Best Credit Cards For Uber Rides (2019)

Filed Under: American Express, Chase
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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.

If you don't yet have an Uber account, you can receive a discount on your first few Uber rides when you sign up through our link!

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.

2. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express  — 3.4% Return

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).

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Comments
  1. If you’re getting near the end of the month and haven’t used your Amex plat credit you can order something from Uber eats — it qualifies for the credit as well

  2. B of A Premium Rewards card – 3.5x points on travel which I assume would include Uber rides. I haven’t tried this myself personally so any DPs would be appreciated.

  3. Uber is shit. Anyone that takes uber is like a trump supporter. You may not be racist, rapist nazi yourself but you are supporting one.

    Use lyft.

  4. Wondering…if I have the $15 credit from AMX and $200 in credits from gift cards I loaded, will Uber know to first use the $15 ?

  5. @ PJ — Yep, they view them differently, so you can use the Uber credit first, and then the gift card balance after.

  6. @Lucky, Uber’s had waaay more than its “fair share” of issues. So, for once, I actually partly agree with Debit (first and last sentences). Uber’s done a lot of work to improve their image, but I doubt that they’ve actually changed much. In the US, it’s easy to use Lyft instead, but unfortunately, internationally, they’re harder to avoid without adding other apps… :-\

  7. uber is a community of drivers and riders. Dissing UBER drivers because you don’t like corporate behavior is like boycotting steak because you think that cattle ranchers vote for Trump.

  8. Does the credit show in such a way that I can expense the Uber ride for rimbursement or deduct from taxes, or does it show as a discount?

  9. Gift cards all the way. Amex offers (and now Chase offers) are plenty for getting Uber gcs for at least 10% off. Whoever uses a credit card to pay for Uber is a doofus (unless you’re charging it to the company, which then it doesn’t matter cuz you aren’t paying for it anyways).

  10. Is there any way to get insight into your Uber account balance? I’ve purchased some Uber gift cards at amazon and staples recently (10/20% discount), but I’m not sure if/when my Platinum credit posted. Uber said it had, but I’m still not certain.

    Further, how do I make sure that I first burn the Plat credits before I use the gift card balance?

    Lastly, I used to get a monthly email from Uber saying that my Platinum credits have posted. That seems to have stopped around Sept/Oct. anyone else notice this?

  11. @GL- it makes even more sense to pay with a gift card if you’re expensing for work. You get to pocket that 10/20% savings!

    Incidentally, most of my submitted hotel expenses these days are broken between two cards as I’m always scooping up Amex offers and then putting the balance on a co-branded card.

    I’ve probably ‘made’ >$500 in 2018 by chasing offers and using gift cards for work travel.

  12. Agreed with @Grant – Uber used to itemize your various credits so it was very clear and you could make sure your Amex credits hit each minth. For a while now they just consolidated everything into one “Uber cash” line and it isn’t clear at all. So annoying… You have to remember your balance from the last day of the month in order to check your Amex credits hit (for me, they have not always credited on the 1st).

  13. My latest experience with Uber:
    $34.53 ride – selected $35 Uber Cash balance as payment.
    Tried to add $7 tip. Uber app says I need to either reduce the tip amount (to 47 cents?) or add more money to my Uber Cash balance. I try the latter but I am only allowed to add $25, $50 or $100.

  14. You can no longer combine Uber cash and credit card payments (Amex credits now flow into Uber cash). So you have to buy Uber cash in $25, $50, etc. increments – giving the company an interest free loan. It’s a scum of a company. Those with Platinum should complain to Amex. If your ride is more than $15, then you are forced to give Uber an interest free loan to claim your Amex benefit.

  15. @_ar makes an important point about the Amex benefit, which reduces its utility compared to when the Amex benefit just appeared as a credit. Now, you basically have to maintain a permanent Uber cash balance if you want to deplete the Amex credit fully each month. Bah!

  16. I prefer Lyft. I do boycott steaks cause ranchers/cattlemen mostly do support tRump

    But I use the credit. Came in handy to get me to IAD for my AA MD-80 flights 🙂

  17. Lots of drivers work for both Lyft and Uber, so in opting for Lyft over Uber, the difference really is which corporation is getting my business, not which drivers.

  18. This is the one time where I agree with Debit re: how terrible Uber is. But I’ll gladly milk them with the $200 credit per year without ever going over that number.

  19. @_ar – thank you! I haven’t been able to figure out why my Amex credits for Nov and Dec weren’t used. What you’re saying must be why. Does anyone remember Amex or Uber communicating this to customers?

  20. @ Tracy T: Exactly, you didn’t select Uber cash for your ride. Uber keeps updating the app to make it more difficult to use the credit. You can’t complain to Uber because you get a stock answer. And there is no communication from Amex either.

  21. Yep. I complained to Amex. I tried to use my $35 uber credit for the ONE ride I planned in December. My ride was charged to my Amex and support explained to me that i needed to select that credit to use it. I pointed out that they changed their app and that it was their problem and to apply the credit. After about five messages back and forth they told me they couldn’t because my credit wasn’t enough for the ride (it was $2 more than the credit). If i now have to keep money on account with Uber to use my $15 a month. It’s worthless to me. I shared that with Amex. I encourage others to do the same. Tell them that the credit needs to come all at once or be with a reputable company, like Lyft.

  22. I called Discover and was told my $95 Uber cash purchase wont count for the 5% cash back offer That only direct ride payments would count but not Uber cash (which the only exception on the Discover “small letters” of the offer are gift cards, it doesnt say Uber cash wont count).
    Anybody had this experience with Discover?

  23. I have the Amex gold card and when I know I have to use Uber, I buy an Uber gift card at the grocery store where I get 4X membership rewards points (I think you value MR points at 1.7 cents per point so I’d get 6.8% return.)

  24. I use Uber every day, Lyft too, so I don’t care about the bit about having to keep cash in my Uber cash account in order to fully use the Amex credit. It seems like a nit picky point. Like people complaining about the $300 Chase air travel credit or the Amex airline fee credit. I mean if you have a card like the CSR, theoretically or the Amex Plat you are going to be spending way over $300 on travel and air travel in a year. So its odd to me that people obsess about trying say to turn that $300 or $200 in to straight up cash. Just the other day I got a $15 credit through Amex for using the air travel credit on United WiFi.

  25. What are the best cards for Uber Eats?
    I know Uber credit card has 4x on Uber Eats. Is it categorized 3x with CSR?

  26. US Bank Altitude Reserve – 3x (worth 4.5%) and you can also use your accumulated points to redeem via their Real Time Mobile Rewards (at 1.5 cent per point value).

  27. The Amex Platinum Uber credit has been a nightmare for me. The app lets me select the Uber Credit and my Chase Sapphire Reserve for the ride, but then the morons at Uber put the tip on my corporate (green, not Platinum) Amex card, not authorized for any portion of the trip, in violation of company rules, and a fraudulent charge, then refuse to correct their error (the standard “we can’t change the card used for the tip”, even though I never authorized use of that card at any time during or after the ride). I taken to disputing the charge to my corporate Amex, which Amex credits immediately since I’ve been a customer since the beginning of time. I’ve also complained to the Amex Platinum folks about Uber’s unauthorized use of my non-Platinum corporate Amex card. The only way I can see to fix this is to have completely separate personal and business Uber accounts (separating within the app between business and personal did NOT work). Given that Uber only lets you use one phone number for your account, it will be a headache to do this. Hopefully, switching my personal cellphone number to an eSim and having both phone numbers on a single device will make this easier. Until this gets done, I’m avoiding Uber entirely.

  28. Plz clarify that $200 Amex Uber Credit only eligible for Uber rides in US. A bummer to expats Amex plat holder.

  29. I wished AMEX had or arranged a deal with Lyft. I’m not going to wade into the corporate missteps of Uber but their customer support is the worse when there’s a problem. That alone is enough for me to avoid them after using my credit.

    Imagine, if you will, needing to communicate with regard to travel SNAFUs with an airline via email only. And then having multiple people responding and sending you the same response over and over without ever having answered your questions or solving the problem or hiding behind “privacy” for an account that belongs to you. I’m going through issue now where they keep telling me my personal Amex Platinum is not compatible with their payment processing system (apparently they think it’s a business AMEX, it’s not, but won’t explain how they’ve come to that conclusion) — and then a day later after much angst, the card works. Or calling up the app and requesting a ride and then inexplicably being told your payment form can’t be used right now.

    Take Lyft.

  30. Folks, reading the posts and people seem to overreacting as @Boston points out. Uber simply now requires you have enough Uber Cash in your account to pay for the trip (plus tip if any). For me, that’s simple since I usually take 4 or so Uber trips a month on average, I buy Uber gift cards and make sure my Uber cash balance never drops below say $30. Uber Cash never expires, so if after using my $15 Platinum credit, I notice Lyft or VIA is lower, I let it sit until Uber starts offering lower rates.

  31. The best credit card to use for Uber is one hand made of toxic materials by child indentured labourers. Uber is an acronym for Unethical Business Evading Responsibility. If you use this service you participate in its exploitative practices. Uber is a horrendous business.

  32. @ Ben — Thanks for explaining that you need to keep your AMEX Plat linked to your uber account for the $200 benefit, but that you can simply use a different credit card for your purchases. That is helpful info.

  33. These articles irk me as an Uber driver. Just remember ratings matter in some cities. During rush hour with high demand I can afford to decline fares of lower rating passengers.

    The following will result in a 1 star rating :

    1) Be ready don’t make the driver wait. It’s 2019 we’ve all been to the rodeo by now. The market is flooded with Uber drivers. Leave your office or home , go outside and then order your Uber when you are ready.

    2) Say hello when you get in the car and thank you when you leave. Bare minimum.

    3) Don’t “direct” your Uber which way to go. It can be distracting and condescending for the driver. If you have any route requests that needs to be made before the ride starts.

    4) No cell phones . You’re in a car with another human being. Don’t shout diharea on the phone into their ear. If you MUST make or take a call keep the volume to a minimum or say excuse me I must make a call so you mind.

    5) If you’re only one passenger never sit in the back left seat behind the driver and never enter or exit the car in the street.

    6) When your Uber arrives no finger pointing or waiving with your hand at me that I need to pullover somewhere. I’m not the help my name isn’t Esmerelda. You might get the middle finger from me as I drive away and cancel your ride.

    Reread this post and thank you for listening. Things I do to maintain a good driver rating ; Go to the car wash weekly , keep good hygiene , don’t start unwanted conversations, and drive safe.

  34. HSBC Premier Mastercard has no annual fee and includes $50 annual statement credit for Uber or Lyft. Stacks with the Amex credit.

  35. @D3KingAmerican Good grief. No wonder you drive for Uber. You wouldn’t last 10 seconds in a traditional office job if every little thing bothers you like that.

  36. Buy UBER gift cards at office depot or staples with Chase Ink for 5x UR (or 8.5% using the valuation in this post), then load the GC to UBER app.

  37. @Ham you’re right . After 15,000 rides I’m paranoid. I had a Qatar Airways pilot today today so it was an interesting ride. They fly from Doh to Iah with only a 24 hour turn. There’s 2 teams of pilots A and B. B sleeps for the first half of the flight. A does the first half as well as landing.

  38. Uber gift cards via Staples via Chase Ink for 5X, as noted. Additionally, the promos are enticing. With 4 rides one week the end result of 40% off for the next week; and the next week was a work week in D.C. End result, with the 40% discount, $200 in Uber rides. Work will pay for the transportation ultimately and the Chase points are valued at $20. Cannot imagine spending $300 per week on Uber on a regular basis. Convenient and much less expensive than a rental and/or parking.

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