Uber's New Credit Card Could Be a Tough Sell
Uber isn't exactly known for protecting the privacy of its drivers or riders. Tim Cook reportedly had to threaten to remove the Uber app from iPhones after he discovered the app was "fingerprinting" iPhones with a permanent ID. The ride sharing company had to stop gathering location data from passengers, even after a ride ended, and it settled with the FTC over abuse of customer data. Now Uber is offering a new credit card, available Nov. 2, which might seem a bit counter-intuitive.
The Uber Visa has no annual fee, and users earn $100 after they spend $500 in the first 90 days of owning the card. You'll get rewards for using the card, and they'll accrue even faster for buying food in a restaurant, booking a trip, taking an Uber (obviously) or shopping online. You'll be able to redeem the rewards for Uber credits on rides and UberEats delivery, as well as cash back or gift cards. It will even grant you an annual $50 "subscription credit" you can use towards Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime. Uber also says that cardholders can get coverage for theft or damage of their mobile devices, and invites to secret shows and dining experiences. All subject to "terms," of course. Still, given the company's track record, it might be a tough sell to ask customers to sign up.
Update: Uber clarified to Engadget that it would not get any information on individual spending, as that will stay with the issuing bank, Barclays. The only thing Uber will know is the amount of spending that occurs on their cards in aggregate. The company says it will have access to how many Uber credits that rider has earned through the percent back on an individual level. This post has been edited in light of those details.