Analysis: Uber Visa Card vs Chase Sapphire Cards

The Uber Visa Card just launched, and it offers competitive benefits compared to cards in its category. The no annual fee cards that offer similar rewards are the Chase AARP card and the Capital One Savor card. 

The only two travel cards that come close to the same benefits as the Uber credit card are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. 

If you do apply for the Uber Visa card, please share your application data point with the community here. You can view the results here

How does the Uber Visa card compare to the Chase Sapphire cards?

We created a calculator to compare the Uber card to the Chase Sapphire cards. Access the spreadsheet here: http://bit.ly/2iU0tqF

Instructions: 

  1. "File" > "Download as" or "Make a copy of"
  2. Change the DARK YELLOW cells (other ones are formulas)
  3. Pick the card that gives you the highest expected value
 uber vs chase sapphire preferred vs chase sapphire reserve

uber vs chase sapphire preferred vs chase sapphire reserve

Spend Multipliers

The first thing you want to do is enter your annual spend for each category. The Chase Sapphire cards have transactions that count as "travel" that the Uber card doesn't, like transit passes, Airbnb, and tolls. 

 spend multipliers

spend multipliers

For other purchases, I entered $0 because there are other cards that earn 1.5-2x back on all purchases like the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Citi Double Cash card. It's not optimal to use any other cards for all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus

Sign-up bonuses are important because they offer outsized value and affect the return on spend calculation. If you're someone who already has the Chase Sapphire Preferred and/or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, then I recommend moving on to Year 2 calculations. 

 sign-up bonus

sign-up bonus

Sign-up bonuses:

  • Uber: Earn 10,000 points after spending $500 in the first 90 days
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days

Point Valuations

Uber points are valued at 1 cents per point because you can only redeem that for statement credit, Uber credit, or gift cards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal or you can choose to use Transfer Partners for more value. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth 1.25 cents per point, and Chase Sapphire Reserve points are worth 1.50 cents per point. You can always transfer points from other UR earning cards to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. 

Calc 5.JPG

Annual Fee and Credits

The Uber card does not have an annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee that comes with a $300 travel credit, so the effective annual fee is $150. 

Calc 6.JPG

Other Benefits

All of the cards offer a ton of benefits. We're going to focus on the most tangible ones. 

Calc 7.JPG

One of the highlights of the Uber card is mobile phone protection. If anything happens to your phone, you can pay a $25 deductible, and the card will cover up to $600. Learn more about the benefit in this post

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers complimentary airport lounge access via Priority Pass. Enter the amount you value each visit, along with how many times you plan on visiting. You also have the ability to bring unlimited guests to the lounge, based on the lounge's discretion.

Trip delay insurance is included in the Chase Sapphire cards. The Chase Sapphire Reserve's trip delay insurance kicks in after 6 hours, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred's starts at 12 hours.

Another perk of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is primary CDW when you rent a car. 

Expected Value

Find out which card works for your lifestyle in the Expected Value section. 

Calc 9.JPG

One thing to keep in mind is that just because a card makes sense in Year 1, doesn't mean it will yield the same value in Year 2. 

 expected value

expected value

In the example above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred yields $904 in expected value in Year 1, but -$95 in Year 2. One option is to product change the card after Year 1 if you're not getting positive expected value. 

The Uber card offers positive expected value in both Year 1 and Year 2.