It was shortly after our trip to San Francisco in February that Sharon and I started preparing to hunker down. It wasn’t a hurricane that was coming but COVID-19 that was going to keep us in our house for the foreseeable future. At the time, we didn’t know that it would be almost three months before we’d even feel right about going outside for anything besides groceries and doctor appointments.
The majority of our expenses were at supermarkets, Amazon.com and streaming entertainment services. Our cell phone bill was cut in half by T-Mobile because we weren’t using cellular data and our auto insurance bill was reduced because many people, ourselves included, were not on the roads. Spending at gas stations? I didn’t have to fill up my tank for over a month.
Taking into account that many cards have added temporary bonus categories and the ability to use your travel credits for other expenses, here’s a look at which cards we will be using for some of the major spending categories.
Even though we’re not staying home all the time, we’re not going out to eat as much as we did before. The main card I’m using for groceries is still the Sapphire Reserve. Until the end of June, it’s earning 5x Ultimate Rewards on supermarket expenses. Once I get past June, I’ll use the Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX to spend my $300 statement credit.
In this category, things haven’t changed much. I’ll still be using my Citi Prestige which earns 5x ThankYou points in the category. As an added bonus, I can use what’s left of my $250 travel credit for my dining expenses.
I’m still using the AMEX Offer I signed up for to pay for our internet expenses. I get 500 Membership Rewards points for each charge of $90 or more. I need to make two separate payments each month and then I earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points for the rest of the bill with my Ink Cash card.
I’ll keep paying our cell phone bill with our Ink Prefered because I earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points and get insurance coverage. I’m putting $10 of the bill on our Green AMEX to take advantage of the monthly credit added to the card through December 2020.
Now that I’m driving to work again, I need to fill up the gas tank every now and again. The best card for me is still the Citi Premier, which earns 3x ThankYou points for these charges.
Our online purchases have shifted from card to card over the last few months as we’re received multiple offers for bonus points for these expenses. Right now, the Citi Prestige is offering 5x ThankYou points for online purchases with a cap of 7,500 bonus points. I’ll switch over our Amazon.com purchases once I max out the AMEX offer for 5x Membership Rewards points.
Yeah, this is one category I still don’t have to worry about.
Figuring out which card to use was something I only had to think about every 6 months or so unless a card added a new category. Before coronavirus, that didn’t happen very often. In fact, a new bonus category used to be a huge news story. Today, it feels like cards are changing bonus structures weekly and it’s difficult to keep up. I had to take a step back and look at each one to find out the best way to earn points when we’re still not traveling.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 13,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary