made of stiff plastic, your credit card can provide a surprising amount of flexibility. And that’s particularly useful during uncertain times, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts everyday life.
According to a recent CreditCards.com survey, the vast majority of credit cardholders say their credit cards are adding value during the pandemic. Despite restricted travel and evolving consumer spending, 81% of annual fee cardholders believe they are receiving either the same or more value from their credit cards as before the pandemic.
Respondents rated travel and cash back rewards as the best credit card perks, even as tourism continues to falter amid the public health crisis.
Whether you want to maximize your current credit card rewards, shop for a new credit card or compare credit card offers, following are four perks of paying with plastic during a pandemic.
Credit card perk # 1: Save up for future travel
Busy airports and crowded beaches may seem like a far-off fantasy, but you can work toward that dream vacation while shopping (at a social distance) close to home. Smart consumers are still earning points and miles on purchases via their credit cards.
Spend strategically to rack up rewards and stay motivated as you work toward a goal.
Credit card perk # 2: Take advantage of limited offers
During the pandemic some credit card issuers have adjusted their rewards offerings to meet the evolving needs of consumer and business clients.
This past spring, for example, Zions Bank offered its cardholders a 10% cash back incentive on restaurant purchases to support dining establishments.
Other issuers have offered bonus rewards on groceries and other types of credit card spending. Multiply your earning power on credit card rewards by capitalizing on promotional offers.
Credit card perk # 3: Let built-in safeguards back you up
Delays, cancellations and trips cut short are not uncommon in travel. But the pandemic adds another layer of unpredictability. Luckily, some credit cards offer built-in travel insurance to reimburse cardholders in the event of cancelled or delayed trips, lost or delayed baggage, accidents, and even death. Additionally, a car rental collision damage waiver could be critical if your rental car is damaged from an accident or theft.
Because benefits vary widely between issuers and cards, check with your provider to see what safeguards — and travel perks — come with credit card. In addition to trip cancellation insurance and trip delay reimbursement, the Zions Bank Premier Visa® Credit Card* offers hotel room upgrades and VIP guest status.
Credit card perk # 4: Choose cards with flexibility
Credit card rewards come in almost every category imaginable, from cash back to savings at grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations. Some cards offer a combination of cash-back and rebate rewards. Finding the best rewards card to stretch your money farthest really comes down to personal preference and how you will apply the rewards. For more flexibility, look for a rewards credit card without limits or expiration dates on rewards.
With the Zions Bank Vivid Rewards Visa® Credit Card* and Zions Bank Premier Visa® Credit Card*, you get points from everyday purchases and can apply them toward any other purchase. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn and rewards don’t ever expire.
While credit cards certainly aren’t for everyone, in the hands of savvy consumers they can be a powerful financial tool, offering convenience, consumer safeguards, and rewards, through life’s many different seasons and circumstances.
*Credit cards are subject to credit approval. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. See banker for details.
Kallee Feuz is a public relations officer for Zions Bank.