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COVID-19 Temporary Benefits & Relief Measures

 

Last updated: July 5, 2020

 

As a result of the global reduction in travel and consumer spending due to the coronavirus pandemic, credit cards and loyalty programs have introduced a wide range of temporary measures in order to continue delivering value to customers.

This page tracks all the COVID-19 relief measures offered by major Canadian credit card issuers and loyalty programs.

 


 

Credit Cards

 

Credit Cards

Benefit / Relief Measure

American Express (Canada)
Credit Cards

All American Express (Canada) cardholders who applied for a card between January 22 and June 30, 2020, with the regular three-month window to meet the minimum spending requirement will now receive a three-month extension, for a total of six months to meet the minimum spending. Read more.

Until July 20, 2020, Platinum cardholders will benefit from the Double Rewards promotion. Instead of earning 3x MR points on dining, 2x MR points on travel, and 1x MR points on all other purchases, cardholders will now earn 6x, 4x, and 2x MR points respectively.

Furthermore, cardholders will be able to redeem MR points against statement purchases at double the value: 1,000 MR points = $20, or effectively 2 cents per point (cpp). Read more.

Platinum cardholders will also be offered a $250 statement credit towards everyday essentials at Sobeys, Metro, Longo's, Save-on-Foods, and Uber Eats. Read more.

Business Platinum cardholders will receive a $100 renewal credit upon renewing their card (i.e., paying another year's annual fee) during 2020. Cardholders who have already renewed will receive this credit retroactively, while cardholders who renew later in the year will receive the credit soon after renewing.

In addition, as of May 28, Business Platinum cardholders have been offered statement credits on Dell ($250 off a $250 purchase), FedEx (six credits of $45 off a $45 purchase), and mobile service providers (four credits of $40 off a $40 purchase), up to a total of $680. Read more.

Until August 31, 2020, Gold Rewards cardholders will earn 5x MR points on Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes purchases, rather than the 1x MR points that these retailers would ordinarily earn.

Until August 31, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy cardholders will earn 5x Bonvoy points on groceries, food delivery services, and takeout purchases from restaurants, rather than the 2x Bonvoy points that these purchases would ordinarily earn.

Until August 31, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy Business cardholders will earn 3x Bonvoy points on eligible office supplies & electronics purchases, rather than the 2x Bonvoy points that these purchases would ordinarily earn.

American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card

Until August 31, 2020, AeroplanPlus Platinum cardholders will earn 1.5x Aeroplan miles on all purchases, rather than the standard earning rate of 1.25x Aeroplan miles.

If you’ve already reached the accelerated earn rate of 1.5x Aeroplan miles by spending $25,000 on the card this calendar year, there is no change and you will continue to earn at this rate.

Until August 19, AeroplanPlus Platinum cardholders will also earn 3x bonus Aeroplan miles on eligible grocery, food delivery, and takeout purchases, for a total earn rate of 4.5x.

Targeted: Some Amex AeroplanPlus Platinum & Reserve cardholders have been rewarded with an Amex Offer for 5,000 or 10,000 Aeroplan miles for spending $100 or $200, respectively.

American Express (US) Credit Cards

All American Express (US) cardholders who applied for a card between December 1 and May 31, 2020, with the regular three-month window to meet the minimum spending requirement will now receive a three-month extension, for a total of six months to meet the minimum spending. Read more.

Additionally, Amex US has announced a variety of statement credits and increased earning rates for a variety of their products, many of which can be availed of by Canadian cardholders as well. Read more.

Targeted: Until July 31, 2020, you can earn 3x bonus Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on all online purchases or Aeroplan eStore purchases.

Until August 4, as part of the CIBC Revival Rewards initiative, cardholders will earn a bonus rate of 2x Aventura points on restaurants and eligible food delivery merchants (including DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Ritual).

Meanwhile, Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders will earn an incremental 2x Aventura points on the first $1,000 of spend on restaurants and eligible food delivery merchants (including DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Ritual), for a total earn rate of 4x Aventura points.

Until July 31, as part of the RBC Points for Canada initiative, cardholders will earn a bonus rate of 2x Avion points on purchases at restaurants or with major food delivery services, as well as a 30% boost on many types of Avion points redemptions, including gift cards and Pay In-Store with Points.

Until August 31, the regular earning rate on your WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard or base-level WestJet RBC MasterCard will be doubled when you spend up to $10,000 per card on groceries and restaurants. The extra rewards you earn will be provided in whichever way you choose: WestJet dollars, a statement credit, or a direct donation to Food Banks Canada help support your community.

Because you’ll need to choose between the three options, you’ll need to first register for this offer with your 16-digit card number and your WestJet Rewards ID. Only after registering will the bonuses apply. Read more.

Until August 15, cardholders will earn a bonus rate of 3x Aeroplan miles on purchases with PC Express, Goodfood, Save‑On‑Foods Online, Grocery Gateway, SPUD.ca, metro.ca online grocery, GOcery or Mister Produce, and a bonus rate of 2x Aeroplan miles on purchases with Instacart, HelloFresh, Inabuggy, Chefs Plate, Cornershop, Cook it, The Organic Box, GoJava, Cartly, CultivatR, MissFresh, The Grocery Link, Uber Eats, DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Just Eat or Chanmao Inc.

 

Loyalty Programs

 

Points Program

Benefit / Relief Measure

Elite status extension: Air Canada has extended members' Altitude elite status through 2021. Moreover, if members organically earn elite status through travel activity in 2020, they may gift the status to a friend or family member. Read more.

Travel at Home: Until May 31, 2020, Aeroplan members may earn additional Altitude status perks by racking up as many miles as possible. Those without status may attain entry-level Prestige 25K status by earning 50,000 Aeroplan miles, while existing Altitude status members may attain a one-level status bump (up to a maximum of Elite 75K) by earning 250,000 Aeroplan miles. Read more.

eStore bonuses: Until May 31, holders of Aeroplan co-branded credit cards from TD, CIBC, and American Express can earn an additional 5 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent when making purchases via the Aeroplan eStore.

Cancellation fee waiver: Until August 31, 2020, the usual cancellation fee to cancel an Aeroplan award and redeposit miles in the account is waived. Moreover, customers with paid fares that have been cancelled due to COVID-19 will have the option of converting the remaining value of their fare into Aeroplan miles at a rate of 1.8 cents per mile (CAD).

Pause on mileage expiry: In normal circumstances, Aeroplan miles expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 12-month period. This policy is paused until June 29, 2020.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Elite status extension: Alaska Mileage Plan has extended all members' 2020 status until the end of 2021. Furthermore, any elite qualifying miles earned in 2020 will also count in 2021, giving members a head start on requalifying for 2022.

Members who started a status match challenge between December 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 will have the challenge criteria waived, and your matched status will be extended through 2021.

Companion fare extension: All companion certificates set to expire in 2020 will be extended. You’ll now have until December 31, 2020 to purchase new travel through November 26, 2021.

Change & cancellation fee waiver: Alaska Mileage Plan award tickets, for travel until December 31, 2020, may be changed or cancelled without the usual US$125 fee.

British Airways Avios

Voucher extension: The Travel Together voucher, a perk of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite, has been extended by six months for all members.

Hilton Honors

Elite status extension: Hilton Honors will extend members' 2020 elite status through to February 2022. In addition, members who held elite status in 2019 but failed to renew will be allowed to keep their status until February 2021. Read more.

Pause on points expiry: In normal circumstances, Hilton Honors points expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 12-month period. This policy is paused for all of 2020.

Free night certificate extension: All annual free weekend night certificates from the Amex US Hilton cards will be valid through to August 21, 2021; moreover, they will be redeemable on any night of the week, not just on weekend nights.

Marriott Bonvoy

Elite status extension: Marriott Bonvoy will extend members' 2020 elite status through to February 2022. Read more.

Pause on points expiry: In normal circumstances, Marriott Bonvoy points expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 12-month period. This policy is paused until February 2021.

Free night certificate extension: All anniversary free night certificates from credit cards, 75-night Annual Choice Benefit free night certificates, and five- and seven-night certificates from Travel Packages will be valid through to January 31, 2021.

Suite Night Awards extension: All Suite Night Awards from the 50- and 75-night Annual Choice Benefits will be valid through to December 31, 2021.

TD Rewards

Redeeming TD points (earned via the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite or other cards in the same family) will cost 25% less for gift cards, merchandise, and Shop the Mall retailers, redeemed at tdrewards.com.

WestJet Rewards

Elite status extension: WestJet's loyalty program has a variable qualification period unique to each member. Status has been proactively extended or upgraded for members who were on track to achieve status in March, April or May, and WestJet will similarly look after those whose tier status may be impacted in the months ahead.

Companion fare extension: All companion certificates set to expire in 2020, as well as those redemeed for travel between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 but where travel is cancelled, will be extended through to January 31, 2021.

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