How credit cards can help you save with Uber credit and other cool perks

Young woman cheerfully walking and thinking about unique credit card perks Young woman cheerfully walking and thinking about unique credit card perks Image:

In a Nutshell

Credit card perks aren’t limited to cash back. For example, the Platinum Card® from American Express offers an Uber credit.

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Plenty of rewards credit cards offer the chance to earn points, miles or cash back on everyday purchases.

Sometimes, these cards even come with additional perks, like travel insurance or a concierge service to take the stress out of booking a travel or restaurant reservation.

While those benefits can be super-useful, they’re also nothing new. If you’re looking to squeeze something a little more exciting out of your credit card, you’ll be glad to know that many credit card issuers have risen to the occasion.

Just as often as not these days, rewards credit cards come with a whole slew of cool and creative perks.

Here’s the deal: Credit card issuers want to attract new cardholders, so they’re branching out beyond the typical perks associated with rewards cards.

One of their primary targets? Millennials.

Standing at 92 million members strong, the millennial generation is the largest in the history of the U.S.

But for a number of reasons, this generation has a complicated relationship with credit cards. The New York Times cites fear after the Great Recession, while Forbes cites a pervasive attitude of ambivalence. In any case, millennials may need a bit more convincing when it comes to credit cards.

One card they seem to love? Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Millennial applications were through the roof when Chase rolled out its high-end travel rewards credit card in summer 2016. So, why was this particular card such a winner?

Perhaps because it comes stocked with travel benefits and perks, including a $300 annual travel credit, access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide and special car rental privileges when you book with your card.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Even with its high annual fee of $450, the benefits appear to outweigh the costs in many cases.

Fortunately, Chase Sapphire Reserve® isn’t the only credit card with cool and unique benefits.

Read on to learn about some other perks you might be able to enjoy with a new credit card. Some you may have heard of before, but others will likely come as a welcome surprise.

Uber credit

One of the coolest perks on the market has to be the Uber credit you’ll get with the Platinum Card® from American Express.

Basic Card Members can take advantage of up to $200 in annual Uber savings ($15 Uber credit for U.S. rides each month, plus a bonus $20 Uber credit in December), plus enrollment in Uber VIP status where available.

Heads up, though: There are a few hoops to jump through before you can use your card to ride around town.

To make sure you get the credits applied to your account, first update your method of payment to your Platinum Card® in the Uber app. After that, be sure to opt into the credit in your app.

Once that’s completed, you’ll be good to go. And you’ll be riding in style with your Uber VIP status, which helps you connect with top-rated drivers.

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Platinum Card® from American Express

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Wi-Fi credits or complimentary access

You want to stay connected to your friends, family and work while on the go, but data and Wi-Fi passes can get expensive. We get it. Here’s the good news: Depending on which card you choose, you can get statement credits towards Wi-Fi, including in-flight service.

Before your next flight, double-check your card rewards to see if they might include an in-flight Wi-Fi credit.

When you use your Discover it® Miles card to purchase Wi-Fi access on an aircraft, for example, Discover will issue a statement credit within seven business days — up to a maximum of $30 each anniversary year. This isn’t a heavily promoted perk, but it’s valuable nonetheless.

Other cards offer similar benefits to help you stay connected wherever you are. Eligible American Express® cards, such as the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, give you complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots, which can save you up to $119 annually.

Exclusive access to concert and event tickets

Certain rewards credit cards offer cardholders exclusive access to purchase concert and event tickets. It’s a perk that tends to be overlooked by folks chasing points or miles, but nothing says “cool” quite like nabbing tickets to the hottest show in town.

Citi® Private Pass® is one such perk available to Citi® credit card and Citibank® debit card customers.

If you happen to hold a card like the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, you can get special access to purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events and dining experiences. You may even get invited to a few complimentary movie screenings in your area.

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Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

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American Express® cardholders can benefit from a similar program called Membership Experiences.

You’ll get access to presale tickets and special events when purchasing tickets with your American Express® card through the Membership Experiences website.

The next time your favorite band or team is in town, make that your first stop when shopping for tickets.

ShopRunner membership

Love your Amazon Prime membership but want access to different brands? ShopRunner could be your answer.

With hundreds of brands to choose from — including Kate Spade, Express, and Saks Fifth Avenue — ShopRunner gets your deliveries done stat with two-day shipping and free returns in case you change your mind.

With your American Express® card or Mastercard® (World Mastercard® and World Elite Mastercard® cardholders only), you can get a complimentary ShopRunner membership.

Simply enroll on the ShopRunner website and be sure to use your enrolled card when making purchases.

If you already have a powerful rewards-earner like the American Express® Gold Card, this benefit is just icing on the cake.

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American Express® Gold Card

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Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit

Travel much? Then you’ve probably thought about applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Airport security can get old fast, and these are your answer to shorter lines and expedited entry into the U.S.

If you’re looking to apply for either program, you may not have to pay extra. Certain top-level travel rewards cards will give you a credit to cover the full application fee. That’s a benefit you’ll definitely want to use if you fly even once over the next few years.

One of the cards that offers a $100 Global Entry application fee credit is the Citi Prestige® Card. Others include Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Platinum Card® from American Express.

Airbnb credits

With some travel rewards cards, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, you may be able to apply your travel statement credit toward purchases with Airbnb.

Just be sure to check the terms and conditions for your card before applying your travel statement credit toward those less-obvious travel merchants.

You may even want to call a representative to make sure you can redeem your points or miles toward purchases with specific merchants.

Bottom line

If you’re on the hunt for a new rewards credit card, don’t limit your imagination. Credit card issuers continue to find new ways to attract new cardholders, and that means thinking outside the box in terms of benefits and perks.

Whether you’re a music lover, a fan of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, or someone who hates waiting in line at the airport, you may get more out of your next credit card than you thought possible.