Fellow ride-share aficionados, rejoice! On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Uber is launching a credit card this fall and Lyft may be soon to follow. Although the details of the credit card aren't yet public, we're pretty excited as Uber will be the first ride sharing service to release their own co-branded credit card.
This could be huge for frequent Uber riders. According to a recent survey by Vice News and Earnest, frequent Uber riders spend $95 per month on average, or around $1,140 every year. I took a look at my Uber spending in Birch, and I'd say that this is par with what I spend on Uber each month. I'd also bucket myself into frequent Uber riders, given that it's my main method of transportation as I live in downtown SF without a car.
My spending filtered down in the Birch app
I think on the low end, Uber would offer 5% back on Uber purchases with their own branded credit card. If that's the case, frequent Uber riders could expect to earn $60 a year just on their ride sharing. But I would expect to see a much more compelling program, especially from a company like Uber who is willing to spend the money upfront to acquire tons of users.
At this point, any reward program details about this card would just be speculation. But my bet is that it will be a cash back card, focused on earning cash back from Uber and other merchant partners. I'm inclined to think this way because Uber doesn't currently have a loyalty program and the other co-brand credit cards Barclays works with all have their own miles or points programs.
However, if Uber wanted to launch a loyalty program, now would be as good of a time as any. They've already started offering new perks for frequent riders, such as the flat fares discount in select cities and Uber VIP, but with a real loyalty program there's a lot of gamification they could be done to build brand loyalty.
It will be interesting to see if rolling out their own credit card with rewards means that Uber will slash promos with competing cards. The Capital One 20% promo on Uber no longer exists, and I continually hear that Amex Platinum cardholders really enjoy the $15/mo Uber credit and earning 2x points on Uber purchases.
American Express Platinum Card