December 2023's Personal Finance News Roundup: New Credit Cards, Major Airline Mergers, and Exciting Streaming Deals Unveiled

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Each month the team at features a round-up of top personal finance news and presents the highlights in a quick video overview along with an article with additional details and links to the corresponding articles. Key highlights in December include Discover's new 5% bonus categories, the debut of two new rewards credit cards by Universal Studios and FNBO, various new streaming deals from Verizon, Instacart, and more.

Discover 5% Bonus Categories:

From January 1st through March 31st of 2024, Discover It customers will be able to earn up to 5% back in two categories: restaurants and drugstores. Starting with restaurants, this includes full-service establishments, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and dining delivery services.

For the Drug Stores category, purchases made at stand-alone drug stores, pharmacies, online pharmacies, and some pharmacies located inside of retail stores will qualify. As always, cardholders will need to activate this offer and the 5% is capped at a combined bonus category total of $1,500 in spending for the quarter.

Universal Studios Credit Cards:

In partnership with FNBO, Universal has launched both the Universal Rewards card and the Universal Rewards Plus card. Starting with the no-annual fee Universal Rewards card, customers can earn 2% back in Rewards on eligible Universal purchases while all other purchases earn 1% back in Rewards. As for perks, cardholders can get 10% off select merchandise as well as food and beverage purchases at select locations throughout Universal theme parks. Finally the card offers a welcome bonus, allowing new cardholders to earn a $50 statement credit after spending at least $100 on the card within their first billing cycle.

Turning to the $99 annual fee Universal Rewards Plus card, it offers the same benefits as the regular card but ups the rewards to 4% back on Universal purchases. Additionally, cardholders can earn 2% back on travel purchases, gas, and dining purchases.

Meanwhile, the “star feature” of the Universal Rewards Plus card is the Anniversary Bonus where Cardholders who spend at least $6,000 on their card during a membership year will earn a 1-Day theme park general admission ticket valid for entry to Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood.

Another difference with the Universal Rewards Plus Visa is the welcome bonus. Currently, new cardholders can earn a $100 statement credit when they spend at least $100 on the card during their first billing cycle.

Streaming Bundle Deals:

First, Instacart+ now includes a subscription to Peacock Premium. This new benefit comes alongside other Instacart+ perks such as free delivery on orders $35, lower fees, and a 5% credit on pick-up orders. Plus, the price of the service has not increased and is currently $99 for a year of $9.99 per month.

Elsewhere, Verizon has introduced a new bundle option where eligible customers can add both ad-supported Netflix and ad-supported Max to their plans for $10 a month. Since this tier of Netflix retails for $6.99 a month and Max is $9.99 per month, this option could save subscribers $6.98 per month.

Other notable news:

Bilt adding Marriott Bonvoy as a transfer partner, plans for a merger between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, and the shutdown of HMBradley and Ness Credit Card. Additionally, Visa announced an expansion of its FinTech Fast Track program.

Read the full December Personal Finance News Roundup here.

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Founded in 2015, Fioney seeks to bring the most relevant personal finance, small business, and FinTech news to readers alongside in-depth reviews, guides, and insights.

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