Barclaycard is teaming up with Uber to issue a credit card called the Uber Visa Card. While technically co-branded with the ride share company, there are almost no Uber related benefits, which is kind of confusing. Nevertheless this card, which will earn rewards in the form of cash back, has impressive cash back rates that (in most ways) beat other cash back cards.

You can’t apply for the Uber Visa quite yet. Barclaycard will start taking applications November 2, 2017.

Uber Visa Card Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 within 90 days of account opening
  • Value of Points: 1 cent each (cash back)
  • Cash Back Categories: 4% back on dining, 3% back on airfare and hotels, 2% back on online purchases, 1% back on everything else
  • Cell Phone Insurance: $600
  • Statement Credits: $50 credit per card member year for online subscriptions if you spend $5,000 on the card in a year year
  • Global Acceptance: Visa (so widely accepted), chip technology, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards. 

Sign Up Bonus

For spending $500 on the Uber Visa within 90 days, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points. With the spending it takes to meet the minimum spending requirement, you’ll earn at least an additional 500 points along with the 10,000 bonus points. That’s 10,500 points, worth one cent each, for a total return of $105.

How to Redeem Points

You can redeem the points for cash (in the form of a statement credit), gift cards, or Uber credits. No matter what you redeem points for, they are each always worth 1 cent. The only factor that differs depending is the minimum redemption amount.

  • When redeeming for cash back, the minimum amount of points you must have is 2,500, which is $25 worth.
  • When redeeming for gift cards, the minimum amount of points you must have is 2,500, which is $25 worth.
  • When redeeming for Uber credits, the minimum amount of points you must have is 500 which is $5 worth. I guess this could kind of be considered a benefit related to Uber?

You must redeem miles within 90 days of the purchase you wish to erase. You should see the statement credit hit within two to three days of redemption.

Category Bonuses

How does Barclaycard define Dining?

Restaurants, fast food, takeout, bars, and UberEATS purchases. You will earn 4% cash back on all purchases made in this category. That’s the highest cash back rate (out of any card) I’m aware of for the dining category.

How does Barclaycard define Hotel & Airfare?

This includes airfare, hotels, and travel agencies, and home share exchanges like Airbnb.

How does Barclaycard define Online Purchases?

Online shopping (retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy’s), Uber (this is the other loosely tied Uber benefit, I guess), video and music streaming services (like Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now, and Apple Music), certain online services (like Instacart, Shyp, Angie’s List, Handy, Thumbtack, FlyCleaners, and TaskRabbit), and digital purchases of mobile applications and media on platforms (like iTunes and Google Play).

If you make a purchase that falls into the Hotels & Airfare or Dining category online, your cash back rate won’t stack, you’ll earn either 3% or 4% back accordingly.

1% on Everything Else

This is the only category that’s not competitive. You can beat this any day with the Citi Double Cash card which give 2% cash back on all purchases (1% at purchase, 1% when you make your payment).

The only other cards I’m aware of that earn the same or a better cash back rate on non-bonused spending longterm are limited to a small market. They are the:

Phone Insurance

You get $600 of coverage in the case of theft, damage to, or involuntary and accidental parting of your cell phone as long as you pay your cell phone bill with the Uber Visa and don’t already receive coverage from another policy. Too bad there’s no category bonus for cell phone bills…that would make a little more sense considering.

I consider this a very valuable benefit, especially for a no annual fee card. For example, iPhone insurance (AppleCare), after the initial limited warranty passes, costs $99 to $199  depending on model plus additional deductibles depending on what’s wrong with the phone.

Statement Credit for Online Subscriptions

By spending at least $5,000 on your card within a year of opening it (card member year, not calendar year), you’ll get a $50 statement credit to cover online subscriptions such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime, Shoprunner, etc.

By the time this post published, the new season of Stranger Things will already be out! Eeek!
By the time this post published, the new season of Stranger Things will already be out! Eeek!

This is a cool perk I’m sure most would cash in on but it’s not a reason to get the card.

Fees

This card has no annual fee. For a card with no annual fee, its cash back earning rates are super impressive.

You will not be charged foreign transaction fees when using this card abroad or on purchases with foreign merchants.

The Deal with Barclaycard

The following is from our post Issuing Banks Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses.

  • Applicants with zero Barclaycards may be able to get several at once.
  • There’s a good chance applicants who have a Barclaycard will not be approved for another for at least six months since the last application (this isn’t a super hard rule, as I just applied and was approved for a second Arrival Plus Card not quite six months after I got the last one, but it’s still a good one to follow if you want to avoid denials).
  • Barclaycard denies people for having too many Barclaycards, not enough spending on existing Barclaycards, too much credit with Barclaycard, or too many accounts with other banks.

 

Who Should Get This Card?

Mainly people who don’t like sifting through award space. Of course, this card is great for those that don’t travel and aren’t interested in travel rewards, but that typically doesn’t apply to those reading this blog.

Aside from those that hate booking awards, there are other distinct categories of travelers this card is good for:

  • People who can manufacture spending in the bonused categories at under 2/3/4% cost respectively so they can use this card to make money.
  • People who for whatever reason do a lot of non-sign-up-bonus, non-category-bonus spending. Those people include those with tons of spending in general, people wanting to put all spend on one card and wait on opening any other cards for Chase 5/24 reasons, and presumably others, like someone who buys mainly cheap economy tickets that are usually not worth redeeming miles for.

Looking Towards the Second Year

With no annual fee there is no reason to close this card. If you don’t like dealing with award space or else fall into one of the categories above, then open this card, keep it longterm, and put all your spending on it that falls into the bonused categories. As for non-bonused spend–anything that doesn’t fall in the Dining, Airfare & Hotel, or Online Purchases categories–don’t bother. 1% cash back is meager–you can do much better easily with the Citi Double Cash Card.

Want More Uber Credits?

Remember that one of the many benefits of the American Express Platinum card is $200 in Uber credit per calendar year ($15 a month and $35 in December).

Bottom Line

The new Uber Visa is open to new applicants as of November 2. If you spend significantly on dining, travel, and on online purchases like those listed above (you can read exclusions of “Online Purchases” here), and you want a cash back card for whatever reason, this card should catch your attention.

It doesn’t have much to do with Uber, which makes the co-branding a bit confusing, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that its bonus categories are compelling.

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