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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Reserve
TPG reader Cole sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning rewards for Uber:
“Is Uber considered a travel expense, and if so, which credit card should I use to pay for Uber charges?”
One important step to maximizing your rewards is knowing how each purchase is categorized. Credit card issuers don’t always agree about what qualifies as travel, dining, etc., and bonus points are awarded based on whether the merchant category code is considered eligible. Fortunately, there are plenty of cards that do classify car services like Uber as travel, and other ways to boost your return on those expenses.
Chase has a pretty broad definition of travel purchases that includes taxis and limousines. In practice, that extends to both Uber and Lyft, so you can earn 3 points per dollar by using the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card or the similar J.P. Morgan Reserve Card. Those are both strong options because Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable, but you can also earn 3 points per dollar with the Citi ThankYou Premier Card.
Additionally, through the end of the year, Amex is offering two free rides from select airports (up to $65), so that’s worth a look as well.
Finally, make sure you take advantage of partnerships that can earn you points and miles with other loyalty programs. Starwood Preferred Guest offers at least 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Uber rides, or up to 4 points per dollar (depending on your elite status) when you use Uber during a Starwood stay. Uber recently launched a similar partnership with Shop Your Way rewards, and Lyft offers a more modest partnership with JetBlue. Those rewards can all be stacked with the ones you earn from your credit card, so there’s no downside to signing up.
Featured image courtesy nycshooter/Getty Images.