Travel

The Ultimate Guide to Uber's New Loyalty Program

For frequent users of the ridesharing service, Uber Rewards is a great way to earn discounts on regular Uber rides. The loyalty program functions similar to an airline or hotel rewards scheme, where members earn points for each dollar they spend with the company. Once you earn enough points, you'll be able to cash out for Uber credits and earn elite status.

The Uber Rewards loyalty program is a simple way to get a small return on your Uber and Uber Eats spending. For every dollar you spend with Uber, you'll be rewarded 1 to 3 points, depending on the product you use. For every 500 points you earn, you'll get $5 added to your Uber Cash balance. You can unlock the first elite status level, Gold, by earning 500 rewards points in a six-month period.

  • 1 point per dollar: UberPool, Express Pool and Uber Eats
  • 2 points per dollar: UberX, UberXL, Select and WAV
  • 3 points per dollar: Uber Black and Black SUV

While most loyalty programs evaluate annual spending per calendar year, Uber Rewards has a spending cycle that renews every six months, based on when you join the program. This offers you flexibility about the date you join the program. For example, if you're not yet a member and know that you won't be using Uber heavily for the next few months, you can wait to join and better your chances of earning elite status.

Uber Rewards' Elite Status Levels

Like any travel loyalty program, Uber's program has a tiered membership structure that rewards the highest spenders. There are four status levels that correspond to your spending: Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. When you join the program, Uber will place you at a status level according to your Uber and Uber Eats spending history in the last six months. Once you reach a certain status level, you'll get to keep it for the remainder of the current six-month cycle plus the next cycle.

StatusBenefitsPoints Requirement
BlueAbility to earn points0
GoldFree cancellations with rebook500
PlatinumPrice protection, priority pickups2,500
Diamond24/7 customer service, car upgrades7,500

Blue: Entry-Level Rewards

As a Blue Uber Rewards member, the only benefit you'll receive is the ability to earn rewards points on your Uber spending. Once you hit 500 points, you'll receive your first Uber Cash $5 credit, and you'll be automatically promoted to Gold status. Note that Uber evaluates your spending history from the past six months when you join the program, so it's possible that you'll enter as a Gold, Platinum or Diamond member.

Gold: Speedy Support and Flexible Cancellation

Gold Uber Rewards members—those who earn between 500 and 2,500 points in a spending cycle—get the benefit of flexible cancellations. While regular Uber riders pay a $5 cancellation fee, Gold members can cancel a trip and get the fee refunded, as long as they rebook their ride within 15 minutes. Gold members also have access to Uber's priority support staff, who can respond to inquiries quicker than the regular support team.

Platinum: Price Protection, Priority Pickups

You'll be upgraded to Platinum status and receive a few extra perks once you hit 2,500 points in one spending cycle. The first added perk is price protection, which lets you secure a set price for a certain route on UberX. If you're frequently taking the same route, perhaps between your home and the office, this benefit protects you from surge pricing. You'll also receive priority pickup as a Platinum member, which can help cut the time spent waiting on an Uber at a busy airport.

Diamond: 24/7 Customer Service and Surprise Upgrades

If you spend enough on Uber to earn 7,500 points and reach top-tier Diamond status, you'll be rewarded with superior customer service and surprise car upgrades. Diamond members have access to 24/7 customer service from, in Uber's words, the "most experienced customer service agents"—plus, free upgrades from regular UberX cars to premium Uber Black and SUV vehicles. You'll also have the ability to choose from highly rated drivers and, on Uber Eats, free delivery on three orders every six months.

How to Join the Uber Rewards Program

If you have an Uber account and you're in an eligible location, you should see an option in your app to join the Uber Rewards program. If you don't see the option in your app, you may need to wait until the program is more widely available. Currently, Uber Rewards is available to riders in Atlanta, D.C., Denver, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and Tampa.

Our Thoughts on Uber Rewards

Since no ride-sharing rewards programs previously existed, the Uber Rewards program is a win for consumers. When you join, you'll get rewarded for your past Uber rides and Uber Eats orders from the last six months—and you'll have the opportunity to earn ongoing rewards on your Uber spending.

With an earning rate of 1 to 3 points per dollar, and a redemption rate of $5 for 500 points, the Uber Rewards program is about average when compared to loyalty programs across other sectors. In the Uber scheme, your points will be worth 1 to 3 cents, depending on how you earned them, meaning that you get a 1% to 3% rewards rate on your Uber spending.

Most airline and retail loyalty programs give a similar return on spending, and the vast majority of cash-back and rewards credit cards are even less rewarding. Plus, you can stack your spending rewards if you already pay for your Uber rides with a travel or rewards credit card. For example, with a credit card that rewards 3 points per dollar spent on Uber, you'll earn a 5% rewards rate on all your UberX rides.

The one area where Uber Rewards has room for improvement is the earning structure. Consider how dollars spent on premium products like Uber Black (3 points per dollar) are rewarded more than dollars spent on UberPool (1 point per dollar). Likewise, those in the program's higher tiers should earn more for their dollar than entry-level members. Most airline loyalty programs use this system, where members get bonus points per dollar according to their status level.

Overall, the Uber Rewards program provides decent value without any considerable drawbacks. If you're already an Uber loyalist, you'll get the opportunity to earn rewards on your existing expenses. If you're not a frequent Uber customer, you can join the program at any time, and the six-month spending cycle will be tied to the date you joined, rather than the calendar year. At this point, there's only upside to joining.

Yowana Wamala

Yowana is a Junior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in travel and rewards programs. He previously covered mortgages and banking for the website before graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.