The new Uber Rewards program makes it easy for users to earn rewards, but its elite benefits fail to impress.
If you frequently ride with Uber, you might have already been prompted to join the popular ride-share service’s loyalty program – Uber Rewards. The new program allows users to earn points toward Uber cash bonuses and advance through tiers with extra benefits.
Uber Rewards is free to join, but in our opinion, it isn’t particularly impressive. The benefits you get with each new tier of membership aren’t very exciting. However, the ability to rack up a little extra Uber cash can go a long way toward rides and UberEATS purchases.
How to join Uber Rewards and start earning points
When you open the Uber app, you might be prompted to opt into the new loyalty program at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, select Uber Rewards from the main menu on the left side and hit “Join for free.”
Once you’ve signed up, it is easy to start earning Uber Rewards points. You earn points on every Uber purchase, as follows:
- 1 point per dollar on Uber Pool and UberEATS
- 2 points per dollar on UberX, UberXL or Select
- 3 points per dollar on UberBlack, Black SUV and Lux trips
Unfortunately, the more budget friendly Uber Pool option won’t earn you quite as many points as an UberX ride.
Tiers and benefits
For every 500 Uber points you earn, you’ll get $5 of Uber cash to use toward Uber rides or UberEATS. In addition, you can advance through different membership tiers and unlock new perks. Here’s a quick look at each tier, how to qualify and the benefits included.
|Blue||Sign up for Uber Rewards|
|Gold||Earn 500 points in a 6-month period|
|Platinum||Earn 2,500 points in a 6-month period||Same benefits as Gold members, plus: |
|Diamond||Earn 7,500 points in a 6-month period||Same benefits as Platinum members, plus:|
Rewards every 500 points
When a minimum of 500 reward points have been accrued, you have the option to convert those points into a $5 Uber Cash credit or select a “Chosen Reward.” Unfortunately, these new benefits are not yet available to all program members and tend to vary. The rewards range from free pork dumplings from P.F. Chang’s to access to highly rated drivers for two weeks. Once you have accumulated the required 500 points, you have 28 days to select a Chosen Reward – otherwise the points will expire.
With this perk, you’ll get a faster response time on customer service questions when you call. However, calling during peak times might still include a wait.
As long as you rebook a ride within 15 minutes, you can have your initial cancellation fee refunded. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to pool rides. You can use this benefit up to once per hour with a maximum of three uses in a six-month period. Additionally, it is only available in the U.S.
The benefit lets Platinum members and higher designate the two locations they ride between the most to be protected against surge pricing. Just note that the price of your ride will still vary, it will just have a cap on how high it can go. This benefit is also limited – as extremely busy times might still include higher pricing. Additionally, you can change your preferred destinations, but only once every 30 days.
Priority airport pickups
For Platinum and Diamond members, you get first access to the closest drivers at participating airports. Unfortunately, many airports have local regulations in place that prevent this service.
According to The New York Times, the service will launch July 9 in New York City and will be available to Platinum and Diamond members. The new service will take passengers from Lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Members can book Uber Copter on demand or up to five days in advance. Times and seats are limited, however, and the average ride will cost between $200 and $225 per person.
Diamond Uber Rewards members will automatically match with the most highly-rated drivers – rather than the closest ride.
Diamond Uber Rewards members can also enjoy surprise upgrades to premium rides when they request an UberX. You just won’t be able to control when or how often you receive an upgrade, and many airports and entertainment venues are excluded from the perk.
Free UberEATS delivery
In addition to other benefits, Uber Diamond members can get free delivery on three UberEATS orders every six months. You’ll still have to pay taxes and service charges, but this can save you quite a bit. On the downside, the perk automatically applies to the first three eligible orders, and you can’t save them for a bigger fee.
Unfortunately, Uber Rewards benefits aren’t particularly eye-catching until you reach Diamond status. And while it is easy to see value in complimentary upgrades and waived delivery fees, their use is limited.
Redeeming Uber Rewards
As you rack up Uber points, you can only redeem them in 500-point increments for $5 in Uber cash – which can be used for rides or UberEATS purchases. Your points expire 12 months after their post date if you don’t redeem them (e.g. If you earn 300 points in August 2019, they will expire at the end of September 2020).
Other ways to earn Uber cash
If you are dedicated to racking up Uber cash to use on your rides and UberEATS purchases, several credit cards can also help you meet this goal.
The Uber Visa Card, for example allows you to redeem all the rewards you earn into your Uber account. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a $15 statement credit every month (plus an additional $20 in December) to cover Uber rides – up to $200 in credits a year.
|Introductory offer||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Uber Visa Card||$100 in Uber cash if you spend $500 in first 90 days||$0|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||60,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months||$550|
In the Uber Rewards program terms and conditions, Uber mentions that point redemption options might be changing in the future, so keep an eye out for more flexible bonus options or ramped up tier benefits. Until then, signing up for the program is free and easy, so go ahead and start earning points toward your next Uber cash bonus.