In many cases, premium travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer valuable perks (airport lounge access, food delivery discounts, monthly rideshare credits, etc.) to help offset the hefty annual fees.
While all these credits sound good on paper, it’s hard to know how valuable they really are until we try to use them ourselves, especially since perks may be relevant to some people but not others — maybe you drive to work instead of taking Uber, or DoorDash doesn’t deliver to your area. To explore the usefulness of these credits, we’ve launched a “Testing Credit Card Perks” series, which will feature people using the benefits of their credit cards to see how valuable these perks really are.
Given the travel restrictions associated with COVID-19, this first test focuses on DoorDash and Uber Eats restaurant delivery benefits, which are offered on the following cards:
In This Article
The details: DoorDash and Uber Eats credits
DoorDash and Chase Sapphire Reserve®
DashPass is a monthly subscription that provides DoorDash customers with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on orders over $12, leading to a potential savings of $4-$5 per order. The monthly subscription is $9.99, or $120 when annualized.
As a holder of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you get a one-year complimentary DashPass subscription and $60 of DoorDash statement credits in 2020 and 2021, for a total credit of $120.
The DoorDash benefit was revealed in January 2020 when the increase in the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® from $450 to $550 was announced. Although the fee increase was scheduled to become effective April 1, 2020, existing cardholders whose annual fees renew between April and December now only have to pay the former $450 annual fee. If you fall into this group and DoorDash exists in your area, you’re effectively receiving an extra $240 ($120 one-year complimentary DashPass and $120 of statement credits) of benefits between 2020 and 2021.
DoorDash and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Although holders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card don’t receive cash back credits for DoorDash, they still receive a complimentary one-year DashPass subscription. If DashPass exists in your area, now could be a good time to activate this benefit. When this benefit was announced, there was no increase to the card’s annual fee, so you’re receiving the DashPass benefit for free.
Uber Eats and The Platinum Card® from American Express
Holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express receive a monthly credit into their Uber account ($15 each month and $35 in December), which will appear as Uber Cash. The Uber Cash credits total $200 each year and can be used to pay for Uber rides and Uber Eats orders. Terms apply.
This is a use-it-or-lose-it perk: If the Uber Cash isn’t used up each month, it will expire. Given travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19, the ability to use Uber Cash to pay for Uber Eats orders is extremely convenient. For the purposes of this test, we are assuming that the Uber Cash would be used for Uber Eats orders (not ridesharing).
Nerd tip: Restaurants have to pay a fee for using these apps. The best way to support restaurants, especially during COVID-19 times, is to order from them directly as this cuts out the middleman costs of food delivery platforms.
Our testing group
The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are two premium travel cards with high annual fees, both of which offer cash back credits for restaurant deliveries. To test how useful the DoorDash and Uber Eats benefits are (and more importantly which perk was more cost effective), we gathered a testing group of five people who each live in a different U.S. city:
To qualify, each participant had to meet the following criteria:
DoorDash and Uber Eats offer restaurant delivery to their addresses.
Must provide screenshots of a sample food delivery order from DoorDash and Uber Eats for the same restaurant on the same day.
Screenshots must show the itemized food order along with any additional taxes/fees added on.
Example screenshot comparison
Below is an identical food order on DoorDash and Uber Eats from Kraken Crudo, a restaurant in Miami.
Although the subtotal of food items from both merchants is $19, the additional fees set DoorDash and Uber Eats apart. The DoorDash order of $24.47 reflects that DashPass has been activated (delivery and service fee are eliminated or reduced). Because of DashPass, the food order from DoorDash is $3.20 cheaper than from Uber Eats.
Without DashPass, the food total would have been $28.60 due to the $2.99 delivery fee and $2.09 service fee. In this case, Uber Eats is $0.93 cheaper than DoorDash.
This is the kind of comparison we used to test each of the food orders input by our testers.
After gathering the findings from each of the participants, we compiled their data and compared the total price of the food order with Uber Eats and DoorDash (with and without DashPass).
Our results demonstrated that using DoorDash with DashPass always resulted in a cheaper order total than with Uber Eats. This isn’t a huge surprise given that DashPass reduces service fees and eliminates delivery fees.
Even without DashPass, though, two of the orders were cheaper on DoorDash. Sam’s DoorDash order was $4.77 cheaper than with Uber Eats because Uber Eats had a $3.99 delivery fee, while DoorDash had a promotion for $0 delivery fees (and the Uber Eats service fee was higher). In Divya’s order, DoorDash was cheaper because it had a lower service fee.
During this test, we discovered that Uber Eats always charged a 15% service fee. DoorDash charged a 5% service fee when DashPass was used and an 11%-12% service fee without DashPass.
The bottom line
If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and you order restaurant delivery, activating DashPass will likely make sense if it is available in your area. The food order may be cheaper than with Uber Eats and you will also receive $120 of statement credits ($60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021) to offset your food orders. Even if you don’t order from restaurants that often, try to order at least $60 worth this year and next year to earn the entire credit.
If you hold The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll likely end up paying more for your food given that Uber Eats charges a 15% service fee in addition to delivery fees. If you want to maximize your $15 monthly UberCash credit ($35 in December), look for restaurants that waive delivery fees so you can decrease the amount you’re paying for fees. And better yet, order directly from restaurants once your credits have been used up, so your entire order amount supports the restaurants and their staff.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for: