I travel a couple of times a year and I’m growing very fond of Uber. Being able to get a ride with the touch of a button on my iPhone is great. I do everything from my iPhone, where it’s banking, surfing the internet, social media or anything else. I also like to maximize points/ cash back and I rarely carry cash. Being able to earn points while getting a car and driver all from my phone is awesome!
My first time using Uber was last fall when I went to Dallas. I have since used it a few other times, most recently on a night away in Boston. I had read about it from different bloggers and was looking forward to trying it out. It seemed like a great alternative to a yellow taxi cab and I also link my credit card to my Uber account to earn points! There is no exchange of cash, as tip is part of the payment I make with my credit card.
When my friend and I got to Dallas I had Uber open and ready to go (I even had a free ride!). It found my location quickly and when I requested a car to pick us up, it took only matter of seconds before we had a driver on his way. It is right around the cost of a taxi as well. You are even able to get a fare estimate from the app.
The Uber has different level of vehicle selection:
- uberX- typically the lowest cost, holds up to 4 passengers
- UberXL- more expensive than uberX, holds up to 6 passengers,
- UberPlus- more expensive than UberXL, holds up to 7 passengers
- Black Car- luxury service, higher end vehicle, more expensive than UberPlus
- Uber Taxi- Even request a taxi and pay meter fee plus 20% gratuity. I would rather use other levels than this one 🙂
We used a few of these and I think we had nice cars using uberX, as well as other levels. We even had a Jeep Grand Cherokee using uberX, but you could also have a compact car pick you up. To me it doesn’t really matter, if you want a “nicer” ride, you’d probably want to use Black car. If you have a large group of friends, using UberPlus might work better for you.
The Uber App shows a picture of your driver, the type of vehicle they are driving and the rating of your driver (given by other passengers). In certain cities, they also show license plate number. I think that would be a great addition to all areas which Uber is used. It will provide people another layer of safety.
The trip in Dallas we used Uber quite a few times. We were picked up in a variety of vehicles, ranging from Nissan Sentra to GMC Yukon with heated seats in the back! Some drivers even had water and gum for their passengers, Try getting that in a yellow taxi cab!
The drivers were friendly and talkative (much different than the drivers in Boston!), we typically asked the same questions to all drivers. Except one guy, who loved his Cowboys and let us know how great they were all the way to DFW. All the drivers said they loved the flexibility of their schedules. One driver made a comment which was interesting to me. He has said he filled out an application online and a few weeks later he received his Uber employment items. He said there was no background check done. Their web page says all employees do go through back ground checks.
Although I really like Uber and I will continue to use them, I hope that driver was just unsure of his background check . There have been a few incidents in some cities, so a few cities actually have the license plate listed of the vehicle as well. I think this should done for all places that have Uber as an option. It will only make your ride safer if you know you are getting into the right vehicle.
During special events or when there are lots of people looking for an Uber driver, they have surge pricing. Uber is good about informing you of this. The Uber App will let you know that your fare will be higher due to bad weather, increased demand, etc. So it won’t be a surprise when you reach your destination. I usually get a fare estimate to see my estimated cost.
Uber is coded as travel and you can use any credit card to pay for Uber, but I would use one where you earn more points for travel expenses. I personally use my Chase Sapphire Preferred, since I earn 2 Ultimate Reward points per dollar. You could use an American Express card where you earn more points for travel. American Express will even let you redeem your points at 1 cent per point for your Uber fare. I wouldn’t do this, but if you just wanting to lower your cost or have a free ride, this is an option. Currently, Discover’s 5% rotating category includes ground transportation, so using Uber would earn you 5% cash back!
Currently, Uber has temporarily increased their free ride money for new users(up to $30, usually up to $20). If you haven’t used Uber, but are wanting to try it out, you could have your first ride free. There are plenty of promo codes out there, so you don’t need to use my code, but I appreciate it if you do! My promo code is uberWallerswallet. In using my promo code, I will receive a free ride (up to $30) after your complete your 1st ride.
Uber is a great service that is growing. Being able to get a car and driver from your phone while earning points, makes this a win-win for me. This will be my way to get around New Orleans for our trip in March.
Ever tried Uber? What was your experience like?