Do you hitch a lot of rides with Uber? Now you can pay for them with an Uber credit card -- and score some added perks in the process.
Starting Nov. 2, you can apply for the Uber Visa, a no-annual-fee card that comes from online-banking service Barclays. Is it something you should consider? Let's take a look at some of the reasons you might want to.
Starting with the most obvious: cash back on Uber rides. The card will pay you back 2 percent for all online purchases, and that includes Uber itself.
You get 3 percent back on hotel and airfare expenses and 4 percent
back from restaurants and bars -- including UberEats. Everything else you buy nets a 1 percent cash-back rate.
Those are some highly competitive rates, especially the 4 percent for restaurants; I've found few cards that do better than 3 percent.
What else does Uber Visa do for me?
If you spend at least $500 within the first 90 days, you'll earn an extra 10,000 points -- the equivalent of $100.
The Uber Visa offers two other perks I find particularly interesting. First, if you spend at least $5,000 over the course of one year, you can get up to a $50 credit for digital subscription services -- Netflix, Spotify, etc. (Actually, the eligible services aren't listed, but one assumes.) So if you're, say, a Spotify subscriber, this is like getting five months free.
The card also provides phone protection, provided you pay your mobile phone bill with it. You can get up to $600 against phone damage or theft. (The fine print also mentions "accidental parting," which I take to mean "left phone in the backseat of the Uber car.")
Finally, Uber Visa promises exclusive access to various "events and offers" (has anyone in the history of credit-card usage ever taken advantage of one of these?) and no-fee transactions when you use the card outside the US.
How do the rewards work?
Everything is points: the cash back, the rewards, etc. Those points can be redeemed for Uber credits, gift cards and/or statement credits -- this last is the closest equivalent to cash. (If you spend $100 at restaurants, your net bill will be $96. It's not technically "cash back," but rather "pay less.")
These redemptions will mostly take place within the Barclaycard app or in your Barclay account dashboard, but you can also use the Uber app to directly redeem points for Uber credits.
Needless to say, you should always read the fine print before signing up for any credit, especially with regard to the APR (which will be 15.99 percent, 21.74 percent or 24.74 percent, depending on your credit history). Even with lots of perks, most credit cards are a losing proposition unless you're able to pay your balance in full every month.
You should also weigh the Uber Visa's benefits against others you might already be getting from your existing credit card, like purchase protection and travel insurance.
What do you think about this card? Does it offer enough appeal over other rewards cards to get you to switch?