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It’s barely linked to Uber’s modern persona, but the ride-sharing service began as what was essentially a black car hailing app. The addition of UberX, which allows everyday citizens to act as chauffeurs, came later. In a bid to make the UberBlack option a little more alluring, Uber is making two changes that could tip the scales for busy business travelers.

The company announced this week that driver-partners “must meet a higher minimum star rating” to drive for UberBlack. In other words, Uber wants you to know that any UberBlack you hail will be motored by a professional who understands the art of service. That’s vital for certain business meetings, dates and other special occasions where every detail matters.

The other change will be appreciated by anyone who has hailed an Uber, only to have something unexpected pop up immediately after. Now, UberBlack rides in non-airport settings will give riders up to 15 minutes to enter the vehicle before an automatic cancellation fee is triggered. That’s 3x the usual five minutes. After five minutes, riders will be charged a per-minute waiting fee and may cancel the trip without penalty up to 15 minutes after the UberBlack driver-partner arrives.

On airport properties, UberBlack riders will be charged a per-minute waiting fee after two minutes and may cancel the trip without penalty up to five minutes after the UberBlack driver-partner arrives. In other words, you’ll still want to be ready to jump in if you’re hailing curbside at an airport.

UberBlack SUVs like this one will now wait longer before an automatic cancellation is triggered (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

If you haven’t checked out Uber lately, you should know that the company will roll out a proper rewards program to all riders in March. Uber Rewards is Uber’s take on a loyalty program, which will reward riders with Uber credits and elite status that comes with a wide variety of perks. To learn more about the program, be sure to check out our guide here.

If you’re looking to save even more on your Uber rides, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers $200 in annual Uber credits.

Featured image by the author. 

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