The updated rewards rate for the Uber Credit Card has left a few customers wondering if it’s worth it to keep the card. However, if you find yourself using Uber consistently, the rewards rate should have little impact on your earning potential.
Dear Cashing In,
I just got a notice that my Uber Visa is changing a lot of its rewards. I take Uber fairly often and I like the card, but I’m not sure if I should still hang on to it with all the changes. Is it worth it? – Thomas
It was a no-annual-fee card that gave cash back rewards for spending in categories popular with millennials: Uber, of course, along with restaurants, takeout and bars, online shopping and video and music streaming services.
It also offered smartphone insurance and discounts on Netflix, Spotify and Hulu for those spending $5,000 a year or more.
However, now two years in, Barclaycard and Uber are shaking up the card and altering the way customers earn and use its rewards. The changes are significant, but if you’re someone who uses Uber frequently and uses the card a lot right now, there’s probably no reason to switch.
See related: Uber Rewards card revamps earning rate
New rewards rate
Starting in 2020 for existing cardholders, and immediately for new applicants, these are the new features of the Uber Credit Card:
Barclays Uber Credit Card (formerly Uber Visa)
- Annual fee: None.
- Sign-up bonus: $100 after spending $500 in first 90 days (same as before).
- Earning: 5% back on Uber purchases, including Uber Eats and JUMP bike and scooter rentals (previously 2%). 3% back at restaurants and bars (previously 4%). 3% back on hotels and airfare. 1% back on streaming services (previously 2%). And 1% back on all other purchases.
- Redeeming: Points are earned in the form of Uber Cash and can be redeemed for spending on Uber-related purchases. Previously, points could be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit.
- Other perks: Insurance against mobile phone damage or theft up to $600.
As you can see, there are several notable changes. The biggest is that it is no longer a cash back card. Rather, it accumulates points that can be redeemed to defray the cost of spending on Uber rides and related charges.
The card also ramped up the earning rate for Uber-related expenses to 5%, slightly dropped the earning on restaurant and bar charges and eliminated the bonus for streaming services. It still has the phone insurance but the discount on streaming has been dropped.
New rate, new consumer?
Collectively, these changes mean that in order to reap the most benefits from the card, you have to take Uber, order Uber Eats and ride the company’s JUMP bikes or scooters. Previously, the card offered value even to customers who never took an Uber ride because it had a high rate of earning at bars, restaurants, hotels, on airfare and streaming services – and the rewards came in the form of cash.
Now, the rewards only benefit you if you have Uber expenses to defray. If you never use Uber, there is no longer any sense in having the card. Although, since it has no annual fee, there’s no real harm in leaving your account open if you think you might take an Uber someday, like on a trip out of town.
New applicants should also be aware that they will need to have Uber charges on the card to receive its benefits.