Uber’s new credit card: It’s not just for Uber rides

Not content with being just an app on your phone, Uber now wants to be a piece of plastic in your wallet.

The San Francisco-based startup is launching a new credit card, the company’s latest venture beyond its original ride-hailing service.

The Uber Visa card has no annual fee and will offer various rewards, seemingly tailored to what millennials like to spend money on — online services such as Netflix and Uber rides, eating out (though you don’t get bonus rewards for ordering avocado toast), and traveling.

Users will get 4 percent on dining (including UberEats), 3 percent on hotel stays and airfare, 2 percent on online purchases (including Uber rides) and 1 percent on everything else — and they can redeem those rewards for Uber credits, cash back or gift cards. Users also get $100 back after spending $500 in the first 30 days. And Uber is offering $50 in credit toward online subscriptions if users spend $5,000 or more on the credit card per year.

Customers can start applying for the card Nov. 2.

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“Today we’re excited to announce the Uber Visa Card, a no-annual-fee credit card designed specifically with our riders in mind,” Uber wrote in a Wednesday blog post announcing the new card. “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.”

This isn’t Uber’s first foray into financial services. The company previously had offered vehicle leases through its Xchange Leasing program, which Uber recently shut down.

But some wonder if the Uber credit card, coming at a time when the company is facing an unprecedented level of scrutiny, could be a tough sell for consumers.

Uber has come under fire in the past for violating users’ privacy, including through its God View tool that let employees see users’ locations in real-time.

The company is still reeling after a former engineer claimed Uber turned a blind eye after she complained of sexual harassment from her manager — an accusation that kicked off a slew of other complaints, two separate investigations, the firing of 20 employees, and ultimately culminated in the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber also is facing federal investigations for potentially bribing foreign officials, spying on Lyft drivers and using a secret software program to evade stings by local law enforcement. And the company is heading to trial in December over claims that it stole self-driving car trade secrets from rival Waymo.

Photo: A woman leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco in 2014. (Eric Risberg/AP)

 

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  • Vsem Yenovkian

    I’m not a huge Uber user but this card is pretty good all around. Almost as good as the Costco Visa card.

 
 
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