How one of my new credit card perks helps me avoid rush hour traffic

Mar 3, 2020

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I live in downtown Austin, where electric scooters litter the sidewalks, sloppily leaning against a skinny tree or shamelessly sprawled along the side of the road like discarded children’s toys. I eye them and their riders with suspicion, giving them a wide berth as they wobble down poorly paved roads next to my car. 

Related: Love ’em or hate ’em, here’s everything you need to know about electric scooters

I’ve been pretty disdainful of scooters until now, but they’ve slowly grown on me for short commutes across town. They’re extremely useful for getting through the downtown gridlock in a city like Austin, where it can take almost an hour to go three miles during rush hour and where parking is pretty much non-existent.

I’m a big fan of walking, which is why I live downtown in the first place. But sometimes walking just doesn’t work out, like when it’s more than 100 degrees outside and I don’t want to show up to an event sweating like I just ran a marathon. Other times, scooters help me get from Point A to Point B when I’m a few minutes behind schedule and don’t want to power walk. Finally, electric scooters are a bit more eco-friendly than driving.

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I still think scooters are dangerous, especially when I see people whizzing down the street after a drink (or two, or three). They can go up to 20 miles per hour, which can spell disaster when paired with a crack in the street or an unsteady hand (scooters technically count as vehicles and are required to stay off of the sidewalk). And while users are strongly encouraged to wear helmets, the vast majority of people don’t have them on hand — myself included. I do my best to be super vigilant, keep a close eye on traffic regulations and oblivious drivers alike, and make sure I never mix drinking and scooting.

Of late, I’ve found myself gravitating toward Lyft scooters for two reasons:

  1. I always have the app on my phone, since I use Lyft for ride-hailing. I often delete apps that aren’t in frequent use, and most of my scooter-specific apps have fallen by the wayside.
  2. I get three Lyft rides per month now, thanks to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Related: Chase partners with Lyft for customer discounts

Don’t worry: I don’t actually operate these contraptions in heels. (Kathrine Fan/The Points Guy)

I used to be scooter brand-agnostic. With several competitors in Austin, I could take my pick between Lime, Lyft, Spin, Uber, Bird, Jump and likely at least one other company with a trendy startup name.

While Lime scooters are a bit on the large side for my 5′ 2″ frame, the rest are essentially indistinguishable from each other from an operational standpoint. So those three free rides each month have made all the difference in tipping me toward Lyft for my tiny-wheeled adventures, since none of the scooter brands cost all that much to operate, especially compared to ride-hailing cars.

Related: Here’s how to activate your Lyft Pink membership

I don’t have a good solution to the valid safety concerns, or for the clutter of scooters galore clustered around downtown. But at least in Austin, electric scooters are here to stay for the time being. And now that I get three rides for free each month, I have one more reason to use them.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.