Do You Plan On Tipping Through Uber’s App?

Filed Under: Uber

As I wrote about earlier, Uber is in the process of rolling out in-app tipping. As of today, in-app tipping is possible in Houston, Minneapolis, and Seattle, and by the end of July it will be possible in all US markets.

There’s no denying that over time many drivers have begun expecting tips, and it has been a contentious topic, as some drivers have started giving bad ratings to passengers who don’t tip.

With today’s announcement, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is curious about the logistics of Uber’s new tipping feature. Is the expectations that everyone will tip, or is it merely being added as an option that some can take advantage of, if they feel so inclined?

Fortunately Uber has published a handy page about this for their drivers, which gives us some good insight into what we can expect.

First of all, here’s how Uber describes the new tipping functionality:

Here are the key points I notice:

  • Drivers will have to opt-in to accepting tips
  • Riders will be given the option to tip a driver after they rate them, up to 30 days after a ride
  • Riders can choose to add a $1, $2, or $5 tip, or add a custom tip amount with an extra click
  • Tips aren’t anonymous; drivers can see exactly which tip was left with which ride, though they won’t be able to see the rider’s name or photo after the fact
  • The driver gets the entire tip, as Uber doesn’t take a cut on it
  • As far as expectations go, the FAQs state that passengers aren’t required to provide a tip, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise

I have three main takeaways here.

The first is that tipping will be pretty strongly encouraged, given that it’s a one-step process. It’s not that you have to click to another page to decide how much to tip, but rather the page will automatically pop up.

Second of all, I find it a bit odd that they’re suggesting $1, $2, or $5 as the tip amount, rather than basing it on a percentage of the fare. That’s interesting in terms of creating expectations, since you’d think they’d make it 10%, 15%, or 20%, for example, rather than a flat amount that doesn’t take into account the fare.

Lastly, this should hopefully bring an end to drivers leaving bad ratings for passengers who don’t tip. You have 30 days to leave a tip, though the driver has to rate you right away, before they can accept another ride. So a driver won’t really know whether or not you’ll tip them right away, which is good for those who have been penalized.

Will this new in-app tipping feature change whether or not you tip Uber drivers?

  1. I’ll tip if the driver helps with bags or does something out of the ordinary. I won’t tip for routine trips. And I sure as hell am not tipping during “surge” pricing.

  2. No! Because I don’t use a Uber. I use Lyft and have enjoyed great service. And I do tip! These drivers can’t be making close to what I make. I always these folks. Waiters, room maids, etc.

  3. This is great news and I feel like it will actually make me tip more. I hardly ever carry cash and I’ve noticed when I’ve taken Lyft I almost always tip unless the driver was rude or drove dangerously. I personally have had a driver give me a bad rating, which I assume was from a “no-tip” ride on uber (had a perfect rating before this guy). He even asked for a tip and when I didn’t have any cash, sped away. I think this new system will help alleviate that awkward barrier at the end of the ride, but hopefully the movement towards being a “better” company will work in an across the board type of way. Thanks for sharing the news Lucky!

  4. Normal tip for good Uber service: zero. I would tip if the driver went above and beyond and did something extraordinary. If tips are now expected in Uber for normal service, I would then actively avoid Uber. This tipping disease has to stop.

  5. Hey. I drive for Uber. The email says that you absolutely will not be able to see who tipped. This information is incorrect.

  6. I switched to use Lyft 100%, and I always tip. They do the same offer of $1, $2, or $5. I tip $1 for a good ride and $2 for something out of the ordinary. Its not much, but every Lyft driver I have spoken to says it adds up. I strongly encourage you to tip because otherwise these drivers make very, very little money. I’m glad Uber is doing this, I always thought their half-baked encouragement campaign to tip with cash was insane – not carrying cash is nearly the entire point of these services!

  7. I use uber a lot. I actually gave up my car because of uber.

    If this tipping thing catches on, I will lease a car instead of using uber.

    Uber drivers know where I live. I don’t want some pissed off jerk at my door if I leave no tip. It’s a safety issue.

    Also, same goes for uber eats. I spend over $2k a month on it!

    Sadly, this tipping cancer continues to spread.

  8. No. The whole point of Uber is that it supposed to be tip free. Otherwise why not just take a cab?

  9. Why o why.. if this is the case, I will avoid using Uber as much as possible. If someone wants to Uber, they should expect what they will get without expecting a tip from the customer. Again sadly a culture that should not have been encouraged has taken over the one better things of Uber. If a driver is good, and gets good rating, he/she will get more customers,earn more and have a better income. Tipping only makes the situation complicated – so now drivers can rate passengers with a bad rating if they don’t tip enough?

  10. I currently tip Uber drivers in cash, this will allow be the flexibility of tipping in the app, if I don’t have any small bills. I think this option is a good thing and makes Uber more competitive with lyft.

  11. I don’t buy this argument that riders should tip because drivers make very little money. If drivers are not happy with pay, then don’t drive for Uber, no one forces anyone. If pay is too low, then enough drivers will leave, forcing Uber to increase prices to retain drivers. As a rider, I want to pay an established price for the service, not hand out charity called tips.

  12. I currently tip every driver for a decent journey so I’ll continue to do so and am happy about tipping with the app.

  13. Americans are wide-spreading this tipping thing all over the world. We definitely need a pschycologist or sociologist here.

  14. As a PT driver I never expect tips. I always appreciate them. I don’t know rider situations, and honestly I probably make more than most of them (via day job), so how could I make a judgment on them for not tipping? Never rated a rider down for not tipping.
    On the flip side, as a rider I always tip. In fact if I don’t have cash on hand I’ll avoid Uber and take Lyft so I have the option. Just the same, I don’t know driver situations, so how can I make a judgment on them for expecting/desiring a tip?

    In response to some comments:

    Sure, tipping your Uber driver may be a form of charity. So your point is that you shouldn’t be charitable/generous, I guess?

    As far as being worried about pissed off drivers showing up at your doorstep, you note that you use Uber now…. well then that means the whole in-app tipping trend will decrease that possibility instead of increasing it, so….

    Tipping is out of control in the U.S.A? Yes, like a rabid dog it pounces on Americans across our great country. The vile, violent tips make appearances at hotels, restaurants, and taxi-cabs in every state and make monsters of the people who give and receive them. -give me a break. Poverty is a bigger problem than tipping.

    If a driver rates you down because of not tipping, he shouldn’t be driving, I’ll concede to that. But those types of people are just scapegoats for those of you who don’t want to tip no matter the situation.

  15. I’m no longer supporting Uber due to corruption and the sexual harassment problems.

    My circle of friends have all migrated to Lyft and we tip.

  16. I live in NYC and I always tip in cabs, especially if I pay for my trip with a credit card, so I don’t see why I wouldn’t tip here. Especially outside of NYC there’s no way that Uber drivers can make anywhere near a decent wage for their work. Uber is essentially forcing its drivers to subsidize their market-busting low fares, which I see as unfair. Since I can’t set Uber’s pricing and payment I tip instead.

  17. Who cares….I love how people get all worked up about this…All these uber drivers are going to be replaced by self driving cars soon enough. Sad that more don’t see the writing on the wall

  18. Having grown up and lived in SF, I’ve rarely had a driver who was *from* SF (or most of the major cities in which I’ve used Uber lately) and have okay-to-terrible experiences of late. Mainly it stems from me knowing SF like the back of my hand and directing an out-of-towner where to go but (s)he defaulting to the usually-terrible mapping app that Uber uses. This has made me long for the days of taxis where

    A. They knew where the hell they were going.
    B. They were generally from the area and knew when to avoid certain areas and or knew shortcuts.
    C. Didn’t feel the need to be super chatty to the point where I had to make myself busy because I did not want to talk about the weather or the local sportsball team or whatever after a long day of work.
    D. Spoke a marginal amount of English such that communication was never hindered.

    With in-app tips now becoming a thing and Uber drivers becoming pushy, and with cabs now accepting cards, there’s minimal incentive to use Uber anymore. In fact, there’s almost LESS incentive.

  19. @echino

    There’s a flaw with your argument that drivers will leave and wages will go up because of free market forces. Uber and Lyft pretty much dominate the market, so drivers really don’t have much power to influence compensation by leaving. If they want to work in this field, they pretty much have no other choice but to work under Uber/Lyft’s terms. So yes, under pure free market forces, there’s no reason for Uber/Lyft to pay a fair wage to its drivers, and yes their obligations are to their shareholders, but that doesn’t change my moral calculus that taking advantage of their fairly exploitative practices with their drivers and the drivers’ lack of power to do anything about it is OK. In NYC and during surge periods, many drivers probably make a fair wage, but I have gotten many an Uber/Lyft receipt elsewhere where even the full amount before they take their seems far too low for the driver to actually make any money and so I try to tip accordingly.

  20. “Lastly, this should hopefully bring an end to drivers leaving bad ratings for passengers who don’t tip. You have 30 days to leave a tip, though the driver has to rate you right away, before they can accept another ride. So a driver won’t really know whether or not you’ll tip them right away, which is good for those who have been penalized.”

    So basically you can tell the Uber driving you will tip them to elicit a good rating, then never tip at all.

    Question: After 30 days, can an Uber driver retroactively change the rating of a rider?

    Risk: An Uber driver may, after 30 days do an audit of their account to identify riders who have not tipped and retroactively lower the rider’s rating. This works on the assumption that the driver is that petty.

  21. Tipping in the US is out of control. The logic is that Uber/Lyft drivers don’t get paid enough, so they need tips. Well, if you are a driver and feel you aren’t fairly compensated, don’t drive for Uber or Lyft. When these companies start losing all their drivers, things will change. But if you don’t have the guts to quit and make a statement, don’t complain when people don’t want to tip. The whole purpose of Uber was to get a ride for a set price. Why should I be expected to tip on top of that?

    It’s also funny how we have trained service industry workers to feel like they deserve tips just to do their job. You have a job you get paid to do, so do it. If you don’t like the pay, find something else (especially if this is a “side gig”). I shouldn’t have to bribe you with extra money. Do IT professionals, lawyers, doctors, etc. get tips? No. Should a surgeon expect a tip if you want them to do a good job in the OR? No, so why should an Uber driver expect a tip if they get me from A to B like they are being paid to do.

    On the same note, Uber X needs to up their quality control. I’ve ridden in some sketchy cabs, but it seems like they are letting anyone drive for Uber X these days. Way too many drivers show up in old, dirty, beat up sedans that looks like death traps.

    I happily pay more for Uber Black and Select because (1) I know the drivers are being paid more fairly and (2) you know they aren’t going to show up in some heap of garbage.

  22. A couple of months ago when I logged in to uber on my computer to add my amex platinum as a payment option I noticed there was a default gratuity it read:
    “Gratuity for TAXI

    Your preferred gratuity will be applied to any future TAXI trips that you request through Uber. This will apply to TAXI fares only (not Black, SUV, or uberX) and be paid to your driver. Gratuity only applies in certain countries.”

    It was set at 20%. It’s still there and hasn’t changed. It’s not visible in the cell phone app.

  23. I am glad they added in app tipping, and will gladly use it. For those that don’t tip, you still don’t have to,
    My last Uber ride was a few weeks ago in London. I took a cab one way, and Uber to return. The cab fare was $37 and Uber was $10.81. This was for the same trip and route. Uber is generally cheaper in every place I have been. At that rate, the driver must have made very, very little.
    If the fares are kept so low, and Uber is still not making money, how long before the service we like is gone? How long before the likely Uber driver pool in any mid-sized city gets tapped out cause it is not worth it to drive. I always ask a driver how long they have been driving for Uber, and it is usually 6 months or less. The last 4 had been driving for less than a month. Seems like there is a lot of turn over as people decide it isn’t worth it.
    When I am often paying 30% to 80% less than comparable transportation, I can afford a few bucks for the driver.

  24. To create controversy for all those that support tipping your Uber driver just because you think they are not paid enough, etc… why don’t you tip the cashier at the supermarket, the bus driver, the street cleaner, the garbage collectors, etc? They are all doing you a service? Or do you think they are paid enough (more than your Uber driver?)
    I really hope that Uber will keep this just within the US continent and impose this indirectly outside of the continent.
    Again if someone accepts a job, they should do it based on what is fixed and not expect more. IMHO, by introducing this possibility on the app means that drivers will expect more. So what if the driver was lousy and horrible? Can we pay less? (using the logic that we award drivers that are good by monetary value, so why not the opposite?)

  25. I am an Uber driver with a 4.98 rating. My Uber rider account has precipitously dropped to 4.5 over a course of several uneventful rides seemingly because I did not tip. I have started going against my better judgement and waiting to see what my rating does after each ride before rating the driver. My rating goes down….their rating goes down.

    As a driver I never rate based on a tip. The vast majority of my riders get 5 stars. Seems I’m not the norm.

  26. Tipping is an outmoded and retrograde practice, and all-in pricing is one of the reasons I prefer Uber to taxis. I won’t be tipping.

  27. Why is a tip for an Uber driver necessary? They are providing a service and being compensated for it. We don’t go around tipping public bus drivers.

  28. Indeed why on earth would i tip an uber drive who provides a normal service, of they go above or beyond then sure, but just a normal a, to b ride? No.
    The tipping culture has to end. Just pay the people decently (im lookong at uber or other institutions, like bars).
    In ubers case they take 10% from each ride, if they lower that to 8, which is still a lot, then i think that would be the best tip!

  29. Ahhh, ok. So the driver has to leave the rider feedback before they can accept their next trip. That’s before I would leave feedback (or a tip). That’s perfectly fine then. They could suggest a 100% tip for all i care. I’m never going to tip and as long as that doesn’t affect my rating I don’t care how they implement it.

  30. Crazy US tipping culture. I tip for exceptional service, which only happens now & then – not to subsidise bad business that doesn’t pay a fair wage…

  31. Not a single penny!!!!! If Uber wants the driver to make more money just increase the price and let me decide if I want to pay that price. Do not expect me to pay for what Uber should pay the driver. The “expectation” to receive a tip has gone out of control in this country.

  32. Nope, I will not, probably will also now not actively try to get an Uber. If the drivers think they should be making more, then go out and find another job. Or better yet, create your own ride sharing business.

  33. As a European, I just don’t understand Americans obsession with and anxiety about “tipping”. It’s a “nice to have” for a service employee who goes above and beyond as far as we’re concerned – but for Americans it seems more about the image that the “giver” is trying to project- rather than the benefit to the recipient. Forgive me, this sounds rude, but I find the practice bizarre in the extreme. What is the service person actually worth? Shouldn’t this be reflected in their wages and poor performers weeded out or retrained rather than be allowed to continue working but getting poor “tips”? Explain it all to me someone, please!!

  34. I am happy Uber is adding tipping in their app and I do plan to tip Uber drivers. It does not matter if I agree with the tipping culture or not. Tipping drivers seems to be expected (most people tip taxi drivers) so I plan to tip my Uber driver unless they provided bad service. I prefer to tip through the app rather than to have to give a driver cash.

  35. No! As a Non-American I don’t get the tipping culture (but have accepted that it is a part of going to US). Same thing with taxes and fees. Everything is advertised without taxes, fees or (apparently) the wage of the person providing the service. Why advertise lower, you will have to pay it anyway?
    I like to know in advance what something is costing me in a restaurant, store or taxi. If tipping is expected why not just include it in higher fares and leave the tipping for truely exceptional service. I liked Uber because Uber was the all-in formula that I was looking for but that’s now no longer the case.
    I do like that the drivers have to rate the passenger first and only then can see if and how much their tip is.

  36. I’m happy with this change, especially since the driver has to rate me BEFORE I tip. That takes away the revenge rating issue. I will tip through the app the same amount as I would tip a cabbie. I also like the fact that Uber drivers will get to keep 100% of the tip. I’m sure the IRS (or the CRA here in Canada) will like that too because there will be an electronic record of the tips so the driver can pay income tax accordingly, less allowable deductions. If I pay taxes on all of my income then so can Uber drivers.

  37. I find it amusing how people talk about uber and lyft being competitors when their pricing is almost always identical, and every recent ride I’ve been on has seen drivers with two phones: one with uber the other with lyft. I don’t mind tipping for better-than-average service so long as I feel confident that the driver has to rate me before seeing my tip. That last thing the sharing economy needs is a system of pay-for-ratings.

    In an ideal world, rating would be more nuanced (without the pressure to give 5-stars to all but the worst), and the ratings could be used to award drivers higher payouts in place of tips. I mean, if tips are supposed to reward good service, why have both tips and ratings? (Any pro-tipper who argues strictly for boosting drivers’ income is really arguing that employers shouldn’t have to pay their staff, since customers should be guilted into directly subsidizing labor costs.)

  38. Lot of hate here for tipping. It’s merely an optional service, it sounds like some of you think it’s the end of the world. For those saying “well… I’ll just take a cab then”, go ahead. In Chicago for example, the per mile rate on Uber is $.95 per mile, while the cab rate is $2.25 per mile. The wait time on UberX is only $.20 per minute, while a cab is $.33 per minute. Tipping has always been expected with cabs. The fact is Uber has become unprofitable for a lot of drivers, even as a side gig (and the company itself, which declared a $708M loss last quarter).

  39. @Jack S…saying doctors and lawyers don’t get tipped weakens your argument. They get paid multiple times what any Uber driver gets paid. @Everyone else…I can’t stand when people use the excuse of its not my fault the business doesn’t pay them enough as an excuse for not tipping. It’s like I am going to punish the guy trying to make a living to show it to the business. Makes 0 sense. Some of you on here are acting like you don’t even tip servers. Keep in mind servers in some states only make 2.13 an hour as a base wage. If you don’t like the tipping culture fine…then call your congressmen and ask them to raise minimum wage don’t hurt the poor server. For Uber though I agree tipping should be up to customer. I just couldn’t bite my tounge on how some people were coming off.

  40. @Jeff… Uber took 25% of the fare in my area, in addition to the booking fee. Now they take whatever they feel like with the upfront pricing. 10% would be much more manageable, but if you do a minimum fare trip, that driver will probably see around $2.50 even though you’re paying $5-7.

  41. I am in a suburban area. Sometimes the nearest Uber is 10-15 minutes away. They dont get paid to come for me, so a tip is in order.

  42. @Mike L: If you read your explanation it shows the system is broken. It is unprofitable for everyone. Thus, fix it by bringing the price to a level where everybody is happy. However, don’t put the problem on the customer that now have to tip to make the driver happy because his employer does not. The entire tip problem is not really about tipping but the expectation that you will give a tip which takes the entire purpose of tipping which should be a reward for great service.

  43. Tipping is condescending. We don’t ever think of tipping our doctors, tax accountants, bankers, real estate agents, etc, even though they can provide services that go far above and beyond expectations (or the other way around) in ways that food servers and uber drivers never can. We expect “professionals” to have set a fair price tag while the “servants” can’t survive without our merciful giving. Really? Is that how we look at our fellow human beings?

    Dear drivers – I don’t want to tip you exactly because I have respect for what you do. Please ask your employer (or client, if you really see yourself as an independent contractor) for a fair contract for your work.

  44. I don’t see what all the fuss is about…either tip or don’t tip it’s really not an issue…boycotting because the option to tip exists is silly.

    AND some please answer this because I really really don’t understand….why o why do people care about their rising rating???? Mine is 4.6, I only checked when I see blog posts about it..:.

    but I really don’t understand…I have never waited longer they when my rating was higher or others I’ve riden with who have “higher ratings”…

    ..let’s face it in a big city the majority of these people are not doing it part time but rather as a source of income…doubtfull they are going to give up income because a rating isn’t five stars.

    If my rating got to low, could I just create a new account? A driver can’t do that but a rider could. Seriously someone please explain this too me.

  45. Absolutely SHOCKED that so many people who visit a website that coaches you on how to get as much travel as possible for free/cheap are opposed to tipping…

  46. Tipping is a ludicrous system so I certainly won’t be supporting it. Why should you give 20% extra for someone doing what you’ve already paid them to do? Bonkers.

    Other changes re decreased wait time seem fine – hopefully we’ll also have fewer drivers accepting rides then taking longer an longer to get to you!

  47. @Santastico – They system is absolutely broken. Personally, I’d like it if they just raised the per mile rate by $.50-$.75, the wait time to up to $.25/min, dump UberPOOL and go back to the whole pay-for-what-you-use instead of the upfront pricing. That way it’s still far cheaper than a cab, there’s no expectation to tip, and both the driver and Uber make more. Everybody wins in that scenario.

  48. I don’t understand those of you that prefer Uber/Lyft to force you to pay higher rates instead of paying the current low base fares and maybe a tip. Why do you prefer paying a fixed all-in price when you can fix the price yourself?

    @Jeff I believe in my area Uber takes 28% and Lyft takes 20%, though with Lyft you’re able to keep 100% of fares if you do enough rides.

  49. All you passengers saying tipping is a disease and no I won’t tip ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Have you forgotten so quickly how much more it costs to choose a taxi??!! Even if you tipped 20% your trip is STILL cheaper than a choosing a taxi. Stingy idiots.

  50. Of course you should tip !! The cheap idiots on this comment thread can go back to taking taxis, where a $15 Uber ride will cost them $45-$50 using taxi service -not including the tip (if you don’t tip cabbies also, you basically are confirming you suck).

    Uber keeps about 30% of each ride; automatically they take a 2.20 “service fee” from every fare, then from what remains, Uber keeps 25-28%. So a $15 Uber ride = maybe $7-$8 for the driver. That is ridiculously cheap and those drivers absolutely should get tips. Those who think otherwise, as I said, can stick to taxis.

    It amazes me that there are so many cheap f*cks in this world- you tip a bartender $2 for opening a bottle of beer and putting it in the bar counter yet someone driving you safely from point A to point B in their car doesn’t deserve a tip? What a bunch of pathetic losers. Don’t take Uber or Lyft if that’s your attitude- keep spending hundreds on those sweet-smelling taxi rides!

    As a former server, I imagine I waited on some of you cheapskates in a previous life, those folks who had me running around likea chicken with my head cut off, ordering one drink at a time rather than everything at once, your bill going up and up, taking over my prime table for 3 hours of my shift while you all shoot the sh*t, then you leave a 5% tip and think you’re the bomb. Lolol your crappy karma will get you all, don’t worry!

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