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If you want a credit card for dining out and ordering in, the Uber Visa Card will be hard to beat. Not only that, it’s one of the better no annual fee cards for travelers.
Cardholders get a variety of bonus categories:
- 4% cash back on dining (including UberEATS)
- 3% cash back at airlines and hotels
- 2% cash back for online purchases (including Uber rides)
There’s also a $100 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days, a 20% return on your spending. And you get a $50 streaming subscription credit for every year that you spend at least $5,000, which is good for services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Audible, and the membership fee for Amazon Prime. There are also some shopping and travel protections to help out in case something goes wrong.
All this comes for no annual fee. There are no foreign transaction fees either.
You don’t have to be an Uber driver to get this card. If you are an Uber driver, there’s a special debit card you can use that has different cash back categories: the Uber Visa Debit Card.
Whether you use Uber or not, the Uber Visa might be the right card to pay for your next meal — keep reading to learn more and find out.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
We give the Uber Visa Card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s probably the best no-fee card for earning rewards at restaurants, and it has some other good bonus categories too.
Why we like this card
- Good cash back rates for dining (4%), travel (3%), and online purchases (2%)
- $50 annual subscription service credit for spending $5,000 in a year
- Cell phone protection
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
Why this card could be better
- Doesn’t offer very much cash back for Uber rides
- No redemption bonus for Uber expenses
- No Uber-specific perks
- No intro APR for purchases or balance transfers
The Uber Visa offers a competitive rate in several cash back categories that many people will find useful. But it’s worth checking out all your options, because there might be a better card for you.
Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- When dining out: Use your card at restaurants and bars, for takeout, and with UberEATS and other food delivery services to earn 4% cash back.
- For travel purchases: Get 3% cash back on airfare and hotels, a great rate for travel expenses for a card with no annual fee.
- To pay for Uber rides: Charge Uber rides to your card to earn 2% back, unless you’ll earn more with a different travel card.
- Making online purchases: You’ll earn 2% cash back for every eligible online purchase, an excellent rate for shopping online compared to most other cards.
- Get the online subscription credit: A $50 credit for subscription streaming services, like Netflix and Spotify, is available if you spend $5,000 per year.
- Pay your phone bill: Charge your cell phone bill to the Uber Visa to get up to $600 in Cell Phone Insurance.
- Use it for travel: This is a pretty good travel card, because it has no foreign transaction fees so you can use it freely outside the U.S. (in addition to earning cash back on travel expenses).
- Redeem for cash back: Redeem your rewards for cash back statement credits, rather than Uber credits, because you won’t earn any rewards on Uber rides when you use Uber credits to pay for them.
- Check the shopping and travel protections: The Uber Visa comes with several protections to help you out in a jam, like Price Protection and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You get three different cash back rates with this card, covering a total of four bonus categories (dining, hotels, airfare, and online purchases). That’s a bit more than the average card.
4% cash back is an excellent deal for restaurants and takeout, compared to the rest of the credit card market. There are only a few that can beat it but they have some downsides, like spending limits or high fees:
- Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review): Offers 5% cash back in categories that rotate throughout the year, but only up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. In 2019, this includes 5% back at restaurants from July through September.
- Chase Freedom® (Review): Offers 5% cash back in categories that rotate throughout the year, but only for $1,500 in spending per quarter. This included restaurants in 2017, but it doesn’t look like restaurants will be included in 2018.
- U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: You can pick fast food as a 5% category, but this only includes fast food restaurants. Restaurants other than fast food are available as an optional 2% category. The 5% rate is available for the first $2,000 spent per quarter.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review): A premium travel card that normally provides 3X points on dining and travel, but you get a 50% bonus for redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That’s the equivalent of 4.5% cash back, or even more if you can get a good point transfer. But this card also has a $450 annual fee.
When it comes to no-annual fee credit cards, the Uber Visa is a great card for spending in the other categories as well.
The 3% rate for airfare and hotels is one of the best offers you’ll find for earning general travel rewards, even beating some cards with annual fees. And the 2% cash back you get for online purchases is quite rare, matched by the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review) (2% back for every purchase; 1% back when you make purchases, and 1% back when you make payments). But it’s beaten by the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review), which lets you pick online shopping for a 3% category (up to $2,500 in spending per quarter).
Why Does This Card Provide 4% Back on Dining Instead of Uber Rides?
You might think it’s a bit weird that the Uber Visa card only provides 2% back on Uber rides, and you wouldn’t be alone. Why isn’t this the best card for spending with the titular brand?
Uber is usually counted in the “travel” bonus category, and you can get a better deal than 2% back with many other cards. They include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) (2.5% back or more) and Citi Premier℠ Card (Review) (3% cash back or more).
So this card isn’t too impressive for Uber purchases, although the other bonus categories are quite attractive, especially restaurants. UberEATS is also included in the 4% category. And that’s why Uber is probably crazy like a fox for offering this seemingly-odd card.
Uber is a data-driven company (ha ha), and it wouldn’t be surprising if it was trying to learn more about the everyday shopping habits of consumers. You can make a good argument that Uber is plotting a coup of the restaurant industry. It’s using tactics like the collection of dining data and partnering with ghost kitchens to prepare meals for delivery-only restaurants.
This restaurant data could be combined with Uber’s last-mile delivery network, to create a powerful, predictive system that could entice Uber users with quick cups of coffee along the way, for example. It could even branch out to grocery pickups, and much more. A smart network like this could make Uber (and UberEATS) a force to be reckoned with. It would presumably be able to win out against traditional restaurants by providing customers with personalized recommendations, based on both their travel and dining habits.
Uber has stated that only Barclays, the issuing bank, will have access to purchase data from the cards. The only datasets that Uber will have are information on how many Uber credits a particular user has earned with the card, as well as the aggregate spending on all cards. But this doesn’t mean that Uber won’t try to acquire data on dining habits by some means later on, or that it won’t seek similar data from other sources. All of your purchases through UberEATS are recored by Uber, of course, and restaurant managers can use that data to their advantage today.
So, is Uber checking your receipts to see what you’ve been ordering with their card? It doesn’t look like it, at least for now.
In addition to all that, the 4% and 3% categories make sense for other reasons as well. They match what many Uber riders end up using Uber for:
- Bars: If you’re going out to a bar to drink, you might call an Uber so you can get home safely.
- Travel: If you’re traveling you might call an Uber to get to and from airports and hotels.
- Online Shopping: If you’re using Uber at all you’re probably on the tech-savvy side, so you’re likely to make other online purchases too.
The rewards you earn with the Uber Visa are technically points. But it’s usually easiest to just think of this as a cash back card, because the points are almost always worth 1 cent each.
There are three redemption options:
- Cash back: The easiest method. Minimum redemption of $25 required. Can be applied to your balance as a statement credit, or redeemed into a checking or savings account.
- Gift cards: Most are $25 for 2,500 points, with some occasional deals of $25 for 2,250 points, for example. Require 10 business days to be delivered.
- Uber credits: Use the Uber app to redeem rewards for Uber credits, which can be used for Uber rides. Minimum redemption of $5 for 500 points.
We recommend just redeeming for cash back in most cases, because this will be the quickest and easiest method. The cash back you earned can be applied as a statement credit, simply reducing the balance of your account. Or you can have it deposited into a bank account of your choice.
You may get a slightly better deal with certain gift cards, when they’re on sale, but this doesn’t really seem worth it. You’ll probably only save $2.50 at the most, they take a while to arrive, and you can only use them with their designated merchant.
We recommend that you avoid redeeming for Uber credits. There’s no incentive to do so, and it’s too bad that this card doesn’t provide any kind of redemption bonus. In addition to that, if you pay for Uber rides with Uber credits you won’t earn any cash back. But if you pay with your Uber Visa you’ll get 2% back on Uber rides, so that should be your go-to payment option unless you’ll earn more with a different card.
The Uber Visa provides two types of benefits to cardholders:
- Barclays benefits: Provided by the card issuer.
- Visa Platinum benefits: A set of protections provided by the card network, which is Visa in this case.
Unlike many card issuers, Barclays provides a convenient link to your card’s Guide to Benefits in your online account. To see the details for any particular benefit, you can check a PDF of the Guide to Benefits.
$50 Streaming Subscription Credit
You’ll get a $50 credit for online subscription services after spending $5,000 in a given account year. An account year refers to the 12 months immediately after you open the account, and every 12-month period thereafter. This credit will be automatically applied to any purchases of eligible streaming services made with the card.
This is a pretty unique perk that we haven’t seen on other credit cards, and it seems to be aimed more towards digital natives. That makes sense for a card that’s co-branded with Uber. $50 is a pretty small return for spending $5,000 (only 1%), but it’s a nice little benefit for spending that you were already going to do. And on a no-fee card like this, that’s basically an extra $50 in your pocket.
The eligible subscription streaming services are:
|Amazon Music||Amazon Prime membership fee||Apple Music||Audible||DirectTV NOW||Google Music||HBO NOW|
You can check your progress towards the $5,000 point at any time by logging on to your online profile. Click the “Rewards and Benefits” menu, then select “Rewards activity.” You’ll see your current progress, along with any eligible charges from subscription services that the credit could be applied to.
Invitations to Exclusive Events
Uber Visa cardholders will occasionally receive invitations to Uber Exclusive Events in big cities around the U.S.
There isn’t much information available about this benefit, except Barclays states that these events are “primarily anticipated in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and [Washington,] D.C.”
Free FICO Score 8
Check your FICO Score 8 credit score for free whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report. Barclays also provides a bit of information about how FICO scores work, and it will tell you the key factors influencing your score.
However, this is a pretty bare-bones service compared to what you’ll get from other credit card companies. Some issuers, like Discover, offer a more useful credit monitoring service that provides insight and advice about how to improve your credit scores. Still others, like Chase with their Credit Journey, provide an even more comprehensive service that includes a credit simulator, which lets you see the estimated effects of certain financial situations.
Both Discover and Chase offer their credit monitoring services for free to anyone, cardholder or not. You just need to sign up.
Cell Phone Insurance
Pay your cell phone bill with the Uber Visa card to get up to $600 in cell phone insurance. This benefit covers “damage to, theft of, or involuntary and accidental parting of your cell phone.”
This is supplemental coverage, which means it takes effect after any other insurance policies you may have. Up to $600 is available per claim, after paying a $25 deductible. A maximum of two claims are allowed per year.
- This protection applies on the first day of the calendar month following a payment of a cell phone bill.
- If you forget to make a payment for one month, you’ll lose your coverage until you begin making payments again.
- If your cell phone is stolen you must file a police report within 48 hours.
- If your cell phone is damaged, do not dispose of it until the claim has been fully reviewed.
- Certain situations are not covered, like cosmetic damage and voluntary parting of your cell phone.
This description does not cover the full set of requirements and excluded situations. Be sure to check your Guide to Benefits for the terms and conditions if you want to make use of this benefit.
How to File a Cell Phone Insurance Claim
- Within 90 days of the incident, call 1-866-894-8569 or visit cardbenefitservices.com to notify the Benefit Administrator and request a claim form.
- Complete the claim form and send it back, along with any requested documentation, within 120 days of the original incident.
Cell phone insurance seems ideal for Uber riders because cell phones are the most frequently forgotten item in Ubers, according to the 2019 Uber Lost & Found Index. If you forget your phone in an Uber and you can’t get it back from the driver, it should be covered by this insurance in most cases. Wallets and keys are the second and third most-forgotten items in Ubers, if you’re curious.
This is a relatively new protection that we’ve been seeing on more credit cards lately, although it’s a bit rare on no-fee cards like this. Typically you’ll only find it on cards with annual fees around $100. An exception is that many no-fee American Express cards now offer it, like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review).
Don’t you hate buying something only to find it being sold for less right after? Price Protection has your back.
If you make a purchase with your Uber Visa and find that same exact item being advertised for a lesser price, you can be reimbursed for the difference. There are quite a few terms to be aware of, however.
- You must purchase the item entirely with your Uber Visa card.
- Coverage is available for 120 days after the date of purchase.
- You must see either a printed or internet non-auction advertisement for the same exact item, which specifies the same manufacturer and model number.
- Reimbursement is available for the difference in price, up to $250 per claim, with up to four claims per year.
- Certain items are not covered, like jewelry, art, custom items, anything purchased for resale or commercial use, and anything advertised as “limited quantity” or “discontinued.”
There are other guidelines to follow, and other types of purchases that won’t be covered. You can check your Guide to Benefits to see the full description.
How to File a Price Protection Claim
- Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-844-252-7831 to open a claim within 60 days of finding the advertisement.
- Submit the required documentation, including copies of the advertisement, the receipt of purchase, the card statement showing the purchase, and anything else that might be relevant.
Price Protection could be pretty useful in some situations, despite the limitations. If you’re short on time and don’t want to shop around to compare prices, you can just make a purchase and seek out reimbursement later.
Many cards today are offering Price Protection; it seems to be the cool new kid on the block (although Cell Phone Insurance is also vying for that spot). You’ll get it with the Discover it, for example. And some Citi cards, like the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review), have an even better service called Price Rewind that will actually search internet for you, looking for reimbursement opportunities (up to $200 per item, up to $1,000 per year).
Extended Warranty Protection
Your eligible purchases will have their warranties doubled, with certain limits. This protection is automatic, you don’t need to do anything until you want to file a claim. But you can also register a warranty as soon you make a purchase, to get all the paperwork out of the way.
- Eligible manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less are doubled, up to one additional year.
- Coverage is available up to the original purchase price of the item, with a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder.
- You’re encouraged to call 1-800-551-8472 to file your warranty with the Warranty Registration service, but this isn’t necessary for Extended Warranty Protection.
- If you don’t register your warranty, you’ll need to keep your receipt and all other related documentation.
- You must purchase the item entirely with your Uber Visa card.
- Some types of purchases are ineligible, like motorized vehicles, items purchased for resale or commercial use, and real estate.
Be sure to check your Guide to Benefits to see the full details for this benefit.
How to File an Extended Warranty Claim
- Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-800-551-8472 to open a claim within 60 days of the product failure, and they’ll send you a claim form.
- Complete the claim form and submit it within 90 days of the incident, along with copies of any required documents (like purchase receipts, warranty terms, repair orders, and credit card statements).
- The appropriate reimbursement will be provided within five business days of receipt and approval of the required documents.
Extended warranties are one of the most common protections found on cards today. A notable exception is Discover credit cards, for which it was recently removed.
Other Visa Protections
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides coverage for damage and theft of rental cars, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance.
- Global Assistance Services: 24-hour assistance with Lost and Stolen Card Reporting, Emergency Card Replacement, and Emergency Cash Advances.
- ID Theft Protection: If you believe that you’ve become a victim of identity theft, you’ll have access to a variety of ID theft resolution services to help.
Other Barclays Benefits
- Zero Liability Fraud Protection: You won’t be held liable for fraudulent purchases. Contact customer support immediately if you find unauthorized transactions.
- Account Alerts: Sign up for various alerts, like when purchases exceed a certain amount, when you approach the credit limit, or when a payment is due.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|17.24%, 22.99%, or 25.99% Variable||17.24%, 22.99%, or 25.99% Variable||27.24% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||None||3%, $10 minimum||3%, $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $37||Up to $37|
The Uber card has terms that are easy to understand. Although there’s no 0% intro APR period, there’s also no annual fee to pay. So this card can be completely free to use, as long as you pay your balance in full each billing period to avoid accruing interest. You’d also need to avoid interest from balance transfers and cash advances as well.
There’s no foreign transaction fee, which is less common for a card with no annual fee. But this makes sense here because of the 3% cash back travel category. Most other cards will charge up to 3% on foreign transactions, so you can save a lot of money by traveling with this card instead.
What is the Credit Limit of the Uber Visa Card?
Your credit limit for the Uber Visa will be based on your creditworthiness when you’re approved. There is no specified minimum or maximum credit limit.
Cardholders can request a credit limit increase from Barclays at any time, although we recommend only doing this about once every six or 12 months. Barclays may also automatically increase your credit line from time to time if you show responsible credit habits.
|Barclays Customer Support||
We called up Barclays customer support learn a bit more about the Uber Visa card. There were three questions to ask in particular:
- Is this card available at the upgraded Visa Signature level?
- How do I see my progress towards the $50 streaming subscription credit?
- What’s up with the invitations to exclusive events?
When calling Barclays you’ll need to wait a few minutes before you get an option to speak with a representative. After going through the process, we reached a friendly rep who could help with our questions.
To our first question, the rep was pretty sure that the Uber card is not available at the Visa Signature level. This wasn’t quite as definitive as we would like, but this answer seems to be the consensus on the net.
For our second question, the rep walked us through how to check your progress towards the $50 credit. You simply need to log in, select the “Rewards & Benefits” menu, and then click “Rewards activity.” You can easily see your progress towards the $5,000 requirement, along with any eligible streaming services that were charged to your card.
And for our last question, we learned that the “exclusive events” are actually provided by Uber, not Barclays. As explained on Uber’s website, cardholders may occasionally receive emails from Uber with invitations to nearby events. That’s about all there is to say about that particular benefit.
Our call with Barclays customer support went well — it was friendly and quick. This is pretty typical for Barclays, which came in fourth out of 11 major credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s recent Credit Card Satisfaction Survey 2017. It was a bit above the industry average. The year before that, in 2016, Barclays also came in fourth but this time it was just under the industry average.
Barclays cardholders can contact customer support online by logging in and then using their secure message system. They’ll typically get back to you pretty quickly, often on the same day.
The Bottom Line
The Uber Visa Card from Barclays is one of the best available cards for dining and certain travel expenses.
For no fee you’ll earn an excellent rate at restaurants (4%), more than almost every other card. That’s in addition to 3% back at airlines and hotels, and 2% back for online purchases. Those are also some of the best offers you’ll find. Altogether these categories make the Uber Visa very competitive, even compared to cards with high annual fees.
This card’s signup bonus is a bit small, only $100. But it’s very easy to get, only requiring $500 in spending.
The extra benefits are not bad, although they aren’t the real reason to get this card. The $50 streaming credit is probably useful for most people, although you’ll need to spend quite a bit to get it. Other than that, most of the benefits will only take effect if something bad happens, like leaving your cell phone in an Uber.
It seems odd that this card doesn’t have better perks with Uber, like more cash back for rides, a redemption bonus, or some benefit like upgrades to UberSELECT rides. It’s still good for dining and travel, of course, but this card would be more attractive if it offered some Uber-specific features.
The Uber Visa is one of the better options if you’ll spend in its bonus categories, but there are other cards that might work better for you. Some have different offers for dining, or can provide a better rate on Uber rides. Check out some of those alternative cards below.
How to Apply for the Uber Visa Card
Apply for the Uber Visa by following these instructions, or hitting the Apply Now button below. You’ll be taken to Barclays’ webpage, which includes instructions on how to apply.
The current application instructions are:
- Open the Uber App (available for iPhone and Android)
- Tap MENU in the upper left
- Tap PAYMENT
- Tap VIEW ALL OFFERS in the Payment Offers section
- Tap DETAILS under Apply for the Uber Visa Card
We’ve heard from a reader that these application instructions won’t work. You may need to call Barclays at 1-866-928-8598 to apply for the Uber Visa.
Usually you’ll get an instant decision after applying, either yes or no. In some cases Barclays may request more information to process the application.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal identifying information, including SSN, email address, and phone number
- Total annual income, and source of income
- Monthly mortgage/rent payment
Alternatives to the Uber Visa Card
- Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review): No annual fee, 3% cash back on dining, 2% back on groceries, $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
- AARP® Credit Card From Chase: No annual fee, 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, $100 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
- Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review): No annual fee, 5% cash back rotating categories, double cash back the first year
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review): $95 annual fee, 2X points for travel and dining, 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So you’ll earn a bit less on dining with this card, only 3% compared to 4% with the Uber card. The only other bonus category is groceries at 2%, which isn’t too great because you can do better with other no-fee cards like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review).
The Uber card is better for certain travel purchases (airfare and hotels) as well as shopping online, offering 3% and 2% for those purchases, respectively. The SavorOne card isn’t very rewarding by comparison.
You’ll get a slightly bigger welcome bonus with the SavorOne for the same amount of spending, $150 instead of $100.
The SavorOne card is available at either the basic World Mastercard or the upgraded World Elite Mastercard level. The basic World Mastercard is pretty much equivalent to the Visa Platinum level of service you’ll get with the Uber Visa card.
If you get a World Elite Mastercard version of the SavorOne card, however, you’ll get some additional benefits which include:
- World Elite Hotels & Resorts Portfolio: Complimentary discounts and benefits at over 900 hotel properties, such as Starwood, Hyatt, InterContinental, and more.
- World Elite Air Program: Special deals when booking with certain airlines, like upgrades to business class and discounts on companion fares.
- World Elite Car Rental Program: Get discounts of 15–25% at select car rental services, like National, Avis, and Sixt.
- 24/7 Concierge Service: Call to speak with a personal assistant at any time, who can help with all sorts of non-emergency tasks.
Capital One also provides their CreditWise service to anyone, cardholder or not. This is a credit monitoring service you can use to keep tabs on your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, as based on your TransUnion credit report.
Terms & Fees
The SavorOne card has no annual fee, just like the Uber Visa. But the SavorOne also offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months (then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)) on both purchases and balance transfers, which the Uber Visa does not have. There’s no fee on foreign transactions.
The SavorOne card has a good welcome bonus, and the benefits and terms are pretty good for a no annual fee card. But it’s not quite as rewarding as the Uber Visa.
Read more in our Review of the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card
The AARP® Credit Card From Chase, issued by Chase, is not a bad option for dining. You don’t need to be an AARP member to apply for it.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
It’s a pretty straightforward rewards program. You’ll earn a bit less at restaurants than you would with the Uber Visa, but you also get the 3% grocery store category to go along with it. That’s a pretty competitive rate for groceries among no annual fee cards.
If you just want a single card for dining out and grocery shopping, and you don’t care about the 3% and 2% categories of the Uber Visa, the AARP card might be a good fit.
The AARP card is available at either the Visa Platinum or Visa Signature level, while the Uber Visa only comes as a Visa Platinum. So if you get a Visa Platinum version of the AARP card, the benefits will be pretty much the same. But if you get an AARP Visa Signature card you may get some additional protections.
In addition to those perks, Chase will donate 10 cents to the Drive To End Hunger for every purchase you make at restaurants with the AARP card. This is perhaps the only card that will donate to charity for each purchase you make, an interesting feature that can help you feel good when spending with the card.
Terms & Fees
The AARP is inexpensive to use because it has no annual fee. But you will need to pay 3% on foreign transactions. This fee isn’t a big deal here because this isn’t a travel card, so you probably wouldn’t choose it for spending outside the country.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
The 5% cash back calendar for the Discover it for 2019 is:
|Quarter||5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March||Grocery Stations|
|April – June||Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft|
|July – September||Restaurants, PayPal|
|October – December||Amazon.com, Target, Walmart.com|
Take note that you must manually activate your 5% cash back rewards every quarter, and you won’t earn at the 5% rate until you do. This is as simple as logging in and clicking “Activate.” You can do it months in advance, so be sure to do so.
In 2019, the Discover it card offers 5% cash back on both Uber and Lyft from April to June, as well as restaurants from July through September. And, if it’s your first year with the card, that will be doubled to 10% cash back. That’s 2.5X more than what you’ll get with the Uber Visa on these categories, but you’re limited to $1,500 in spending at that rate.
So you can earn $150 cash back on each category when spending on ride-sharing apps and restaurants at the 10% rate during the three months these categories are active, quite a nice sum. If you spent $1,500 on these purchases with the Uber Visa you’d only earn $60 on restaurants and $30 on Uber.
The Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com category at the end of the year is excellent for holiday shopping. This is similar to the online purchase category of the Uber Visa, but it’s limited to Amazon, Target, and Walmart shopping and provides more cash back.
The Discover it is one of the most rewarding rewards cards, but the categories that are comparable to the Uber Visa are each only available for three months out of the year in 2019. And we can’t say for sure that these categories will show up again in 2020 (although we suspect they probably will).
You could actually use the Uber Visa along with the Discover it to maximize your cash back potential. Pay with the Discover it whenever you’re spending in the active bonus categories, and use the Uber Visa for purchases that match its bonus categories.
The Discover it only offers a few benefits for cardholders:
- Price Protection: If an item you bought is found being sold for a lesser price elsewhere, you may be eligible for reimbursement.
- Free Social Security Number Alerts: Monitors thousands of risky websites, and will provide alerts if your SSN is found on any of them.
- Cash at Checkout: Get cash at checkout when making purchases at eligible merchants, just like a debit card.
- FICO Credit Scorecard: Check your FICO score at any time, based on your TransUnion credit report. This free service is available to anyone, not just cardholders.
So the Uber Visa has a better set of extra perks, although you won’t get the Cash at Checkout feature or SSN alerts from Barclays.
Terms & Fees
The Discover it card has no annual fee, and comes with a 14-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers. After that your rate will be 14.24%–25.24% Variable.
There are no foreign transaction fees, but Discover doesn’t have much acceptance outside the U.S. so it’s not a great choice for traveling abroad.
Overall, since the Discover it is a different type of rewards card than the Uber Visa, you can’t really compare their cash back categories directly. Instead, these cards might work well together as the Discover it’s categories come and go throughout the year.
Read more in our Review of the Discover it Credit Card
If you’re looking for rewards on dining and travel spending, you could do a lot worse than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review). Unlike the other cards on this list it has a $95 annual fee. But you can offset that with about $2,375 in spending if you transfer your rewards to a partner loyalty program.
|Introductory Bonus Offers|
The Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with this card are typically worth 1 cent each. But when redeeming for travel expenses through the Ultimate Rewards portal you’ll get a 25% bonus, making them worth 1.25 cents apiece.
At that rate, you’ll be earning the equivalent of 2.5% cash back on travel and dining, and 1.25% back for every other purchase.
You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of loyalty programs, including many airlines and hotels. The value of your transferred points will depend on how you use them; some loyalty programs offer better rates than others, and cheaper bookings tend to give you more value per point.
Some point transfers can provide as much as 2 cents per point, or even more. At that valuation, you’d be earning 4% cash back on dining and travel, and 2% back for everything else.
That 4% rate would match the Uber Visa card’s restaurant category. And it would provide better rewards on travel, including twice as much cash back for Uber rides (because Uber is counted in the travel category by Chase). But to get that great rate you’d need to pay the annual fee and find a good point transfer.
The Sapphire Preferred’s travel category is also more broad. Where the Uber Visa just counts airfare and hotels, the Sapphire Preferred includes car rentals, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, parking garages, cruise lines, and more.
The Sapphire Preferred provides access to better perks than the Uber Visa, mostly centered around travel. Some of the best include:
- Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Get benefits at over 900 locations around the world, like daily breakfast for two, free WiFi, and room upgrades when available.
- Shop Through Chase: Earn extra points at select retailers, like Under Armour, H&R Block, Dell, and Sam’s Club (current offers at the time of publication).
- Chase Preferred Experiences: Get invitations to exclusive events in big cities around the world.
- Visa Signature Concierge: Call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your own personal assistant, for all kinds of non-emergency assistance like making reservations and getting travel advice.
- Direct Access to a Customer Support Specialist: Call the number on the back of the card to be directly connected with a customer support rep, without needing to work through a phone menu like the Uber Visa.
- Travel Protections: Including Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Travel Accident Insurance, and more.
- Refer Friends for Bonus Points: You’ll get 10,000 bonus points for each friend you refer who’s approved for a Sapphire Preferred card, up to 50,000 points per year.
So you’ll get more valuable benefits with the Sapphire Preferred, but that’s to be expected on a card with an annual fee.
Terms & Fees
The Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee $95. And there are no foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice to bring with you outside the country.
You can offset this card’s annual fee by spending $3,800 at the 2X rate, assuming you redeem through Ultimate Rewards to get 1.25 cents per point. Or, if you redeem with a point transfer to get 2 cents per point, you can offset the annual fee by spending just $2,375 at the 2X rate.
There’s probably no reason to have both the Uber Visa and the Sapphire Preferred. If you’re not going to travel much and want a no-fee card, the Uber Visa will be excellent for dining and certain travel expenses. But if you’ll travel often throughout the year and could transfer your points to an airline or hotel loyalty program, the Sapphire Preferred has a lot to offer.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Do you use the Uber Visa Card to get cash back when dining out or ordering in? What about for travel? Let us know how you like it by leaving your own review!
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