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Rideshare services, most notably Uber and Lyft, have taken the world by storm in the last few years by offering customers a great variety of options for getting around. Often cheaper than taxis, rideshare services are also a great way to earn points to redeem for travel, since you can always pay with a card (and without an additional fee). Despite a recent decision to halt operations in the city of Austin, the momentum of rideshare services seems to be unstoppable. (If you don’t yet have an Uber account, you can sign up now to receive a free ride [up to $20] from TPG.)
Now, Google, the owner of popular community-sourced mapping service Waze, wants in on the action. This week, Google launched a new service called Waze Carpool. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Carpool users are only expected to pay to cover their portion of the fuel required to make a trip, but that could always change in the future. The service is currently operating in an invite-only pilot mode, available to select employers and their employees in the Bay Area, but if the trial’s a success we’re likely to see Carpool expand quickly. Since companies have to apply to be part of the pilot program, Waze is betting that the sizable tech community in the area will provide reliable customers for the service who will help work out any potential issues with the app itself before it becomes available to the general public.
While Uber is undeniably convenient for its riders, drivers have not always been happy. We’ve heard countless accounts of driver frustration due to dropping fares, poor communication and a general lack of driver support. Assuming the service begins charging fares for rides (beyond an estimate for fuel), Waze Carpool could be very attractive to displeased Uber drivers, as Google’s corporate reputation is far better than Uber’s.
What do you think of Waze Carpool?
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