Barclays announces launch of Uber Visa card
Earlier this week Barclays and Uber announced the launch of a new Visa credit card. Beginning November 2, you can apply for the Uber Visa. In fact, you can apply directly from the Uber app!
If you’re interested in cash back cards, it may be worth looking into.
Benefits and details are listed on the Barclays website:
A few benefits I want to point out:
- The card will have no annual fee
- There are no foreign transaction fees. Most no annual fee cards will charge about 3% on purchases made outside the US, so this is a solid benefit.
Earning points to use as cash back with Uber Visa
This is a cash back card. The way this works is that you earn points that you can redeem as cash back. You can redeem for Uber rides, gift cards, or statement credits. Each point is worth 1 cent when you’re redeeming. So if you earn 10,000 points, you can redeem for $100 worth of statement credits, gift cards, and/or Uber rides.
So, here is the earning structure on the Uber Visa:
- 4% on purchases at restaurants, bars, and UberEATS
- 3% on hotels and airfare
- 2% for online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services
- 1% on everything else
This is interesting because if they’re branding this as an Uber credit card, why are Uber rides not in the highest earning category?
4% on dining and 3% on travel are decent but I still prefer to use my Chase Sapphire Reserve for these categories and I will explain why below.
Redeeming rewards earned with Uber Visa
Think of the percentages as points per dollar. But remember that when you’re redeeming, those points are worth cash back at a value of 1 cent per point. There is no option to transfer these points to airline and hotel programs as you can with programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The only three ways you can redeem your points earned with the Uber Visa are Uber rides, statement credits, and gift cards. So all three of these options are the equivalent of cash back.
You can redeem for Uber rides with a minimum of 500 points (which are worth $5). To redeem your points for statement credits or giftcards, you must have $25 worth which is 2,500 points.
Uber Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
I know some people get confused with the numbers on the earning and redeeming side so here is a breakdown.
I will compare $10,000 in annual spend on travel on the Uber Visa to the same spend on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- 3% is the rate for the travel category
- $10,000 in travel will earn 30,000 points on the Uber Visa
- 30,000 Uber Visa points are worth $300
- So, that’s 3% cash back
Chase Sapphire Reserve:
This math is a little more complicated. If you want to skip the math below, just know that it is possible to get a return of over 6% with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- CSR earns 3 points per dollar on travel
- $10,000 x 3=30,0000
- 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth a minimum of 4.5% when booking travel through the Chase redemption portal
- In addition to using my Chase Ultimate Rewards points as cash to book travel through the portal, I can also transfer the points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners. This usually earns at least 2 cents per point in value.
- Example: Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase Utimate Rewards. The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome is a World of Hyatt category 7 hotel.
- Award nights at Category 7 hotels are 30,000 Hyatt points per night
- I can transfer my 30,000 UR points to Hyatt since Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- 1 night at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome is at least $600 and often closer to $1,000.
- So, more math. I’ll use $600 to keep it conservative but note that the higher the rate, the more valuable it is to use points:
- 0.02 x 100=2
- Transferring 30,000 Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt to redeem this room is a value of 2 cents per point
- Back to the $10,000 in annual spend that earned the 30,000 points to make it possible to book that hotel:
- 0.06 x 100= 6
- That’s a return of 6% on $10,000!
- You can read more about using the Ultimate Rewards booking portal vs. transferring to partners here.
Is there a Sign up bonus on the Uber Visa?
Yes. After you spend $500 in the first 90 days, you will get $100 (10,000 points). If you don’t mind the credit pull, it’s an easy $100!
My take on this card
As always, the best card(s) for you depend on several factors such as your spending habits and your travel goals. If you like the flexibility that a cash back card offers and you eat out and travel often, this is a decent card.
The fact that there is no annual fee also makes it more enticing. Keeping no annual fee cards open can improve your credit score over time since length of credit history is a factor when determining your score.
I’m not sure that I will apply because I am still under 5/24* from not applying for cards while building our new house and there are some Chase cards I want to get before I put myself over the 5/24 limit. You can read more about the 5/24 policy here.
*Remember that any card from any bank will count towards Chase’s 5/24 policy. If you have your eyes on a Chase card, you may want to hold off on applying for other cards such as the Uber Visa. If you’re already over 5/24 and do not plan to get back under 5/24, then you can consider this card.