Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Uber has become the go-to ride service for many travelers in the last several years. The ability to quickly request a ride from a mobile device has made navigating cities across the world so much easier.
With so many miles and points enthusiasts taking Uber rides all over the world, we wanted to review all the tricks to maximize the platform — including some fun ways to save money on your Uber rides, plus how to earn lots of miles and points that can help you book your next award flight or hotel award stay.
Now, let’s dive into the good stuff so you can start earning the most with Uber.
If you take Uber rides to and from work events on a regular basis — or even just to hang out with friends on weekends — you’ll want to choose the right credit card that will earn you the most points.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 10% cash-back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases and also offers a complimentary Uber One membership through November 14, 2024.
Chase provides 2 great options for earning points on your Uber rides. Unlike American Express cards that have air travel bonus categories, Chase has a broad travel bonus category for both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all Uber rides, and it’s your best bet to easily earn the most points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great alternative if you want to earn Ultimate Rewards points at 2x points per dollar spent.
If you want to earn American Express Membership Rewards points, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is your best bet — it earns 2x points per dollar on all spending up to $50,000 per calendar year.
Another option is to use the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card for 5% cash-back on your first $2,000 spent in your 2 chosen bonus categories (ground transportation is one of the available categories).
If you’re a regular user of Uber, a few credit cards offer travel credits that can really help you offset the cost of the annual fee. Considering these cards have steep annual fees, utilizing the credits can really make a difference.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you receive a $300 travel credit and will continue to receive this credit on each cardmember year anniversary. This travel credit is the easiest to use since it’s automatically applied to your first $300 spent on travel. As we mentioned above, Chase has a broad travel category that includes Uber, so this credit can knock out a bunch of Uber rides for you.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers cardholders $200 in Uber credit each year. Every month, you will receive $15 in Uber credit to use (for Uber or Uber Eats), plus an additional $20 in December (for a total of $35 that month). With this credit, you either use it or lose it — it won’t roll over into the next month.
This is a clever way to get you to use an Amex Platinum card on your Uber rides when the card only earns 1 point per dollar. However, if you have a card that earns 2x or 3x points per dollar on Uber rides, there’s an easy way to take advantage of this Uber credit and earn more points.
To activate the Uber credit, you merely have to link Amex Platinum card to your Uber account. You can then set another card as your default payment method.
For example, if you have a $50 Uber ride to the airport, you can take advantage of the $15 Uber credit and then pay the remaining $35 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This will let you earn 105 Ultimate Rewards points instead of just 35 American Express Membership Rewards points!
It might not seem like much at the moment, but earning 3x points per dollar spent instead of 1x really starts to add up over time.
Hot Tip: Uber’s loyalty program, Uber Rewards was discontinued in August 2022.
Choosing the right credit card to get the most miles and points when you pay for each ride is pretty straightforward, but there are a number of tricks that can help you get even more out of your rides while saving you some money.
Uber One, formerly Uber Eats Pass, is a monthly membership program that can be used for both Uber and Uber Eats. For $9.99 a month, Uber One members get benefits including a 5% discount on top-rated Uber drivers, up to 10% off eligible Uber Eats orders, and free Uber Eats deliveries.
If you’re a frequent Uber user, an Uber One membership may make sense, and there are ways to save money on your membership.
If you have Uber Cash from one of your credit cards, those funds can be used for an Uber One membership. Capital One Savor cardmembers also get a complimentary membership through November 14, 2024.
Sometimes, it can be a little tricky pinpointing the exact pickup spot on the Uber app. This can be especially tough when you’re traveling abroad if you don’t speak the language or have a good handle on the area.
To make it easier for drivers to find you, Uber now lets you share your current location with your Uber driver. If you are close to your designated pickup location, drivers will be able to see that and adjust accordingly.
You can turn this function on and off as you please.
When meeting a friend, it can be tough to estimate arrival times as traffic patterns change, accidents happen, and occasionally your Uber driver might take a wrong turn. Well, similar to the ability to share your location with your Uber driver, you can share your ride location with a friend.
This allows your friends to track your ride in real-time. If your friend is walking to meet you at a restaurant, he or she can time when they need to leave based on the progress of your ride so they aren’t sitting alone for 15 minutes waiting on you.
If your friend has the Uber app, they will get an invite to follow your Uber ride via the app. If they don’t have the app, they will receive a text message with the invite.
If you forgot to pick up beer and chips for a party, you can enter up to 2 additional stops en route to your final destination. This makes it easy to swing by a gas station or grocery store so you can pick up anything you had forgotten to get earlier.
To add a stop, simply hit the plus sign next to the box where you enter your destination. You can add multiple destinations before starting your ride in the order you want, and you can even add a stop or 2 once you’re on your way.
Uber asks that riders limit these stops to no more than 3 minutes as a courtesy to drivers.
Unlike booking a ride with a car service that guarantees a driver will be at your door at a specific time, scheduling a ride with Uber only means that you will request a ride for a 15-minute window of time. Once the ride is requested, you will receive a notification on your mobile device.
If you know you are going to be pressed for time getting to the airport or an important meeting, you might be better off using a car service. You could also try Lyft’s scheduled ride service, as a driver agrees to pick you up in advance so you’ll know if a ride is available before the time you need to leave.
Occasionally, you can buy discounted Uber gift cards at stores such as Walmart and PayPal Digital Gifts on eBay. These gift cards come with a code that can be added to your Uber account under the Payments menu option as Uber credit.
This is a very simple way to save money on Uber if you know you’ll have rides in the near future.
Adding funds proactively to your Uber account can be handy when you use the service a lot. Plus, you can save up to 5% when you do.
If you’re really trying to earn as many points as possible for your Uber rides, you might consider purchasing Uber gift cards at face value if you have a way to earn more than the 3x or 2x points per dollar spent.
If you have the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent when you buy Uber gift cards at an office supply store. Keep in mind that the Ink Business Cash card earns cash-back, unless you have a premium card that earns Ultimate Rewards points and has an annual fee.
Another fun option is buying Uber gift cards on Amazon while on a JetBlue flight. The JetBlue TrueBlue shopping portal allows you to earn 3x TrueBlue points when shopping at Amazon inflight.
If you fly JetBlue regularly or even occasionally, you can take advantage of this opportunity. When you pay with the Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in addition to the TrueBlue points. You might even find Uber gift cards on sale.
Previously, you could earn 3x TrueBlue points when shopping on Amazon from home, but as of March 27, 2018, you will only earn 3x on while flying JetBlue.
Members will earn:
Uber has become a big part of many people’s lives, whether they travel regularly or even just once per year. With plenty of money being spent on Uber rides, we want to make sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity to save money or earn the miles and points that can help you book your next vacation.
If you want to keep things simple, just pick a credit card that includes Uber in its travel bonus category. If you have the Amex Platinum card, consider pairing its monthly Uber credit with a card that will earn bonus points.
Finally, if you really want to maximize your Uber rides, take advantage of some of the tricks we discussed above to save money or earn even more points on the money you spend with Uber.
The information regarding the Capital One SavorOne Card Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, and the Amex Blue Business Plus card earns 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.
Many airports around the world allow Uber to pick up and drop off travelers. However, some do not. Use Uber’s list of participating airports to find out if you’ll be able to use Uber when you land.
Once you select an airport, you will be able to get information about pick-up spots so you can quickly navigate your way through the airport upon arrival.
No — Uber is designed to be an entirely cashless experience.
Service animals are always allowed to join you when taking Uber. For non-service animals, Uber recommends contacting your driver immediately to see if they are okay with pets.
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This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.