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Travel rewards credit cards add more everyday perks like Uber Eats

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An Uber Eats delivery worker is seen riding an electric scooter in Manhattan's Chinatown on March 19, 2020 in New York City.

Some cards with high annual fees are starting to switch from rewards on travel and hotels to discounts on things like takeout and groceries. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

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American Express announced that its premium travel cards will now come with a new benefit: discounts for the meal delivery service Uber Eats. During the pandemic, many cards with high annual fees that once lured in customers with their travel perks are starting to focus on spending that’s closer to home.

American Express’s Platinum Card used to mostly offer generous rewards for flights and hotel bookings. The annual fee for that card is $550.

Robin Saks Frankel at Forbes Advisor said that AmEx and other card issuers are worried that people can’t justify that fee when they’re stuck at home. “You know, everything has just come grinding to a halt for most people,” she said.

So credit companies are making some changes. The Prestige Card from Citi, which costs $495 a year, now lets users spend their travel credit on takeout and groceries. And Chase increased the redemption value of rewards spent on food, home improvement and more.

“Credit card issuers are trying to make their cards more enticing by offering benefits that are more closely aligned to how consumers are spending today,” Frankel said.

And those consumers are spending less on travel and more on everyday needs, said Matt Schulz with Lending Tree.

“With delivery and takeout taking priority over dine-in these days, issuers have had to adjust to where things are now,” Schulz said.

And, Schulz said, the risk for credit card companies if they don’t is that customers could end up canceling their cards.

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