Uber’s new debit card aims to build driver loyalty

The mechanics of co-branded cards are well known and well-debated in loyalty circles but most everyone who pays attention to these things would agree that your chances of success hinge largely on your ability to sign up an already engaged cohort.

By Mike Giambattista

Perhaps you’ve been bombarded (as I have) by the onslaught of emails offering any number of sign-up bonuses when I become an Uber driver. At this moment, Uber offers outnumber Viagra offers by a margin of almost 2-to-1 in my spam folder. Little do these people know that my driving record would easily DQ me from membership in their esteemed program. The point is – Uber, Lyft and the like are in a constant and aggressive battle to find and retain drivers.

But Uber may have something here.

As of April 24, the new Uber Visa debit card from GoBank replaces the oft-maligned Uber Fuel Card and brings with it a package of perks that are specifically designed to appeal to Uber drivers.

According to Uber’s own description, “ … you can earn 3% Cash Back on gas when you use your PIN at the pump at Exxon and Mobil stations, 1.5% at all other gas stations, and more. Plus, there are no annual or monthly fees!” There are other perks as well, including the fact that the new card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted as opposed to the more limited parameters associated with Uber Fuel Card.

According to Mashable, “The card offers 3 percent cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations, and 1.5 percent at other gas stations. Discounts at Jiffy Lube and Advance Auto Parts also make sense for a driver putting a lot of wear and tear on their vehicle.”

The benefits are fairly straight-forward. There is no minimum-balance, no overdraft fees, no setup fees, or monthly or annual fees.

PYMNTS.com reports that other perks include “ …24/7 roadside assistance from Urgent.ly, covering tow, tire change and other fixes for $0.49 a month with sign-up; free withdrawals at tens of thousands of ATMs nationwide and the ability to cash out earnings on Instant Pay for free up to five times a day.”

“People tell us they drive with Uber to earn on their own terms. The Uber Visa Debit Card and checking account offers a simplified banking solution that helps people who partner with Uber keep more of what they earn and earn more for what they spend — on and off the road,” the company said.

Let’s see if Uber’s debit card foray delivers as expected. Our view from the sidelines looks promising.

Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).

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