Recent Uber Glitch Is One Example Why You Should Always Pay With a Credit Card

Jul 19, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Many Uber customers were charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars because of a system glitch on Wednesday. Although the glitch has been addressed by Uber, some are still dealing with overdrafts and other bank issues because they had debit cards connected to their Uber accounts, rather than credit cards.

Instances like this are among the many reasons you should use credit cards whenever possible, especially as in-app payment methods.

When your debit card is wrongly charged (for, let’s say, a $1,200 Uber ride that should have cost $12), money is automatically pulled out of your account. That means future payments may not go through, you could be charged overdraft fees or you may be stuck without money until the error is resolved. Even after you dispute a charge, it could take weeks for the bank to release those funds back into your account. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t last three or four weeks with thousands of dollars missing from my bank account.

A driver uses an Uber Technologies Inc. car service app on a mobile device while driving in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Uber Technologies Inc.s net loss widened to $1.46 billion in the third quarter, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the ride-hailing leader struggled to fend off competition, legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Uber accidentally charged customers 100 times the actual cost of a trip because of a glitch on Wednesday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

 

When you pay with credit card, that money isn’t automatically pulled out of your bank account. This gives you the luxury of time to dispute the charge and get things set right before having to pay the bill. In a situation like this, the credit card company can issue a chargeback, which essentially removes the charge from your bill and charges the merchant instead. It’s one of the many consumer protections that paying with a credit card offers that debit cards do not.

Which Credit Cards Should You Use For Uber Rides

Another reason you should have a credit card linked to your Uber (and Lyft) accounts is that you can earn valuable rewards on every ride with the right credit card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve (or Preferred)

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 3x points on dining and travel. Chase defines its travel category broadly and includes rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable points available. Reserve cardholders can redeem their points for 1.5 cents each through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and you can also transfer points to any of Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 rate. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, meaning you’ll get a 6% return on your Uber purchases when you have your card linked.

If a $450 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is out of your budget, you can still get a great return with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (which only charges a $95 annual fee). It earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points on the same categories, and you can redeem those points for 1.25 cents each through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express now offers 3% cash back on transit, which includes rideshare apps. You’ll also earn 3% cash back at US gas stations, plus 6% cash back on select streaming services in the US and the first $6,000 spent annually at US supermarkets (then 1%). The card comes with a low $95 annual fee (see rates & fees) and a $250 statement credit (after spending $1,000 in the first three months).

If you’re looking for a simple cash back card to maximize rewards across transportation, streaming and your weekly grocery run, this is the card for you.

Uber Visa

Although the Uber Visa is probably the first card that comes to mind when thinking about Uber rewards, it doesn’t actually offer the best return on rides. With the Uber Visa, you’ll earn 4% cash back on dining (including Uber Eats), 3% cash back on hotels and airfare, 2% cash back for online purchases (including Uber rides) and 1% on everything else.

You’ll earn a modest $100 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days. It doesn’t offer the highest return on Uber, but it is a solid choice if you spend across its other bonus categories.

Bottom Line

Thankfully, it seems Uber has addressed the glitch. However, some customers may have to wait days or even weeks to see money deposited back into their debit accounts. It’s one of the many reasons why we always recommend using a credit card for purchases. You’ll earn valuable rewards that you can put toward your next vacation or other savings goal, not to mention the additional consumer protections that come with cards.

Not sure where to start? We recently revamped our beginner’s guide to all things points, miles and credit card rewards. Check it out to learn everything you need to know about jumping into the travel rewards game.

To see the rates and fees for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, click here

Featured photo by Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images via Getty Images

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.