I didn’t use my Uber Eats dining credit for food this month; instead I bought a bottle of vodka
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There are many reasons that I’ve held on to my Platinum Card® from American Express throughout the pandemic. But one of the key ones has been the up-to-$15 monthly Uber credit ($35 in December). (Enrollment required)
And this month, I started to also get a $10 credit from my American Express® Gold Card (up to $120 annually in Uber Cash; card must be added in Uber app to receive benefit). So that’s now $25 a month toward Uber or Uber Eats (in the U.S.) thanks to those two credit cards. While I’m not taking Ubers to and from the airport these days like normal, my family has been leaning into food delivery and pickup services during the pandemic. There are plenty of restaurants in my New York neighborhood that deliver and many more that let me pick up meals.
On top of that, this month American Express also added a new benefit to many other cards: $15 or $20 in monthly restaurant credits. (This post details how this new benefit works.) Enrollment required for select benefits.
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Oh, and I should mention. have 19 credit cards, including many American Express ones. This means I now have (more than) my share of monthly dining credits to use up … which led me to a bottle of vodka.
American Express dining credits
Before we get into how and why I ended up with vodka instead of another order of pizza or dumplings to go, here are some monthly dining credits I’m now working with thanks to my stack of Amex rewards credit cards.
- $20 from my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- $20 from my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- $20 from my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- $15 from my Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Additionally, my Gold Card offers a $10 monthly dining credit through Grubhub and Seamless or at The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, some Shake Shack locations and Boxed. It’s been very easy to use that $10 credit through Seamless every month.
Too many dining credits?
All of this leaves me with a peculiar conundrum: In order to maximize my various credits, I need to dine out at least six times a month. (If I were actually eating at a restaurant, I could split the check between two cards but that’s harder to do with delivery or pickup.) Six meals out a month typically isn’t an issue these days. But February is a shorter month (OK, so two days shorter) and we have been really trying to cook more meals at home.
So with five days left in the month, I realized my family wasn’t likely to do any more meals out this month and I still hadn’t used my $25 in monthly Uber credits.
Should we freeze some food in the fridge and order in pizza one night? Should we splurge and have a local diner deliver breakfast one morning? Both seemed gluttonous.
Then, I remembered one enticing option that wouldn’t require freezing or overeating. I could order alcohol on Uber Eats.
TPG recently did a comparison of having alcohol delivered via Uber Eats and Drizly. (Uber recently purchased Drizly, prompting our faceoff.)
As we noted in our story, Uber doesn’t have the widest selection of liquor. I was originally searching for another bourbon to add to my collection but I either couldn’t find one I wanted or wasn’t happy with the prices.
So I turned my attention to vodka. My local wine shop happened to have a bottle of Tito’s for $21.99. American Express gave me a complimentary year’s membership to Uber’s Eats Pass*, shaving $1.10 off the price of the bottle.
The $5.49 delivery fee would have been waived because of the Eats Pass but there would have been a $3.30 service fee too. Instead, I chose to pick up the bottle, saving the fees. Honestly, it was faster to just walk around the corner to one of my preferred local liquor stores. It was also a perfect excuse to step away from my home desk for a bit on a sunny day.
The plethora of new credit card offers and statement credits during the pandemic has been great for consumers. But there are added hurdles to putting them to good use.
And for those of us with, admittedly, an insane number of cards, there can be (almost) too many credits to keep up with and use.
Luckily, I was able to put most of my monthly Uber credits to use. I would love for American Express to let me roll them over from month to month, but I know that isn’t going to happen.
So buying a bottle of vodka was the next best thing. I just better not do it every month.
* For Uber Eats Pass terms and conditions, click here. Cardmembers must enroll by Dec. 31, 2021, and Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly rate.
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