The headline is certainly catchy. For the next one year (1 October 2016- 30 Sept 2017), Uber and Standard Chartered are partnering up to offer 20% cashback on all your Uber rides, at home or overseas. All you need to do is charge your Uber ride to a Standard Chartered credit card. What’s more, new Standard Chartered Manhattan cardholders can get S$150 of Uber credits.
Of course, we know promotions are never as simple as the headline would like us to believe. So let’s look closely at the fine print of these 2 promotions
20% Uber rebate for all Standard Chartered cardholders
A 20% rebate is amazing, unprecedented and ultimately too high to be sustainable in and of itself. There needs to be a catch, and there is-
- You need to spend a min of $600 on your SCB card each month to qualify
- The total cashback per month is capped at $50 (meaning a maximum Uber spend of $250 per month)
Now remember, every POV I take on this blog is with the view towards earning the greatest number of miles. There may be people who are not interested in miles at all, and to them the below doesn’t really apply.
SCB lacks a true, accessible, general miles earning workhorse. DBS has the Altitude ($30K income requirement), Citibank has the Premiermiles ($50K) and UOB the PRVI ($80K).
Standard Chartered’s best miles offering comes in the form of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite card, which at an income requirement of $150K per annum is not exactly main street material.
So assuming you don’t have an SCB Visa Infinite card, you’re looking at forgoing the miles you’d have earned from $600 of spending. This could be anywhere between 840-2,400 miles, depending on what type of spending that was.
It’s also important to note the following types of transactions are expressly excluded under the T&C
- Insurance premiums, including premiums for investment-linked policies, charged to the Card;
- Bill payments (Examples of bill payment merchants include but are not limited to Telecommunications and utilities providers such as Starhub, Singtel and M1, Singapore Power);
- Any payment via AXS network;
- Any payment via SAM network;
- Payments to government agencies which include but not limited to Land Transport Authority, Housing Development Board, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Public Utilities Board, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and the Ministry of Manpower;
- Income tax payments;
- EZ Link cards transactions;
- Transit Link transactions;
- Any transactions pertaining to Merchant Category Codes 6211 (Security Brokers/Dealers) and 7995 (Gambling/Lotto)
- Balance transfers, cash advances from the Card, purchases via NETS and ongoing installment payments;
- Any fees and charges (including annual fees, interest charges, cheque processing fees, administrative fees, cash advance fees, finance charges and/or late payment charges and other miscellaneous fees and charges) charged to the Card;
- Any amount charged to the Card during the Promotion Period that is subsequently cancelled, voided or reversed;
- Balance owing on the Card account from other months
The long and the short of it is that SCB wants to reward your discretionary spend, not the spend you’d have been making anyway on your bills and routine payments. The express exclusion of AXS and income tax payments is going to be a dealbreaker to some. That said, the $600 minimum spending requirement includes spending on Uber and Ubereats.
Regarding the cap, unless you’re riding Uber daily it’s quite unlikely you’ll max out the $250 limit (although given Uber’s nasty new practice of hiding surge pricing, you still might…). So this wouldn’t be my main objection, it would be the having to forgo miles on $600 of spending.
Other relevant pointers to note- this 20% cashback promotion is only valid for SCB Credit Card holders, so linking a debit card won’t work. AIA co-branded SCB credit cards and corporate cards are also not eligible.
Also, the caps and terms apply on a card basis. So if you had 2 Standard Chartered cards and spent $600 on each, you could get your a total of a $100 of Uber rebates in a month.
Uber credits for new SCB credit card applicants
It seems there are two types of promotion ongoing- one for new SCB credit card holders and another for new holders of the Manhattan World Mastercard specifically.
Promotion A: $30 Uber Credits for New SCB Credit Card holders (and new Uber users)
New SCB credit card holders are eligible for a $30 Uber credit provided they are new Uber users. At this point in time I’d struggle to think of any of my friends who haven’t already tried Uber so this already eliminates a large swath of people.
The $30 Uber credit comes in the form of 3 X $10 credits that can be used on any form of Uber except Uber Taxi. Only a maximum of one $10 credit can be used per ride, and if the value of the ride is <$10 no excess is rolled over. You can read the full T&C for this promotion here. The promotion runs the same duration as the 20% Uber rebate one, that is, 1 October 2016- 30 Sept 2017.
Promotion B: $150 Uber Credits for New Manhattan World Mastercard holders
This promotion is applicable to those who sign up for the Manhattan World Mastercard only.
To qualify for the $150 in Uber credits, you must be a first time SCB principal cardholder (I knew that $500 limit Manhattan card I applied for in uni was going to come back to haunt me. If you’ve held an SCB credit card before as a principal cardholder, you get a $20 cashback on the Manhattan card) and apply for the Manhattan World Mastercard via www.sc.com/sg/uber
These $150 in Uber credits come in the form of 15X $10 Uber credits which must be used for consecutive Uber rides in Singapore. These must be consumed within 6 months. Unlike promotion A, these credits can be used for any type of Uber including Uber Taxi. Unlike Promotion A, you do not need to be a new Uber user.
The annoying part is that if you’ve got this promo on your Uber App, you’re going to want to be very careful that all your 15 rides exceed $10. If you’re going below that you’d be better off taking Grab/regular taxi. You cannot pick and choose which Uber rides to apply your credit to.
The full T&C can be found here. This promotion runs for a shorter period, from 1 Oct 2016 to 31 Dec 2016.
I do love my miles, so the absence of a good miles earning card from Standard Chartered stops me from taking advantage of this. But if you’re more of a cashback person, I see no reason why you shouldn’t jump on. 20% is a generous rebate, and assuming you don’t spend enough to hit the $50 cap then this could be a good deal for you.
Everyone should still be aware that Uber’s new upfront pricing model effectively hides surge pricing from you. Uber tries to spin upfront pricing as providing greater transparency, but really how hard is it for them to tell you both the price beforehand and the surge in place? They’re not mutually exclusive pieces of information, you know.