For a monthly fee, Uber’s Ride Pass ensures your rides will be impervious to surge pricing. Read on to find out how it stacks up to other options, such as rewards credit cards, Lyft Pink and Uber’s own rewards program.
Uber Ride Pass is basically the Amazon Prime of Uber.
For a monthly subscription fee, your rides will be impervious to surge pricing (higher prices that happen during peak hours like rush hour or bad weather). That’s because a Ride Pass gives you consistently low prices (about 15% off) on UBERx and Uber Pool rides at all times.
But, is it worth it? That depends on how often you use Uber.
See related: Best credit cards for Uber
When is Ride Pass worth it?
In addition to keeping your basic Uber rides at a low price, Ride Pass entitles subscribers to a free 30 minutes a day on JUMP e-bikes and scooters in select cities.
However, it’s truly only worth it if you find yourself spending more in Uber surcharges than its $24.99 monthly subscription. (Note that prices may vary by city – for instance, if you live in Austin, Texas, and you buy a Ride Pass through your Uber app, the fee is $14.99 per month.)
“If you rely on UBERx or other private rides on a daily basis to commute to work or school, and you typically travel during peak hours, you may save with the subscription,” says Avi Wilensky, founder of Up Hail, a ride-share and taxi price comparison app. “Uber Pool is also subject to surge pricing, but it usually makes less of a dent on the wallet.”
Thankfully, Ride Pass subscribers can track their expenses in-app, so if you find the amount you’re saving on Uber easily surpasses the monthly fee, keep it. If it doesn’t, you can always cancel your subscription.
Ride Pass isn’t for everyone
If you’re an occasional Uber user, even Uber drivers will tell you to take a hard pass on Ride Pass.
“As an Uber driver myself, I would recommend Ride Pass to the riders that take Ubers daily or even a few times weekly, but not to someone who occasionally takes an Uber on a rare night out,” says Angelo Damianou, who drives Uber in the UK and runs a website for drivers there called Appdriver.
Meanwhile, Ride Pass is yet another monthly subscription to go along with other services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. And those can add up quickly over time.
Ride Pass is also only available in major American cities and can’t be applied to all coverage areas where Uber operates. And it doesn’t necessarily beat rewards credit cards for savings.
Ride Pass vs. rewards credit cards, Uber Rewards and Lyft Pink
JUMP e-bikes and scooters are free to unlock and relatively inexpensive to ride already ($0.30 a minute in most cities), so a free 30 minutes may not mean much to most people. What does mean a lot is the level of savings, and a credit card offering rewards or discounts for Uber rides will likely save you more on rides than Ride Pass.
The Platinum Card® from American Express card gives you up to $200 off Uber every year ($15 a month plus an additional $20 bonus in December), but it carries a whopping $695 annual fee, so you better be sure you use the card’s other benefits like lounge access, the up to $200 airline fee credit and hotel elite status to make it worthwhile.
Between Uber Rewards and Ride Pass, Ride Pass is better. Uber Rewards only offers price protection on specific routes, while Ride Pass offers protection on all routes. Plus, price protection isn’t even an option on Uber Rewards until you achieve Platinum (2,500 points) and Diamond (7,500 points) status.
According to information on the Uber app, “if you are both a Ride Pass holder and a Platinum or Diamond tier member you will always see the Ride Pass pricing. Both programs work with promotions if available.”
Lyft has a similar subscription plan called Lyft Pink, which offers 15% off rides, three free 30-minute bike and scooter rides, “relaxed” cancellation fees and priority airport pickups. At $19.99 per month, it’s cheaper than the maximum monthly Ride Pass fee, and even though Uber has a larger coverage area, you get a free year subscription to Lyft Pink if you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder.
Combining the Uber Visa Card with Ride Pass
A good way to boost your savings on rides is to combine Ride Pass with Uber’s own co-branded credit card.
The Uber Visa Card gives you 5% off all Uber purchases – including your monthly Ride Pass subscription fee – plus $100 off as a sign-up bonus when you spend $500 in the first 90 days with no annual fee. The card gives you an additional 3% back on any dining, airfare and hotel purchases and 1% on everything else.
If you paid the maximum monthly Ride Pass fee of $24.99 for a year, you’d earn about $15 in cash back. That’s less than the cost of one month of Ride Pass, but you would also earn 5% back on Uber rides that are protected from fee increases in times of heavy traffic or inclement weather.
Additionally, if you buy Ride Pass in each of the first three months of owning the Uber Visa card, that would account for $74.97 of the minimum spend needed to earn the $100 sign-up bonus.
See related: Changes to the Uber Credit Card: Is it worth it?
Should you get Ride Pass?
If you take Uber constantly and live and die by Uber’s surge pricing in a city where Ride Pass is available, then the program is for you. But if you’re only an occasional Uber user and you’re already spending a considerable amount on Netflix-like monthly subscriptions, it might be better to look the other way.