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Decades ago, getting into a car with a stranger was considered a daring and dangerous endeavor. These days, we use our smartphones to summon strangers willing to drive us place to place for a fee.
It just goes to show how much the internet, smartphones, and new technology have changed our lives. Acts that once seemed precarious at best are now an everyday occurrence, and this is mostly to our benefit.
Uber and Lyft are the two main ridesharing companies in operation, although the areas they cover don’t always overlap. While many consumers prefer Uber or Lyft over the other, both companies help consumers get where they need to go — often for less than the cost of a taxi ride from a company operating in the same market.
Best credit cards for Uber and Lyft
Ridesharing can be both convenient and inexpensive, but you can get even more “bang for your buck” if you use the right credit card to pay. Some travel credit cards offer ongoing credits for rideshares, while others offer bonus points when you use them for Uber or Lyft or other travel expenses. Uber even offers a co-branded credit card that lets you redeem points for rides if that’s what you desire.
Since both Uber and Lyft require you to connect a credit or debit card to your account, you may as well make sure you’re using the card that will benefit you the most. Here are some of the best options to consider based on how often you use ridesharing services:
Best for frequent rideshare users: The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you use Uber frequently — at least once per month — and think you could utilize an array of travel perks, you may want to consider The Platinum Card® from American Express. On the rideshare front, this card offers up to $15 per month credit for U.S. Uber rides plus a $20 bonus in December each year. You also get 5x points on airfare booked with airlines and through AmexTravel.com, an up to $200 annual airline fee credit, a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, and access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the globe, among other perks.
The current welcome offer on this card is 60,000 points after you make $5,000 in purchases within three months. You can use these points to book travel through AmexTravel.com, redeem for gift cards or merchandise, or transfer to airline and hotel partners. A $550 annual fee does apply.
Why it’s best: The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a monthly credit for Uber that’s worth up to $200 over 12 months.
What to consider: The rideshare credit on this card is doled out only for Uber purchases (not Lyft) and on a monthly basis, meaning you’ll lose a month’s credit if you don’t use it. The annual fee on this card may also be hard to justify if you don’t take full advantage of its travel perks.
Best travel rewards card for casual rideshare users: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you want to earn points good for travel but aren’t sure about a monthly credit, you can also consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card offers 2x points on all dining and travel purchases (including rideshares) plus 1x points on all other purchases. You’ll also earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee, the rewards structure, sign-up bonus and other perks make the cost well worth it. You can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel through the Chase portal for 25% more points value, redeem for statement credits or gift cards, or transfer points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel partners.
Why it’s best: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on all travel purchases, including rideshares with both Uber and Lyft. You can redeem your points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits.
What to consider: Don’t forget that this card charges a $95 annual fee.
Best cash-back credit card for casual rideshare users: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is another popular rewards card for rideshare users thanks to its generous bonus categories and lack of an annual fee. You’ll earn 3x points on rideshares along with eating out and ordering in, gas stations and transit, and travel including flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals. You will also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
In addition to points on ongoing spending, the card’s sign-up bonus offers 30,000 points worth $300 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. When it comes to redeeming your points, this card lets you cash in for statement credits.
Why it’s best: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card lets you earn cash back without an annual fee, and the earning structure for rideshares is generous.
What to consider: While this card does let you redeem points for statement credits, your points can’t be transferred to airline or hotel partners.
Best rideshare credit cards for businesses: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
If you have a small business and use ridesharing services frequently, you may also want to consider the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. This card offers 3x points on up to $150,000 in purchases made in select business categories each account anniversary. Select categories are travel (including rideshares), shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising with social media and search engines. You also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this card lets you use points for gift cards, statement credits, or gift cards. You can also redeem for travel through the Chase portal for 25% more points value or transfer 1:1 to popular airline and hotel partners. In addition, you can qualify for 80,000 bonus points after you sign up and spend $5,000 on your card within three months of account opening. A $95 annual fee does apply.
Why it’s best: This card lets you earn 3x points on up to $150,000 spent annually in select categories that include ridesharing. You can redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits.
What to consider: The $95 annual fee on this card is not waived the first year.
Best co-branded credit card for ridesharing: Uber Visa
If you’re a huge ridesharing advocate and want your chance to prove it, also check out the Uber Visa. This card comes without an annual fee, yet it offers one of the highest rates of cash back of any rewards card in certain categories.
Once you sign up for the Uber Visa, you’ll get $100 cash back after spending $500 within the first 90 days. You’ll also earn 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on online purchases, streaming music and video services, and Uber rides, and 1% back on everything else. Other important perks include up to $50 annually toward online subscription services after you spend $5,000 or more on your card each year, up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you use your card to pay your bill, and no foreign transaction fees.
Once you start earning points, you can redeem them for Uber credits, gift cards, or cash back.
Why it’s best: Earning 4% on dining and 3% back on hotels and airfare is impressive, but you’ll also get 2% back on Uber rides and select additional services — all without an annual fee.
What to consider: While this card offers meaningful amounts of cash back, you can’t transfer points to airlines or hotels.
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