It’s late at night, it’s raining, and you can’t find a cab. To make matters worse, when you open your Uber app, you’re faced with severely inflated surge prices.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the ride-sharing service more affordable, even at peak hours (think: 12:01 a.m. on New Year's Day).
Uber is the largest and oldest of the ride-sharing apps, with operations in more than 600 cities worldwide. And while most Uber promo codes are offered only to first-time users, there are a few ways existing Uber customers can enjoy free or steeply discounted rides.
Get the New User Uber Promo Code
Officially, Uber only offers promo codes to new users. If this applies to you, you're in luck. When scheduling your first ride, just make sure you’ve entered — and received credit for — your new user promo code. The code changes often, so find the most current iteration at uber.com/promo. To enter the code, tap the “Payment” menu item within the Uber app, and then “Add Promo/Gift Code.” After submitting, the free credit will appear on your account, usually up to $15.
Get Free Rides with Referrals
Existing users can continue to earn Uber promo codes by referring new users to the service. Find your individual Uber referral code (which you can also personalize) under the Promotions section of the mobile app, as well as on the Uber website. The free rides, which will cover trips up to $10, don't appear immediately — so be sure to get your friends and family to sign up in advance.
Share a Ride with a New User
If you’re looking for a ride with fellow passengers who don’t have Uber, have them download the app and activate the introductory free ride promo code. (Better yet, ask that friend to sign up using your unique referral code, too.) That first ride credit has no limitations on the number of passengers, so hop in and take advantage of the discounted drive.
Download Other Apps
No, this is not an Uber promo code. But just because you’re not a new Uber user, doesn’t mean you're out of options. Try downloading a rival ride-sharing app, like Lyft or Sidecar, and activate their new user promo codes. At the time of publication, for example, Lyft's promo codes for first-time riders include a $20 credit valid for $2 per ride for 10 rides; a $10 credit for $5 per two rides; or a $9 credit split evenly between three rides.
Carry the Right Card
If you frequently find yourself loading up the Uber app, you may want to consider applying for a new credit card. Through Uber's rewards system, which launched in 2017, visa cardholders who opt-in and have the card saved in their Uber account can collect ride credits simply by shopping a partner stores and chains like Regal Cinemas and Dunkin' Donuts. And if you've committed to the American Express Platinum Card (and it's $550 annual fee), you'll enjoy $15 in Uber credit every month, with a bonus $35 in December.