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 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 in rewards is never something to be overlooked.
See related: Best credit cards for Uber
How to join Uber Rewards and start earning points
When you open the Uber app, you might be prompted to opt into the 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 Uber Eats
- 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 unlock a reward. 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||Same benefits as Blue members, plus: |
|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 chosen reward. Options vary by user and location. 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. (Uber Rewards used to offer $5 in Uber cash as a chosen reward, but it has been retired.)
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.
Favorite route point boost
This benefit lets Platinum members and higher set up a favorite route (the two locations they ride between the most), on which they’ll earn 10 points per dollar on UberX rides. You can change your favorite route once every 30 days by contacting support.
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.
Diamond Uber Rewards members will automatically match with the most highly-rated drivers – rather than the closest ride.
Double points on Uber Black and Uber SUV rides
Diamond Uber Rewards members earn double the points on Uber Black and Uber SUV rides – 6 points per dollar instead of the standard 3 points per dollar.
Double points on Uber Eats orders
In addition to other benefits, Uber Diamond members earn double the points on Uber Eats orders. You’ll still have to pay taxes and service charges, but this can be a nice perk if you frequently order in.
Unfortunately, Uber Rewards benefits aren’t particularly eye-catching, even once you reach Diamond status. That said, it is easy to see the value in an increased rewards rate on your favorite route if you frequently book UberX rides to and from the same spots.
Redeeming Uber Rewards
As you rack up Uber points, you can only redeem them in 500-point increments for a limited selection of rewards, usually around a $5 to $7 value. Your points expire 12 months after their post date if you don’t redeem them (e.g. if you earn 300 points in August 2020, they will expire at the end of September 2021).
Other ways to earn Uber cash
If you are dedicated to racking up Uber cash to use on your rides and Uber Eats 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 up to $15 in Uber Cash every month (plus an additional $20 in December) to cover Uber rides or eats orders in the U.S. – up to $200 in credits a year – and the American Express® Gold Card offers up to $120 in Uber Cash per year (up to $10 per month) for U.S. rides and eats orders (Gold Card must be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit)
|Introductory offer||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Uber Visa Card||$100 in Uber cash if you spend $500 in first 90 days||$0|
|American Express® Gold Card||60,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months||$250|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||75,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 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.