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3 Options for Maximizing Your Uber Trips

Feb. 05, 2017
4 min read
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If you're a business traveler, you've probably been spending a lot of time in the backseat of someone else's car. According to a new study conducted by Certify, a travel expense management company, Uber is the most common item found on all business expense reports. For me, it's also a common personal expense. In fact, I've paid to travel nearly 900 miles on Uber trips, dishing out cash for vehicles as luxurious as a Mercedes S-Class, as common as a Chevy Cruze and as hip as a Dodge Grand Caravan (thanks, Uber XL).

I've paid for 171 rides since I started using Uber. In 2017, I'm hoping to earn more points for all my trips.

If you're like me, you'll want to earn more benefits for all your spending with Uber. Here are three ways to make your time as an Uber passenger more rewarding.

1. Use Capital One's Quicksilver Card

Capital One's offerings may not be the best options for all frequent travelers, but the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card does currently give cardholders $15 of Uber credits for every nine paid rides. The value of this reward depends on how much you typically spend. For example, my last nine Uber trips cost a total of $180.13 for an average price of about $20 per trip, which would make the $15 credit about an 8% return. Not bad. However, the promotion only lasts through March 31. So, if you aren't already carrying Quicksilver in your wallet, you may be better off considering one of these credit cards.

2. Take Advantage of Chase Freedom's Q1 Bonus

For anyone carrying the Chase Freedom card (No longer open to new applicants), sitting in the back of an Uber (or a Lyft or a taxi) is more rewarding during the first three months of 2017. The bonus category includes gas stations and local commuter transportation. Make the most of the opportunity to earn 5% cash back — which can be converted to 5x Ultimate Rewards points if you're carrying a premium UR-earning card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred — by making Chase Freedom your default Uber payment option. Remember that there's a $1,500 cap on your 5%/5x earnings each quarter, though.

3. Link Your SPG Account

Stay at a Starwood property once this year, and you can take advantage of earning extra SPG points on your Uber trips.

The year started with some not-so-great news for the Starwood-Uber partnership, but SPG members can still earn points by linking their SPG and Uber accounts. February offers an opportunity to accelerate your earnings, too. Throughout the month, you'll earn 5 Starpoints per dollar spent while you're staying at a Starwood property.

Bottom Line

While Uber doesn't offer its own rewards program, the ride-sharing company does partner with select credit card issuers and brands like Starwood to offer you perks for using the app. It also partners with a number of companies for some surprise-and-delight specials throughout the year. For example, at the end of last year, Amex cardholders could get two free rides home from the airport. Keep an eye on TPG to stay ahead of the curve with Uber's promos. And if you don't yet have an Uber account, you can sign up here to get your first ride free (up to $20) from TPG.