The best credit cards for Uber and Lyft
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Whether you’re a fan of it or not, there’s no denying that the sharing economy has created additional options for travelers. Airbnb is a prime example, allowing you to enjoy a more local experience at your destination – even in new, fast-growing markets such as Cuba. The sharing economy has also transformed transportation in many cities around the world, with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft providing a convenient alternative to traditional methods.
Today, I’ll share my list of the top credit cards to use with these services to ensure that you’re maximizing your point and mileage accrual on every purchase.
Related reading: Maximizing points and miles with Lyft partnerships
Uber and Lyft points/cash back
|Apple Card||3% cash back for Uber and Uber Eats|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||1.5%|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3x|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||3x|
|Discover it® Cash Back||5% cash back on first $1,500 in spending per quarter — but only during 2Q 2019|
|Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||1.5% cash back|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express®||3x|
|5% cash back on first $2,000 in purchases for ground transportation|
On Sept. 20, 2019, Uber became one of the latest vendors to earn 3% cash back (Daily Cash) on the Apple Card. The truth is, this card is best for true Apple loyalists, since you only earn the highest Daily Cash on Apple, Uber, Walgreens and Duane Reade purchases. You receive Daily Cash right after each purchase. That’s good if you’re a fan of simple cash back, but if you’re going for points or miles, this card isn’t the best choice.
Current sign-up bonus: None
Cardholders earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, including Uber and Lyft rides, on this no-annual-fee card. You can receive your cash back as a statement credit, deposit it into most U.S. checking and savings accounts, or, if you also have a premium Chase card — Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — you can transfer your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points.
Current sign-up bonus: Earn $150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Another great card option for Uber and Lyft rides is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, winner of TPG’s Mid-Tier Card of the Year award and my number one recommendation to those getting started in the points and miles hobby. Both services are categorized as travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, allowing you to earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.
Current sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
Thanks to an expansive definition of travel, cardholders can earn 3 points per dollar spent on Lyft and Uber rides. Use the points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 50% more value on them when you use them for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Current sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
My top pick for Uber and Lyft rides may surprise you: the Citi Premier. You earn 3x per dollar spent for travel purchases under a generous definition of the category. Uber and Lyft qualify for this bonus category. TPG pegs ThankYou points at 1.7 cents apiece in its most recent valuations, so you’ll get a return of 4.8% on these purchases.
Current sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
The information for the Citi Premier has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Discover it® Cash Back
The good news: You could earn 5% cash back, up to $1,500 per quarter when you use the card to pay for Lyft and Uber rides. The bad news is that you only got that higher cash back in the second quarter of 2019. Otherwise, you earn a flat 1% for the two rideshare companies.
Current sign-up bonus: Discover automatically matches all the cash back earned at the end of a cardholder’s first year.
Another great option comes from Capital One. We’ve written about other Capital One cards, but the Quicksilver card is actually a solid cash-back card, offering you a 1.5% return on all purchases, including Lyft and Uber rides. This card also waives foreign transaction fees, a terrific benefit given the fact that there’s no annual fee.
Current sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months.
With this card, you earn 3x per dollar spent on travel, which includes Lyft and Uber rides. TPG values points at 1.5 cents per dollar spent. You don’t pay foreign transaction fees and you can redeem the points you earn on the card in Wells Fargo’s Go Far® Rewards portal — all with no annual fee.
Current sign-up bonus: 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months.
We like this card because you can earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in purchases on two categories of your choice, including ground transportation — which covers Lyft and Uber rides. Other popular categories include TV/internet/streaming services, cellphone providers and fast food restaurants. Plus you earn 2% cash back on either gas, restaurants or grocery stores — all at no annual fee
Current sign-up bonus: $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening.
Current sign-up bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. Earn another 25,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 within the first six months of account opening.
We added this card as an honorable mention, since cardmembers get $15 a month in Uber Cash for U.S. rides, plus a bonus $20 in December plus Uber VIP status.
Uber and Lyft have opened up a myriad of transportation options in cities around the world, but you want to make sure you’re maximizing your earnings on these purchases when traveling. Hopefully this post has given you some suggestions for which credit cards offer the best return on these purchases.
What cards do you use for Uber and Lyft purchases?
Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.
Featured image by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.