Uber Rewards Program: What You Need To Know

Filed Under: Uber

After rumors of them working on this for years, it looks like Uber is finally going to introduce a full fledged loyalty program, called Uber Rewards.

Where Uber Rewards is available

The new program will initially be available in nine markets, including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, New York, Tampa, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington DC, and all of New Jersey. If you’re in one of those markets you may see a pop-up inviting you to join.

Then over the coming months the program will be rolled out nationwide. You can add yourself to the waitlist for the program here, by sharing your city and email address.

Earning points with Uber Rewards

The number of points you earn per dollar spent depends on the type of rental you make:

  • Earn 3x points per eligible dollar spent on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV trips
  • Earn 2x points per eligible dollar spent on UberX, UberXL, or Uber Select
  • Earn 1x points per eligible dollar spent on Uber Eats and Uber Pool trips

Redeeming points with Uber Rewards

With Uber Rewards, 500 points can be redeemed for $5 in Uber credit, meaning that each Uber point is worth a penny. In other words:

  • You get a $5 credit for every ~$167 spent on Black and Black SUV (~3% return)
  • You get a $5 credit for every $250 spent on X, XL, and Select (~2% return)
  • You get a $5 credit for every $500 spent on Eats and Pool (~1% return)

These rewards will be added to your overall Uber Cash balance, so you’ll be able to redeem multiple credits towards a single ride.

Earning status with Uber Rewards

Uber Rewards has four status tiers — Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. The requirements to earn status are as follows:

  • Blue status requires 0 points, so everyone gets that
  • Gold status requires 500 points, so requires ~$167-500 of spend
  • Platinum status requires 2,500 points, so requires ~$833-2,500 of spend
  • Diamond status requires 7,500 points, so requires $2,500-7,500 of spend

Here’s a full listing of the perks offered at each tier:

To sum it up:

  • Uber Blue status allows you to earn rewards
  • Uber Gold status gets you priority support and the ability to get flexible cancelation
  • Uber Platinum status gets you price protection on a route and priority pick ups at airports
  • Uber Diamond status gets you premium support, highly rated drivers, complimentary upgrades, and complimentary delivery of three Uber Eats orders

Defining Uber Rewards benefits

All those things sound nice, though let’s take a closer look at some of the terms. Rather than trying to rewrite the terms, it seems more practical to be thorough and just share the key ones, so I don’t miss anything.

How does flexible cancelation work? (Gold benefit)

If you cancel a ride, you’ll get an in-app message letting you know if the ride qualifies for a refund of the usual cancellation fee. You’ll only get this refund if you rebook the ride within 15 minutes and complete the trip. Flexible cancellations are only available to Gold, Platinum and Diamond members. Pool and Express Pool trips are not eligible. This benefit can be used once per hour at most, up to three total uses per month. This benefit is only available in the US and may not be available in all locations, such as certain airports and venues/stadiums.

How does price protection work? (Platinum benefit)

When you unlock the Platinum level, you’ll be prompted to set your two favorite locations. Once you’ve set these, any ride taken between those two points will enjoy a lower price that won’t be as affected by traffic or dynamic pricing. The price protection benefit has a 35% maximum discount per ride. You may be charged the amount of the price that exceeds 35% off the real-time (non-protected) price. Your chosen route can be changed once every 30 days by contacting support. This benefit may not be available in all cities, or for all possible routes. Only UberX trips receive price protection. Price protection does not apply on scheduled rides.

How does priority picks up at airports work? (Platinum benefit)

Based on driver availability, Platinum and Diamond members may receive faster pickups. This benefit is only available at some airports due to local regulations and rideshare agreements. Shorter wait times are not guaranteed for any given airport pickup.

How does complimentary upgrades work? (Diamond benefit)

Complimentary upgrades are sometimes given on select UberX rides. These upgrades are only available to Diamond members. This benefit is not available in all locations, and excludes certain airports and venues/stadiums.

How does free Uber Eats delivery work? (Diamond benefit)

Once Diamond level is unlocked, you’ll receive three free Eats deliveries. These free deliveries will be added to your account automatically and will apply to your next three Uber Eats orders. You’ll need to have an Eats account. Free delivery means no booking fee and no busy area fee. Taxes and tips are not included. Free deliveries must be used before your Diamond level expires.

My thoughts on Uber Rewards

First of all I think it’s important to have context when it comes to Uber’s business model. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but Uber takes a cut on the rides their drivers provide, somewhere around 25%. So when they’re introducing a rewards program that offers the equivalent of 1-3% back, that’s potentially taking a big chunk out of their margins.

Of course the good news is that these rewards can once again only be redeemed for Uber rides, and also the goal is that this increases their business and market share. Will some people find themselves doing end of the year Uber status runs? 😉

In all honesty, I think this program is really well thought out and fairly rewarding, given the interests of various parties here. Earning the equivalent of a 1-3% return, plus potentially getting some benefits through status really does add up. I wouldn’t put too much hope in the upgrade benefit for Diamond members, which sounds a whole lot like the suite upgrade benefit for Hilton Honors Diamond members. 😉

I do question how much people will shift their business around because of this, but I’m fairly impressed here.

What do you make of the new Uber Rewards program?

  1. Will existing heavy spenders get invited into the program at a higher status? I’m pretty sure I’ve spent at well above a Platinum level over the past twelve months…

  2. I prefer Lyft, receive Skymiles (x2 on rides to and from airport), plus now can also get Ebates (one dollar per ride). Of course I will continue to use Uber just to cash in the Amex platinum benefit ($15)

  3. I prefer Lyft and getting Skymiles. I’ve spent quite a bit with Uber over the years. They should have gave big spenders 1 or 2 quarters of Elite status based on spend and then challenge them to maintain the status based on spend. This program means nothing to me.

  4. I wonder how the new status will mesh with the already existing, somewhat secret status for frequent riders and Amex Platinum cardholders which matches passengers with higher rated drivers.

  5. Hope you get the option when to apply your earned credits. Wouldn’t want them being applied to business rides that are getting expensed.

  6. DCS slow on the draw?? bUt lUcKy hiLtOn iS aMaZInG uR jUsT jEaLOus.

    For those asking, they will back date your spend 6 months if that’ll give you status.

    I can’t believe it’s taken this long for them to implement this, but it will definitely cause me to use Uber more. Before I would use Lyft unless Uber was markedly cheaper but free cancellation and the possibility of getting a car quicker at the airport is enough for me.
    Seems like a net positive… so I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  7. @Jeff:

    In San Diego and same thing here: neither hide nor hair of anything remotely relating to an Uber rewards program. Nothing via email and nothing in the app in the form of pop-up or a searchable item within the app itself. And we’re supposedly two days into the “rollout” of said program. I even signed up to be alerted when “my city” is available, noting that I’m in San Diego. I’m not holding my breath.

  8. I’ve given 1400+ trips. I screwed myself. And this is a sticker punch finding it this. Check it … Uber only pays drivers $0.7950 / mile. $0.18 / minute. And it’s all inaccurate. Drivers get nothing else. I know they are taking tips too. The booking fee completely to them. Then that 30% comes only out of our share. They don’t do it out of the whole payment. So at the end of the day I’m an idiot!!

  9. Rolling it out by market is their prerogative but for my own use pattern, I rarely use Uber/Lyft when at home. My use is as a rental car alternative when traveling so it will annoy me each time I use Uber especially in one of those listed cities, until they open it up.

  10. So does the upgrade benefit mean you can order an x and get a select? That’s nice and all I guess…………but I can’t say I’ve ever really cared what kind of car I got when I ordered an uber. The only difference when I actually do care I will just order an XL.

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