We can all agree that Uber is extremely convenient.
Knowing that at almost any time, you can summon a ride with your smartphone to take you where you need to go is such a huge relief when trying to plan your day-to-day activities.
But Uber can also be extremely expensive.
Uber rates can increase depending on time and location.
And when you’re tired (or maybe buzzed; we won’t judge) after a night out and you need a ride home, you don’t have much of a choice in what you’re paying to get there.
That’s why it can be helpful to use promo codes and offers from Uber as strategically as possible.
And we have a few ways to maximize your options.
Keep reading to see how you can use an Uber free ride hack for some cheap ‒ and even free ‒ rides!
Table Of Contents
Does an Uber Free Ride Hack Exist?
Can you actually get free rides with Uber?
There are a few ways, but it might require a bit of effort on your part.
Some of them are promotions the company itself offers customers, in the form of an Uber promo code.
Some, however, are a little more, well, sketchy, if we’re putting it bluntly.
We certainly wouldn’t advise the use of unorthodox methods to obtain free rides.
But if you found a way, it wouldn’t be the first time someone used a roundabout “Uber free ride hack.”
Related: A rider’s guide to Lyft Free Ride Hacks
Notable Case of Uber Free Ride Hacks
Perhaps you heard the intriguing story of Blake Jareds.
Jareds, who worked in New York, was a frequent user of the rideshare app, so he was familiar with Uber’s frequent offers.
Many Uber users know they can get a free $20 credit toward rides when they have friends sign up for the app using their referral code.
And knowing that, Jareds used this policy to his advantage.
Jareds posted his referral code to Reddit, where thousands of users input it into Uber when they signed up.
Because new Uber riders get a $45 credit themselves when they sign up, they were more than willing to use his code.
Jareds earned $50,000 in credit for sharing his code, enough to essentially give him “free rides for life.”
But the small Uber empire Jareds built came crashing down when he gave a poor review to a driver, causing Uber to investigate his account, flag it, and subsequently remove all of his credits.
Uber claimed that Jareds violated its credit-earning policy by giving his code to strangers; according to their rules, you have to know the riders who sign up using your code.
While it’s understandable that Jareds wanted some discounts on rides, his methods did ultimately go against Uber’s policies.
We can appreciate the ingenuity of the plan, but it’s always important to play by the rules.
Suggestion: Stay Away from Shady Method
With that in mind, we don’t recommend trying to create any sort of hack like this.
Uber already patched any of these previously successful methods, anyway.
Although creative, using these sorts of means to gain free rides is unethical, and some DIY “Uber free ride hacks” can even be illegal.
Not to mention that Uber is a huge conglomerate with a vast resource pool.
It can see when something sketchy happens.
Like Jareds, you might get a few free rides out of the deal, but also, like Jareds, it probably won’t take Uber long to notice something is up.
How Uber Combats Fraud and Unethical Uber Free Ride Hacks
Because of the number of scam attempts and the different types of scams out there, Uber is very diligent about keeping an eye on app activity for riders and drivers.
There’s plenty of fraudulent activity from some drivers; perhaps you heard about the use of GPS spoofing apps by drivers to trick the Uber app into thinking they’re giving a ride.
You can read more about that here.
But some riders also use scams to score free rides.
The most common form of fraudulent activity that plagues Uber on the rider side is riders making multiple accounts.
Some riders create various accounts to take advantage of Uber’s first-time promo codes.
According to Uber, this kind of activity isn’t difficult to notice.
The company’s security system can detect accounts that share the same device and payment method.
Unless you have hundreds of credit cards, this is a scam you couldn’t keep up for long.
And when you get caught, you get banned from the app.
Another way some riders try to cheat the system and score free rides is by initiating chargebacks or requesting refunds too frequently.
You need to have a good reason for taking either of these actions.
But if you’re only doing them to try and get rides, Uber will boot you from the platform.
If You Do Find a Hack, Report It to the Uber Bounty Program
If at any point you come across a hack that works on the Uber app, it’s important to try and keep ridesharing fair for all and report it if it’s necessary.
These go far beyond what we could consider an Uber free ride hack into what we would consider illegal and unethical.
Uber has what it calls the Bug Bounty Program, which allows users to directly report to Uber any potential issues they find with the app.
In return, reporters are rewarded monetarily for their findings.
You can read more about the Bug Bounty Program and its terms and conditions here.
We all love freebies and discounts, but no one should worry about being harmed as a result of those things.
So if you see an issue, submit it to Uber to help keep ridesharing honest.
Ethical Ways to Save On Uber Rides
So what’s the best way to save on Uber rides?
Here are some methods OK’d by Uber and, more importantly, won’t get you banned.
1. Use an Uber Promo Code as a First-Time Rider
As we discussed, first-time Uber riders get a discount code just for signing up.
You can only use this code once since you can only get it through initial signup, but any savings are good savings.
2. Refer Friends and Earn Free Uber Credit
You can also use the referral code from your account to gain credit by giving the code to friends and family who don’t yet have Uber.
If they use your code, they get credit and so do you. Win-win.
But just to reiterate, don’t be Blake Jareds.
3. Check Out Uber Rewards
Uber Rewards is a program Uber offers through its app.
It’s free to sign up, and you can earn points to redeem for rewards.
Uber offers several different tier levels through the rewards program that depend on how you use the Uber app.
You can check those levels out here, as well as read more about what rewards you can score.
4. Sign Up for an Uber Pass
Another Uber program, Uber Pass, gives you special perks and discounts.
There is a monthly fee, but with Uber Pass, you can save 10%-15% on rides, and it also gives you discounts toward Uber Eats.
For more information, check out the Uber website.
5. Sign Up for a Credit Card
Certain credit cards also give you some Uber benefits.
American Express is one of those cards.
And the Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives cardholders $300 in travel credit per year.
There are plenty of cards with various options; all you have to do is find the right one and reap the rewards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Uber Employees Get Free Rides?
As of 2020, Uber offers its employees about a 17% discount on Uber rides and services.
Employees also get other benefits, such as health care and a flexible work schedule.
Do Uber Drivers Get Free or Discounted Rides?
If you’re considering becoming an Uber driver to get some type of “employee discount,” we have some bad news.
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors and aren’t technically “employees,” so they don’t get benefits or discounts.
That said, you still get paid as an Uber driver.
So things aren’t all bad.
Why is Uber so Expensive Recently?
Many factors can play into the cost of your Uber ride.
Supply and demand are the most basic; given the current global pandemic, there have been fewer drivers offering rides.
Drivers stopped driving because they weren’t getting enough rides during 2020 for it to be lucrative.
Now, as the pandemic is beginning to subside, the lack of drivers is driving up rates.
You can read more about this dilemma in our blog post, “Why is Uber So Expensive Right Now?“.
The Uber free ride hacks and other money-saving hacks we listed here are great ways to earn rideshare credit.
The best things in life are free, and we think that can include Uber rides.
Just be cautious about how you go about getting those rides.
While there are tons of ways to try and get Uber credit, stick to the approved methods.
It’s best for all parties involved, and there are some good ways to earn rides that also reward you in other areas.