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Exclusive: Uber scraps its referral program for riders and drivers

July 1 2020
3 min read
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Uber has been on a downward trend the past few months and is showing no signs of slowing down. As of June 29, Uber has discontinued its rider and driver referral programs without any notice. This comes not too long after the company eliminated a key redemption option from its rewards program.

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What’s changed

Per a message first discovered by TPG on the help page of the company's website, riders can no longer refer people to Uber using a personal invite code. An Uber spokesperson confirmed this change with us and shared that the driver referral program is currently paused as well. The Uber Eats referral program remains active.

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Riders who were referred prior to June 29 and registered their accounts will have 90 days from the referral date to take their first trip. An Uber spokesperson shared that those with rider referral codes but no account will be able to use them until the end of July. If the new user takes their first trip within the 90-day window, the invitee will have 90 days from the date of their first trip to use their reward.

Prior to its abrupt conclusion, Uber was offering new users at least $2 off their first three rides. At one point, the program offered a $20 dual-sided reward for riders. For drivers, the referral rewards ranged anywhere from $100 to $1,100. Similar to how the new rider bonuses were tiered, new drivers typically needed to complete a certain number of trips in their first month in order to receive a bonus.

Uber's business was built on its referral program. It was available since the company's launch and was one of the most crucial elements of its rapid growth. For drivers, the referral bonuses attributed to a significant portion of their earnings.

Lyft's referral programs for both riders and drivers are still up and running.

Related: Best credit cards for Lyft and Uber

Bottom line

Seeing Uber's ride referral program vanish is disappointing no matter how you look at it. New users may still be able to find promotions on Uber's website, but you'll no longer be rewarded for referring others to the app.

If you're an existing user, you still have a few ways to save on your rides. For instance, you can get up to $200 in Uber Cash to use annually with The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required). You may also be able to score discounts with a Ride Pass subscription. Check out our guide to the best cards for Uber and Lyft before booking your next ride-share trip to learn how you can maximize your return.

Featured photo by 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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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees