In brief: Uber has begun rolling out a frequent rider rewards program starting in nine US cities. Uber Rewards offers tiered perks to riders who use the service a lot. Plans are to bring the program to the rest of the US within the next few months.
Uber has been instituting a lot of changes to its ride-sharing business to attract more customers and drivers as well. We already reported how it is testing a subscription service in select cities. It has also launched the “Uber Pro” program to attract drivers with incentives like college tuition assistance and free car maintenance.
Today the company has announced that it is implementing a new rewards program for frequent riders called Uber Rewards. Members will receive benefits like cheaper fares, priority support, and quick pickups at airports. Perks are based on the rider’s level in the membership program.
Opting in is free and starts users out at the “Blue” level. The three other tiers are Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Riders earn points for every dollar they spend with Uber. There are different point awards for different Uber services. The point to dollar ratio for using Uber Pool or Uber Eats is 1:1, for Uber X, Uber XL, Select, and wheelchair accessible vehicles it is 2:1, and for Uber Black and Black SUV it is 3:1.
The points needed for each tier are as follows:
- Blue 0 - 499
- Gold 500 - 2,499
- Platinum 2,500 - 7,499
- Diamond 7,500+
Points are earned during a six-month period that begins on enrollment. If users gain enough points to bump up a level, they remain in that level for the remainder of the six-month period plus for the following six months. This six-month evaluation period runs continuously, so it is possible to maintain a level status as long as usage does not change.
Rewards increase for each tier. Blue does not really have any perks other than getting to 500 points, which earns Gold status and a $5 credit to use for rides or food deliveries. The $5 per 500 is a repeatable bonus across all tiers, so for example, if you earn 2,000 points, you will have been rewarded with $20 in credit. Gold level members will also receive refunds on cancellation fees as long as they rebook a ride within 15 minutes. Additionally, Gold users get “priority support” from customer service reps.
Platinum users get all of the previous tier perks plus priority pickups at airports and capped fares between favorite locations. For example, trips between work and home are always going to be the same price regardless of traffic conditions.
Diamond members are the elite and get the best perks. There is a dedicated 24/7 phone support line for members to use. Also, the company will occasionally “surprise” riders with complimentary upgrades from Uber X to Uber Black for no extra cost. The Uber app will give them access to choose from the highest rated drivers. Uber will also waive the fee on up to three Uber Eats deliveries per month.
Unfortunately, the locations where the rewards program is currently offered is limited. Right now riders in Miami, New Jersey, Denver, Tampa, New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and San Diego are eligible for the program. Uber says that it will be rolling it out to “all US riders” within the next few months. It will also be taking feedback into consideration and tweaking the program as needed.