End of Year Checklist: Remember to Use these Credit Card Perks

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End of Year Checklist: Remember to Use these Credit Card Perks

End of Year Checklist: Remember to Use these Credit Card Perks

As 2021 draws to a close, remember to use these credit card perks before the end of the year. Some of these are temporary and likely won’t be around next year. Others include annual perks that reset each year, but you should remember to use them anyway. We’ll highlight the details of the benefits, how to use them, and also whether you need to enroll in advance.

Update 12/23/21: The final week or so is upon us. Don’t miss out on anything!

Some of these offers may have changed since posting.

Which Credit Cards Offer Credits, Discounts, Or Free Food Delivery?

Food Delivery Credits

DoorDash DashPass

The benefits available depend on which card(s) you have, so read the details here. You can use up to $60 in credits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and you must use these by December 31, 2021. Multiple cards from Chase offer free membership in DashPass, which gives you free delivery and other perks. The length of free membership and other perks vary, so check the details here.

If you have more than one of the eligible cards, you should be able to get nearly 2 years of free DashPass. This assumes you enrolled as soon as the perk launched and start a new membership on another card as soon as your first free year ends.

Uber Eats Pass

Enroll by December 31, 2021 to claim your free one-year membership to Uber Eats Pass (typically $9.99 per month). You’ll get $0 delivery fees and 5% discounts on restaurant orders of $15+ and $0 delivery fees on orders of $30+ with grocery deliveries.

This benefit was added a year ago. Some of you are likely at the end of your one free year. If so, remember to turn this off in your Uber account, if you don’t want to keep paying.

The benefit is available on the following cards:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Express Green Card

I asked Uber about enrolling a second time, since I have more than one eligible card. They told me you cannot enroll for this free perk again in your same account. Basically, you need to create a new Uber account and link your next card to it if you want to use this perk for another year.

Additionally, this perk is ending in 2022. It applies only to those who already have these cards and is no longer included for new card applications.

Peloton Credits

Use your credits by December 31, 2021, as they no longer work after that.

Chase added Peloton credits to its Sapphire cards in October of 2020. These monthly credits apply toward a Peloton monthly membership. Memberships cost $39/month for the full membership or $12.99/month for the digital-only membership. The latter doesn’t require buying the Peloton bike.

Use your eligible card as the preferred payment method in your Peloton account for the benefit to apply as a statement credit.

Rideshare Perks

Enroll by March 31, 2022 to claim one year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership on your Chase Sapphire Reserve. While not an “end of year” perk necessarily, you should remember to enroll soon. LyftPink membership offers 15% savings on all car rides and priority airport pickups. You need to pay for your Lyft ride with your Chase Sapphire Reserve for the savings to occur.

Lyft Pink membership costs $199 per year. The nice part is that paid membership doesn’t auto-renew, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn this off if you don’t want to pay after the free period.

Once you add your Sapphire Reserve card to your payment methods in Lyft, you will be prompted to enroll in your free Lyft Pink membership.

Note that Lyft Pink members also can claim GrubHub+ and Seamless+ memberships. These typically cost $9.99 per month and will give you free food delivery.

Photo Courtesy Saks 5th Avenue Toronto.

Shopping Credits

  • The Platinum Card from American Express
    • Soul Cycle – Receive a $300 statement credit with every purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike, up to 15x per calendar year. An Equinox+ membership is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only.
    • Saks Fifth Avenue – $100 annually, given as $50 in each half of the year.
  • Business Platinum Card from American Express 
    • Dell – $400 in annual statement credits with Dell, allocated as $200 in each half of the year.
    • Indeed– Up to $360 annual statement credit on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services to post open positions and find top talent, up to $90 per quarter.
    • Adobe– $150 annual statement credit on select purchases, including Adobe Creative Cloud, the world’s best collection of creative apps and services, and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign, which makes it easy to send, track and collect trusted e-signatures.

Travel Credits

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: $300 in annual travel credits, though this is tied to your cardmember year.
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: $300 in annual travel credits per calendar year. These are for incidentals, such as seat upgrades and checked bags, and you must claim them by asking Chase to apply the credit to your account after relevant charges have posted.
  • Citi Prestige Card: $250 in annual travel credits per calendar year. Citi is also allowing cardmembers to use this credit for restaurant (including takeout) and supermarket purchases in 2021.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: $300 in statement credits per cardmember year for spending with Marriott.
  • The Platinum Card from American Express
    • $200 in credits toward your preferred airline (must enroll in advance and choose a preferred airline)
    • $200 in credits via Fine Hotels & Resorts / The Hotel Collection. Read our guide here.
    • CLEAR – An annual $179 statement credit for a CLEAR membership. Here’s how to sign up and enroll.
  • Business Platinum Card from American Express
    • $200 in credits toward your preferred airline (must enroll in advance and choose a preferred airline) 
    • CLEAR – An annual $179 statement credit for a CLEAR membership. Here’s how to sign up and enroll.
  • American Express Gold Card: $100 in credits toward your preferred airline (must enroll in advance and choose a preferred airline). Note that this only applies to members who opened the card and selected their preferred airline prior to February 4, 2021. This benefit will end in 2022.
  • American Express Aspire Card
    • $250 in credits toward your preferred airline (must enroll in advance and choose a preferred airline).
    • $200 in credits for spending at resorts, which can cover room rates plus expenses charged to your room during your stay.
    • $100 in credits for reservations of 2+ nights at Conrad and Waldorf Astoria properties, booked via this page.

Annual Spending Goals

Some credit card perks come after meeting spending thresholds each year. If you are interested in these, remember to meet the following requirements.

Airline Status

  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard: earn 5,000 elite qualifying miles (EQMs) for every $20,000 you spend on the card, up to 10,000 EQMs per year. Earn 3,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard: earn 3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000 in a year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card: spend $25,000 in a year and receive 10,000 MQMs, available twice per year. Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion status after spending $25,000 on the card in a year. MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status after spending $250,000 on the card in a year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: spend $30,000 in a calendar year and receive 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). Available four times (total of $120,000 in spending). Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion status after spending $25,000 on the card in a year. MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status after spending $250,000 on the card in a year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card: spend $30,000 in a calendar year and receive 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). Available four times (total of $120,000 in spending). Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion status after spending $25,000 on the card in a year. MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status after spending $250,000 on the card in a year.
  • Frontier Airlines World Mastercard: earn one EQM per dollar spent on the card, with no cap to EQMs you can earn each year.
  • JetBlue Plus Card: earn Mosaic status after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • JetBlue Business Card: earn Mosaic status after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 spent on purchases each year.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card: earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 spent on purchases each year.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 spent on purchases each year.

Airline Perks

  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card: spend $30,000 in a year and earn an economy companion ticket.
  • Avianca Vuela Visa Card: spend $12,000 in a year and earn a 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States. Spend another $12,000 and earn a second 50% discount.
  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard: spend $30,000 and earn a companion certificate good for one guest at $99 plus taxes and fees.
  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard: earn a companion certificate good for up to two guests at $99 each, issued on your account anniversary, when you spend $20,000 or more in the cardmember year.
  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: spend $20,000 or more during the cardmember year and renew your card to earn a $125 American Airlines flight discount.
  • CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard: spend $30,000 during the card membership year and renew your account to earn a $99 domestic economy companion certificate. (Account must remain open for at least 45 days after anniversary date.)
  • Crystal Visa Infinite Card: spend $50,000 and be reimbursed for up to $550 in airline lounge access passes or an annual airline lounge membership.
  • Iberia Plus Visa Signature Card: spend $30,000 in a year and receive a $1,000 discount voucher toward two tickets on the same flight.
  • Southwest Airlines credit cards: spend $125,000 across your Southwest co-branded credit cards and receive a Companion Pass.
  • Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard: spend $25,000 in a year and earn a companion reward when you redeem Flying Club miles for an award ticket; this is good for two years.
  • Wells Fargo Visa Signature card: spend at least $50,000 on the card in a year and Go Far Rewards become worth 1.75¢ each when redeemed towards airfare purchases.

Train Perks

  • Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard: earn 1,000 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 in spend, up to 4,000 TQPs per year.

Hotel Free Night Awards

  • Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express: earn a free weekend night award after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • World of Hyatt Card: earn a category 1-4 free night certificate after spending $15,000. Remember that this changed from “cardmember year” to “calendar year” during 2021. For some people, you could earn 2 of these nights in 2021. Details here.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: earn a free weekend night award after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. This is in addition to the free night award given automatically for having the card each year.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: earn a free weekend night award after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: earn a free night award valued at up to 35,000 points after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Radisson co-branded credit cards: all Radisson Rewards credit cards offer a free night at any Radisson property in the U.S. for every $10,000 spent on a card in a cardmember year. You can earn up to three free nights per year. Free nights are awarded when you renew your card.

Hilton Honors Status

Marriott Bonvoy Status

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: the card offers automatic Silver Elite status, and you can bump up to Gold Elite if you spend $35,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: the card offers automatic Silver Elite status, and you can bump up to Gold Elite if you spend $35,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: the card offers automatic Gold Elite status, and you can bump up to Platinum Elite if you spend $75,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: the card offers automatic Silver Elite status, and you can bump up to Gold Elite if you spend $35,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card: closed to new applicants, the card offers automatic Silver Elite status, and you can bump up to Gold Elite if you spend $35,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: closed to new applicants, the card offers automatic Gold Elite status, and you can bump up to Platinum Elite if you spend $75,000 on the card in your cardmember year.

American Express Business Platinum Benefits Guide - Over 30 Perks

Bonus Points from Spending Goals

  • Barclaycard Arrival Premier: earn 15,000 bonus miles when you use your card to spend $15,000 in a cardmember year. Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $10,000. Earn a total of 25,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000.
  • Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard: spend $5,000 in a cardmember year and earn 40,000 bonus points.
  • Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card: spend $10,000 in a year and earn 8,000 bonus points on your card anniversary.
  • Citibank AT&T Access More: earn 10,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $10,000.
  • Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard: earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $50,000 on the card in a year. Earn 40,000 miles after spending $100,000 or more on purchases during your cardmember year.
  • IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 on purchases and then making at least one more purchase after that.
  • Spirit Airlines World Mastercard: spend $10,000 in a year and earn 5,000 bonus miles.
  • Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard: spend $15,000 dollars in your cardmember year and earn 7,500 anniversary miles. Spend $25,000 in a cardmember year and earn an additional 7,500 anniversary miles.

Annual Spending Cap

  • American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card – 2x earning on the first $50,000 in purchases in a calendar year.
  • American Express Gold Card – 4x earning at U.S. supermarkets, up to the first $25,000 in a calendar year.
  • Chase Ink Business Cash – 5x earning on the first $25,000 in purchases across these categories each cardmember year: office supply stores, plus internet, cable, and phone services.
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred – 3x earning on the first $150,000 combined in these categories: shipping, advertising on social media & search engines, travel, and internet / cable / phone services. This is based on the cardmember year.

Annual Credit Card Perks – Final Thoughts

There are TONS of annual credit card perks; keeping track of what you have and what you need to do each year can be tough. We hope this list can help you take advantage of the benefits and perks available to you. Some of these perks are automatic; others require enrolling in advance, which we’ve highlighted. 2022 will see the end of some of these benefits, which we also mentioned.

If you’re looking to maximize your credit cards and take advantage of the perks/benefits available to you, it’s time to get cracking. The year is almost over, so remember to use these before New Year.

Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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28 COMMENTS

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28 COMMENTS

  1. I think the info on the Radisson card may be off. I could be wrong but I recently spent $10k on my Radisson card (yeah I don’t know why I did that either) and got the free night cert right away. My annual renewal is in December and usually (including this year) you get the free night in the form of 40,000 points at anniversary.

    • Interesting! This could be a change, since all the data from years past has always been “comes at anniversary”. We’ll keep an eye on this!

  2. What may work is booking one of the normal rate, calling the hotel and asking them to charge the room early if they can and willing to do so. I saw other having success this way but the “prepaid rate” clearly codes as “advance purchase” and not eligible for the credit.

        • Ah sorry I was combining the two in my head. I forgot there are times where you have to pay for a seat and it isn’t an upgrade. I’ll clear this up in the article. Thanks

  3. I have the hilton aspire card and haven’t used the $250 resort credit yet. What would happen if I booked a prepaid stay in 2022, but then closed the card before the stay? Would the booking be canceled and would I have the credit clawed back?

    • If the card is billed at an approved resort you should be able to get the credit. I don’t think the stay would be canceled since it was already booked, you would just show a different card at check in for incidentals. You could always just downgrade it to the no fee Hilton card instead and then there is no issue with that aspect of it.

    • It won’t work, I just booked a $210 “prepaid” stay for last week to save credit to include parking, as regular rate was $250. I got reimbursed for the $40 parking and $10 for some snacks but the $210 prepaid room was not covered by the credit. I went back and checked the terms of the credit and it clearly says “Advance Purchase Rates/Non-Refundable Rates are not eligible for the resort credit” my fault I should have double checked before booking.

  4. I don’t have a lot to add here other than to say thank you very much for putting this together in such an organized fashion. Candidly it’s very stressful for me at this point in the year trying to get buttoned up on all the benefits I feel I need to use in order to justify the high annual fees and this helped a TON. Thank you!

  5. Regardless of which qualifying Chase card, the DoorDash subscription must be activated by December 31, 2021 just like Uber One (not 3.31.22, which is the case for Lyft Pink).

  6. Thank you for this post great reminder. Although, if I had a preference, I would love to see this recap end of Nov to give a little more reaction time 🙂 I totally forgot about my $300 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 credits. I’m trying to use one of my E-certificates to book a 1-night staycation in Hawaii but seems to be near impossible to find anything for the eCert before end of the year.

    I am not very familiar with this $300 credit. To double check with the experts, I assume this $300 credit will only trigger when charges (Eating, Activities, etc) are added to your final room bill? I believe this credit cannot be used to pay for the actual booking? or if I just went to a Mariott hotel restaurant to eat without having booked room? Ritz-Carlton here on Oahu has a super upscale Sushi restaurant (Sushi Sho) it cost $300 per person with a set menu & serving time, I would love to just use the $300 credit for that dinner without actually having to book a room at $700 per night at the Ritz.

    • Mike – for the Marriott $300 credit, it should trigger for anything that says “Marriott” on your bill. I’ve used it for a hotel stay (room charges) and had a bit left of my credit last year so I bought a gift card. Then I used that gift card this year as part of a hotel payment (in person at the front desk). As far as going to the restaurant without a booking, I would assume it works only if the restaurant doesn’t have its own credit card machine. Meaning this: if the credit card machine charges you as “Sushi Sho”, you won’t get the credit. If it charges as “Marriott Sushi restaurant” or something like that, you could get the credit. You’ll need to dig into that to find out.

      • Ryan – Thanks great info. I called the restaurant and it was hard to get an answer about the charge, I assume it will not charge as Marriott. I ended up using one of my eCerts to book Westin Moana Surfrider (Cat 7) hotel right at 50K points max for the eCert. $105 of my Bonvoy credit will go towards the $50 Resort Fee & $55 Parking which leaves me $195 to spend at the 4 restaurants attached to that hotel able to charge to the room. I dont think it will be hard to spend $195 in food for a one-night stay but if any credit is left over I will for sure add a Marriot Gift Card to my bill to max out that $300 credit. Thank you for your suggestions.

        I wish I could do the same for my Aspire $250 credit and my 2 x $200 FHR credits but nothing really affordable/staycation worthy here on Oahu without dishing out a ton of cash to use the credits. Maybe I will do a last min trip to California to make use of the credits & my Delta companion tickets 🙂

        • Mike – as for the Amex $200 hotel credits, as far as I know this is “when you pay”. I don’t think it’s “when you stay”. If you make a reservation today for a hotel in Seattle, pay now, but you don’t stay until Feb, I believe the credit should still work. That’s because you are prepaying. I haven’t tried splitting it across the year like this, but I think it would work. You could try booking a hotel that you really think you’ll stay at next year and see if the credit applies when you book via AmexTravel and pay now. Granted, I would be careful with this and try to be super certain you will stay. If you cancel or change after New Year’s Day, it could get really messy with Amex and their drooling over misused credits.

          • Ryan- Thats a good idea I may try that with the FHR credits to buy me some time. Although a different situation I did try prepaying Hilton stay to trigger the Aspire credit as I read on another post that it worked for others, although it was a no go for me.
            I’m for sure feeling the pressure with so many unused credits as the year is coming to an end. I really need to plan a quick trip before the end of the year. I still have $650 worth of airline credits (2 x Plat & 1 x Aspire) to use which should at least pay for the 1st class upgrade or a bunch of free drinks for everyone on board.

  7. I have the CSR and have found using the DoorDash credit of $60/year tough. I live in kind of a rural-y area so food deliveries are not fast and always kind of tricky with the directions….not convenient…Stuff would get cold….I have to be constantly monitoring the delivery. etc. And with the mark up doordash has I always felt like I wasn’t getting value from it even with the “membership”. I know free is free but it just was not worth the trouble and I was not going to even use my $60 credit this year.

    I just discovered that Doordash is now delivering alcohol and they also will allow you to mail order from famous but distant restaurants. They are spamming coupons with like $10 and $15 off orders. And the CSR did have a %10 Chase offer (expired for me 11/18) on top. I ordered a couple of orders of Rum and another of Vodka and with my $60 credit it worked great and there was nothing to worry about getting cold. I felt great about using my credit…Gave the delivery driver a tip and with the coupons…. really made out. For someone who has not used their credit this year and either likes a cocktail or gourmet mail order….. it’s suddenly worth it.

  8. I don’t believe it was mentioned in the article but wanted to mention the Citi Prestige travel credit as well as the Ritz Carlton $300 air incidental credit

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