Uber delivers another blow to car services with improved prebooked rides
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Slowly but surely, ride-share services are adapting to a drop in demand during the pandemic, adding tools aimed at boosting revenue during an especially challenging period.
Lyft recently expanded its car-rental service, adding Lyft Rentals access to a handful of new cities, and now Uber is adding an improved prebooked ride option, called Uber Reserve.
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The new service rolls out next week, letting customers reserve trips in advance. It's a step beyond the app's current "Schedule a Ride" tool, matching riders with drivers — and a locked-in fare — between two hours and 30 days in advance.
At launch, Uber Reserve will be available in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, D.C., Fort-Myers/Naples, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Jersey, New York City, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Seattle.
Uber Reserve riders will have an additional 15 minutes of waiting time, plus an on-time guarantee — you'll get $50 in Uber Cash deposited to your account if your car doesn't arrive as scheduled.
Best of all, Uber Reserve rides in the U.S. should be eligible for up to $200 in annual Uber Cash available with The Platinum Card® from American Express, along with up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 monthly credits per calendar year) you'll get starting in 2021 with the American Express® Gold Card. Cardholders must add the Gold card to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. Enrollment required for select benefits.
The service will initially only be available with Uber Black and Uber SUV rides (or Uber Premier and Premier SUV in some cities), though UberX, Comfort and XL should be added by the end of the year, bringing access to more affordable ride-share options.