As I’ve written in the past, Uber is a great app that allows you to page private cars and taxis directly from your smartphone without having to wait out on the street and try to hail a cab or call a town car. The rates can be a bit more expensive than taxis, though still competitively priced, and the service is a godsend in cities where it can be difficult to find a taxi or at times of day when taxis are scarce. I can usually get taxis in NYC, but I find Uber to be uber-useful in Los Angeles, where taxis are scarce and expensive. Just this weekend I used it to get a black car from the Beverly Hilton to the Staples Center downtown to go to the Grammys. Normal car service companies in LA try to charge a fortune on award show days- often requiring 5 hour minimums. My Uber car came in 6 minutes and was $50.
I also like the fact that the service automatically bills the (points-earning!) credit card you have on file and that gratuity is included, so no arguing with the taxi driver about whether they only take cash, waiting for a receipt, or any other little inconvenience like that. I use my Sapphire Preferred for 2.14 points per dollar, since Chase classifies car service as a travel expense.
If you don’t have an Uber account, you can use my link to sign-up and after you take your first ride we both get $10 in Uber credits.
Beyond that, Uber is also offering a one-off incentive for NYers who take sign up and ride this week. New Uber users who sign up and use the promo code nycfashionweek get $25 off your first ride in an Uber “BLACK” or “SUV” vehicle in New York City. You just have to use it in New York, and you must use it by February 15, 2013 (so take your Valentine’s Day date out for a ride!).
Uber is available in over 20 different cities internationally including Amsterdam, Paris, Stockholm, Vancouver and Milan. While it isn’t always the cheapest way to get around, it can be a lifesaver when other transit options don’t work for your needs.