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Get Uber Credits for Making Mid-Ride Purchases

July 17, 2019
5 min read
Get Uber Credits for Making Mid-Ride Purchases
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Uber riders have seen many changes to the passenger experience recently. It rolled out Uber Rewards, its new loyalty program, and has introduced new product offerings like Uber Comfort and made improvements to its premium service, Uber Black.

Some may have even noticed a tiny box situated next to drivers that's stocked full of items like chips, gum, granola bars, candy, phone chargers and more — all available for passengers to purchase. These boxes are supplied by a startup called Cargo, and the company has announced an expansion of its partnership with Uber to make these purchases a whole lot more rewarding.

Starting Wednesday, Cargo will be launching the Cargo Store app, which is an e-commerce marketplace available to Uber passengers. Just like JetBlue's partnership with Amazon where you can earn 3x JetBlue points for Amazon purchases made in-flight or the SkyMall Catalog, Uber and Cargo are trying to turn the backseat into a marketplace and will reward riders for participating.

Image courtesy of Cargo.

Cargo CEO Jeff Cripe told TPG in an exclusive interview that the company has found that shopping is one of the most popular activities for riders in Ubers. You can already browse Amazon or Ebay during a ride and order whatever you like with just a few taps on your phone.

But, what makes the Cargo app special? It's rewarding riders for those purchases. There are a few ways to earn rewards throughout the experience, but you'll first want to download the Cargo app here.

Once you find yourself in a car equipped with a Cargo box, you'll need to scan the QR code on the box and then you'll be hit with your first set of reward options. "Rider Rewards" feature gifts you get just for opening the Cargo app. Once a day travelers can earn things like Uber credits, a $30 discount on purchases at SeatGeek or even products like an Oculus Go headset. When TPG took a peek at the app, the smallest reward was an Uber credit of less than a dollar.

Next, you'll be taken to the Daily Deals page, which features a handful of popular products to shop from. Products will rotate on a weekly basis, but launch items include things like Ray Ban sunglasses, makeup from Glossier and Apple AirPods — all things Cripe says aligns with the core Uber demographic. Cripe says that over time, the offerings in the store will likely expand from just the handful of rotating items.

While prices will stay at normal MSRP levels, you'll instantly receive 10% back on all purchases in the form of Uber credits.

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Image courtesy of Uber and Cargo.

That's a pretty fantastic return and competes or beats most online shopping portal rates, especially when buying products from Apple or Glossier, for which it can be difficult to find savings. Still, it's always worth doing some price comparisons before you make an impulse buy on your next ride. Note that you'll only be able to access the Cargo store after scanning the QR code during a ride, so you won't be able to visit it a day or two after your ride.

To maximize your rewards even further you'll want to use a credit card that's great for everyday spending (since transactions made with Cargo likely won't code as travel), like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express.

Related: The 6 Best Credit Cards to Use for Uber

Not only will you earn rewards on the larger purchases from the online store, but you'll also earn Uber credit when purchasing smaller items that are located in the Cargo box — so you can feel a little less guilty when picking up that pack of Skittles or replacing your phone charger after a night out.

Since a significant portion of Uber rides are to and from airports, travelers may find the third feature of the new Cargo App appealing, as you'll have access to discounted movies from Universal Pictures.

Unfortunately, unlike the products that are located within the car, you won't be able to get the bigger ticket items immediately. Cargo will still ship the items to you for free, with most arriving to your address in 3-5 days.

Cargo already gives ride-hailing drivers a box filled with items you might see in a hotel minibar or convenience store to sell to passengers, and drivers get to take home a cut of every sale. Cargo is currently in ride-hailing cars across dozens of US cities, is rapidly expanding in Brazil and has equipped more than 30,000 drivers with boxes to distribute goodies to passengers.

While the Cargo product has been a new way for Uber (and Lyft) drivers to diversify their revenue sources and make a few extra bucks, Cripe said that drivers will not receive any compensation when someone makes a purchase through the online Cargo store. That being said, you can tip drivers through both the Cargo and Uber app, 100% of which goes to the drivers.

Featured image by Future via Getty Images
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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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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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.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees