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How to earn travel points on your food delivery

With this points hack, you can ramp up your travel rewards from non-travel purchases

Summary

This points hack lets you earn travel rewards by ordering food.

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If you are a points hacker, you are probably familiar with a few untraditional ways to earn rewards. By leveraging shopping portals, referral bonuses and card-linked offer programs, you can earn points or miles in non-traditional ways and fast-track your way to your next vacation.

For those who frequently order food delivery, you might be missing out on another points hack. By taking advantage of this trick, you can earn travel or online shopping bonus points on the food you order.

The secret lies in UberEATS, the food delivery service offered by popular ride-share app Uber. Since Uber purchases count as travel or online shopping for cards with bonus points or cash back in those categories, you can earn bonus points on food as well.

How does this hack work?

To decide if you should earn bonus points on a purchase, card issuers take advantage of merchant category codes. These codes (which vary by issuer) help distinguish a restaurant purchase from a gas station purchase and so on. So if you have a card that earns 3 points per dollar on travel purchases, any transaction with a relevant merchant category code is flagged for the extra points.

See related:How to find a business’s merchant category code

Most cards include ride-share purchases in a travel category. So, when you use your card that earns bonus points on travel purchases to pay for a ride with Uber, you earn that bonus rate. When you order food from UberEATS, it is processed like any normal Uber transaction – also coding as travel. That means that if your card offers bonus points on travel, you can earn the same bonus rate when you order food on UberEATS.

Similarly, online shopping bonus categories allow extra points or cash back for app purchases. While food delivery might not be what first comes to mind when you think of online shopping, you can still rack in rewards on these purchases.

Best cards for earning these points

There are several cards that offer bonus points or cash back on travel and online shopping. Here are a few of our most popular options.

CardRewards rate
Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • 3 points per dollar on travel and restaurants (excluding purchases covered by $300 travel credit)
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Citi Premier℠ Card

  • 3 points per dollar on travel, including gas
  • 2 points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Bank of America Cash Rewards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale club purchases
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

If you order delivery often, you can boost your rewards earning on all of these cards.

Honorable mention: Capital One Venture card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card does not offer bonus miles on travel purchases, but it does come with a unique feature that still makes it a good pick for this hack. The Purchase Eraser allows cardholders to use their rewards miles to offset the cost of any travel purchase – including Uber. So while you won’t earn extra miles from food delivery, you can use rewards to cover something other than travel without losing any value.

Tips for maximizing the UberEATS points hack

  • Make your eligible credit card your primary payment method on the UberEATS app.
  • Before you order in, check to see if your favorite restaurant is available on the app. Places you usually order from using another service might be included and can boost rewards.
  • Make a small test purchase with UberEATS. Since merchant category codes vary by card issuer, you should confirm this hack works for you.

Final thoughts

To ensure you earn the most out of your rewards credit card, stay on the lookout for non-traditional ways to earn points. In addition to scanning card-linked offers or shopping portals, keep an eye on how transactions you make every day code to take advantage of non-traditional purchase bonuses.

What’s up next?

In Products

Turning a hobby into a career with the right business cards

With her rewards points savvy, Cacinda Maloney created a career and life of adventure out of a hobby. She founded the luxury travel blog, PointsandTravel.com

Published: March 13, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: June 19th, 2019
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