On November 2, 2017 Barclay will debut its new Uber Visa Card and many of you are wondering if it’s worth getting. First off, can I say how disappointed I am with Barclay’s credit card line-up? The only noteworthy cards they have right now are the Arrival and the AAdvantage Aviator Credit Cards. No hotel cards worth mentioning. No major airline partnerships (ok, fine – JetBlue isn’t too bad). Instead, they partner with…Uber. For a credit card that has some random features that have little to do with Uber’s ride share platform. I’ll stop complaining and try to provide some constructive feedback about the Uber credit card:
Uber Credit Card Sign-up Bonus
The sign-up bonus on this card isn’t that great. Cardholders get a $100 statement credit after spending $500 in 3 months. Think of it like a 10,000 point sign-up bonus (or less) from most other banks. It kind of sucks. But if you’re just looking for cards to apply for or you care more about the category bonuses, then I guess it’s…fine.
Uber Visa Card Category Bonuses
The Uber credit card pays out 1 – 4% back on a variety of spending. Rewards are issued in the form of points which can be redeemed for Uber rides, statement credits or gift cards. Each point is essentially worth 1 cent each. So 5,000 Uber points are equal to $50 cash back.
- 4% back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including UberEATS
- 3% back on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals
- 2% back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, and video and music streaming services (including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now, and Apple Music)
- 1% back on all other purchases
I’m not impressed with the “2% back on online purchases” because there are plenty of 2% cash back cards that offer the same – on all purchases, not just those made online. So that and the 1% everywhere are not special.
What about the Uber Credit Card’s 3% back on airfare, hotel and vacation home rentals? Or the 4% back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including UberEATS? Those category bonuses sound great until you compare them to the 5x airfare/hotel bonuses from the Amex Platinum Cards. Or the 3 points per $1 from the Chase Sapphire Reserve. “Wait a minute: 3 Ultimate Rewards points is less than 4% back”. On first sight it seems that way…
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, which on first sight seems like 3% worth of cash back. But if you take into account the 1.5 cent per point redemption rate through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you’re really earning 4.5% in rewards in these categories. Redeem those 3 points for premium travel through Chase travel partners like United, Singapore Krisflyer, or Korean SkyPass and you can easily get more than 4.5% of value out of each point. Taking redemptions into account, the 3 points per $1 on travel and dining from the Sapphire Reserve is actually better than the 3 – 4% cash back offered by the Uber credit card.
Uber Credit Card: Other Features
The Uber Credit Card offers a few other bonuses which, again, have little to do with Uber or travel for that matter:
- Up to $50 credit for online subscription services after spending $5,000 on the card per year
- Invites to exclusive events and offers in select U.S.
- Up to $600 mobile phone insurance for damage and theft when the card is used to pay the monthly mobile phone bill
- $0 fraud liability protection
- No foreign transaction fee
These benefits are nice bonuses for a $0 annual fee card. It’s certainly nice to be able to cover your Netflix and Hulu subscriptions after just $5,000 worth spending. However, if you’re not into manufactured spending, you may be better off channeling your limited spending power towards more lucrative annual credit card spending bonuses.
I don’t mean to beat up on the Uber credit card, but I do like to take a critical eye to new credit cards because they tend to be overhyped. This is actually a good card if you don’t have a Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum Card. In fact, with it’s $0 annual fee it’s an exceptional alternative for folks who want to earn generous rewards on dining and travel. I would absolutely recommend it for that purpose. But if you have the above mentioned premium credit card, I don’t think you’ll get much use out of the Uber card. It just isn’t as lucrative in comparison. But if you’re not into spending $450+ on credit card annual fees, then the new Uber credit card is a great alternative.
Are you going to apply for the Uber credit card on November 2? Please share your feedback in the comment section.