The rumors were true. Uber’s made the leap from the smartphone in your pocket to the wallet in, well, your other pocket.
The ride-hailing company teamed up with Barclays, the credit card division of UK-based Barclays PLC, to launch an excellent no-fee rewards credit card for millennials, urbanites and business travelers alike. The new offering, dubbed the Uber Visa Card, became available nationwide Nov. 2, 2017.
Uber’s first branded credit card lets cardholders earn 5% back in Uber Cash on Uber, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% back in Uber Cash on dining, hotels, and airfare and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases. That 5% rewards rate makes the Uber Visa Card an excellent option for frequent Uber riders, as well as those who order on Uber Eats and like to use JUMP bikes and scooters.
To maximize your rewards, it’s also worth taking a look at pairing the Uber Visa Card with a flat-rate 2% cashback card such as the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® or the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer* (earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.).
The information related to Uber Visa Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
Uber Visa Card
- Regular Purchase APR
- 17.24% - 27.99% Variable
- Annual fee
- Rewards Rate
- 5% back in Uber Cash on Uber, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% back in Uber Cash on dining, hotels, and airfare and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases
Part I: Card benefits at a glance
The Uber Visa Card boasts an impressive 5% rewards rate for the Uber ecosystem as described above. Here’s what the card offers at a glance:
High rewards for no fee
The Uber Visa Card grants consumers comparatively lucrative ongoing-bonus-category rewards for no annual fee, and the card charges no foreign transaction fees. That’s rare, even in a market where banks are spending more and more on credit rewards to attract consumers.
The card that comes closest to offering a similar level of bonus rewards is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®*. It earns users an annual $300 travel credit, unlimited triple points on dining and travel, and 1% back on all other purchases. But it charges a hefty $550 annual fee.
If you don’t have an extra $550 in your budget but still want to earn big on dining and travel, the no-fee Uber Visa Card may be the better choice.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® altered one cardholder perk in January – the lucrative 100,000-point-bonus signup offer. After less than a year on the market, Chase cut back a 100,000-point Ultimate Rewards bonus after spending $4,000 within three months — new applicants can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
It’s important to note the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does offer other traveler benefits, such as $300 in statement credits for travel reimbursements per year, a $100 statement credit for applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and several travel protection benefits. If you use those benefits, it may be worth it to you to pay the beefy annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
5% in Uber Cash on Uber purchases
The Uber Visa Card awards a whopping 5% rewards rate on Uber, Uber Eats, and JUMP. If Uber is your preferred way to get home after a night out on the town, or if you like to stay in and order from your favorite restaurant via Uber Eats, this card is hard to beat.
3% in Uber Cash on dining, hotels and airfare
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on dining, hotel and airfare purchases made using the Uber Visa Card. Another bonus for millennials: the 3% rewards rate applies to vacation home rental services, like Airbnb.
According to travel website Hipmunk, nearly three-fourths of millennial travelers have used a vacation rental service like Airbnb while traveling for work, compared to only 38% of Gen-Y and 20% of Boomers. And, about 81% of millennial travelers said they would add extra time to business trip to make some room for leisure.
While the Uber Visa Card’s 3% offer on airfare and hotels is a good offer for the average frequent flyer, consumers can find the same deal with some other no-fee cards, like the AAA Member Rewards Visa and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.
Take note: Although it offers the same rewards rate on travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® beats out the Uber Visa Card when cardholders redeem their points for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, points redeemed through the portal for travel have 50% more value. So for example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel this way.
Up to $600 worth of mobile phone insurance coverage
When cardholders use their Uber Visa Card to pay for their monthly wireless bill, they receive up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft for each phone listed on the wireless account. Coverage begins one month after the first bill was charged to the Uber Visa Card.
Depending on the kind of coverage a cardholder currently has through a carrier, those who take advantage of this perk could save a good chunk of money. Those under one of the four major carriers could see savings of $7 to $15 a month for a single device or up to $35 a month to cover up to three devices on one account.
There is a $25 deductible to use the protection. After that is paid, the protection covers up to $600 per claim on up to two claims in a 12-month period. If the phone has to be replaced, the protection awards the suggested retail value of the replacement phone, up to the $600 maximum per claim.
1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases
The Uber Visa Card still rewards spending if you don’t purchase in one of the bonus categories — it offers 1% back on all other purchases. The 1% rate isn’t very competitive, as there are many existing cards that offer 2% on all purchases, but it ensures cardholders earn at least a little something on everything they buy with the Uber Visa Card.
Part II: Applying for the Uber Visa Card
The Uber Visa Card opened for applications Nov. 2, 2017. Interested applicants can apply for the unsecured rewards card online or directly through the Uber phone app and see an approval within minutes. The in-app application may be more of a win for Uber than for millennials, but it makes the application process easy for anyone who already has the Uber app, so may appeal to digital natives, too.
Once the application is approved, the card is made available for use immediately on rides and Uber Eats purchases made through the Uber application on the cardholder’s mobile device. Cardholders should receive a physical card in the mail within 1 – 2 weeks of approval.
What it takes to qualify
Borrowers with higher credit scores are more likely to qualify for the lower interest rates, while those with lower scores are likely to qualify for the higher APR. At this time, there is not a way for applicants to check to see if they prequalify.
This card is best for …
The Uber Visa Card is best for the regular Uber customer who dines out often, frequently travels for work and pays his/her balance in full each month. The unsecured rewards credit card’s features will likely hold the most appeal for traveling business people and city-dwelling millennials.
Consumers who spend heavily on dining and travel would have the best shot at maximizing the Uber Visa Card’s rewards. However, the benefit is canceled out if a user carries a balance, due to a high interest charge on purchases.
Uber loyalists will benefit most from the high rewards rate on Uber, Uber Eats, and JUMP, as well as the automatic redemption of your Uber Cash to your Uber account once the rewards balance reaches $50.
Again, millennials may reap the greatest reward here as they more likely to use ride-hailing services like Uber on a regular basis. According to Pew Research, 7% of all 18- to 29-year-olds use ride-hailing on a daily or weekly basis; that figure rises to 10% among 18- to 29-year-olds living in urban areas.
Those who aren’t frequent users of the Uber ecosystem are less likely to see value from this card, since it rewards cardholders solely in Uber Cash.
Part III: Redeeming rewards
Cardholders can redeem Uber Cash to cover Uber rides, Uber Eats orders, and rides using JUMP bikes and scooters. You can transfer your Uber Cash balance to your Uber account at any time, or it will automatically transfer once you’ve earned $50 in Uber Cash on your Uber Visa Card.
Part IV: Pros and cons
What we like about the Uber Visa Card
No annual fee
The Uber Visa Card charges no annual fee, which is unusual for a card this loaded with rewards and bonuses. Cardholders can make the most of this no-fee rewards card if they charge only items that fall into the bonus rewards categories and pay the balance in full each month.
5% back on Uber purchases
The Uber Visa Card awards holders a high return on Uber, Uber Eats and JUMP. In addition, rewards are unlimited and never expire.
No foreign transaction fee
Cardholders can swipe to pay for items and services overseas without incurring foreign transaction fees. The lack of this fee combines with the 3% travel rewards bonus category to make the Uber Visa Card a good travel companion. Purchases made overseas also earn cashback rewards.
Apply directly in the Uber app
Uber’s 40 million active riders won’t need to rush to a computer to apply for the Uber Visa Card once the application opens Nov. 2. They can simply apply through Uber’s phone application. Uber claims users will be able to submit an application and see a decision within minutes on the app. Users can also apply for the Uber Visa Card online.
Approved applications are granted access to the funds immediately. Users can add the card as a payment option in the Uber mobile application for immediate use on rides and UberEATS orders.
Immediate access comes in handy if an applicant is in need of the funds ASAP. But it’s unclear if cardholders will be able to use the card immediately on purchases outside the Uber app, too.
Exclusive access to events and offers
Uber Visa Card users will get exclusive invites to events and offers in select U.S. cities. Uber app users may already be familiar with this perk if they have checked out Uber’s Visa Locals Offers. Cardholders earn Uber credit when they visit participating stores and restaurants if they pay with a Visa card (like the Uber Visa Card). Uber’s branded credit card is a Visa, so cardholders can earn rewards — like 10% Uber rewards if you shop at Whole Foods — plus the regular purchase rewards if they use the Uber Visa Card at checkout.
What to watch out for with the Uber Visa Card
Rewards are in Uber Cash only
You can’t redeem rewards as cash back into your bank account, so if you don’t use the Uber ecosystem that frequently, earning Uber Cash might not be the best rewards program for you.
1% back on all other purchases
For all other purchases, 1% isn’t a very competitive offer.
No interest-free balance transfer period
The Uber Visa Card is not a good option for anyone looking to consolidate credit card debt using a balance transfer. Unlike with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, Uber Visa Card cardholders don’t get an introductory 0% interest rate on balance transfers. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After, a 13.99% – 23.99% (variable) APR applies. There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Part V: Alternatives to the Uber Visa Card
Consumers who don’t use Uber, don’t dine out often, or don’t travel much may not find the Uber Visa Card’s rewards very appealing. While they can still earn a flat 1% cash back on all purchases they won’t be able to benefit much from the card’s bonus categories. Using a flat-rate cashback card with a higher reward, or one that offers a high cashback bonus in a category they use more often, may be more beneficial to those consumers.
Flat-rate cashback alternatives
A flat-rate cashback card like the leading Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is a great option for anyone who wants to earn a reward on all purchases without thinking about bonus categories.
The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer lets you earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.. That comes out to 2% cash back. It also offers an introductory 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers so it’s a good choice for those seeking to consolidate debt. After, a 13.99% – 23.99% (variable) APR applies. Borrowers with excellent/good credit scores may be approved for the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.
Cardholders with a PayPal Cashback Mastercard® can get 2% cash back every day, every time you use your card. All for a $0 annual fee. The card charges slightly higher variable interest rates than the Uber Visa Card — 21.49% - 28.49% Variable — based on creditworthiness. Borrowers with fair, good or excellent credit scores may qualify for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®.
Similar to the Uber Visa Card, those approved for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® can use the card immediately to pay for purchases through PayPal’s online and mobile applications. Cash back can be redeemed to the cardholder’s PayPal balance. From there it can be sent to the user’s bank account or used to send money to peers or make purchases via PayPal.
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns cardholders unlimited 2% cash back on everyday purchases. The annual fee is $0. The card is best for existing Fidelity customers, since the cashback earned has to be deposited into a Fidelity account.
Only borrowers with excellent credit should apply for this card. Fidelity also bases its credit limits on the total amount of assets it is managing on a consumer’s behalf, so those approved may still be disappointed in the limit they receive if they don’t have much money with Fidelity already.
Bonus category cashback alternative
The bonus categories the Uber Visa Card offers may not appeal to everyone hoping to earn cash back on the purchases they make most, therefore bonus category cashback cards can be a good alternative.
Best for supermarkets and fuel:
- Intro Purchase APR
- 0% on purchases for 15 months
- Intro BT APR
- 0% on balance transfers for 15 months
- Regular Purchase APR
- 12.99%-23.99% Variable
- Annual fee
- Rewards Rate
- 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a good alternative for consumers who spend more money on grocery than dining and more running around IRL on gas than making online purchases. The card offers cardholders 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
The card has a $0 annual fee. The card also awards new cardholders to $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
*The information related to Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
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