Today, August 23, Uber announced it's relaunching a partnership with Visa that rewards you for eating and shopping at certain local and national restaurants and stores — no strings attached. If you waver between ridesharing services, your loyalty dependent on real-time pricing, this might sway your decisions moving forward.
While plenty of businesses offer rewards programs, these can be more frustrating than they are fruitful: It often feels like it takes forever to actually earn enough points to count towards something substantial. The appealing promise of Uber's Visa Local Offers collaboration is that you'll be able to use any credits you earn immediately — you don't have to wait until you collected a certain number of points to save on rides.
Here's how it works: Open your Uber app and scroll down to the "Messages" tab along the bottom of the screen. Tap on "Visa Local Offers," enter your card number if it isn't already on file, and tap "Count me in." You'll see nearby stores where you can earn ride credits when you shop and pay with your Visa. Some of the national offerings include big brands like Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, Regal Cinemas, Walgreens, and QDOBA. In New York City, eating at highly reviewed restaurants including Nom Wah Nolita and Salvation Taco can get you home at a discounted rate.
Though Uber product marketing manager Adam Weigand says rewards vary by merchant and change on a monthly basis, you'll see your credits in your account right away. You can use them on any kind of Uber, be it UberX or UberPool, as well as UberEats orders.
While the Visa and Uber partnership initially launched about a year ago, it only debuted in two cities, LA and San Francisco, and operated differently. Riders earned 1 point for every dollar spent; 100 points gave you $10 off a ride.
The rewards program will be available nationwide. If you don't see a favorite store or restaurant among your options, don't despair: Weigand says more will continue to be added over time.