Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

uber softbank investment stock
junce/123RF

There’s a lot of competition in the ridesharing game these days, with riders able to shop around for the lowest price. So how do companies keep riders on their platform? For Uber, the answer is a loyalty program. The company is launching Uber Rewards, a multitiered system that doles out benefits for frequent riders. A pilot program will run in nine cities in the United States.

Uber Rewards is free to sign up for. There are four membership levels: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. You reach a level by accruing points, and the points are doled out based on how much you spend on Uber’s many services. You get one point per dollar spent on UberPool and UberEats, two points per buck for UberX, UberXL, Select and UberWAV, and three points for every dollar dropped on Uber Black and Black SUV.

The membership levels kick in when you reach certain point plateaus. You start out on the Blue tier. At 500 points, you get bumped up to Gold. You reach platinum status at 2,500 points, and you’ll need 7,500 points to get to Diamond. It’s worth noting that you don’t get to stay in a tier forever once you reach it. Earning periods are six months long and are tied to the date you join the program. Once you unlock a tier, you have it for the remainder of the earning period, plus the next six months. You’ll have to maintain your travel frequency to keep the status after that.

So what do you get for rewards? Uber Rewards members get $5 in Uber Cash added for every 500 points they earn, and that cash can be spent on rides or Uber Eats. Gold members get more flexible cancellations, with the ability to cancel and rebook an Uber trip within 15 minutes of the fee being refunded, as well as a priority response from Uber support agents. Platinum members get all the Gold benefits, plus price protection on routes that allows them to lock in the price of their most frequently traveled paths. The also get priority pickup at airports. Diamond members get all of the above plus 24/7 phone support, complimentary surprise upgrades from UberX to Uber Black at no extra cost, and an “UberX Diamond” option that only shows you highly rated drivers. They also have the delivery fee waived on three Uber Eats orders.

Uber Rewards will only be available in Miami, New Jersey, Denver, Tampa, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and San Diego for the time being. The company plans to roll out the loyalty program to the rest of the country over the coming months.

Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Cars

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.
Cars

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Cars

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Cars

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Cars

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Business

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.
Cars

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.