After launching Uber Rewards only four ago, Uber has announced that it is cancelling the program faster than a driver who finds a better fare. According to an email from Uber, the company is shutting down Uber Rewards (free) to focus on its Uber One membership program (not free).
The Loyalty Plan Formerly Known as Uber Rewards
Uber Rewards was the airline-style loyalty program for the ride share company. It had points that could be redeemed for rewards, as well as various “elite status” tiers, which earned benefits ranging from improved cancellation privileges to premium phone support.
Members also earned redeemable points, based on how much they spent for their rides and the type of product, ranging from 1X points for Pool and Uber Eats to 3X for Black and Black SUV. The types of rewards varied over time but occasionally offered decent value.
Uber Dissolves Rewards with Almost No Notice
A few days ago, Uber sent an email to its members, informing them that it was ending the Uber Rewards program. No explanation was given, other than that Uber would “shift our focus to our new Uber One membership program.”
They didn’t exactly give a ton of notice, either. In the email, the company told its members that they would be able to earn points through the end of August, or just over two weeks. Members will continue to be able to redeem through the end of October, but your points will be useless after that. Truthfully, though, the value of rewards has already declined. Originally, you could cash out 500 Uber Rewards points for a $5 credit. That option went away a few years ago, as the company transitioned to its new options. Currently, the cheapest option that I am seeing is a $3 credit at Starbucks for 300 points–given in the form of $3 off of a $10 purchase.
While Uber Rewards may have once offered the company a slight competitive advantage, that’s gone now. You can still get points with partners, such as Marriott Bonvoy, but there’s little reason to select a ride share on any option other than price.