Sometimes taking an expensive Uber ride to the airport or a popular concert is inevitable. The ride-sharing industry’s convenience has allowed users worldwide to take 5:00 a.m. flights without bugging their friends for rides and helped countless young adults get home safely after a night out.
Although the rides are convenient, rising inflation costs are making them more expensive than ever for users with an already tight budget. To help you travel smarter when using this ride-share platform, here’s a rundown of the best ways to save money on your next Uber ride.
1. Use UberPool
A great way to save money on your next ride-share ride is by using UberPool — here’s how it works.
“When you use UberPool, your ride is shared with other riders in the destination area who are going in the same direction as you,” said Zach Larsen, finance and investment expert and co-founder of Pineapple Money. “This way, you can split the cost of your trip and get where you’re going for less. Also, with UberPool, there’s no surge pricing applied.”
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2. Refer a Friend
You can also refer a friend in order to get a free ride.
“If one of your contacts isn’t yet an Uber customer, you may give them your referral code to get some free trips — or vice-versa if you’re not yet a user,” said Alvaro Moreira, CEO and financial advisor of Moreira Team, a financial services company. “Your buddy will receive a free ride, and you will receive a free ride in any town that uses the same payment as your friend. This will help you cut down costs, even though it’s a one-time thing.”
3. Avoid Taking an Uber During Peak Hours
Don’t order your Uber around the busiest times of the day to avoid paying a premium price.
“Uber’s dynamic pricing algorithm guarantees that there are always adequate drivers on the street; however, this may result in a brief spike in the price at peak hours,” Moreira said. “Thus, it’s imperative to plan your journey away from rush periods, or include time in your schedule to yield out a probable cost hike. You will then definitely save a lot of costs by avoiding rush hours that fruit into price hikes.”
Peak hours typically include Friday and Saturday evenings and days when there is an event or festival happening.
4. Uber to a Nearby Hotel Instead of the Airport
Taking an Uber to the airport is incredibly common and often prices are increased for this particular destination strictly due to its popularity. In order to shave a few bucks off your fare, follow this tried and true hack.
When Ubering to the airport — or any popular destination — use the location of the nearest hotel to the airport instead of the final destination. As long as the hotel is within walking distance of the airport, you’ll be able to save money with little to no extra effort.
5. Buy Discounted Uber Gift Cards
A great way to save money on your next ride is by purchasing discounted Uber gift cards from websites such as Raise.com. You can find cards with a discounted range of 1% to 20% off the value of the card in order to save on every trip.
Be sure to employ this money-saving hack on top of other methods, such as using UberPool or avoiding peak times, in order to stack savings and obtain the lowest price possible.
6. Use the Uber Cash Rewards Program
The Uber Cash Rewards Program is a free membership program that allows users to earn points that can be redeemed for Uber Cash for future trips, as well as Uber Eats orders.
You gain Uber points based on the type of Uber fare. For example, UberPool, Express Pool and Uber Eats earn users one point per dollar. Using UberX, UberXL and select rides earn users two points per dollar. Additionally, Uber Black and Black SUV earn users three points per dollar.
For every 500 points you earn, you will receive $5 in Uber Cash. You can stack these rewards and use up to two at once. Some other benefits of the program include price protection, free upgrades and complimentary Uber Eats deliveries.
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