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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card

Sept. 11, 2019
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card
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For serious foodies, the Uber Visa Card packs plenty of features, minus the surge pricing: The card’s annual fee is $0.

To get the best performance possible from the card, here’s what to keep in mind.

» MORE: Full review of the Uber Visa Card

Scoop up the sign-up bonus

The Uber Visa Card features the following welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s not the highest bonus around, but it should be easy to snag, especially for those who dine out multiple times a week.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit card welcome bonuses

Eat, drink and get delivery

Pretty much every time you open your mouth to eat and it’s not something you cooked yourself, the Uber Visa Card will reward you with bonus points. The card earns an unlimited 4% cash back on purchases made at restaurants, fast food restaurants, bars and orders from Uber Eats.

The only other card with earnings that consistently high on dining out is the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns 4% back on dining and also entertainment; 2% back on grocery store purchases; and 1% back on all other spending. But that card also carries an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. Again, the Uber Visa Card’s annual fee is $0.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for restaurants

Get out more

The Uber Visa Card will reward you well for travel expenses, offering a generous 3% back on airfare, hotels and even travel agency expenses. But travel doesn’t always include swiping tiny shampoo bottles from a hotel cart, and for those who prefer to travel a bit more like a local, the card earns that same 3% back on home share exchanges like Airbnb.

And should you choose to make a passport-required adventure, the Uber Visa Card can be a top-notch travel companion thanks to its lack of foreign transaction fees. It also runs on the Visa payment network, so acceptance will be widespread.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best cards for travel

Shop online and binge-watch with it

Those who tend to shop online at just one retailer repeatedly may be better off with a co-branded store card. But if you like to spread the online shopping love around, the Uber Visa Card’s unlimited 2% back on qualified internet purchases — including giants like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Macy’s — is pretty hard to top.

That 2% bonus category also covers video and music streaming services including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now and Apple Music, and even some online services like Instacart and TaskRabbit. In addition to that online cash-back rate, the Uber Visa Card also offers up to a $50 statement credit for eligible online subscription services after you spend $5,000 on your card per year.

Pay for Uber rides with it … unless you have a better option

The Uber Visa Card earns 2% back on all Uber rides, which isn’t bad. But oddly, other cards will earn you more for hailing a ride via Uber or similar apps.

The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, for example, earns 3 points per dollar spent on rideshares, transit and gas stations, among other categories. Terms apply.

And the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 3% cash back on transit including rideshares, taxes, trains, buses and more. It does have an annual fee of $95, but then it also earns an eye-popping 6% back on eligible U.S. streaming services — three times the rate the Uber Visa Card offers in that category. Terms apply.

Redeem for cash, not Uber credit

Here’s another quirk of the card: You can redeem rewards for cash back (as a statement credit or bank deposit), gift cards or Uber credits — but you’ll get more value if you redeem for cash, then use that cash to buy Uber credits. That’s because you’ll get a discount on Uber for paying directly with cash. Specifically, you get 5% off when you add $100, 3% off when you add $50, and 2% off when you add $25.

But those discounts don’t apply if you redeem your rewards directly for Uber credit.

» MORE: Cash-back cards that are great for travel, too

Pay your cell phone bill with it

The Uber Visa Card comes with a perk that can be somewhat hard to find: cell phone insurance. If you charge your monthly cell phone bill to the card, you’ll get coverage for damage or theft of up to $600 per claim after a $25 deductible. This coverage is good for up to two claims and $1,200 per 12-month period.

Your cell phone carrier will typically charge you a monthly fee to get similar protection.

» MORE: Credit cards that offer cell phone insurance

Pair it with another card

When it comes to rewards cards that pay elevated rates in different areas, the buddy system can be the most efficient way to maximize your earnings. By strategically pairing the Uber Visa Card with another card, you can earn elevated rewards on nearly all of your spending.

For example, if your eating expenses are evenly split between dining out and cooking at home, it may make sense to use the Uber Visa Card for restaurants and a card like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express for your grocery shopping, since it earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in purchases, then 1%. Terms apply.

(All information about the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.)

» MORE: Credit card coupling: Pair up your credit cards to maximize rewards

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