With Uber suffering a series of high-profile – and mostly self-inflicted – setbacks that have found arch-rival Lyft gaining market share, the battle for customer loyalty in the ride-hailing industry has become more intense. To regain brand luster and gain an edge in its battle for the streets, Uber has announced the launch of a reward credit card. Will cashback rewards be enough for Uber to hold onto its best customers? Stay tuned.
By Rick Ferguson
Uber announced the launch of the Uber Visa Card, issued by British bank Barclays, via a company blog post:
“Today we’re excited to announce the Uber Visa Card, a no-annual-fee credit card designed specifically with our riders in mind. We spoke with our customers about how and where they spend and what matters most in a credit card. The result is a card full of extraordinary benefits tailored to them.”
Uber customers can apply for the credit card beginning November 2, and will be able to immediately link the card to their Uber accounts. The no-annual-fee card offers 4 percent back in rewards on dining purchases, including UberEats; 3 percent back on travel purchases, including Airbnb; 2 percent back on online purchases; and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Cardholders can redeem points earned for cash, Uber credits, and gift cards. New cardholders who spend at least $500 on the card within 90 days will also earn a $100 signup bonus. To cement the card’s appeal to Millennial Uber fans, Uber is also offering a $50 subscription credit that can be redeemed for services including Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.
Will the new Uber Visa card help stave off the number of Uber customers switching over to Lyft? Perhaps – but getting Millennials to take up any credit card is a challenging proposition. According to a 2016 Bankrate survey, only 33 percent of Millennials hold a credit card, as opposed to 55 percent of Gen-Xers and 68 percent of Baby Boomers. Offering a rewards credit card is a good first step for Uber – but it will need to make the card the centerpiece of a larger loyalty strategy in a world in which the company can no longer take its market leadership for granted.
Rick Ferguson is Editor in Chief of the Wise Marketer Group and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).