Uber had been the only rideshare company to have any deals with credit card companies (besides Uber’s co-brand card, but that’s a different story).
Uber partners with American Express and offers a $15 statement credit every month (and a $35 credit in December) to those who have an AMEX Platinum card. While many people will easily use the credit every month, there’s a large number of people who complain that the credit is unnecessarily difficult to use. If you’re not going to use Uber one month, you lose the credit (unless you pay extra to order food from Uber Eats).
Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, has its own travel partners. You’re able to earn points with both Delta Skymiles and Hilton Honors for all of your Lyft rides. Still, these perks were just for earning points and not saving money, until now.
Lyft and Chase now have offers for cardholders of their entire line of Ultimate Rewards earning cards, even ones with no annual fees.
- 10X total Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, and one free year of Lyft Pink
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- J.P. Morgan Reserve
- 5X total Chase Ultimate Rewards® points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire
- Ink Business Preferred
- Ink Plus
- 5% total cash back
- Ink Business Cash
- Ink Cash
- Ink Business Unlimited
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Freedom Student
Here’s the email I received for my Sapphire Reserve card. We had a trip coming up, so I signed up for the Lyft Pink for the 15% discount and to earn 10x points for my rides.
I have no doubt that Uber has noticed businesses leaving, presumably going to Lyft. The AMEX Platinum benefit doesn’t add much incremental business for Uber because once you’ve used your $15 credit from AMEX, there’s no benefit for using Uber over Lyft.
I don’t see it as a coincidence that I’ve received this offer twice from UBER in the last month:
*Maximum savings of 50% off up to $10 per ride outside of California. In California, the maximum savings is $3 on UberX, UberXL, Comfort, & Pool or $2 on Express Pool per ride
The offer is only good for just over a week, but I think it accomplished what it was supposed to. When I was in New York and needed a car, I looked for both Lyft and Uber to see which was less expensive (Lyft Pink 15% discount or Uber with the 10% off). We split the rides on the trip almost equally between the two.
Chase has really upped their game and made a strong argument for using their cards with Lyft instead of using Uber. Unless Uber improves their deal with American Express, these direct to consumer discount offers are the next best thing they can do to fight back against Lyft.
Just remember this the next time someone argues that a merger will lower prices and improve services. Competition is helpful for consumers as I doubt there’d be dueling discounts if there was only one major player in the rideshare business. Oh, right. We used to have a monopoly in this area. They were called taxis. We all know how well service was when they were the only player in the game.
Keep at it, Uber and Lyft. The consumers are eventually the winners in your contest for rideshare dominance.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary