Exclusive: Uber scraps its referral program for riders and drivers

Jul 1, 2020

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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.

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 image by martin-dm/Getty Images.

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