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Best credit cards for coronavirus stockpiling – earn up to 7.5x

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Best credit cards for your coronavirus stockpiling

News reports are circulating that people around the world are rushing stores to stock up on dry goods, toiletries, medicine, water, etc. I’m not going to comment one way or another on whether this activity is hysteria or prudence, but a lot of people are partaking. Being the points nerd that I am, I thought to myself ” I hope they’re using the right cards.” Since I’m based in the States, I thought it’d be helpful to detail the 3 cards I think offer the best return on your purchases. This way you can not only stockpile for an possible quarantine, but if armageddon doesn’t strike, you can also stockpile some points for your next vacation – let’s be honest…the travel industry has been badly bruised and if/when this finally clears up, I’d guess we will see quite a bit of award availability. Without further adieu…here are the best credit cards to use for coronavirus stockpiling.

Also…none of the links in the post generate income for the blog – they link to posts detailing referral offers that often have readers links in them.

American Express Gold 4x on U.S. Groceries

The American Express Gold card is already my most used card. It earns 4x on dining worldwide and 4x on US grocery stores, up to $25k annually.  If you’re coronavirus stockpiling at a grocery store…this card should be in your wallet.

Learn More about the American Express Gold Card

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American Express Everyday Preferred up to 4.5x on U.S. Groceries

The American Express Everyday Preferred card comes with a guaranteed 3x on purchases at U.S. Grocery Stores. The $6k annual cap is much lower than the Amex Gold, but the Everyday Preferred card comes with a hidden feature. If you make more than 30 purchases in a month ( at any vendor, separate purchases, not items ) you earn a 50% bonus on all purchases that month. Meaning…that 3x suddenly turns into 4.5x.  The Amex Everyday Preferred card comes with a $95 annual fee, and has been on list of cards to pick up for quite some time. If you’re coronavirus stockpiling at US grocery stores and want a lower annual fee…this is a good option

Learn more about the American Express Everyday Preferred

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Chase Ink Business Cash for 5x + 2.5x stack via Rakuten

The Chase Ink Business Cash is a fantastic card that earns 5x at Office Supply Stores. Why is that so great? Because you can purchase gift cards for your favorite retailers and earn 5x points on them. For instance…if you’re looking to pick up water, cleaning supplies, filters, garbage bags, etc – Lowe’s and Home Depot can hook you up. If you can find masks…they’d be there as well. But don’t go straight to the store…buy a gift card via Office Max/Office Depot and earn 5x points on them. If you’re coronavirus stockpiling and willing to use a portal to access gift cards to use at your favorite retailers that aren’t grocery stores…this could be a great NO ANNUAL FEE business card to use.

Learn more about the Chase Ink Business Cash

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Currently Rakuten is offering 2.5% back. You know how much we love Rakuten because they offer the option to earn American Express points instead of cashback:  1% = 1 Membership Rewards.  That means that you’ll earn 5x via Chase and another 2.5x on Amex for the same purchases.

Use our referral to earn $10 back on a $25 purchase.

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Lowe’s and Home Depot

You can purchase these gift cards on the Office Max/Depot website and even have them delivered to your house. Again…if you use Rakuten to populate the website, you’ll earn an additional 2.5x on your purchases.

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Costco, Sam’s Club, Grocery Stores, etc.

Another great option is to straight up buy Visa gift cards that can then be used for purchases at Costco, Sam’s Club, Grocery Stores, etc. You will pay a fee to activate Visa gift cards so you need to factor that into the cost. As you can see below, they’re currently running $5.95 which is a bit over 1% fee.  I added some extra images to show you what to select and the option that allows for free shipping. I’m assuming the 2.5x Rakuten bonus works on non-3rd party gift cards, but I could be wrong. Please let me know if this doesn’t work. Either way…it’s still a great option to earn bonus points on Costco purchases, etc.

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These are all techniques you should be taking advantage of during normal times, but many people are buying volumes more than usual and I’d hate to see anyone leave valuable points on the table. Also…none of the links in the post generate income for the blog – they link to posts detailing referral offers that often have reader’s links in them.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  • Jordan February 28, 2024


    $30 after your first qualifying purchase in the first 90 days. Don’t forget you can earn Amex points through this portal.

  • GerryD March 4, 2020

    I assume that most of us come to this site for the insights and recommendations regarding travel information, credit card benefits, bargain opportunities, etc. I find it to be a valuable source for reliable information. I appreciate that the subject matter is always presented in a light-hearted tone. After all, Miles is a monkey!
    I applaud Miles for taking a tongue-in-cheek tone in noting the absurdity of the crazies that are hoarding for an uncertain disaster. It’s normal behavior for a segment of our population to behave this way in certain circumstances. Think about a pending winter storm or threatening hurricane; suddenly the grocery stores are sold out of bread, milk, etc. Such behavior is predictable. I doubt that any hoarders are stocking up to reap credit card points.
    Miles, when I read your piece, I laughed out loud…. I got it, the way you intended it. Then, I read all the comments by those offended by your writing. Remember, in the age of political correctness, we have those that are just waiting for something to offend them. Stay the course.

    • Miles March 5, 2020

      Gerry – thanks so much 🙂

  • Ed March 4, 2020

    Stockpiling, aka hoarding, is neither hysterical nor is it prudent – it’s unnecessary. If you wanted to write an article about grocery shopping have at it. Tying Coronavirus to credit card bonus points is distasteful.

    • Armando March 4, 2020

      Absolutely unnecessary…cut to Hong Kong, China, Italy, Korea, Japan where people are quarantined for 14+ days. I’m sure those people are ecstatic they didn’t have extra supplies

      • Ed March 4, 2020

        So tell me, what supplies are you hoarding now. What essentials are you stockpiling so that you’ll sit comfortably during the upcoming catastrophe while knowing that your neighbors will be deprived of those same things. And while your answering, assure me that you’re your purchases are getting the maximum amount of credit card bonus points.

        • Armando March 6, 2020

          Is it stockpiling or hoarding? I always get the PC terms mixed up. Nevertheless, I bought enough stuff to make sure my family is taken care of should a mass quarantine be enforced. If you haven’t taken proper action as an impending pandemic swept across the world…that’s on you Ed

  • DaninMCI March 4, 2020

    I know this is meant to be funny or cute but is in poor taste. In fact, many medical and dental practices are having a hard time obtaining even basic supplies like masks and gloves amid this hysteria. Again I know that you aren’t trying to be irresponsible but this is actually irresponsible. Is the next post about which card to use when you go into the medical clinic to be treated for coronavirus?

    I think the only thing that could have been worse on this blog post is if it included affiliate links to specific store products or Amazon items.

  • Jonathan Shapiro March 4, 2020

    Good grief. Encouraging this behavior is highly irresponsible.

    • Steve B March 4, 2020

      “I’m not going to comment one way or another on whether this activity is hysteria or prudence, but a lot of people are partaking.”

      Did you not read the article? Personally, I think you’re an idiot if you don’t buy at least some things as stores are running low.

      I wasn’t aware of the Rakuten stacking. Great point

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