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Last week, Uber celebrated five years in New York City. Each day of the week, the service offered UberPool rides for a flat $5 fee beginning and ending in the borough that was being featured that day. And now, the company is trying out something new, with its commuter flat rate in New York City. (If you don’t have an Uber account, you can sign up now to receive a free ride [up to $20] from TPG.)
Beginning today, New Yorkers will have the option of traveling via Uber during commuting hours (Monday through Friday 7:00am-10:00am and 5:00pm-8:00pm) for a $5 flat rate. Of course, there are some special terms, including that the ride must begin and end in Manhattan below 110th Street. Perhaps the biggest catch of all, though, is that you’ll have to walk to catch your ride and from your drop-off location to your final destination, as Uber hopes to align the routes using the service in an effort to reduce time and maximize efficiency. Essentially, the new feature is a stop-and-go service that picks people up along the way — so you could be spending some time in the car with multiple strangers.
So while you may have to walk to get to your pick-up spot and to get from your drop-off location to your final destination, it could be worth it for the flat rate. Note that this change is only valid during the specified commuter hours, and UberPool will continue picking up customers at their desired locations for a split rate on the weekends and during non-commuter hours. There is some good news, too, as the $5 flat rate will never surge — you’ll always pay just $5 during these hours.
There’s no word from Uber on how long this will be around, as it’s currently labeled as “a pilot.” If you do choose to take advantage of the reduced rates, don’t forget to use a card that will maximize your spend with Uber, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Citi ThankYou Premier Card.
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.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards