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The Pandemic Didn’t End Card Rewards. It Made Them Stronger.

Americans love their credit card rewards more than ever. For card companies, perhaps too much.

When the Covid-19 pandemic halted travel—and travel spending—some speculated that it might also ground credit cards. Card companies had for years leaned on travel-related rewards and point systems to attract wealthier customers and bigger spenders. These often work by awarding points for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for goods or services from banks’ reward-cards partners, such as airlines or hotel chains. Some even just award a couple percentage points in cash back. But as Americans began concentrating their spending on everyday purchases closer to home, a lot of volume

shifted to debit cards.

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