Skift Take

It makes sense for Uber to enter the credit card and loyalty arena. This card could be a solid alternative for frequent travelers who don't want to shell out a large annual fee.

Ridesharing giant Uber will launch its first co-branded credit card on November 2 in conjunction with Barclays, integrating card benefits into its app to create a seamless way for customers to spend their reward points on Uber rides.

Cardholders will be able to convert their rewards points to cash back, gift cards, or Uber credits all inside the Uber app on their phone.

The Visa card will have no annual fee and will give cardholders extra rewards for travel-adjacent purchases like dining out, airfare, and hotel stays. This stands in stark opposition to premium travel credit cards from the likes of Chase and American Express that offer valuable rewards points but come with a hefty annual fee.

“We are always looking for unique ways to surprise and delight our riders, which is the reason we built the Uber Visa Card,” David Richter, Uber’s global head of business and corporate development, said in a statement. “We partnered with Barclays to design a credit card that is not only custom-tailored to reward our customers’ everyday lifestyle, but is also fully integrated into the Uber app experience.”

In a further nod to frequent travelers, cardholders won’t pay foreign transactions fees for purchases and will receive mobile phone insurance worth $600 if they pay their monthly phone bill using the card. Uber customers will also be able to apply for the card directly through the Uber app on their phone.

Loyalty is a big business, and it makes sense that sharing economy companies are now experimenting in the space. Airbnb has hinted that it is looking to leverage a loyalty program going forward, but there is some debate on whether a formal program is really the way to go for these kinds of companies.


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Tags: credit cards, loyalty, uber

Photo credit: Uber's new credit card is pictured here. Uber

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