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Uber is pretty popular here at OMAAT, primarily due to the convenience factor. While there are other great ridesharing apps as well, Uber is my go-to.
In addition to the normal system that we all use and love, Uber launched Uber Business last year. I’m surprised that we haven’t written about the service previously, and as there’s currently an opportunity for a $50 rebate, this seemed like a good time.
Uber Business overview
The idea behind Uber Business is that account administrators can manage a central account for all employees, simplifying the ground transportation process:
By linking your American Express OPEN® Business Card to Uber for Business your employees can charge their trips to your account while traveling for business.
Add or remove your employees from your Uber for Business account in one easy step. Managing employees and tracking your team’s travel expenses has never been easier.
Locally available, expanding globally. Let employees take advantage of Uber in 300+ cities, 58 countries. Simply open the Uber app and request a ride.
The interface is simple on both ends, and I think this has great potential.
$50 rebate from American Express OPEN
Through September 30, 2015, you can receive a statement credit from American Express when you use Uber business:
Use your Business Card from American Express OPEN to sign up for an Uber for Business account and enroll two additional employees. Then complete at least two rides via the Uber app by September 30, 2015 to receive a rebate of up to $50.* Rebates will be provided from Uber as a credit to your linked business Card.
A $50 credit should cover a couple of short rides, or even some flat-rate airport trips. Certainly better than nothing, and incentive enough for me to see how it all works.
Enrolling in Uber Business
You don’t have to have an existing Uber account to setup Uber Business (for the four of you that aren’t already using Uber on the personal side, you can get a $20 credit by signing up for Uber here and we get a credit as well).
Click on the enrollment page, and you’ll be asked to sign in, or create a new account:
Sign in with your normal Uber credentials;
And then you’re prompted to enter information about your business:
It’s worth noting you have to use your business domain for the email address — an @gmail.com address won’t work, for example.
The messaging is helpful and directive throughout the process, so my next step was to add a payment method:
If you’re wanting to take advantage of the American Express OPEN rebate be sure to enroll with an OPEN card (more on this below).
You can also set the “ride policy” for your company:
This is one of the smartest features, in my opinion. It keeps the program from being abused (most business owners probably don’t want to give all their employees free reign to use their credit card), and should dovetail nicely with existing travel policies.
Administrators can also choose whether they want to pay per trip, or set up monthly billing. For companies with heavy travel demands, this seems like a great option.
Once you’ve gone through your payment preferences, you’ll be prompted to add your employees. The domain name of the business you enrolled with will auto-populate in the email section, and you also have the option to note an Employee ID or other descriptor.
Once the invitations are sent, employees will be prompted to accept the invitation on their personal Uber accounts.
After setting up the business, I instantly received a notification on my phone welcoming me to Uber Business:
And I now have my business as a payment option inside the app:
The entire process took just a few minutes. Obviously if you’re adding 100 employees it will take longer, but as a test it was easy enough.
Which credit card to use for Uber business?
In order to receive the $50 rebate, you’ll need to use an American Express OPEN card. These include:
- The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
- The Plum Card®
- SimplyCash® Business Credit Card
- Blue for Business® Credit Card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles®Business Credit Card
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
Of those, I would likely use either The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, at least initially.
Both of those cards earn American Express Membership Rewards, which in theory means they could be eligible for 2x points on Uber. However, when I add a Membership Rewards card to my personal account, I typically see the option to prompt to enroll the card in the program when I open the app. I don’t see that option in the business version, but you can’t really get to the business admin page from the app, so I might just be missing something.
For personal rides:
The Capital One Quicksilver Card offers 20% back as a statement credit on every Uber ride paid for in USD through April 30, 2016. That’s not a reason in and of itself to get the card though, as I don’t find it terribly rewarding otherwise. But if you have it, use that.
Overall though, I like the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card. You earn two Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on Uber, and then if you make 30 transactions during my billing cycle I get a 50% points bonus. Linking the EveryDay Preferred to Uber is a great way to make sure you’re hitting 30 transactions, especially if you have lots of short rides.
I love love love Uber, especially as I’m often traveling as a solo woman. I definitely feel more comfortable getting into a car with a GPS that someone else is theoretically monitoring than just a random taxi cab.
The business features are of limited use to me personally at present, but I have spent enough time arguing for receipts in front of convention centers and scanning minuscule pieces of paper to attach to expense reports to see how this could be extremely useful. Having centralized account management would certainly streamline that process for employees and the folks handling accounting.
Is anyone using Uber Business? How is it working for you?