I absolutely love Uber and have been using it since its beta stages years ago. It’s no surprise that it grew to be the enterprise it is today, and I’ve even met other travelers who have given up their own personal cars to solely rely on Uber when needed (it does make financial sense)!
Here are 10 ways to be sure you’re maximizing your Uber experience:
Earn Free Rides
This is a given. If you have an Uber account, you can invite friends, and you both will receive a free ride (up to $20). If you don’t already have Uber, you can sign up using my link and you and I will both receive a free ride (thanks!).
Get a 20% Discount
The Capital One Quicksilver card just announced a pretty awesome benefit – 20% off all Uber rides (in the form of a statement credit). The card has no annual fee and the 20% savings can be pretty significant if you use Uber frequently.
Link your Starwood Preferred Guest Account to Uber to earn 1-4 points for every dollar spent on Uber (that’s in addition to the points you can earn from your credit card that you’re paying for the ride with).
Find Out Your Passenger Rating
The good thing about Uber is that both drivers and passengers are rated at the end of the ride to help weed out “bad apples”. I was able to find out that I had a passenger rating of 4.96 (pats back) simply by asking my driver what my rating was. If you don’t wish to ask for your rating, you can email Uber support and ask.
You can now create a playlist to listen to during your Uber ride (great for moments when you want to kick back and don’t feel like interacting with your driver). You can connect your Spotify account here.
Trip History Can Help With Expense Reports
I love that all of my trip history is easily accessible (it didn’t work out in Mr. Points Traveler’s favor though…), so that I can refer back to it when it’s time create expense reports.
Contact Customer Support
I have found Uber customer support to be quite awesome. And whenever I have a less than stellar experience (everything from being in a car that was side swiped, the occasional rude driver, and even a “kidnapping scare” during my brother’s first ride), I never hesitate to reach out. Uber usually compensates for grievances in the form of credits or an adjustment to the fare you paid.
Avoid Bad Drivers & Protect Yourself From a Cancellation Fee
A rule of thumb about Uber is that you have a 5-minute grace period to cancel a ride after it’s been requested and accepted. Though 99% of my drivers have been beyond awesome, I did have a few that I just knew weren’t going to work out… like the driver who called repeatedly asked me to walk 5 blocks in the rain to meet him at his parked car, even though I specifically said I called an Uber to be picked up in front of my location. After his 3rd phone call and request, I found it best to just cancel and not deal with him. You can also cancel within that period if your driver has a less desirable rating. Also another data point: you’ll never be matched with a previous driver again that you’ve given a poor rating to.
Sit in the Front if Traveling to/from Some Airports
Some airports have banned Uber and will fine drivers if they suspect they are Uber/Lyft drivers (by looking for an “Uber” sign in the window, seeing the Uber phone on the dashboard, or simply seeing a shiny black car with a passenger seated in the back). I was recently made aware of this when I called an Uber in South Beach to be driven to MIA. The driver asked if I would mind sitting in the front so he wouldn’t look suspicious. I had no objections to his request. If you feel comfortable, consider this tactic when traveling to/from some airports.
Talk to Your Driver
Lastly, if you’re up to it – talk to your driver! Most drivers are friendly, welcoming, and appreciate chatter. I have made some really interesting connections this way. It’s always nice to connect with new people, whether it be listening to their interesting Uber experiences, or learning what they do when they’re not driving.
Do you have any other Uber tips and tricks you’d like to see added to this list?