Uber has become Australia’s leading ride-share service and the most popular alternative to taxis, as well as branching out into meal deliveries and in some cities, courier-style deliveries.
So it only makes sense that the more you use Uber, the more you should be a member of the company’s Uber Rewards program.
Uber Rewards lets you earn points, achieve status levels and unlock tier benefits across both Uber rideshare and Uber Eats food delivery.
Perks across Uber Rewards’ Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels will include discounted Uber Comfort rides and Uber Eats orders, reduced fixed-price rides between two favourite locations and free upgrades to a higher-class of ride such as Uber Premium. Those tiered members can also transfer points to Qantas.
What is Uber Rewards?
Uber Rewards is the loyalty program of the Uber rideshare app and Uber Eats food delivery app. Available in an increasing number of countries around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, it enables customers to earn points on eligible transactions, gain status tiers for new benefits, and redeem points for rewards.
How do I join Uber Rewards?
There’s no joining fee for Uber Rewards, and any registered Uber rider (that’s Uber-speak for its customers) can sign-up for Uber Rewards in three easy steps.
- Open your Uber app, tap the menu icon in the top-left corner and select ‘Uber Rewards’.
- Read the sign-up information, then tap ‘join for free’.
- Review the terms and conditions, then tap ‘Accept’ to become an Uber Rewards member.
How do I earn Uber Rewards points?
Australian members of Uber Rewards can earn points on rides and meals at the following rates:
- UberPool, Uber Eats: 1 point per A$1 spent
- UberX, UberXL, Uber Comfort: 2 points per A$1 spent
- Uber Premier: 3 points per A$1 spent
This includes Uber rides taken by Australian members both at home and when overseas, as well as Uber Eats deliveries abroad.
Uber Rewards’ New Zealand members earn points as below:
- Uber Eats: 1 point per NZ$1 spent
- UberX, Uber Comfort: 2 points per NZ$1 spent
Again, these earning rates apply in New Zealand and when you use Uber overseas.
There’s no limit to the number of Uber Rewards points you can earn, and these can be notched up on both ‘personal’ rides billed to your own credit card and business trips charged to a company account.
The higher ride cost during surge pricing is included in your points-earning total. However, points are not earned on any taxes, levies, tolls, surcharges, any portions of a transaction that are covered by a promotion or split with another user, or miscellaneous fees for cleaning, cancellations or lost items.
Can I earn and use Uber Rewards points overseas?
Yes, you will earn Uber Rewards points at the same rate you would at home, on all eligible rides. However Uber Rewards points can only be redeemed for rewards which are used within your home country, whether that be Australia or New Zealand.
Do Uber Rewards points expire?
Yes. Redeemable points (the type you can use to activate specific ‘rewards’) expire in monthly batches after 12 months. For example, any points you earn in May 2020 will expire on 1 June 2021 if not redeemed for a reward.
Earning Qantas Points with Uber Rewards
If you’re headed to or from the airport, which would be commonplace for Executive Traveller readers, you can double-dip on Uber Rewards points and Qantas frequent flyer points.
Through the Qantas-Uber partnership, you can earn 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on Uber rides to and from most Australian airports. That’s in addition to whatever Uber Rewards points you pick up along the way.
And with 750 Uber Rewards points under your belt, you can pick up a bonus 200 Qantas Points.
What are the Uber Rewards status levels?
Uber Rewards has four tiers: Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
Blue is the nominal entry-level tier and includes no benefits – it’s just a starting point from which you can make your way to Gold, Platinum and Diamond, each of which comes with a range of practical perks.
Earning Uber Rewards status
Uber Rewards status is evaluated at six-month intervals based on the date you join the program. The number of Uber Rewards points you earn in each six-months period determines your status in the program.
(This means your Uber Rewards tier could change more frequently during the year than traditional hotel and airline loyalty status, which tend to be based on 12-monthly membership periods or calendar years.)
For example, join Uber Rewards in mid-November 2019 and your first ‘membership period’ will run until mid-May 2020; the next membership period extends from mid-May 2020 to mid-November 2020, and so on.
When you move up from one tier to the next, your status will be valid until the end of the current membership period plus the next six months.
Here’s how the Uber Rewards tiers shake out:
- Uber Rewards Blue is the base level for members who don’t qualify for a higher tier.
- Uber Rewards Gold requires earning 1,200 points during any given six-month membership period.
- Uber Rewards Platinum is yours after earning 4,000 points during the same period.
- Uber Rewards Diamond, the top-tier status, calls for 7,500 points during your membership period.
(Some of those tier levels are substantially higher than for Uber Rewards in the USA, where Gold is yours at 500 points and Platinum at 2,500 points – although Diamond remains the same, at 7,500 points.)
Not everyone will begin at Blue – a spokesman for Uber Australia tells Executive Traveller that upon signing up to Uber Rewards, your prior six months of Uber activity will be used to determine your starting status.
Note that in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Uber Rewards is extending status tiers by another six months.
Uber Rewards Gold status benefits
Clock up 1,200 Uber Rewards points during your six-month membership period and you’ll hit Uber Rewards Gold status.
The standing benefit is for Uber Rewards Gold members is 10% off one Uber Comfort trip each month, up to a maximum discount of $30.
However, this applies only to personal rides (not those charged to a business profile) and the discounts can’t be rolled over from one month to the next: it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ proposition, so we suggest using it on your longest ride each month.
Uber Rewards Platinum status benefits
Earn 4,000 Uber Rewards points during the six-month membership period and Uber Rewards Platinum status is yours.
In addition to the Gold-grade perk of 10% off one Uber Comfort trip each month, Uber Rewards Platinum members can set their two favourite locations – such as home and the airport – for UberX rides at a reduced rate.
Uber says that UberX rides taken between these two points “will not exceed a promotional price identified for that route, except during extremely busy times”.
Platinum member will still get a discount on those A-to-B rides during those busy ‘surge’ periods, but the savings will be capped at 35% off the going rate.
Members can change their nominated locations once every 30 days by contacting Uber Support.
Uber Rewards Diamond status benefits
Earn 7,500 Uber Rewards points during the six-month membership period and you’ll be promoted to top-tier Uber Rewards Diamond status.
In addition to enjoying the same benefits as Gold and Platinum members, Diamond tier travellers will receive free surprise upgrades to Uber Comfort and Uber Premier in Australia “on select UberX rides”. Members can’t choose which trips will receive an upgrade – this is determined by Uber, and will depend on availability.
There’s also ‘premium support’, including access to a 24/7 telephone help desk and the highest priority response to messages sent to Uber within the app.
How can I use Uber Rewards points?
Uber Rewards points aren’t only the measure by which you achieve Gold, Platinum or Diamond status – every 750 points you earn also triggers a special ‘rewards’ package.
This doesn’t affect your current status or your progress to the next tier level, as the mechanism for determining status is the number of points earned during each six-month membership period, not the number of points in your account at any given time.
(This is different to airline loyalty programs, which typically treat points/miles and status credits as separate measures).
For every 750 points earned by an Australian Uber Rewards member, and 600 points notched up by New Zealand riders, you can choose between the following:
- 15% of all rides for three days: nominate any (ideally busy) period of three days and enjoy a 15% discount on every Uber ride, from the humble UberX up to Uber Premium (formerly Uber Black) in Australia or New Zealand
- 15% off orders with Uber Eats for three days: once you choose this reward option, it will be automatically applied to orders placed via your Uber Eats account (there’s a maximum discount of $25 per order)
- earn 200 Qantas Points: this probably isn’t the best use of Uber Rewards, and here’s why
Although these rewards become available every time you earn 750 Uber Rewards points, you don’t need to use them right away – just ‘snooze’ the reward when you’re first prompted to activate it. This lets you continue saving your Uber Rewards points so you can stack up several Uber Rewards tigger points and activate them sequentially.
For example, at 1,500 Uber Rewards points you can quality for 15% off every Uber ride across the busy six-day period of a business trip by activating the first 750 Uber Rewards points package on day one, and the next package on day four.
Uber’s loyalty play is, of course, intended to keep its customers booking their rides and meal deliveries with Uber rather than its competitors.
While Chinese-based rideshare rival DiDi has yet to dip its toe into the loyalty waters, both Ola and Menulog entice passengers through airline and bank partnerships.
Ola allows riders to link their Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer account to earn 1,000 bonus Velocity points on their first ride, plus one Velocity point per $1 spent with Ola in Australia and double Velocity points on rides to and from Australian airports.
Passengers using Ola are also routinely offered discounts of 15-30% on their journeys when applying various in-app coupon codes before ordering a car.
Uber Eats challenger Menulog serves up two Virgin Australia Velocity points per $1 spent when clicking through the Velocity eStore with each order, with a $10 discount routinely available on the first order a member places with each participating restaurant.
Menulog also runs partnerships with ANZ Rewards – offering four bonus ANZ Rewards Points per $1 spent via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall – and with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, delivering 11 KrisFlyer miles per US$10 (~A$14.50) spent in Australia.
Haven’t joined Uber yet? Sign up here or use our special Executive Traveller promo code of UBER10AU to get $10 in free credit towards your first Uber ride.
Additional updates by Brandon Loo.
Nick Trahair, CLM,CHA serves as General Manager of the GrandStay Hotel & Suites of Traverse City, MI.
Prior to joining the staff at the GrandStay, he served as the Regional Operations Manager for a large hospitality management company based in the Midwest and also has worked in the food and beverage management field.