Quick Points – How to save $5 on Lyft every month with Mastercard
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Although we cover credit cards and their various benefits in depth on TPG every day, sometimes you just want a snippet of useful information that you can put into action on the fly. That’s why we recently launched our new series: Quick Points. Every week, we’ll highlight a new or easily forgotten tip that can help you travel more for less.
Often these are bits of information or advice that you can find elsewhere on the site, but that might have gotten buried amid flashier or more valuable perks. Up today: A reminder that linking your World Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard to your Lyft account could help you save $5 each month.
That might not sound like much at first blush, but it adds up to $60 per year, which could help offset a healthy portion of your credit card’s annual fee. Here’s what you need to know.
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Saving on Lyft with World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard
Some of the major card networks, including American Express, Mastercard and Visa, field premium families of cards with more benefits than their more basic products. For instance, there is Visa, but also higher-end Visa Signature cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and at the top, Visa Infinite products including the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The more rarefied your card, the more benefits you will probably be entitled to for carrying it.
While benefits can still vary from card to card within these families, some become standard across most, if not all, of them. Case in point: Mastercard partnered with Lyft to begin offering folks with World Mastercards and World Elite Mastercards $5 in Lyft credits every month they use their card to pay for three or more Lyft rides.
How the Mastercard – Lyft benefit works
Setting your account up to receive the monthly credits is easy. First, make sure you’re using the latest version of Lyft. Open the app and enter your eligible World or World Elite Mastercard into your payment methods. Then, make sure you’re using the card to pay for at least three rides each calendar month. You don’t even have to use your card to pay for each entire ride — even if you just charge part of it, that should count as long as the transaction processes.
The timing is important, too, because this perk is not based on billing cycles or statement dates, but rather, calendar months. If your billing period ends on the 20th of each month, and you’ve already taken three rides, you’ll have to wait till the first of the next month to begin earning ride credits toward your next monthly discount.
Rides that count toward earning the credit include those taken with the following Lyft services:
- Shared Saver
- Lux Black
- Lyft XL
- Lyft Black XL
Among the types of charges that do not count are:
- Business rides (so don’t use your business Mastercard)
- Gift card purchases
- Ride-pass or subscription purchases (such as Lyft Pink)
- Separate tip charges
There is a limit of one credit per Lyft account per month, so unfortunately, you can’t stack this to earn multiple credits even if you carry more than one World or World Elite Mastercard.
Tracking your progress
We hear you — who wants to keep track of yet another monthly credit? At least Lyft makes it easy. To see how many rides you’ve taken, open the app and tap the menu icon on the top left and tap Rewards. You should see how many rides you have left to earn the current month’s credit and how many dollar credits you’ve already earned.
Some rides take 48 hours to process, so you might not see your credits immediately after your last qualifying trip.
Redeeming Lyft credits
As long as your Mastercard remains open and unexpired, the credits you earn this way are automatically applied to your next ride. However, you can save your credits toward future rides on the Rate and Pay screen after your ride is complete. Tap the payment section and switch your payment method to remove the credit applied for the ride.
If your ride costs less than your credit, you will retain the unused portion for your next ride, while if the journey costs more than your credit covers, you can apply it to some of the charge, then pay for the rest with your regular method of payment.
Credits cannot be redeemed to cover ride passes or subscriptions, gift cards, tips, cancellation fees, or damage fees.
Use them or lose them
The major downside to these Mastercard Lyft credits is that they expire 30 days after you receive them, so keep tabs on your account and make sure you don’t hang onto them too long.
Which Mastercards can earn the Lyft credit?
If you’re not sure what type of Mastercard you have, you can usually find whether it’s a World Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard written either on the front or the back of your card. If in doubt, you can always call your issuer to ask.
Plenty of popular rewards credit cards fall into one designation or the other. Among those to look out for are:
- Citi Premier® Card
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
- Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- JetBlue Card
- JetBlue Plus Card
- Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card
The information for the JetBlue Card, the JetBlue Plus Card, the AAdvantage Aviator Red, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuers.
Maximize your rides with Lyft
Of course, a $5 monthly credit might not be reason enough to switch all your Lyft spending to a World or World Elite Mastercard since there are plenty of other rewards cards that earn bonus points on rideshares, and Lyft in particular. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022 — that’s pretty hard to beat.
If you’re a frequent Lyft rider and you have this card, or another that earns bonuses on Lyft rides, however, you may want to play it this way: Use your World or World Elite Mastercard on a few short, inexpensive rides each month to earn the $5 credit, then switch your payment method over to another card that you prefer to earn even more rewards on the rest of that month’s rides. Sure, it’s one more thing to keep track of, but $60 bucks a year is $60 bucks a year.
Featured photo by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.
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