Everything you need to know about the Uber Rewards program
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If you use Uber a lot, you should be familiar with its rewards program. Uber Rewards offers riders and food delivery customers rewards and elite status that comes with a wide variety of perks. The program has evolved over the years and is now much more rewarding than when it first launched in 2018.
The program is quite robust and somewhat resembles an airline or dining rewards program. It’s free to join, but riders won’t be automatically enrolled, so make sure you opt in via the app. You can register by opening the Uber app, tapping the menu icon in the top left corner and selecting Uber Rewards from the list.
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There are two main aspects to the Uber Rewards program: first, the rewards you earn, and second, the different tiers of elite status you can attain. In this guide, we’ll take a look at both aspects.
Uber Rewards overview
Once you join Uber Rewards, you’ll start earning points on rides and Uber Eats orders, Uber’s food delivery service, immediately. Points-earning breaks down like this:
- 1 point per eligible dollar spent on Uber Pool, Express Pool and Uber Eats.
- 2 points per eligible dollar spent on UberX, UberXL, Uber WAV/Assist, Uber Comfort, Uber Connect, Uber Pet and Uber Select.
- 3 points per eligible dollar spent on Uber Black, Uber Black SUV and Uber Green.
Points are accrued based on a ride’s base fare and taxes and fees. Unfortunately, tips, cancellation fees, taxi rides, bike rides and scooter rides aren’t eligible for points-earning.
But how much are the points worth? Depending on how you redeem them, points can be worth up to 1.5 cents apiece.
The redemption options change periodically and may vary by market, but they generally range from 100 to 8,000 points. Here’s a look at some of the redemption options you can expect:
- 10% off your next trip (up to $3) — 250 points.
- Free coffee from Starbucks ($3 value) — 250 points.
- Up to four free months of Apple Music — 500 points.
- 30-day free trial of HBO Max for new subscribers — 1,000 points.
- Free UberX trip (up to $30) — 2,000 points.
- Free Uber Eats order (up to $25) — 2,500 points.
Based on these redemption rates, you can expect to essentially get 1.5% back in Uber credit on Uber Pool rides and Uber Eats orders, 3% back on Uber’s flagship UberX product and 4.5% back when taking rides in high-end vehicles like Uber Black.
While the program isn’t insanely rewarding, it has a solid return — especially when you consider that before the launch of Uber Rewards, no one was being rewarded at all. Even better, the Uber Rewards program stacks with points you’d earn from a credit card. So if you charge a $50 UberX ride to a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3 points per dollar spent on travel purchases, you’d earn 100 Uber points through Uber Rewards (essentially worth $1.50 in Uber credit) and 150 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $3 according to TPG’s valuations).
It’s also worth mentioning that these rewards can be stacked with the Bonvoy points you earn through the Marriott-Uber partnership. That partnership allows you to earn up to 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on eligible food delivery orders and up to 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on select rides in the U.S.
There’s no cap on how many points you can collect, and you’ll even earn your own points on business rides charged to your employer’s account and when splitting rides with friends. Just note that rewards points are valid for six months and there’s no way to extend them.
Uber Rewards elite status
Earning elite status with Uber is relatively straightforward compared to airline and hotel loyalty schemes. It comes down to how many points you collect with Uber over six months.
Like an airline, you’ll have a qualifying period to earn points toward elite status. These elite points are the same points you earn that you can redeem for Uber credit and are accrued at the same rate.
In the case of Uber Rewards, each rider has six months to hit status. The earning period is tied to the date you joined Uber Rewards, and when you obtain each level of status, you’ll stay at that tier for the remaining earning period and the next six months after that.
Here are the points needed to earn each elite tier (which appear to be inspired by other, more prominent loyalty schemes):
- Blue: Requires no points.
- Gold: Requires 500 points earned in six months (i.e., spend $250 on UberX rides).
- Platinum: Requires 2,500 points earned in a six-month period (i.e., spend $1,250 on UberX rides).
- Diamond: Requires 7,500 points earned in a six-month period (i.e., spend $3,750 on UberX rides).
For example, if you joined the program on Dec. 1, 2021, the six-month earning period would last until June 1, 2022. If you unlock Gold on Feb. 1, 2022, you’d have Gold status from that date until Dec. 1, 2022, since you keep your status for the remainder of the earning period and the six months after that.
And there’s excellent news for riders who want a fast track to status. Uber automatically looks at everyone’s ride history over the past six months and applies eligible rides toward your elite status. So, you may have status the minute you sign up for Uber Rewards.
Each elite tier comes with its own unique set of perks:
Blue: Access to earning reward points that you can redeem for Uber rides and Uber Eats orders.
Gold: Uber has introduced fees over the past few years if you cancel your ride more than two or three minutes after ordering it. Now, if a Gold member cancels a ride after the fee-free cancellation period but rebooks a new Uber within 15 minutes, you’ll automatically have the cancellation fee refunded (normally about $5). Note that Uber Pool rides aren’t eligible for this benefit. This is a great perk, as TPG staff and readers have dealt with ongoing issues around cancellation fees. You’ll also receive priority support when contacting Uber, meaning faster response times and being connected with better-trained support agents.
Platinum: The biggest benefit Platinum members enjoy is the ability to boost your points-earning for UberX rides on one particular route by a multiple of five. That means that you’ll earn a total of 10 points per dollar spent on UberX rides on your “favorite route.” You’ll be able to change this route once a month, and the boost works in both directions.
Platinum members also get priority pickup at most airports, where you’ll jump to the front of the digital queue. However, this doesn’t mean your car will be curbside in two minutes — you’ll still be subject to wherever the closest driver may be, which could be in an off-site parking lot. Platinum members also enjoy all the benefits of Gold members.
Diamond: Uber’s top-level Diamond members get four more valuable extras by sitting on the loyalty program’s throne. Diamond members have dedicated phone support from Uber’s “most-experienced customer support agents.” Most exciting is that Diamonds receive complimentary surprise upgrades from UberX cars to premium products like Uber Black or Uber Select — although Uber doesn’t specify when or how you’ll be upgraded.
Diamonds have a special “UberX Diamond” option in your app if you only want to be paired with highly rated drivers. Members also earn 6 points per dollar spent on the first five Uber Black and SUV trips they take plus double points on all Uber Eats orders. Diamond members also enjoy all the benefits of Gold and Platinum members.
Best cards for Uber
The Platinum Card® from American Express gives up to $200 in Uber Cash each year ($15 credit per month from January through November and $35 credit in December) for services in the U.S. This Uber Cash is added directly to your Uber Cash balance each month, plus you’ll also get automatic Uber VIP status that matches you with highly rated drivers and luxurious cars. Note that enrollment is required for these perks.
Similarly, the American Express® Gold Card offers cardmembers up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 credit per month) for use in the U.S. You must add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account to receive this benefit. Enrollment is required.
Uber Rewards is an excellent opportunity to stack your earnings by using the right credit card. Here are some of the best cards to use when spending with Uber:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on Uber expenses, which code as travel on your statement.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases, including Uber rides.
- The Platinum Card from American Express: Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use annually.
- American Express Gold Card: Up to $120 in Uber Cash to use annually.
- American Express® Green Card: 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on transit, including ride-hailing services like Uber.
- Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express: 3% cash back on transit, including ride-hailing services like Uber (cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that you can redeem for statement credits).
- Citi® Double Cash Card: 2% back on all purchases (1% back when you buy and 1% as you pay), including Uber purchases.
- U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose.
- Apple Card: 3% cash back on Uber and Uber Eats
The information for the Amex Green Card and Apple Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
By pairing Uber Rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you could be earning a 7.5% back on Uber Pool rides (1.5% with Uber Rewards plus 6% through Chase), 9% back on UberX and 10.5% back on Uber Black.
Uber’s created a win-win scenario by allowing travelers to earn and redeem points across the entire Uber ecosystem; it makes it easier for riders to use points and creates an incentive to spend money solely with the company. Will people who use Uber a few times a month see a significant change in their experience by participating in the program? Probably not, but it’s still much better than nothing. It’s also nice that the rewards can be stacked with the points you earn through Uber’s partnership with Marriott.
That said, some of the elite perks like priority support and priority queue at airports seem a bit gimmicky and don’t feel like they’ll change the overall rider experience too much. Even the Diamond “surprise upgrades” already happen — I’ve been matched with Uber Black cars when requesting an UberX as a nonelite since Uber gives these drivers the option to accept UberX trips. You’ll get more tangible benefits with an Uber One membership, which offers perks like discounts on rides and unlimited waived delivery fees on Eats orders.
Additional reporting by Brendan Dorsey.
Featured photo by Olly Curtis/Future/Getty Images.
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