Both companies now have a presence in over 70 countries around the world. All you need to do is download their apps. Then, in minutes, you’re connected to the vast network of drivers that Uber and Lyft offer to consumers. Their services run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Payment is easy too. First, you download one or both of the companies’ apps. Then, you link up a payment option of your choice. It can be a PayPal account or a credit card. Once that information has been entered into the app, you’re all set to ride. Just enter your pickup location and your destination. The app will send a car to come get you. It’s that simple.
There are so many credit cards on the market. Consumers have a wealth of options when it comes to selecting the right card. Rewards are a big factor in the decision-making process. Rewards credit cards offer incentives on your spending.
You can reap those benefits in the form of cash back or points. Many offer miles that can be applied to future travel purchases. Additionally, they offer merchandise and discounts among other things.
These consumers are always seeking ways to maximize their rewards earning potential. Therefore, choosing the right card for paying your Uber and Lyft fares should play a role in which one you link to your account.
Why not earn the most rewards every time you take a ride? The good news is that there are certain cards on the market that can let you do just that. We’re going to take a look at the five best choices out there at the moment.
Driving for Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft provide consumers with the opportunity to take low-cost transportation. It can be somewhat safer. It’s mostly more convenient than other methods like the bus or the subway. They’re also a good way to make money. Especially for those of you who are looking for a way to pay off your high credit card bills.
Becoming an Uber driver or a Lyft driver is actually rather straightforward. You’ve probably never considered driving a taxi in your life. Well, think again. This can be a lucrative way to put some extra money in your pocket. What’s even better are your options. You can drive when you want, where you want. Driving for Uber and Lyft is done on your terms. It could be as a part-time side hustle or a full-time job.
Getting started is as simple. You visit the website of the company for you which you wish to drive. Fill out their forms with all of the pertinent requested information. Then you’ll have to ensure that your car passes each company’s standard for acceptance. In either case, your car will have to be a later model vehicle, typically 2006 or newer. It will need to pass a basic inspection.
Both companies have certain tiers of service. Thus, you and your car may only be cleared for certain tiers. That’s unless you’re driving around in a late model BMW or high-end SUV. Your car interior also needs to be clean and presentable. All seat belts must be in working order.
Do you have rewards credit cards that earn you the most at gas stations? If so, you’ll want to be sure to pay for these services with that particular card. That way you’ll earn points for the money you’ll be expected to put out. It’s a requirement to have your vehicle cleared by Uber or Lyft.
After your car has been given the go-ahead, you’ll need to pass some stringent criteria of your own. Be sure you’re over the age of 21. You have a valid driver’s license and personal automobile insurance. You need both in order to drive legally anyway. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
You will need to pass a background check as well. They will see if you have any criminal history or DUI convictions in your past. If not, you’re all set. You can drive for Uber and/or Lyft.
More drivers are working for both companies these days. That could impact your bottom line when it comes to filling up your car before you go out to work. That’s another reason why having a specified rewards credit card. It will earn more on gas station purchases. It is a good idea for anyone who decides they want to work for Uber or Lyft.
Riders Who Want the Most Value
There are great credit cards for ride-sharing services. The best are those that present cardholders with the most value and earnings on every ride with both Uber and Lyft. However, there are different types of consumers. Some use these ridesharing services with varied frequency.
That can also weigh on your decision as to which credit card is the best to use for Uber and Lyft. The number of rewards you can earn from your trips may vary greatly. They are based upon the type of program and the frequency with which you travel.
Cash back is ideal for those consumers who want to save money on each ride they take with either of the services. Conversely, there are people who spend a lot of time in Uber and Lyft vehicles.
These folks will want a card that allows them to take full advantage of all of those transactions. Repeated rides with a card that offers the biggest earning potential in this category can help you rack up those points and miles quickly.
Be careful about rotating categories. That’s because they can reduce your earnings over a certain period of time. Most cards typically make the switch every quarter. This means you may have to wait in order to get the maximum rewards.
You can still earn your points or miles or cash back on those rides. Yet, the program associated with your card may limit you when the categories rotate. This can drastically reduce how many rewards you can accrue until they rotate again.
The Five Credit Cards to Consider
Now let’s get down to it. Some cards are simply better than others when it comes to earning rewards from your Uber and Lyft rides. Here are the five that we like the most. They yield the maximum rewards while offering additional perks and bonuses for cardholders.
Citi’s card is among the best choices when it comes to earning travel rewards. That means you can benefit from purchases and transactions made. There is a wide range of airlines, hotels, and gas stations. Additionally, for the purposes of this list, we are including Uber and Lyft.
That’s because Citi has included both rideshare companies as qualifying travel merchants. That means you can earn the same rewards you would get spending money at the pump or for airline reservations. There are plenty of rewards that you will be able to earn.
All travel-related expenses will get you 3 points for every dollar you spend. Don’t worry about the other purchases you would normally make on the card. That is because you’re going to get points on those transactions as well. However, they won’t be as many. Travel is the only category that will yield you the maximum.
- APR: Your rate is a variable rate between 14.24% and 23.24%, depending on determining factors. They include the current market rate and consumer credit score. Cash advance APR of 25.49%, penalty APR is 29.99%.
- Fees: This card has a $95 annual fee but Citi will waive that for your first year. There are no foreign transaction fees. Late payments and returned payment fees $35. Balance transfer fees are $5 or 3%, whichever is higher. Cash advance fees are $10 or 5%, whichever is higher.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Citi offers no such bonus at this time.
- Rewards: There is more than the aforementioned three points for every dollar on all transactions made at gas stations, airline counters, hotels, and Uber and Lyft rides. The Citi Thank You Premier offers two points for each dollar spent at restaurants and various forms of entertainment. All other purchases are going to get you one point per dollar.
- Redemption: Once you have enough points you can start to apply them toward flights on American Airlines. They can also be used for purchases of travel reservations, gift cards, and other merchandise. Redeem your points through the Citi Thank You portal to explore all of your redemption options. If nothing on the portal strikes your fancy, you can just redeem your points as a credit towards your statement instead.
2. Chase Freedom
Right off the bat, the Freedom is going to give you 5% cash back. However, the categories switch on a quarterly routine. The categories are pretty much the industry standard. However, there is one reason the Chase Freedom card is well-suited for Uber and Lyft use. It is because one of those categories is called “Local Commuter Transportation”.
That means all of your rides are eligible to earn five times the rewards. Yet, it’s only when that category is active. Keep in mind, however, there is a limit to the amount of spending you can get rewarded for each quarter. It’s capped at $1,500. Another thing about this card about this card is the rotations.
Once the categories rotate you must opt in to earn your maximum rewards. If no, you’ll end up earning the standard 1% that you can get on all purchases outside of the qualifying categories for that quarter.
- APR: The Freedom has a 0% Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers over an initial 15 month period. After that, the rate increases to a variable of 14.24%, 19.24%, or 23.24%
- Fees: $0 annual fee. 5% balance transfer fee after 15 months. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Chase has two bonuses for new customers. The first offers $150 after you spend $500 within 90 days after opening the account. The second offers an additional bonus of $25. For that, you’ll need to place an additional authorized user to your account and make your first purchase within those same 90 days.
- Rewards: Chase offers 5% back on combined purchase. Though, it’s only in qualified categories for each quarter, limited to $1,500 in spend. You get 1% on all other purchases. You must opt in for maximum rewards at the start of each quarter, which can be a hassle.
- Redemption: Chase offers customers Rewards Points for their spend. Five points are given for each dollar. Redemption can be initiated with a minimum of 2,000 points. You choose how you can convert your points. That can be as cash back as a direct deposit or in a gift card. Additionally, points can be used for future purchases, or use them to help pay down your bill. If you own another Chase card you can turn your cash back into points at the same ratio of five for every dollar. Those cards that work within this transfer system are the Sapphire Preferred and Rewards cards, the Ink Plus, and Ink Bold cards.
3. Discover IT
Discover’s IT card has increased in popularity as of late. That’s because frequent travelers enjoy the ability to earn three miles for every dollar. However, keep in mind that it only lasts for the first year of ownership.
This is another card that also switches categories from quarter to quarter. It counts Uber and Lyft as a qualifying category. Thus, feel free to pay for all your rides with this Discover card.
There is a spending limit you’ll need to contend with on your earnings for each active quarter at $1,500. After you reach the limit, your earnings drop. Though, you still get something for the money you’re spending. Earning those miles means you can redeem them without having to reach any minimums. Therefore, you can pay for your rides with miles if you so choose.
- APR: Discover offers a 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first year. Then, the rate rises to a variable 11.24%-23.24%. It’s based on your credit score.
- Fees: $0 annual fee. There is a $0 foreign transaction fee. 3% balance transfer fee after 12 months.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Discover offers a pretty generous signup bonus. They will match all rewards that are earned in your first year so you can get twice the benefits.
- Rewards: Three miles for every dollar you spend on qualifying purchases up to a maximum of $1500 per quarter in rotating categories. All other purchases yield one mile per dollar without limitations.
- Redemption: There are no minimums on redemption. Therefore, you can trade in your earnings at any time. You can put them toward purchases or transfer them into cash back.
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Another card from Chase makes the list with the Sapphire Preferred card. However, there are both pros and cons to going with this one. That is because you can earn some pretty hefty rewards up front. However, you’ll pay a little more to own the card later on.
You’ve probably realized that means it has an annual fee. Though, they waive that for your first year. Being a new customer also means receiving a huge sign-up bonus of 50,000 points. However, that is only after you spend $4,000 in three months.
There are ways of earning rewards outside of the bonus. You can get two points for every dollar spent on travel-related purchases. That includes riding with Uber and Lyft. Once you earn all of those points, you can apply them to making travel reservations in the future. There are no foreign transaction fees on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Thus, you can spend with this card overseas and not be forced to pay for the privilege.
- APR: Chase offers an APR of 16.24% – 23.24% variable. It’s based on your credit.
- Fees: $0 annual fee for the initial year. Then, $95 each year after that. No foreign transaction fees.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Chase will give you 50,000 rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening your account.
- Rewards: The Sapphire Preferred gives two points for every dollar you spend on travel-related purchases and transactions. Therefore, if you’re a frequent traveler, this card is going to let you earn a lot of points in a shorter period of time.
- Redemption: To redeem your points look no further than the Chase Ultimate Rewards Booking Tool. There, you can get discounts of 20% or more on your reservations. You get it when you apply your points to book airline flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. Another good perk with their Booking Tool is that you can use cash to pay off any balance where you don’t have enough points for the reward.
This American Express card is a great choice for those of you who travel a lot. That is especially if you spend most of your time in Starwood and Marriott properties around the world. When you spend money on the card, you earn Starwood points that can be used in a variety of ways.
Starwood and Marriott have finally merged together. Therefore, the points can now be applied to staying in any room within the network. It’s done by transferring your points into Marriott Air and Hotel Rewards. Then, you can book flights or stay in Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels for less. Of course, spending money on Uber and Lyft rides will help you accrue those rewards.
- APR: American Express offers customers an APR of 15.49% to 19.49% variable, based on credit.
- Fees: $0 annual fee for the first year. Then, $95 each year after that.
- Sign-Up Bonus: New customers can earn up to 35,000 points in total. 25,000 earned after spending $5,000 within the initial 90 days of the account being opened. Another 10,000 can be accrued after spending an additional $3,000 on top of it within six months.
- Rewards: One point is earned for every dollar spent on a Starwood-branded American Express. Conversely, if you spend that money on Uber, in particular, you can earn two points for each dollar spent while you are staying at any Starwood or Marriott property. All other Uber rides when you’re not staying at one of those properties come to one point for every two dollars spent on the ride-sharing service.
- Redemption: Redeem credit card rewards by using them to stay at one of the network’s 1,200 locations in 100 countries around the world. That’s the best way to get value from your points. You can do it without having to deal with blackout dates as well.
The American Express/Uber Partnership
The Starwood American Express card can earn you increased rewards on your Uber rides. However, it’s not the only card where you can score additional points for your ridesharing spend.
Back in 2014, American Express and Uber teamed up. They began to give Amex cardholders bonus rewards when they use their cards to pay for Uber rides. Not all American Express cards are part of the deal. However, those that do qualify will get customers a ratio of two points for each dollar spent with Uber.
The advantages don’t end there. That is because the companies have arranged for eligible cardholders to enjoy additional perks. These include using points to pay for a ride through the Uber mobile app. All you have to do is select “Pay with Points” before calling for your next ride and you’re all set.
These are the cards that are eligible under this new partnership:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
- Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
If you’ve never taken an Uber before, American Express also gives new riders $30 off their first ride. That is open to all American Express cardholders. It’s not just for those who participate in the Membership Rewards program.
Our Final Thoughts
Uber and Lyft are only getting more popular as alternatives to taking public transportation. More consumers have embraced these ridesharing services as their way of getting around town.
Thus, the credit cards have begun to include them into their rewards programs. Now you can ride in an Uber or a Lyft vehicle and earn points or cash back. You might even say it’s become one of the smartest passive income ideas to come down the pike in years. These cards are the best choices for accruing the maximum in points and percentages on your travel spend.