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Uber Eats and DoorDash Are Expensive. These Credit Cards Can Save You Money on Food Delivery

Get extra rewards and savings with these offerings from Capital One and Chase.

You’re probably aware of your credit cards common benefits, like its rewards rate and travel perks. But your credit card might have hidden perks that you’re not aware of, like food delivery and entertainment benefits.

If you order takeout frequently or find yourself in the back of a rideshare, these credit cards might offer free memberships for Uber, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Lyft, Instacart and more -- for a period of time.

How to pick the right credit card for you

It’s important to make sure the card you’re interested in matches your lifestyle and spending habits. Choose a credit card that offers higher rewards on your top spending categories or extra benefits -- like statement credits or free memberships -- you’ll actually use.

If a card has an annual fee, it will cut into your earnings, but can be worthwhile if you can earn high enough rewards to cover the charge. Create a budget and make sure you can earn enough rewards with your normal spending to cover the fee and then some. And if you’re applying for a card for the welcome bonus, make sure you can reach the spending threshold to earn the bonus without overspending. 

Check the card’s cardholder benefits, as well as how to take advantage of them. For example, if a card offers travel protections, you’ll typically need to book your flights or hotels with the card to be covered by any travel insurances it may include. Some offers, like Chase’s complimentary Instacart+ memberships, must be manually activated via the issuer’s website before you can use them. If you can’t benefit from most aspects of the card, perhaps it’s not the one for you.

Should you choose a credit card based on a limited-time partnership?

While free Uber Eats or DoorDash membership for a period of time may complement your lifestyle, you shouldn’t choose a credit card based solely on limited-time partnerships. You want your card to provide lasting value, so it’s more important that its rewards match your habits and any fees it may carry fit into your budget. The partnerships are just a nice bonus to what the card already offers.

How to get the most from your card

If your card offers extra rewards in certain categories, be sure to use that specific card for those purchases. Don’t miss out on 10% cash back on Uber rides or Uber Eats with the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card* through Nov. 14, 2024, or on higher rewards for hotels and rental cars with Capital One or Chase. But if you don’t use Uber or aren’t planning a vacation, you shouldn’t go out of your way to make purchases in those categories just to get extra credit card rewards. 

The same goes for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Flex℠* which offer not only DoorDash perks, but also Lyft and Instacart. If you shop on Instacart frequently, for example, make sure you use your Chase card to take advantage of the Instacart+ membership benefits, which includes no delivery fees on orders of $35 or more, 5% credit back on eligible pickup orders and lower service fees. You can also get quarterly statement credits on Instacart purchases.

If your card includes a welcome bonus -- which all of the cards above do -- make sure you can earn it through normal spending. Don’t overspend in order to reach it, otherwise it defeats the purpose of a bonus.

Once you’ve earned your rewards, redeem them in the most lucrative way. For most cards that means statement credits or cash back, but if your card offers hotel and airline transfer partners (like Chase’s Sapphire cards and Capital One’s Venture cards), transferring your points or miles to travel partners will typically provide the greatest value.

Lastly, use all of the extra perks your card includes. Some cards come with annual credits that could help cut back on certain expenses.

The bottom line

It can be easy to miss out on extra rewards or perks with a card, as some cardholders may not be aware of everything they have to offer. Be sure you’re keeping an eye out for any communications from your card issuer regarding new offers.

*All information about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Flex has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.