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Your credit card benefits help offset the cost of the annual fee, but issuers don’t always make it easy to use these perks.
A prime example of a lucrative benefit is the up to $200 in annual Uber credits provided to card holders of the Platinum Card® from American Express. This helps justify paying $550 a year for the card (see rates & fees), which provides other great perks like lounge access, up to a $200 annual airline credit and hotel elite status.
Amex Platinum card holders also receive $15 in Uber credit every month except in December, when they get $35.
Recent Changes to the Uber App Caused Confusion
Late last year, Uber added an extra step that made redeeming your credits more difficult. In the past, credits would automatically be applied when taking a ride, but in October, Uber started adding the credits to riders’ Uber Cash balance.
Uber Cash consolidates all your Uber credits in one place. With the introduction of Uber Cash, Platinum card holders’ monthly credits started being deposited in that balance.
“Those $15 in Amex credits are applied to your Uber Cash balance, and you need to manually select Uber Cash as your payment method in order to use your credits. If your overall balance isn’t high enough to cover the entire ride, you’ll be prompted to add credits to your account, or you can scroll down and select a card to cover just the remaining amount.”
We’ve had a few readers email us saying that they’ve had issues redeeming their $15 Uber allowance. Readers reported that they weren’t able to use the credit if the ride was over $15 — frustrating many, as you don’t need to go far (at least in New York City) for a trip to cost more than $15.
A another tricky element is that it says “Amex benefit” under your Amex Platinum, making it seem like you’d want to select that payment method instead of Uber Cash.
How to Get Around the Problem
To avoid this issue, you’ll want to select Uber Cash as your payment method before you order a car. Following these steps should ensure you’ll be able to use all of your Uber Cash:
- Select Uber Cash as your payment method
- Request a ride
- If your ride cost exceeds your balance, click “refill options” when prompted
- Add credit using a linked payment method, or select “just cover this trip”
If your Uber Cash balance isn’t enough to cover the ride, you can select a credit card to cover the remaining balance from the trip. You don’t have to fill up your Uber credits as it may appear. Select “Just cover this trip” and then the remaining balance should be charged to a credit card of your choice.
An Uber spokesperson told TPG that the company has had technical issues among a very small set of users who request a ride, opt not to use Uber Cash as their payment method, and attempt to switch to Uber Cash mid-trip. If they don’t have enough funds in their Uber Cash balance to cover the entire cost of the trip, these users receive a message stating “Uber Credits: Insufficient funds – Please add funds to your payment method in order to take this trip.” The spokesperson did say they were working to fix this, and they expect changes to come into effect in May 2019. Users can also add funds to their Uber Cash balance prior to the trip to avoid this message.
Remember that the $15 credit is a “use it or lose it” benefit, meaning it won’t roll over into the next month. And if you want to truly maximize your spend, make sure you use a card that earns bonus points on ride-hailing transactions like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Premier Card — both earn 3x points on Uber rides.
For rates & fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
Featured image by studioEAST/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
- 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