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7 reasons why NYC’s all-Tesla ride-share app is my new go-to

May 27, 2022
6 min read
Revel Tesla car
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Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, getting around New York City isn’t always easy.

From subway delays to street congestion, it can sometimes feel like you’re moving at a snail’s pace in the city that never sleeps.

Personally, I try to walk as much as I can to get around New York City. When that’s not feasible, I’ll take the subway. When I’m in a rush or heading to the airport, I’ll usually book a ride-share or hail a cab.

I’m a creature of habit, and I always compare the price and availability on both Uber and Lyft before booking to see which service is cheaper and faster.

Now more than ever, however, I find myself opening a new ride-share app — Revel — instead of heading straight to Uber and Lyft. Ever since TPG contributor Ross Feinstein invited me to try Revel, the city's hottest new ride-share app, I’ve been hooked.

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Here's why:

All-Tesla fleet

With Revel, there’s just one service level. There’s no need to bother choosing between UberX, Lyft Lux, Uber Black, Lyft XL or any of the other different types of cars.

Every Revel car is a Tesla — for me, that's reason alone to give Revel my business (price-dependent, of course).

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

With brand-new Model Ys driving around town, riding in a Revel feels like you’ve entered the future.

I’ve long been a fan of Tesla cars, and when faced with the choice between a beat-up Toyota Camry or a Tesla Model Y, you know which one I’d choose.

Comfort is key

Speaking of Tesla, the Revel passenger experience is second to none in the New York City ride-share space, especially compared to an UberX or standard Lyft.

Each car is fitted with natural vegan leather, and there’s a control center iPad docked at the back of the passenger seat with plenty of customizable options.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Want to turn up the AC? Need a seat warmer? You can control all that and more simply by using the in-seat tablet.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Every car has three different types of chargers readily available to power your devices — a lightning cable, a USB-C cable and a micro-USB cable.

Electric energy

With an all-Tesla fleet, Revel is 100% powered by electricity. The company operates a 24/7 charging bay in Brooklyn, where the cars are recharged around the clock.

Revel's Teslas aren't just comfortable; they also emit fewer emissions than standard gas-guzzlers (over the course of a lifetime).

Fair pricing and easy sign-ups

So far, I’ve been focused on Revel's advantages. You might think, then, that booking a Revel might cost just as much as booking the black car.

Fortunately, that’s not at all the case (at least not yet).

Ever since Revel has become my go-to for New York City ride-share, I’ve compared recent airport trips to an UberX and standard Lyft.

TripUberXLyft standardRevel
East Village to LaGuardia $73.61 $97.87 $61.66
Upper East Side to Newark $99.06 $124.43 $104.08
Penn Station to JFK$108.75 $193.35 $114.77

As you can see, Revel pricing is much closer to the entry-level Uber and Lyft offerings — while offering a considerably more comfortable in-car experience.

If you'd like to sign up for Revel, you need to first download the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. After creating your account, you can skip the waitlist and receive $10 in ride credit by entering access code "2ykid4".

Better for drivers

In recent years, there’s been considerable attention drawn to the drawbacks of the “gig economy.”

Many Uber and Lyft drivers are employed as 1099 contractors, meaning that they don't receive health and other employer-provided benefits.

Meanwhile, at Revel, all the drivers are employees of the company, and they receive the pay and benefits that come along with that status.

On average, I’ve also found the drivers to be friendlier than those I’ve had with Uber and Lyft. Based on my (albeit limited) experience, it seems like the Revel drivers are both proud of working for the company and happy about their benefits.

Easy to find

With thousands of black Toyota Camrys and Nissan Altimas on the streets of New York City, figuring out which car is yours isn’t always easy.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

But Revel takes the guesswork out of it — all of its Teslas are wrapped in a baby blue-colored skin with “Revel” written in white letters.

Some might call the company’s Teslas an eyesore, but for me, it makes it much easier to find which car is waiting for me.

Lots more space

I rarely check a bag or carry bulky groceries or other large items around the city.

However, if you are, taking a Revel should be a no-brainer. The Tesla Model Y has both a large trunk and an innovative "frunk" in the front.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The trunk is large enough for plenty of standard-size checked bags, while the frunk, or front trunk, can fit a few suitcases and other small carry-on items.

Teslas don’t contain traditional internal combustion engines, which makes room for a bunch of extra storage space at the front of the vehicle.

A big downside

Revel has a lot going for it, but it’s not (yet) perfect.

Without a question, the biggest downside is the availability, in terms of both the number of cars and the coverage area.

For one, there are simply many fewer Revel cars on the roads compared to a standard Uber or Lyft car. Sometimes, I’ll need to wait 10 (or more) minutes to find a Revel, when hailing an Uber or Lyft would take just a minute or two.

Personally, this doesn’t bother me, as I just request my cars further in advance.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

However, the real drawback is the availability. For now, Revel is only available below 96th Street in Manhattan from 5 a.m. until 2 a.m. You can get dropped off at any of the region’s three major airports (Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport), but there are no airport pickups yet.

Hopefully, that’ll change in the weeks and months to come. When it does, Revel will undoubtedly become my new go-to — as long as the pricing algorithm doesn't change.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Revel)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.