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Citi updates its welcome bonus and expands Citi Prestige travel credit to include takeout and groceries

Citi is making some changes to its travel rewards during coronavirus, plus doubling how long new cardholders have to earn the welcome bonus. Here's how to know if you qualify.

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Citi is joining many other credit card issuers, including American Express, Chase and Bank of America, in offering eligible new cardholders more time to earn their welcome bonus.

Similar to other issuers, Citi is extending the time frame to earn the bonus by three months.

Eligible Citi cardholders include those who've applied for a new credit card between December 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. These eligibility requirements are the same as Amex and broader than both Chase and Bank of America.

So if you open a new Citi card, such as the Citi Rewards+℠ Card, between now and May 31, you'd have an extended six-month earning period that lasts until November 30 (compared to the typical three months). The minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus has not changed; you just have twice as long to spend it now.

In addition to providing a welcome bonus extension, Citi has made some temporary changes to the Citi Prestige® Card, which we explain below.

Citi will now let cardmembers apply the popular travel card's annual $250 travel credit to eligible purchases at supermarkets and restaurants, in addition to travel  — a major boon for cardholders who have missed out on the full value of this benefit this year.

This travel credit update is good now through December 31, 2020. In order to qualify, you need to have an open Citi Prestige account at the time the statement credit is posted. That means if you make $250 in eligible purchases and close your account before receiving the credit, you will lose out.

Take note that a few restaurant purchases won't count toward the travel credit. They include spending at bakeries, caterers and restaurants located inside other establishments (like the vendors inside hotels, department stores, grocery stores, discount and convenience stores or warehouse clubs).

And excluded supermarket purchases include markets, drugstores, warehouse clubs, wholesale clubs, specialty vendors, bakeries, and meal kit delivery services, among others. Learn more about how Citi classifies bonus category purchases.

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Information about the Citi Rewards+℠ Card and Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

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