4 Credit Cards for Ride-Hailing Drivers

If you have a car, paying for insurance is a necessary evil. But you don't need to pay as much as you are now.

[Disclosure: Cards from our Partners are reviewed below.]

These days, many adults with reliable cars and clean driving records are signing up to drive with ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. These companies help passengers find rides using GPS and smartphone technology, allowing drivers to earn money with their own vehicles.

But fuel costs can quickly stack up. And while some ride-hailing services offer limited fuel rewards programs, those programs don’t help with everyday spending. With the right credit card, however, drivers can earn rewards or savings as they shop for gas, making their driving gig just a little more lucrative.

Here are four credit cards for ride-hailing drivers.

1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None
Annual Fee:
$0 (you must have a paid Costco membership)
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
0% for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24% APR; variable 16.24% APR on balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Costco members can earn great cash-back rates on gas.
For Your Fares:
With 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (including at Costco), drivers with Costco memberships will earn a fantastic cash-back rate at the pump. Plus, cardholders earn 2% cash back on other Costco purchases, including a variety of auto goods and services to keep your ride running smoothly.
Drawbacks:
You’ll have to be a Costco member to access this card.

2. Blue Cash Preferred Card by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases, 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$95
APR:
0% for 12 months both for balance transfers requested in the first 60 days and for purchases, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: You’ll earn solid cash-back rates at the pump and beyond.
For Your Fares:
You’ll get 3% cash back on gas purchases at all gas stations in the US (not including supermarkets, warehouse clubs, and other merchants that don’t primarily sell gas). There’s a nice little $150 sign-up bonus too, as well as a helpful Roadside Assistance Hotline.
Drawbacks: The card does charge a $95 annual fee.

3. Discover it Chrome

Rewards: 2% cash back at restaurants and on gas for up to $1,000 in quarterly combined purchases, 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus:
Matching on all the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
0% for 14 months for purchases (and balance transfers, with some limits), then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: With 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and a huge sign-up bonus, this card’s initial value is strong.
For Your Fares:
You’ll get easy cash back on gas and restaurant purchases, which will help you fill up your tank and grab a meal between fares. Discover will match all cash back you earn in your first year, which supercharges the early value of the card.
Drawbacks:
Other cards offer higher cash-back rates on gas.

4. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on gas at the pump, three points per dollar spent on groceries, and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$100 bonus statement credit for spending $1,500 within the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
Variable 9.74% to 17.99% APR on purchases; 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 9.74% to 17.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Gas purchases earn lots of points toward travel and other rewards.
For Your Fares:
Gas purchases earn five points on the dollar, which can help you rack up points fast. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Drawbacks: You must be a PenFed member to get this card.

How to Choose a Credit Card for Fueling Your Rides

If you’re looking for a card to help you afford your ride-hailing gig, you’re likely focused on gas expenses, so choose a card that offers strong rewards rates on gas purchases. If you’re loyal to one gas station brand, find out if that brand offers a credit card. However, you’ll want a card that isn’t tied to one company if you tend to fill up wherever’s convenient.

Don’t forget to consider the wear and tear on your vehicle, too. Choosing a card with emergency roadside assistance will help ensure you have access to support in case of a breakdown.

If you also plan to use your card for everyday purchases, pick one that rewards your other spending habits as well. Examine the rewards programs and purchase categories for each card you’re considering to choose the one that best fits your overall lifestyle.

What Credit Is Required for a Ride-Hailing Credit Card?

Cards that provide strong gas rewards often require good to excellent credit. Be confident in your chances of your approval before you apply, as a hard inquiry into your credit could lower your credit score a few points. If you aren’t sure where you stand, you can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

Image: funduck 

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, Blue Cash Preferred Card by American Express, Discover it Chrome, and PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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How to Earn Extra Income From Your Car (Without Playing Chauffeur)

Here are the details on a couple of car-sharing services that could supplement your regular income.

Most people by now have heard of the ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, which have disrupted the taxi industry as we know it, allowing people to make money with their cars.

Far fewer, however, have heard of Turo or Getaround.

If earning extra income with your car, without having to chauffeur strangers, interests you, perhaps it’s time to familiarize yourself with these names.

Both Turo and Getaround were launched with the mission of putting the world’s one billion cars to better use. Yes, you read that right — there are at least one billion cars on the planet, many of which remain idle. Therein lies the opportunity.

Turo and Getaround allow people to make some serious cash by renting out their cars.

How much cash, exactly? Turo spokesman Steve Webb says the average active car owner on the site made $653 in Dec. 2016. Getaround, meanwhile, reports that the average monthly earnings for its users is around $550.

“It’s amazing to think of any asset, especially one costing tens of thousands of dollars, being so idle,” says Webb. “We have been able to flip the car ownership equation on its head, providing people a means to better use this asset.”

Want in on the action? Here’s what you need to know.

Turo

Turo has a presence in 4,500 cities in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Here’s how it works. You list your car for rent on Turo for free. You can set your daily minimum rental price and choose a mileage limit for drivers. Turo can also set your car’s rental price, based on market value, location, time of year, and other data designed to boost your listing’s competitiveness.

In addition, Turo covers your vehicle with $1 million in liability insurance while it’s being rented. To give you further peace of mind, Turo screens all its renters. The renter can either pick the car up at your home, or you can deliver it to an agreed-upon location.

People renting their cars through Turo earn enough to cover their monthly car payment, says Webb.

Getaround

Getaround has a somewhat smaller footprint than Turo. It operates in six cities, including San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

In each city, Getaround has a core operating area, where your car must be parked. If you live outside Getaround’s operating zone, the vehicle can still be shared if it remains parked in the active area. To facilitate this, Getaround often helps owners find discounted parking in high-traffic locations.

Getaround renters are able to unlock your car using an app, however, you have full control over their car’s daily and hourly rental rate. Getaround can also set a recommended rate when you first launch your rental, based on the car’s make and model, features and location. Also, your car is covered with $1 million in insurance when being rented through Getaround. Renters are screened by the company.

The big difference between Getaround and Turo is that Getaround allows renters to use your car for just a few hours. With Turo, the minimum rental time is one day. When renting your car through Getaround, the vehicle must always be parked in the company’s core operating area, instead of, say, in your driveway, where you could keep an eye on it.

If these differences don’t matter to you, the earning potential may be nothing to sneeze at.

Image: Geber86

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