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Uber and Amex Team Up: Earn 2x Or Use Points for Rides

by on June 9, 2014 · 21 comments

in American Express, Uber

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Uber is one of my favorite travel companies out there. The ride-sharing/black-car service app allows you to summon relatively affordable transpiration quickly and easy and is a godsend in cities like Paris where taxis can be impossible to hail. Uber is categorized as “TAXICABS/LIMOUSINES” with most credit card companies, so cards like the Sapphire Preferred and BarclayCard Arrival Plus / Arrival No Fee cards give 2x points per dollar spent. American Express is stingier with category spend bonuses on their Membership Rewards cards-, giving 3x points only on airfare on the Premier Rewards Gold card (also 2x on gas and groceries) and either a 20% or 50% bonus on all purchases (essentially 1.2 and 1.5 point per dollar) on their new Everyday Cards.

New American Express Membership Rewards and Uber partnership

New American Express Membership Rewards and Uber partnership

However, today they announced a new partnership with Uber where you earn 2 points per dollar when paying with certain eligible Membership Rewards cards or you can redeem Membership Rewards points for Uber rides at the rate of 1 cent per point, so a $20 ride = $2,000 points.

This is like Amex’ instant point redemption program for NYC taxis, but goes a step further and gives the double point earning. Still, I’d rather use the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2.14 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per Uber drive (2x for travel expense, plus they give a 7% yearly dividend for all points accrued, except for sign-up bonuses) and I value Chase points at about 2 cents a piece vs. 1.7 per Amex point.

However, if I didn’t have a Sapphire Preferred or wanted to build up my Amex account, I’d sync up my Premier Rewards Gold American Express card (which is the most lucrative card for earning Amex points) and try to hit the $30,000 spend per calendar year to get the 15,000 point spend bonus.

How to Sign Up
To sign-up for a new account, you can sign-up here and get $10 in credit after your first ride
Add Payment Uber

Then simply add an eligible American Express card into the payment screen, by clicking the top left menu button from the home screen -> Payment + Add Payment

Whenever you use that card to summon a ride you will be given the option to use points or earn 2x points for your ride- as easy as that. If you ever mess-up and use points when you meant to earn them or vice versa, you can call American Express customer service and they should be able to fix it.

Worth It?
Since I value Amex points at about 1.7 cents a piece because I leverage their transfer partners, I personally won’t be using my Membership Rewards points at the rate of 1 cent per piece to pay for Uber rides. However, if you’ve got a boatload and want to save on car/taxi expenses, this promotion might make sense. I also like how there’s no minimum redemption amount like there is with BarclayCard Arrival Plus redemptions, which must be at least $25 (2,500 points). But still, I’d rather use BarclayCard points (which cannot be transferred to airlines) to cover expenses like Uber and save my Membership Rewards points for airline transfers, especially when they run lucrative transfer bonuses (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another 50% British Airways bonus someday!).

However, having more points earning and redemption options is a good thing, so I’m excited they launched this new promotion and I hope they continue to ink new partnerships, especially after discontinuing the Membership Rewards Bonus Points Mall and the current lack of lucrative transfer bonuses.

Will you take advantage of this new partnership?

Disclaimer: 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.

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  • joeypore

    Completely agree. Definitely better than before, but Sapphire Preferred is still the best for Uber. Glad to see AMEX is making partnerships like this!!

    And I know I’ll never redeem AMEX points for these, but still good to see that option at a not-completely-awful redemption ratio.

  • mickyb

    To bad uber cant be used in Northern Virginia. They just stopped it due to regulations on unlicensed cabs or something like that. And other states are following suit. This was a great way to get a cab on short notice.

  • justp

    EveryDay Preferred seems to be a great option for Uber now. 2x points on spend with a 50% bonus, so 3 points for each $1 spent on rides.

  • WBTM

    How are taxis hard to hail in Paris? There is a taxi stand at all major intersections.

  • Joe

    How do you use uber in foreign countries? I’d have access to WiFi on my phone to hail, but I would turn my voice off. This would mean that they wouldn’t be able to call me, which Uber in the US normally does, to confirm anything. (not that they need to).

  • Joe

    Way to go, Dems!

  • WireValley

    You need to have international calling/data enabled on your phone then.

    I know T-Mobile is not for everyone, but that’s who we have and they’ve been amazing in foreign countries! You now get free data and text in over 100 countries with T-Mobile and calls are only $0.20/minute. I’m going to London and Germany next month and plan on using Uber! Since I have free data and the phones calls are less than 1 minute, I’m sitting pretty good right now being able to use Uber in foreign countries.

  • DY

    Too bad it’s for iOS only, as I just switched to Android. Any word on Android availability in the future?

  • Jim baround

    Joe I’ve used it internationally with no voice access. I haven’t had any trouble, I just make sure the location is exact and that I’m there looking out for them when they arrive. I find it annoying in the US when they call unless its someplace where we have to setup where to meet like an airport.

  • AmexUser

    This is good. All the more incentive to Uber with my Amex Plat.

  • Ry

    Too idiotic to warrant a response.

    I lol’d though. Thanks, Joe!

  • Dan Hermsen

    Exactly what I was thinking. Even if you value Chase points at 2 cents vs 1.7 cents for Amex, with the Preferred card you will come out ahead.

  • alex

    If I use my american express platinum card, will I be earning 2 points per dollar spent or still only 1 point?

  • alcw

    mickyb: I used it Friday night (well it was actually Saturday AM) in Alexandria. So I’m not sure what you are talking about it being in NoVa. I think your are confusing being reviewed versus actually not being allowed. Uber is a fantastic service.

  • Eric

    New promo to get $30 free for new members only, use promo code ubersave$30

  • http://uber.com/invite/ubermeplease ubermeplease

    You can sign up right now with promo code UBERMEPLEASE and get $30 off your first UBER ride!
    http://uber.com/invite/ubermeplease

  • Still Zoned

    cci36

    £30 Off First Ride With UBER!!!

  • Jason

    “ARINAO” gives you a $30 credit and works anywhere in the US

  • Sean

    This one worked for me in NYC. $30.

  • Melissa

    Yup, working

  • Moboma

    worked for me

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