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Just in time for the weekend – if you sign up for a new Uber account, you could start off with up to $45 in credits. When you sign up through my referral link, you get $20 in credit for your first ride to start you off (I also receive $20 in credit).
Then once you have created an account, log in and go to the go to the Promotions tab at the top of the page, and enter the promo code Hipmunk, which will automatically register you for another $25 off your first ride by May 1, 2014.
Uber is one of my all-time favorite travel apps because it allows you to hail private cars and taxis directly from your smartphone without having to wait out on the street and try to snag a taxi or call a town car. Rates can be a bit more expensive than taxis, so just be sure you are aware of minimum charges and increased rates during surge pricing times – which Uber has gotten a lot bad press for (some have called it price-gouging, and I resent it, too!). However, it’s still my go-to car service, even over plentiful taxis for several reasons. It’s easy to locate nearby vehicles, it gives you the option of choosing between low-cost UberX cars (which actually just lowered fares in 16 markets) and SUV’s when riding with a group of friends, the vehicles are kept to a high standard of cleanliness, and drivers are generally very courteous.
One of the things I like best about Uber is that all your ride receipts are automatically billed to the credit card on file (I use my Sapphire Preferred for 2.14x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent since Uber counts as a travel category merchant), gratuity is included, and receipts are emailed to me automatically, which makes it easy to keep track of expenses. Plus, in some cities, not only can getting a taxi be impossible, but where taxi drivers refuse to accept anything but cash, it can be super-useful to have Uber at your service so you can pay using your credit card instead.
The service is now available in 32 countries and dozens of cities (it was great to be able to use it in Melbourne and Sydney), and it’s expanding all the time, so it quickly became one of my go-to travel services. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time to take it out for a spin – especially since you’ll have $45 in credit to do so. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.