Many of us rely on ridesharing services to get around. It’s pretty incredible 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 Uber should be sure they’re maximizing the points and rewards they earn. 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 rideshare purchases, and then we’ll look at other ways to save money with Uber.
Best Personal Credit Cards For Uber In May 2021
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 Chase 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 Amex Green Card offers triple points on all travel and transit purchases, and that includes ridesharing. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of a 5.1% return on Uber purchases.
3. Uber Visa Credit Card — 5% Return
The Uber Card offers 5% back on Uber, including UberEATS. Note that the 5% back comes in the form of Uber credit that you can apply towards future rides, so this isn’t actually cash back. It’s also worth noting that this card isn’t currently available to new cardmembers.
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 3.4% Return
The Chase 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. 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 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? Below 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). 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 business 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. When the card was first introduced, I found the rewards structure to be strange.
The card offered 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on online purchases, and 1% back on everything else. Uber qualified as an online purchase, so you’d “only” earn 2% back. In other words, this was a co-brand card that didn’t even have a compelling bonus category for purchases with that company.
However, this card was refreshed in 2019, both for better and worse. The card now offers 5% back on Uber, 3% back on dining, hotels, and airfare, and 1% back on everything else. The card also no longer earns “real” cash back, but rather earns Uber credit.
This card has finally become compelling for Uber purchases, though has lost some of its sparkle otherwise. Do note that this card isn’t currently accepting new applicants, though it’s expected that this is only temporary.
$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, 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.
Sometimes Buying Uber Gift Cards Makes Sense
It’s worth keeping an eye out for opportunities to purchase Uber gift cards at a discount.
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
Many people spend a significant amount annually on ridesharing, so it’s worth making sure that you’re maximizing your rewards.
My personal Uber strategy is to use The Platinum Card® from American Express monthly Uber credit, and then to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to otherwise pay, so that I earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. On top of that, I take advantage of any gift card deals I may see.
Don’t forget if you are traveling abroad and using Uber, it’s important to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
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).