Fine print, Living with credit, Rewards

AmEx Platinum’s Uber points change is a downer

John Egan

Here’s one from the “Credit card perks don’t always last forever” department.

Effective Feb. 28, holders of the American Express Platinum card – which I have – no longer earn 2x Membership Rewards points on Uber rides. The points-earning level for Uber rides has been knocked down to 1x.

Bummer.


The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers


A statement surprise

I didn’t realize AmEx had diluted the points awarded for Uber rides until I reviewed my February statement.

As this instance demonstrates, perks like bonus points and sign-up bonuses, as well as standard fixtures such as annual percentage rates (APRs), can change almost as quickly as you can swipe or dip a credit card. Discover cardholders learned this lesson in February when five card benefits were dropped.

Fortunately, the other Uber perk associated with my Platinum card remains in place.

As a Platinum member, I still receive $15 in Uber credits for U.S. rides each month, plus a $20 bonus in December. In addition, I’m able to gain easy VIP access to top-rated Uber drivers.

So, the loss of the extra rewards points for Uber rides isn’t enough to prompt me to ditch the Platinum card. But I must admit that I’m a little disappointed by this decision.

A new card hits the road

As noted by our friends at The Points Guy website, the scaling back of AmEx’s relationship with Uber comes as no surprise.

Why? Because last October, Barclays and Uber introduced a co-branded Uber Visa credit card. Highlights of the card include:

– No annual fee.
– No foreign transaction fees.
– $100 sign-up bonus.
– 4 percent cash back on restaurant and bar purchases, including UberEats deliveries.
– 3 percent cash back on airfare, hotels and vacation rentals.
– 2 percent cash back on internet purchases such as Uber rides, online shopping, and video- and music-streaming services.
– 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

Point-earning alternatives

So, where does someone turn if he or she is really committed to scoring points, rather than cash back, for Uber rides charged to a credit card?

The Points Guy steers us toward the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which delivers 3x points for travel, including Uber rides. For Uber rides and other travel, the point-earning bonus extended by the Chase Sapphire Preferred card sits at 2x, the same level that Amex’s Platinum card had offered until this February.

It’s uber important to monitor perks

Whether you’re a fan of cash back or points, there are now better vehicles for picking up Uber rewards than the AmEx Platinum card.

But despite the yanking of the bonus points for Uber rides, the AmEx Platinum card shouldn’t be dismissed, as it still drives a carload of benefits, such as free entry to a number of airport lounges. However, you might want to rethink your Platinum loyalty if you’re a frequent Uber rider.

Furthermore, and more importantly, the Uber shift at AmEx serves as a reminder that you should always be in the driver’s seat when it comes to keeping an eye on the perks being added and subtracted by your credit cards.

See related: American Express Platinum makeover adds $200 in Uber creditsPoll: Cardholders love rewards, but many don’t shop around

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