Uber is putting the brakes on its free rewards programme this year

15 Aug 2022

Image: © Sundry Photography/Stock.adobe.com

Uber said in an email that it is shifting focus to its monthly subscription programme, with Uber Rewards ending on 1 November this year.

Uber is shutting down its free loyalty programme later this year to focus more on its membership offering.

The company said on its support page that Uber Rewards is ending on 1 November. Users of the programme can keep earning points until 31 August and can redeem points until 31 October.

First launched in 2018, Uber Rewards allows customers to earn points for transactions on Uber and Uber Eats. The scheme has four membership levels, with users reaching the next level based on how many points they earn.

Each level offers different rewards, with the highest level called diamond giving users premium phone support. Uber said users who reached this tier will continue to receive this support after 1 November.

In an email sent to customers, seen by The Verge, Uber said it has made the decision to shift its focus to its new Uber One membership programme.

This is a monthly subscription plan of $9.99 that gives benefits such as no delivery fee on Uber Eats, 5pc off Uber uses and special promotions. The company said users save an average of $22 a month when using Uber One.

The decision to shut down Uber Rewards may be an attempt to bring users into the subscription programme. Users who received the email are being offered one free month of Uber One, offering “members-only savings and perks”.

Uber has made the announcement during a period of hot water for the company. A global investigation based on leaked files revealed in July how Uber aggressively lobbied politicians across the world over a five-year period to gain strategic advantages in new markets.

A week later, a lawsuit was filed by more than 500 women against Uber, who were allegedly sexually assaulted by drivers working for the ride-hailing company. The complaint claims that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick compromised rider safety to prioritise growth.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic