- The Uber credit card from Barclays has been a strong cash-back credit card ever since it launched in 2019.
- One “quirk” is that it’s offered a higher cash-back rate on dining purchases (4% back) than on Uber spending (2% back), but that’s changing now.
- Barclays and Uber just announced some updates to the card. You’ll now earn 5% back on all Uber purchases and 3% back on restaurants, bars, hotels, airfare, and vacation rentals.
- This means the Uber Visa is now the most rewarding cash-back card for Uber purchases. For non-Uber Eats dining purchases, other cards like the American Express® Gold Card offer higher rewards (but with an annual fee).
- The other big change is that instead of earning cash back, the Uber card now earns Uber Cash, which you can only redeem with Uber, not for cash back or gift cards.
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Two years ago, Barclays and Uber launched the Uber Visa, a cash-back card offering up to 4% back on purchases, with no foreign transaction fees. They have just announced some revisions to this card to make it even more rewarding for Uber purchases, but less rewarding for spending in other categories.
Uber and Visa have also changed how your rewards can be redeemed, along with a few other tweaks. Let’s take a closer look at these revisions, and see if the Uber card retains its value as a leading no-annual-fee rewards card.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
The key changes to the Uber card
The card’s name has been switched from the Uber Visa to the Uber card, but the biggest changes are the cash-back categories. You’ll now earn 5% back on all Uber purchases including Uber rides, Uber Eats orders, and even JUMP bike and scooter rides. This is up from the previous rate of 2% back for online purchases including Uber.
On the other hand, you now earn just 3% back on restaurants, bars, hotels, vacation rentals, and airfare. And as before, you earn 1% back on all other purchases.
Another big change is that instead of earning cash back, you’ll earn your rewards in the form or Uber Cash, which is a credit that you can use for Uber rides, Uber Eats orders, and JUMP bike and scooter rides.
While this change means you can no longer redeem rewards for straight cash back or gift cards, it isn’t likely to be an issue for most cardholders. After all, if you have an Uber card, chances are that you’re a regular user of Uber’s services, and Uber Cash will be just as valuable to you as cash back.
Another minor change is the additional of a roadside dispatch service that offers pay-per-use services for a flat fee of $US69.95. And the card no longer offers the $US50 credit toward streaming services that it once did.
You still get a valuable mobile phone protection plan that covers you for up to $US600 in lo sss for damage or theft. The card also retains its $US100 sign-up bonus after new cardholders spend $US500 within three months of account opening.
What should you expect if you already have an Uber card? Current cardmembers will be transitioned to the new product sometime within the first six months of 2020. You’ll be notified of the changes and your transition date through email and on your statement.
How the new Uber card stacks up to its competitors
With the new rate of 5% back on Uber purchases, the Uber card offers the highest return on spending for Uber purchases among cash-back cards.
Some cardholders might be disappointed that they will now receive 3% instead of 4% back at restaurants and bars (other than Uber Eats, which will earn 5%). However, the Uber card still offers the highest rate of return on restaurant purchases that you’ll find among no-annual fee cards. The Capital One® SavorOne® Rewards Credit Card also earns 3% back on dining (and entertainment), but it doesn’t offer any bonus cash back on Uber or other transit purchases.
Plus, even premium cards like the American Express Gold Card and the Citi Prestige® Card that offer 4x or 5x points at restaurants typically won’t apply those bonuses to Uber Eats, so if you want to use Uber’s food-delivery service, the Uber Visa offers the best return on your spending.
Other cards do offer bonuses for transit purchases, including rideshare services like Uber. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express specifically includes rideshare services as a bonus category. But it only offers you 3% cash back on these purchases compared to 5% on Uber with the Uber card, and it has a $US95 annual fee.
These updates to the Uber card are clearly designed to appeal more to regular Uber customers, and perhaps a bit less to those who just want the card to earn cash back at restaurants. Those who use Uber Eats will earn even more rewards now thanks to the new 5% bonus category, and you’ll still receive a very competitive 3% rate of return at restaurants, bars, hotels, and on airfare.
I don’t imagine many existing cardholders will be rushing to close their accounts when they read this news. Instead, those who use Uber services weekly, or even daily, will now have an even better reason to consider this card.