Uber has partnered with Barclaycard to introduce the Uber Visa Card. The new credit card is designed to appeal to the same type of consumers who use the ride-sharing service, but it could have even broader appeal than that. Loaded with high cash-back rates in appealing bonus categories and several interesting benefits, the Uber credit card might deserve a place in your wallet.
Here's everything you need to know about the Uber credit card.
Applying is easy
Applications for the new credit card open on Nov. 2, 2017. Uber users can apply directly from the app -- perhaps while riding in an Uber. The app will automatically fill in the information Uber already has about you, such as name and address.
If approved instantly, the card will become available for use in the Uber app right away. Barclaycard will also mail you a physical card for use everywhere else.
As an alternative, consumers will be able to apply online.
The Uber credit card will launch with a sign-up bonus of $100 after cardholders spend $500 within the first 90 days.
That's a fairly competitive offer for a no-annual-fee credit card, but not the best sign-up bonus we've seen. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards card, a very comparable credit card, comes with a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 within 90 days as of this writing. The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® currently offers a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 as of this writing.
The sign-up bonus comes in the form of 10,000 points, which can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or Uber credit. Users will receive their bonus on their first statement following reaching the $500 spending requirement.
The Uber credit card earns rewards points in four different tiers.
- 4% back on dining. This category includes uberEATS food delivery, as well as regular spending at restaurants, bars, and fast food.
- 3% back on hotels, airfare, and travel agencies. This is a slightly limited travel category, but it includes things such as Airbnb reservations. Notably, Uber's flagship service isn't included in this category.
- 2% back on online purchases. This category excludes purchases made with third-party processors such as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. It also excludes online bill payments for utilities and professional services.
- 1% back on everything else.
The card uses a points system
Instead of using cash back, the Uber Visa Card rewards points, which can then be converted into statement credits, gift cards, or Uber credits at a value of $0.01 per point. While this might seem like just a matter of semantics, it gives Barclaycard flexibility to change the value of points in the future.
It's unlikely any changes will negatively affect consumers. More likely, a points system opens the door to run special promotions such as the ability to redeem points for Uber credit at a rate higher than $0.01 per point.
Some other important notes about the points system:
- Points never expire.
- There's no limit to the number of points you can earn.
- Earned points will be available the next business day after a transaction posts to your account.
- Point redemptions start at $5 for Uber credit and $25 for statement credit or bank transfer.
- You're limited to $500 in points redemptions per day.
While not exactly a benefit, the Uber Visa Card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
The card is likely to come with the same standard purchase protection, auto rental insurance, and fraud protection benefits as other Barclaycard credit cards.
On top of that, the Uber credit card offers the following unique benefits:
- Up to $600 for mobile-phone damage or theft. If you pay your cell-phone bill with the Uber Visa Card, you're eligible for $600 in additional insurance with a $25 deductible. The coverage kicks in after all other insurance claims -- home, property, and so on-- are used up. You can make up to two claims per 12-month period.
- $50 subscription credit. Cardholders will receive one $50 credit for select subscription services per year after making $5,000 in purchases. Eligible subscription services include Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Music, Audible, Sirius XM, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, DIRECTV Now, the membership fee for Amazon Prime, and Shoprunner.
- Exclusive event access. Cardholders may receive invitations to exclusive events and offers in select U.S. cities.
- Free FICO score. All Barclaycard credit cards include a free FICO score check, but it's worth mentioning that this one does as well.
An interesting cash-back card
Uber's decision to offer cash back instead of just Uber credit is noteworthy. It makes this more like regular cash-back credit cards than a special Uber credit card. It should help attract a broader audience than those who use Uber on a regular basis.
At the Money 20/20 conference where Uber announced the card, management said it was focusing on establishing long-term users. That explains the substandard sign-up bonus, thus avoiding bonus chasers, and the incentives to spend $5,000 annually and use it to pay your phone bill every month.
Uber may be able to do more with consumer credit card data than most other companies offering co-branded credit cards. Thus, the bonus categories are highly appealing, especially for Uber's typical users. That makes the Uber Visa Card a cash-back credit card worthy of your consideration.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Adam Levy owns shares of Amazon and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Pandora Media, PayPal Holdings, and Visa. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.