With Covid-19 grounding flights, emptying hotel rooms, and turning popular destinations into ghost towns, this might seem the most futile time to think about frequent flyer miles and loyalty points. In mid-March, the U.S. State Department issued a “do not travel” alert for the entire world. Travel is the last thing on most people’s minds, according to a survey released by trade organization U.S. Travel. The likelihood of travelers taking vacations in the next six months has dropped by half since late February.

But hitting pause on travel doesn’t mean you need to totally forget about your points and miles. Over the past couple of weeks, a number of travel companies, including American Airlines, Hilton Worldwide, United Airlines, British Airways and Marriott International announced that they would make it easier to reach—and maintain—elite status in their loyalty programs. United, for instance, is extending current Premier memberships through 2022 and making it easier for everyone else to qualify by cutting the number of flight purchases needed and increasing the ability to earn points on co-branded credit cards. Hilton is automatically extending elite status for a year, while Marriott is maintaining 2019 status tiers until February 2022.

With that kind of flexibility, a shifting economic landscape, and more time on your hands, you might be able to take a hard look at the rewards you’ve been earning and the credit cards you’re carrying in your wallet. Depending on your travel goals and financial needs, you may want to double down on current offers—or divest from credit cards with unused perks. These are the top actions to take while you’re grounded.

Reconsider High-Fee Cards
Even if you rarely think about your annual credit-card fees, it may have lately occurred to you that spending hundreds of dollars for perks you can’t use right now might make little sense. Cards such as the American Express Platinum Card, Citi Prestige Credit Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve cost upward of $450 a year—prices that are largely justified by an array of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and airline fee credits. During a lockdown, the value of these things quickly drops to nil.

Before you cancel, check your billing year cycle. Most companies won’t refund any portion of your annual fee if it was paid more than 30 days ago, though Chase, for one, may prorate the fee if you switch to a different card. If you decide to pull the plug, be sure to cash out any points you would lose, or transfer them to different programs. (This generally doesn’t include airline or hotel points, which are stashed in your loyalty program, not with the credit card.) Chase Ultimate Rewards, for instance, can be transferred to more than a dozen travel partners or traded for cash at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Another consideration is travel insurance. The policies included with some cards may cover you if you’ve had to cancel a trip because you got sick; if you fall into that camp, find out what you may be entitled to before you close your account.

Be aware that canceling a card may temporarily ding your credit score. Especially if you have a longstanding account, you may prefer to downgrade to a cheaper option from the same issuer—such as the $95-a-year Chase Sapphire Preferred, or even a fee-free card—to prevent that from happening. Then, when you’re ready to hit the road again, you can get re-approved for the pricier cards. (If only you’d get a second signup bonus.)

Earn Your Bonus
Speaking of signup bonuses: Having less reason to splurge doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the rewards that might come with hitting spending minimums in the first few months of having your card. Issuers are offering extensions on these initial spending requirements; both Chase and American Express are giving cardholders an additional three months on most of their offers. Don’t forget that making purchases through your credit card’s shopping portal can be doubly beneficial during this time: it allocates dollars to your spending targets while helping you rack up bonus points to use later.

Use Those Points—or Cash Them Out
If you’re worried about your financial situation, concerned about the future of your loyalty program or wondering whether your favorite airline, car-rental company, or bank might go under if the economy worsens, it may be time to liquidate points and get cash.

That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your card. But you can request any cash that has accumulated with, say, your Chase Freedom Unlimited, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, or Bank of America Cash Rewards account. You can also exchange for cash back other kinds of points, including Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and American Express Membership Rewards.

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