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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.
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.
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.
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?