Barclays Just Ruined My Favorite Credit Card
Welp. Part of me knew this day would come, but it’s tremendously disappointing nonetheless.
Earlier this week, Barclays and Uber announced some major changes to my beloved Uber Visa card. This included a multiplier decrease in my most-used category, the removal of another useful spending category, and the discontinuation of the $50 per year streaming credit I’d previously earned over the past two years. But the worst was yet to come as the card will no longer offer regular cash back and will instead pay out only in Uber credits.
To say that I was a raving fan of the Uber Visa would be a tad of an understatement. Not only have I written multiple posts talking up its benefits but have also given it a shout out at pretty much every opportunity. That’s why I’m sad to say that this week’s news has forced me to pretty much do an about-face on it.
What was so exciting about the card when it was first released nearly two years ago to the day was that it was an Uber-branded card that really didn’t require you to be a hardcore Uber user to benefit from it. In fact it was surprising that Uber rides weren’t even the highest-earning spending category. Instead it offered 4% back on dining (which did include Uber Eats, for what it’s worth), 3% on travel, and then 2% on Uber. Also helpful was that the 2% category actually applied to all online purchases. Oh, and the card had no annual fee — which was extra impressive when you consider that some rivals like the Capital One Savor card cost $95 a year.
Alas, now that 4% on dining has been reduced to 3% and the online spending category is gone. On the bright side, Uber and Uber Eats transactions have been elevated to a new 5% category, which honestly makes a ton of sense. But, as mentioned, the card will now only earn Uber Cash rewards whereas you could previously spend your points on gift cards, cash transfers, statement credits, or even… Uber credits. In other words, the card went from being the ultimate card for Millennials to being a glorified Uber store card.
For the record, I won’t be canceling my Uber Visa just yet. Currently my plan is to keep my cell phone bill on the card as a way to keep the card active and claim the cell phone insurance the card still offers. Then I can merely merge the few Uber Cash rewards I do earn with the $15 a month in credits I now earn from my Amex Platinum. Speaking of which, the Uber card will be departing its coveted slot in my phone case, likely to be replaced by the aforementioned Plat.
It seems silly to admit just how upsetting the changes to the Uber Visa card have made me — not just because I feel like I’ll be missing out on rewards but more so because I’ve spent the past two years promoting it on here and IRL. In hindsight, that was probably the plan all along as offering the previous perks did allow the card to gain a fan base, get people talking, and leave a large number of cardholders (like myself) who are probably unlikely to cancel despite the changes. I guess it just goes to show that, as more and more people start to play the credit card game, there’s always a chance you might get played.
Also published on Medium.