JPMorgan Chase announced a new Mastercard-branded credit card Monday, a product aimed at accommodating consumers' pandemic-influenced shopping habits.
The new Chase Freedom Flex credit card will launch Sept. 15 and marks the bank's first consumer credit card tie-up with Mastercard in five years, according to CNBC.
"The Freedom Flex card delivers value in categories that our customers have told us are important to them," BJ Mahoney, general manager of Chase Freedom, told CNBC. “We think that the product is super-relevant now and super-relevant for years to come."
JPMorgan Chase's new credit card comes as 60% of banks have tightened credit limits during the pandemic, according to the Federal Reserve's most recent Senior Loan Officer Survey.
The move is a common tactic amid high unemployment, said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com.
Capital One, the nation's third-largest credit issuer, recently cut borrowing limits on some consumers' credit cards, a sign the lender may be bracing for the impact of the reduction in government unemployment aid.
The Freedom Flex card was in the works before the coronavirus pandemic started, and the goal is to attract customers who might be thinking about future travel, Mahoney told Bloomberg.
"We wanted to get the product out there so that, as folks feel like they're ready to return to travel, we've got options for them," Mahoney said in an interview.
The no-annual-fee card offers customers 5% cash back on travel, 3% back on drug store purchases and 3% back when dining out or with takeout and eligible delivery services.
A welcome bonus allows card users to earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
World Elite benefits include $10 in Lyft credit for every five rides taken per month, 5% cash rewards on purchases at online wholesale retailer Boxed for use on future purchases and free membership for online shipment service ShopRunner.
JPMorgan Chase also updated the rewards for its Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which it launched in 2016, adding new categories.
Starting Sept. 15, new and existing cardholders can earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% cash back on drugstore and dining purchases.
"Right now consumers' needs are changing; they want their loyalty to be rewarded in different ways," Linda Kirkpatrick, president of U.S. issuers at Mastercard, told PaymentsSource.
Kirkpatrick said all Chase Freedom Flex card customers will have free access to Mastercard's Priceless Experiences, a program that was updated in light of the pandemic.
"Instead of doing wine tastings live, we did a video event to learn about wine with an award-winning sommelier and millions of people tuned in," Kirkpatrick said.
The credit card issuer also hosted live music events on video within the Priceless Experiences program.
While air travel has slowed amid the pandemic, Kirkpatrick said consumers are still renting cars and booking Airbnb locations, "keeping travel cards relevant."