How to Get Cash Back and Free Rides With Uber and Lyft’s New Loyalty Programs

The country’s most popular ride-sharing apps are now competing for your loyalty.

This week, both Uber and Lyft have announced loyalty programs aimed at securing a customer base — and hoping you won’t toggle between the two apps to just choose whichever is cheaper.

Announced on Wednesday, Uber’s most loyal customers can join Uber Rewards for cash back on rides, priority pick-ups at the airport and free support on the phone when something goes wrong.

At the moment, the service is only available for Uber customers in New York City, Miami, Denver, Tampa, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Diego and the entire state of New Jersey.

Customers who use Uber or Uber Eats will be able to rack up points for every dollar they spend with the app. UberPool and Uber Eats orders are eligible for one point per dollar. Customers can get two points for every dollar they spend on UberX, UberXL, Select and WAV rides. Those who order Black and Black SUV rides can get three points for their rides.

As riders accumulate points, they’ll be able to advance through different rewards tiers. Users start out in Blue and after 500 points, riders attain Gold level. With Gold, riders get flexible cancellations — meaning there’s no penalty if you cancel a ride within 15 minutes — and faster response times from support staff.

After 2,500 points, riders unlock Platinum level. Riders at this level get priority pickups from the airport and price protection, which locks in low prices between your two favorite places on UberX (like work and home) even during heavy traffic periods.

At the highest level, Diamond (7,500 points), riders get surprise complimentary upgrades like UberX to UberBLACK and access to highly-rated XDiamond drivers. Those who order food with Uber Eats will get the delivery fee waived on three orders every six months.

Earning periods last six months. Once you achieve status, it is valid for the rest of the earning period and for the full following six months. Regardless of whether or not you rack up enough points to achieve different statuses, for every 500 points you earn, you’ll get $5 back to spend on Uber rides.

On Monday, Lyft unveiled a similar loyalty program called Lyft Rewards, which is expected to start rolling out in December. It will become more widely available in 2019. Lyft did not release details on the exact rewards riders can earn, but it mentioned possibilities like complimentary upgrades, access to the app’s best drivers and days where you can earn double points for all rides.

Soon it will be time to decide: which app are you loyal to?

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