Uber Is Now Selling Gift Cards — Should You Buy Them?

Uber announced yesterday that they’re slowly rolling out gift cards, which are already available at many retailers, and will soon be available online. Uber gift cards will be available at 35,000 retailers across the country, including Walmart, Target, and CVS. Furthermore, in the coming weeks they’ll also be available online through Uber’s website.

The gift cards don’t expire, and the amount of the gift card will be added to your “credits” balance, which can be applied towards as many rides as you want.

uber-gift-cards

So, does it make sense to buy Uber gift cards? There are a few reasons you may (or may not) want to consider buying them.

The downside to Uber gift cards

Uber gift cards are added to your “credits” balance. While I can’t guarantee this will be true in practice with gift cards, historically credits aren’t combinable with promotions, meaning that both can’t be applied towards a single ride. This could be a major downside.

So if you have a free ride for referring someone to Uber, or through the Capital One partnership Uber has, you typically won’t be able to pay for any fare overage with your credits balance. Perhaps that functionality is changing now that they’re formally rolling out gift cards but I figured it made sense to add that caution based on my past experiences.

Uber-Capital-One

The (potential) benefit to Uber gift cards

So, why should you consider buying Uber gift cards? Well, for one, it could potentially help you maximize your credit card points. We don’t yet know the full list of retailers where Uber gift cards will be sold, though I suspect eventually they’ll also be sold at select office supply and grocery stores, in which case you can potentially earn up to 5x points on those purchases.

Of course there are other ways to maximize the points you earn for Uber rides, like using a credit card that offers bonus points on travel purchases. You should also link your Starwood and Uber accounts to earn bonus Starpoints.

Uber

Another potential benefit is that it could allow you to spend money upfront on a purchase you’d make anyway. If you have a credit card minimum spend you’re trying to reach, you could always buy some Uber gift cards as a means of achieving that within the required timeline. Given that many of us use Uber so often, it could be as good as cash.

Bottom line

I’ll be carefully watching how these Uber gift cards are rolled out, and specifically what retailers these end up at, and also whether Uber allows users to combine credit balances and promotions. Hopefully Uber will even offer some gift cards on promotions, just as Lyft has done.

Regardless, I’m happy to see this offering rolled out in general, as Uber gift cards will make a great gift.

Comments

  1. The biggest issue with Uber credits is that they can only be used in your ‘home’ currency and not when traveling. As someone who uses Uber about equivalently in India, UAE and Uganda this means any credits can only be used for rides taken in my base currency (currently AED).

  2. I would never buy a gift card until you have an affiliate link for it lucky.

    We need to support each other. I read your articles, you use my referral links and on and on.

  3. Alternatively, you could support your local registered taxi drivers, who are vetted, licensed, trustworthy, pay their taxes, and for whom this is their main job, which supports their family.

  4. @Cassie I choose to support my local Uber drivers who are also vetted, licensed, trustworthy, pay their taxes, and for whom this is their main job, which supports their family.

  5. @Cassie @Brice – not to mention that the vast majority of taxi drivers I have interacted with are UNtrustworthy. Sure, there are good ones out there too, but I’d rather put my faith in the single point of contact of Uber customer service in the case of a bad apple than deal with the crap shoot of a legion of lowlife taxi drivers just looking to scam a buck.

    Uber wouldn’t be nearly as popular if taxis hadn’t abused their position for decades.

  6. Only tangentially related but has anyone ever had the following issue with Uber? I have never had a promotion that was show in my account before requesting an Uber to post automatically. Every time I’ve had to go through help, request it, send a screen shot, and within a day they give me the credit. I’ve never had this issue with Lyft. It makes me wonder if I’m doing something wrong since it’s 100% of the time (twice in the last week).

  7. The Uber giftcards Dont work! They initially charge your card THEN reimburse you. So you can have $100 in Uber credits but if you don’t have enough on your debit card to pay for your ride or food, it will NOT let you request using your Uber gift card/credits

  8. I have used it twice today, you can use promo codes and credits at the same time. I bought a groupon 6$ for 3 first 8$ free rides and also i bought a 15$ uber gift card. I applied the groupon first then the giftcard… My trip was 9.93$.. at end of trip it showed my 8$ discount an also showed the difference deducted of 1.93$ from credits.. so its possible to use both.. plus i have my remaining two promo rides left for 8$ each and 13.07$ credit balance left! Uber gift care good especially for people have prepaid card problems. I got mine through the paypal site… their minimum is 15$ for uber gift card but i noticed the uber gift cards can go as low as 10$ minimum actually. Also, i just used my paypal prepaid card and got them to fix my paypal account.. i contacted them through the app an was like “you guys say you take paypal, it won’t let me link, plus i have a paypal card too you guys won’t let me link, its the mastercard one” i didn’t say prepaid not once, all i said was i had a paypal card and withing 10 min i got alert of 1$ null then when i went to account, my paypal prepaid card was linked and i could use it to get rides now

  9. uber gift cards do NOT work. Have two of them. One for $25.00 and the other for $50 I enter the codes and hit add and nothing happens. there is plenty in my bank to cover the amounts and I have been an uber VIP rider for the last six months. I have emailed them countless times and have not gotten a response yet. I am truly saddened to say it, but uber and I are going to be parting ways. Lyft is such a better “customer” based business, and they actually answer a PHONE.

  10. That happened to me at first, but if you click the help link inside the app and then click help with gift card. It’ll ask you the gift card information an where it was purchased. At first they will say they see the gift card added, but you say “it won’t allow me to use it at all and that it keeps saying invalid payment update billing settings”… once you say that they will manually update and add everything themselves and the message you’ll get from them is “we have received your request your account has been updated and we have ENABLED your Gift Card Status”. Then when you try it again it should work. I only know because I have my old conversation from them when they fixed mine so I just summed up what happen and what to say an what they do an what to look for 🙂

  11. Have not been able to make an Uber Gift Card work for my Windows Phone. There is no place to add the gift card in the app, or the mobile web-site, or the normal web address. Customer service inform me that they cannot add the card for me. If they are unable to resolve this situation, I plan to contact the Consumer Protection Bureau. It is fraudulent to sell gift cards that one cannot redeem.

  12. To add the gift card, go under payments and click “add promo/gift code”. It should give that option online and in app..

  13. To have them add it for you, in app go to Help, then Account and payment, then Payment options, then Report issue with with an Uber Gift card.. you type where purchased, gift card pin, am explain what the problem is like it isn’t letting you use it etc.. by that point they should attempt to update your account and make it usable or allowing uou the try to add it again..

  14. I bought a uner gift card put $25 on it and they won’t even let me use it to schedule a ride. And i dont have any credit cards and my son’s bday on sunday thats why i got it so we can go to his birthday party. But now i have to walk and btw im pregnant and where we have to go is very far and my son is 1 years old. I really dont want any one else to get ripped off so bottom line dont use uber . i even messages them many times about the gift card sent them pictures of my receipt. Showed the error that keeps popping up . i showed them the picture of the uber gift card i showed them that my account says uber credits $25 but it wont let me use them . so all i can say is fuck uber

  15. I’ve also encountered the same problems with a gift card purchase. My gift card “credits” appeared on my account, but they had to be attached to a payment method already on the account. Uber will charge the other payment method first, apply the credits, then refund the charge to the other payment option. If you don’t have sufficient funds on the other payment method, you cannot request a ride regardless if the charge is less than your credits. It’s completely ridiculous and fraudulent on Uber’s part. There is nothing on their website or the gift card that advises of this practice, which is equivalent to theft in my opinion. Accepting payment for services and then refusing services until a duplicate payment is secured is straight up fraud. I can’t wait for the day Uber is held accountable for their unscrupulous and despicable business practices.

  16. I purchased an uber gift card so I would not have to use my debit card. I have went round and round with them, they offer every excuse, problem with their system, need to change form of payment, even that they do not accept the card. They linked my account to android pay, I have never used android pay, so I uninstalled it from my phone, since they stated I had to delete the android pay as the primary payment. Well it is impossible to delete the android pay. They first replied use the … drop down, then stated to click on payment and use the pencil icon. Neither of these appear on the uber app. I have begged and pleaded with them to call and walk me through the process, as any reputable company will offer a phone number for inquiry, of course no response. Also, in my numerous emails with them, they tag the conversation as “resolved”. I think since I am reaching out to them about a problem that has not been solved, I should be the one to determine when it is resolved.

  17. Please read from bottom to top, this is copies of my correspondence with Uber. Only editing was removal of personal info and card number.

    od, the $40.00 gift card credit. Admit there is no resolve, and you just have robbed me of money and time and caused me immense frustration anger and anxiety. Would someone please, please please call me and walk me through the various options (none of which work) that you have offered. Thank you, Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 5:47:09 PM

    Thanks for writing back to us, Jackie. Sorry to hear about the trouble with your gift card. I’ve reviewed your account and our records show this gift card (LJ : $40) has already been added on your account. However, please note that at this time, gift cards cannot be used for UberRUSH or with Profiles (Business or UberFAMILY) which is the reason why you are having this error. This means that the Profile (uberFAMILY or Business) you are using is unable to accept the payment method you are choosing. To delete or edit your Profiles, simply click on the menu icon in the top left corner of your app, navigate to the ‘Settings’ option, then select the profile you’d like to remove or edit, there you’ll be able to change the details regarding your Profiles on your Uber account.

    What you can do here to request for a ride is to manually select the Personal Profile in your account. You can do that by tapping on menu and selecting Personal Profile. Once you have done that, proceed to requesting for a ride and you should now be able to select the payment method you intend use. One last reminder, your gift card can be the only payment method on your account, as long as your trip cost does not exceed the gift card balance. I hope this helps clarify, and please let us know if we can help with anything further.
    Sent by Bryan on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 5:20:55 PM

    And please stop notifying me that the problem is resolved. The issue is “resolved” when the person suffering the issue feels it is resolved. Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 2:39:33 PM

    Thank you for coming up with another excuse. The app would not accept the payment before the Android pay app was installed. I will delete it and try again. Your company has really wasted a lot of my time and money. I have had other people book my rides, so I know that you have a good service, but the BS you have put me through is ridiculous and after researching the company, I am not surprised by the tactics used. Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 2:37:07 PM

    Thanks for the reply, Jackie. My apologies to hear what happened towards this issue. I know this is not the kind of experience we want you to have. No worries allow me to help you understand what happened.

    Your gift card has successfully been added to your account and is ready for use. However, it looks like there is a problem with another payment method associated with your account. In order to request a ride, you will need to delete your Android Pay.

    To remove Android Pay from the Uber app, you actually have to remove Uber from Android Pay. Here are the steps according to Android Pay support:
    1. Open your phone’s Settings app
    2. Tap Google > Connected apps
    3. Tap the service you no longer want to use Android Pay
    4. Tap Disconnect

    Your gift card can be the only payment method on your account, as long as your trip cost does not exceed the gift card balance. If you would like to add another payment method, you can tap the menu icon, then “Payment.” Please note that the payment method is only required if in case that the gift card is not sufficient for the trip since it will automatically charge the card for the excess amount.

    Hope this helps. If I can help with anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach me back and I’ll be more than glad to help you. Stay safe and have a great day!
    Sent by Roda S. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 1:33:27 PM

    Please review the entire thread from yesterday, I am aware there is a problem on your side with using the useless gift cards you sell. Uber has offered every excuse for it not working. I can’t understand how you can set up the complex system for uber transportation but can’t fix a problem with accepting your gift cards as payment.
    Sent by Jackie l. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 1:01:20 PM
    Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for reaching out. Happy to help.
    Sorry to hear about the trouble adding that payment method.

    Some prepaid cards and methods are not compatible with our billing processes and can’t be used with Uber. If you have another payment method available, you should try adding it directly from the app. We have a number of options available – including Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, and others – in addition to most standard credit and debit cards.

    Also, rides is when you order on spot and schedule rides is when you request a ride in advance.

    Your gift card is currently not working because there is a problem on our side. Our team is aware of this issue and we’re working hard to resolve it as quickly as we can. Thanks for your patience.
    Sent by Pulmattie J. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 12:46:55 PM

    1-The card is an AMEX Serve card that you do not accept for payment. I had mentioned this in previous email which was apparently overlooked. I don’t see anywhere that additional form of payment is required when the gift card has more than enough credit than the ride or scheduled ride requires. 2- Please explain the difference between ride and scheduled rides. As your link states it can be used for “rides” but not “scheduled rides”. Seems to me anytime you access the app to get from point A to B, you are scheduling a ride.
    Sent by Jackie l. on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 12:19:08 PM

    Sorry for the back and forth emails here, Jackie.
    Upon checking your account, I can confirm that your $40.00 Uber gift card is still intact on your account. Also, I noticed that there’s no active Amex card on your account.

    Uber gift cards can be only used for rides or UberEATS orders in the country where the gift card was purchased. They can’t be used for UberRUSH, family profiles, or scheduled rides.
    Gift card credits will apply to your next trip or order by default, but you can select a different payment method before you make your request:
    1. Enter your destination
    2. Tap the credit card info at the bottom of the next screen
    3. If you have more than one profile, tap “Change payment method”
    4. Toggle “Uber Credits” to turn them off (credits will be turned off only for that ride)
    If your credits aren’t completely used up, the remaining balance can be applied to your next ride or order.

    You may find this link helpful.

    Have a nice day!
    Sent by Wally A. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 4:22:56 PM

    Oswaldo, Have you not reviewed the thread of emails? I imagine you are a lot younger and more computer savvy than I am, and I can look at the thread of my interactions with your company to see what is going on. I am not going to screenshot anything. Look at the thread. I am forwarding it to BBB and seeking legal council. I usually don’t get this frustrated or excited about customer service, but your company has sent me over the edge. You are selling a useless product and refusing to refund. That is consumer fraud. Thank you, Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 3:15:44 PM

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Jackie.
    We always appreciate hearing from riders. We are always working to improve Uber, and feedback helps us improve.

    Could, you send us the screenshot of this issue that you are experiencing with your account.

    Once we received your reply we will investigate your account.
    Looking forward to your quick reply!
    Sent by Oswaldo G. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 3:03:31 PM

    Do you realize how absurd this sounds??? You sell a gift card to pay for rides, the only way you can schedule a ride is through your app. Your app does not accept YOUR gift card, but you will not refund the gift card you sell that is unusable. This is blatant fraud. Although your site says the card is non refundable, I believe that it is implied that the card will have some use, which it does not. Please come up with a proper solution. Thank you, Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2:57:20 PM

    Hi, Jackie.

    We apologize for any inconvenience. Uber gift cards are not refundable or returnable. To read more about Uber Gift Card terms and conditions visit: uber.com/legal/gift. However, unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to Schedule Rides when the payment method used is an Uber gift card. We are currently working to make this option available.

    Also we suggest you adding a valid payment method (credit or debit card) so that you’ll be able to request your rides. We can review and can see that you’ve $40.00 balance in your Gift card.

    Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.
    Sent by Radha on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2:15:50 PM

    Rose, Thank you for your quick reply, what do you suggest I do until the app is corrected. Your app does not accept my AMEX serve debit card, I am not going to do any additional work towards trying to fit in to uber’s system. I purchased your gift card, you have problems with YOUR system, it appears the problem with the app is not going to be resolved anytime soon, since I have tried using it daily since applying the gift card was applied. How about you send me a refund check or manipulate the system so that I have credits that I can use today. Or better, yet, why don’t someone pick up a phone and call with some resolution. Thank you, Jackie Lopez
    Sent by Jackie l. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2:01:01

    Hi Jackie.

    I know you depend on Uber for a reliable ride at all times, so I’m sorry to hear that you’re unable to request trips right now. There is a problem with the Uber app and we are working to fix this as quickly as we can, so please keep checking.

    I understand the frustration when the app isn’t working and I’m incredibly sorry for any inconvenience caused. Our team is working hard to prevent issues like this from happening again in the future and appreciate your patience as we get this sorted out today.

    Also, I can confirm that your gift card has been successfully applied to your account.

    I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please feel free to ask your questions.
    Sent by Rose D. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 1:40:28 PM

    Ok, I tried logging off and then back on, Tried to book a ride, and received Error message as shown in picture. I also found the gift card, a picture of it is also included. This has become so frustrating. I have spent so much time over the past 4 days trying to figure it out, using the app and online. I really hate not being able to speak to someone. Could I possibly just get a refund and forget I ever thought of using uber??? Jackie Lopez
    Attachments:
    Screenshot_20170522-082247.png
    Screenshot_20170522-083041.png
    Sent by Jackie l. on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 1:36:46 PM
    Sorry for any inconvenience here, Jackie. We’re here to assist you with this. We’re sorry that requesting for rides on your account has been a problem.
    Upon checking thoroughly, it looks like you are logged in currently to a Business Profile. Please note that when you request using a Family or Business Profile, the default payment method for that profile is used. Promotions or credits will not be applied. Before requesting for a ride, we would recommend logging out and signing in again to your Uber account using your Personal profile. Rest assured your credits are still available for use on your next trip when your personal profile is used.
    Hope this helps. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter. Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.
    Sent by Francis on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 1:15:10 PM
    Where Was The Gift Card Purchased?: Walgreeens

    Uber Gift Card Pin Number: 12 deleted by poster.

    Other Details: I applied the gift card to my account, it shows $40.00 credit. Since it showed that the $40.00 credit was applied I discarded the gift card. I have been unable to use these credits. When I attempted to use Uber, the rides were $7.00 and $8.90 but it would not process the ride payment. This is quite frustrating, and has cost me much more using cab service. Please correct this and notify me. My email:……….deleted for sharing to board.

    , phone #: 3466. Thank you. Jackie Lopez

    Picture Of The Error You’Re Seeing, If Any:

  18. Huge scam. No phone number for customer service. They took me for a hundered bucks and i break my back in a hot warehouse to feed my kids and i thought i was paying for a ride to work. Still walking with a worthless nonrefundable card. My feet hurt thanks uber.

  19. Worthless Giftcard! Taken for $50.00! I purchased a Uber “Scam” Giftcard” as a gift to help my Grandaughter get home from a couple of evening volleyball practices. We tried numerous attempts to input the card information into her account but finally gave up after the same error message was repeated time and time again stating the card number was” invalid”. Now the “fun” really started when I realized there’s no customer service number it’s all email with a “village Idiot” who’s job is to apologize and give you the same instructions as the “invalid” card you paid $50.00 for! Round and round for over a week…..my frustrations……their apologies!!!!!

  20. I had the same issue and it was very frustrating. I got mine to work by deleting all other payment methods so that the gift card was the only thing available.

  21. I believe Uber is purposely and thoughtfully taking people’s money in a fraudulent enterprise. This gift card issue continues. I’m told, “our engineers are working on it”. I call bullshit. This has gone on for months. Use Lyft. Put these assholes out of business.

  22. I only spent $15.00 on the card. It was my last 15.00 and taking uber for a job interview. My card wont work and missed the promising interview. HOW CAN THIS BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE. Screw you uber! Im using lyft. How Dare You! Uber is a scam! Instead of referring friends to Uber, I will refer them to Lyft. This just shows that your IT people are idiots! How stupid can you be? Its not that you cant fix it! You wont fix it because its a good amount of cash flow going to your pockets while Im just trying to feed my three girls. You really suck!

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