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Ride-hailing services like Uber make it easy to get around in many parts of the world. If Uber is available in your home city or destinations you visit frequently, it’s likely you’ll find yourself using the service. Even if Uber isn’t your first choice for ride-hailing, it’s oftentimes the best (or only) option — especially when traveling abroad.
In order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Uber rides, make sure you’re using the right credit card for each ride. To help you maximize the points earned on Uber rides or enjoy some credits toward free rides, check out this guide to see which cards you should add to your purse or wallet.
The Platinum Card is one of the best options out there for Uber perks. When the card went through its refresh in 2017, American Express placed an emphasis on benefits with the ride-sharing app.
The highlight of those benefits is up to $200 in Uber credits to use annually. That $200 in annual credits breaks down as $15 to use each month, plus a $20 bonus in December ($35 total for that month). To get the credits, you just need to add your Platinum Card as a payment option in your Uber app — the monthly credits will then be loaded into your Uber Cash account automatically at the beginning of each month. As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you’ll also get Uber VIP status which allows you to request top-rated drivers in select cities.
Aside from Uber-related perks, the Platinum Card provides access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Amex’s Centurion Lounges, a Priority Pass membership and Delta Sky Club access when flying with the carrier. Plus, you’ll get a up to $200 airline fee credit annually, elite status with Marriott and Hilton and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100) every 4.5 to 5 years.
The Platinum Card currently comes with a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, though some people may be targeted for up to 100,000 points via the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at anytime). There’s a $550 annual fee (see rates & fees), but you can gain much of the annual fee back through the card’s benefits and the valuable Membership Rewards points you’ll earn by spending on the card. Read our full card review for more details.
Although the monthly Uber Cash credits are useful, you won’t actually want to pay for Uber rides using your Platinum Card. This is because you’d only earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on Uber, which equates to a 2% return based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each. So, keep reading for other cards to use once you’ve exhausted your monthly credit (or while using Uber outside the US, since you can only use the credit inside the US).
The Chase Sapphire Reserve — one of the best travel credit cards — is also a great choice for Uber. Because Chase classifies Uber as a travel expense, you’ll earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent with Uber. For example, if you spend $300 with Uber per month, you’ll walk away with 900 Ultimate Rewards points each month, which are worth about $18 based on TPG’s most recent valuations.
The Uber benefits with the Sapphire Reserve don’t end with the earning structure — there’s also the $300 in annual travel credits. Again, because Chase considers Uber to be a travel expense, you can also potentially get up to $300 off your Uber rides every year. Chase automatically reimburses you in statement credits for your travel credits. So, if you spend only on travel with Uber, you could end up with a lot of free Uber rides.
Currently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — worth $1,000 based on TPG’s most recent valuations. You’ll earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points not only on eligible travel purchases, but also on eligible dining purchases. Other than those two generous bonus categories, you’ll earn 1x points on everything else. The card comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit (up to $100) and a Priority Pass Select membership. There’s a $450 annual fee, but that amount is effectively knocked down to $150 when you factor in the $300 travel credit. Read our full card review for more details.
The Ink Business Preferred card from Chase is a great option for Uber passengers, since much like the issuer’s personal Sapphire cards, it earns bonus points for travel. You’ll earn 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year.
Of course, for Uber riders, that travel bonus category is especially appealing. If you spend $300 a month on Uber rides, you’d get 900 Ultimate Rewards points each month, which are worth $18 based on TPG’s valuations.
The Ink Business Preferred currently comes with an 80,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months. On top of the 3x bonus categories detailed above, you’ll earn 1x points on everything else with no limits. You can get employee cards at no additional cost. The card has a $95 annual fee. Read our full card review for more information.
The Citi Premier Card offers 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent on travel, including Uber and (most) gas stations. This means if you spend $300 per month on Uber rides, you’d earn a total of 900 Citi ThankYou points each month. These 900 points are worth about $15 based on TPG’s valuations.
In addition to earning 3x points on travel, the Citi Premier also earns 2x points on dining out and entertainment as well as 1x on everything else. The Citi Premier also offers excellent shopping protections, as well as car rental coverage that provides protection for some rental vehicles (like RVs) that are generally difficult to insure.
Currently, the Citi Premier Card offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — worth $1,020 based on TPG’s valuations. This card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, but there is a $95 annual fee. Read our full card review for more information about this card.
Much like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred will earn you bonus points for your Uber rides. The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on eligible travel and dining purchases, and 1x points on everything else.
So, while you’re riding with Uber, you can rack up the Ultimate Rewards points for each dollar you spend. For example, if you spend $300 per month on Uber rides, you’d earn a total of 600 Ultimate Rewards points each month. These 600 points are worth about $12 based on TPG’s valuations.
Currently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — worth $1,200 based on TPG’s valuations. The card comes with several protections and charges no foreign transaction fees. There’s a $95 annual fee. Read our full card review for more details.
The Barclays co-branded Uber credit card first launched in October 2017, and with it, you’ll earn 4% back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including UberEats. Next up, you’ll earn 3% back on airfare, hotel and vacation home rentals. Then, at the 2% level, you’ll earn that amount back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services (though certain online purchases are excluded, including third-party payment services). Finally, you’ll earn 1% back on all other purchases.
Though the card’s earning structure is very much like a cash-back card, you’ll technically earn points, which are worth 1 cent apiece toward Uber cash, cash back or gift cards. You can redeem points for Uber Cash once you have a minimum of 500 points ($5) in your account. Redeeming points for cash back or gift cards requires a minimum of $25 (2,500 points).
If you spend $300 per month on Uber rides, you’d earn about $6 back each month. On top of the bonus categories, you can earn up to a $50 credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 on your card annually. Perhaps best of all, there are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee for the card.
Gift cards earn a special mention in this article. That’s because many users can earn a better return when they purchase Uber gift cards with a credit card, as opposed to paying for Uber rides directly with a credit card. There are some caveats to Uber gift cards though: they can only be used for rides or UberEats orders in the country where the gift card was purchased, and they can’t be used for UberRUSH, family profiles or scheduled rides.
Buying Uber gift cards can be a good way to earn a solid return if you have a credit card that offers high bonus earning for merchants where you can purchase gift cards, such as grocery stores, gas stations or office supply stores. Three popular options for purchasing gift cards at select merchants are the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, the American Express® Business Gold Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. You’ll just need to find a store in the bonus category for your card that sells Uber gift cards and will allow you to purchase gift cards with a credit card.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here.
Featured image by Leon Neal / Getty Images.
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WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees