Uber launches a credit card that's actually pretty good - Bring Me The News

Uber launches a credit card that's actually pretty good

But would you trust the company with your spending data too?

Coming kind of out of left field on Friday is news that Uber is branching out from ride-sharing into the credit card market.

The company announced the launch of its cashback credit card in partnership with Barclays and Uber, which Uber account holders can apply for through the app starting Nov. 2.

And you know what? It's actually a pretty good cashback card, offering 4 percent back on restaurant, bar and takeout purchases, 3 percent back on airfare/hotels, 2 percent on online purchases (including Uber) and 1 percent back on everything else.

Consumer Affairs says that puts it in the same league as cashback cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum Cashback – but has an advantage over them as it doesn't charge an annual fee.

The card is aimed at millennial consumers, with holders able to use cashback they earn to order Uber rides or UberEATS straight from the app. It can also be used as a credit against your statement or to buy gift cards.

There are a couple of other perks too, namely Uber gives you a $100 bonus after spending $500 in 90 days, and also $50 towards online subscriptions (for Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.) if you spend more than $5,000 in a given year.

Mashable dubs it the "ultimate millennial card" and it's not surprising they're targeting this market. A YouGov poll found that Uber achieved the highest increase in millennial customers over the course of the past year, ahead of Instagram and rival Lyft.

But let's take a second here to think about this

One question that appears to be at the forefront of commentators' minds after the announcement is: Just how much information should I be sharing with a single company?

While the cashback card is an attractive offer, TechCrunch is among the sites warning that it would allow Uber to gain an "Amazonian level of information" about its customers.

Uber has an insight into your travel habits already, and signing up for a credit card would add spending to that collection of data.

The company has said it won't sell any of the information it compiles about card holders to third parties, but as TechCrunch points out, let's not forget this is a company that has had some privacy issues in the past.

In 2014 it settled a lawsuit over its controversial program known as "God View," which the Washington Post notes allowed company employees to monitor real-time locations of customers. This led to a data breach that allowed hackers to steal driver and rider information that same year.

The subsequent uproar led to Uber implementing a policy preventing its workers from spying on customers. It now gets independent audits once every two years to ensure it's protecting user data.

It's also attracted the ire of, among others, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken for a separate program that allowed it to track users' movements after they'd left the vehicle.

This program ended in August following pressure.

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