Many of us rely on ridesharing services to get around. It’s pretty crazy to think how much the “sharing” economy has changed our behavior, both when at home and when traveling. While Uber has had its fair share of issues the past few years, it continues to be the biggest ridesharing service in the world.
As a result, those who use it should make sure they’re maximizing the points and rewards they earn for Uber rides.
In this post I wanted to look at a few strategies to save money and maximize points with Uber. First let’s look at the best credit cards for Uber purchases, and then we’ll look at other ways to save money with Uber.
Best Personal Credit Cards For Uber
There are lots of fantastic cards that offer useful rewards for Uber rides, whether you’re looking to earn points or cash back. So, what are the best personal cards?
Below are my favorites, with the return on spending determined based on my valuation of points. In all cases, the cards offer the equivalent of at least a 3% return on Uber purchases.
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 5.1% Return
The Sapphire Reserve offers triple points on all travel purchases, and that includes ridesharing. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 5.1% return on Uber purchases.
2. American Express® Green Card — 5.1% Return
The refreshed Amex Green Card offers triple points on all travel and transit purchases, and that includes ridesharing. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 5.1% return on Uber purchases.
3. Citi Premier℠ Card — 5.1% Return
The Citi Premier Card offers triple points on all travel purchases, and that includes ridesharing. I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 5.1% return on Uber purchases.
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 3.4% Return
The Sapphire Preferred offers double points on all travel purchases, and that includes ridesharing. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 3.4% return on Uber purchases.
5. The World of Hyatt Credit Card — 3% Return (Or More)
The World of Hyatt Credit Card specifically offers double points on ridesharing services. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 3% return.
Keep in mind that you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt, so why would you use this card over the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve? Specifically, it could make sense if you’re going for one of the bonuses on spending that this card offers:
- You earn two World of Hyatt elite nights for every $5,000 spent
- You earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in an anniversary year
When you add up those perks, it could make sense to use this card over some of the others, even if the return is lower on paper. It depends on how much you value that free night certificate, and also how much you value the additional elite nights.
6. The Apple Credit Card — 3% Return
The new Apple Credit Card has no annual fee and offers 3% cash back on Uber when you use Apple Pay for your purchase.
Best Business Credit Cards For Uber
The above are some of the best personal credit cards for Uber rides, but what if you’re looking to maximize the return on spending you get with your business cards on Uber rides? Here are the best choices:
1. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — 5.1% Return
The Ink Preferred offers triple points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases every anniversary year on travel (including ridesharing), shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 5.1% return on Uber purchases, as long as you don’t exceed the $150,000 limit on combined purchases.
The Blue Business Plus offers double points on all purchases, for the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. That’s an incredible return for a no annual fee card (Rates & Fees). So while there’s not even a bonus for ridesharing or travel, as long as you’re within the first $50,000 of spend in a calendar year, this is the best Amex card for ridesharing purchases.
Juste note that this card does have foreign transaction fees, so you’ll only want to use this for Uber purchases within the US.
Is The Uber Visa Card Any Good?
In 2017 the Uber Visa Card was introduced. The card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, though I find the rewards structure to be odd.
The card offers 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on online purchases, and 1% back on everything else. Uber qualifies as an online purchase, so you’d “only” earn 2% back.
It’s strange to a see a co-brand card that doesn’t even have a compelling bonus categories for purchases with that company, so I don’t recommend using the Uber Card for Uber purchases.
(Update: Huge changes are being made to this card)
$200 Annual Uber Credit With Amex Platinum
One of the unique benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express is that it offers a $200 annual Uber credit. This benefit is only available on the personal version of the card, and not on the business version.
The way it works is that at the beginning of each month you get a $15 credit posted to your Uber account, and in December you get a $35 credit posted to your Uber account. As long as you spend at least $15 per month on Uber (and $35 in December), I’d say this benefit is worth pretty close to face value.
To take advantage of this benefit you’ll have to add your Amex Platinum Card to your Uber account. You don’t actually have to use the card to pay (and as I’ll explain below, you shouldn’t), but rather it just has to remain linked for the benefit to be triggered from your Uber Cash balance.
This is only one of the many benefits of the card, as it also offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, $100 annual Saks credit, Amex Centurion Lounge access, a Priority Pass membership, access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, Hilton Honors Gold status, and more.
Like I said, don’t actually use The Platinum Card® from American Express for your Uber spending. Rather consider one of the below cards (they don’t have foreign transaction fees, unless otherwise noted, so they’re ideal whether you’re paying for an Uber in the US or abroad).
Save Money On Uber With Uber Cash
In September 2018 Uber Cash was introduced, which allows you to add funds to your Uber account upfront. It’s intended to create a seamless payment experience across Uber’s services, including Uber rides and Uber Eats.
What makes this interesting is that you get a discount when you add money to your balance:
- Get a 2% discount when you add $25
- Get a 3% discount when you add $50
- Get a 5% discount when you add $100
Loading your Uber Cash balance qualifies the same as any other Uber purchases for the purposes of your credit card, so you might as well stack a 5% discount with the rewards you earn through your credit card, plus an additional 5%+ return.
Sometimes Buying Uber Gift Cards Makes Sense
While Uber Cash is a good backup option, sometimes it’s possible to buy Uber gift cards for even more than 5% savings.
Uber sells gift cards through many retailers, and sometimes there can be value in buying gift cards from them. For example, sometimes Amazon has promotions where you can save a significant amount on virtually any purchase by using a “Shop With Points” feature, and this can be a great opportunity to save money on the purchase of Uber gift cards.
So keep an eye out for gift card deals, since that could save you a lot on Uber purchases.
Best Uber Credit Card Summary
My personal Uber strategy is to use The Platinum Card® from American Express monthly Uber credit.
Then I buy Uber Cash using my Chase Sapphire Reserve®, so that I receive a 5% discount plus three Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. Don’t forget if you are traveling abroad and using Uber, it’s important to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee.
On top of that, I take advantage of any gift card deals I may see.
What’s your credit card strategy for Uber purchases?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).