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Could a few free rides on Uber be the perfect gift for someone you know? If so, the Uber gift card could be just the thing for you.
A gift card is a great way to thank a friend for a favor, give a nice perk to a client or employee, or show someone they’re special.
Since Uber is available all across the United States and abroad, it’s a fantastic gift that pretty much everyone can get some mileage out of. (And it’s a lot more interesting than the stereotypical Starbucks or iTunes gift cards that people tend to receive.)
- Where Can I Buy an Uber Gift Card?
- How Do I Redeem an Uber Gift Card?
- How Do I Purchase an Uber Gift Card Online?
- Do Uber Gift Cards Work Like Uber’s Promotional Codes?
Where Can I Buy an Uber Gift Card?
Uber gift cards can be purchased online or in retail stores, and are sold in 35,000 chains nationwide. These include retailers like Kroger, CVS, Target, Sam’s Club, and Walmart.
They can also be purchased online from websites such as Amazon, GiftCards.com, or directly from the rideshare giant itself through Uber.com. However, we recommend Amazon because it’s simple and easy.
|Recommended Retailer: Amazon.com|
|Available Amounts: $25–$200|
|Minimum Load Amount: Usually $25|
|BUY AN UBER GIFT CARD NOW|
If you buy directly from Uber, you’ll have a choice of purchasing a digital gift card or a physical one. If you purchase a digital one, you’ll be able to choose a design and message from among several designs. Designs include a “Thank you” message, a “Congratulations” message, or a message of “Happy Birthday” or “I Owe You One.”
You can also purchase an Uber gift card for Uber Eats, and the gift card will work for all of Uber’s service levels, including the following:
How Do I Redeem an Uber Gift Card?
To redeem a gift card, the recipient will simply enter the code shown on the card into their Uber app before requesting a ride or other service.
The cards are valid in any city where Uber operates in the country where the card was purchased. Uber also says that the cards never expire, so your recipient can use it any time they wish.
To enter the card number into the Uber rider app, open the app and:
- Click on the three short lines in the upper left-hand corner of the app.
- Click on “Payment.”
- On the payment screen at the bottom, you’ll see a link that says “ADD PROMO/GIFT CODE.” Click on that and enter the code on the next screen (with no spaces).
Once you’ve entered a gift card into the Uber app, it will be used by default to pay for your next trip(s) until the balance is completely used.
You’ll be prompted to add an additional gift code or secondary payment method before you request a ride if your gift card balance is less than the full amount that your trip costs or when using a gift card to pay for an Uber Eats order.
An authorization may be made on that payment method, but it will be voided once the gift card is charged. Uber says that university campus cards can’t be used as an alternative payment method, so you’ll have to use a real credit or debit card.
Once a gift card is added to an Uber account, it can’t be transferred.
Gift card credits will apply to your next trip or Uber Eats order by default but you can select a different payment method before you make your request:
- Enter your destination
- Tap the credit card info at the bottom of the next screen
- If you have more than one profile, tap “Change payment method”
- Toggle “Uber Credits” to turn them off (credits will be turned off for that ride only)
Want to learn more about the details of how Uber calculates your payment with gift cards? Visit uber.com/legal/gift for the full terms and conditions.
How Do I Purchase an Uber Gift Card Online?
The easiest way to purchase an Uber gift card is through the Uber app. Just open the app, click on the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and choose “SEND A GIFT.” You can also purchase them online through Uber’s website. These are the steps Uber will take you through to customize your card. These steps work exactly the same in the app and on the web.
Step 1: Who is the gift card for? In this step, you will designate whether the card is for you or for someone else. If it’s for someone else, they will ask for their name and your name. The will address your recipient by the name you put here and they will let the recipient know it is from you by using the name you put here for yourself.
Step 2: On the next screen, you’ll select whether you want to send a digital Uber e-gift card or a physical card. The nifty thing about sending it as a digital card is that Uber will use email delivery to send it. This means you can tell Uber exactly when you want it to arrive! You can surprise your friend at exactly the right moment, whereas you can never be sure when Uber will ship orders of physical cards.
Step 3: If you’ve chosen to send a physical card, in the next step Uber will give you one choice of design and ask you how much money you’d like to put on it.
If you’ve chosen a digital card, you will then be presented with a list of design and message choices. Here is a screenshot of the current choices:
Step 4: Choose the amount. On the next screen, you’ll be asked how much money you’d like to put on the gift card. They have preset choices of $25, $50, $100, and $200. You can also enter a custom amount.
Step 5: Add a personalized message. On this screen, you’ll be able to add a message. However, your message will be limited to just 250 characters – so keep it brief and sweet!
Step 6: After you’ve added a message you’ll be taken to the scheduling screen where you can tell Uber when you would like your gift to arrive in your friend’s email box. By default, you can select a date and Uber will choose the time. Or, you can click, “Send at a Specific Time?” and put the exact time you’d like your gift to arrive.
The time of delivery feature is really cool. Imagine knowing your friend is flying out of town and you want to give them a free trip from the airport to their hotel. You can schedule the gift card to arrive just as their plane lands!
Step 7: Add your gift card to the cart, review your order, and check out.
Although gift cards are a nice way to let someone know you’re thinking about them, if you don’t feel like going through all the steps of ordering one, you can still order up an Uber car for someone on your account, even if they’re at a different location.
Do Uber Gift Cards Work Like Uber’s Promotional Codes?
When Uber does a promotion, what most people believe the promotion says is something like, “Get $15 Off.” People naturally think that means Uber will pay for $15 worth of rides whether it takes one or two or three trips to add up to $15. They believe that if they take a ride that costs $5 and then a second ride for $10, that Uber’s $15 promotion will pay fully for both rides since they add up to $15 in charges. Riders assume that Uber will pay $15 and that they’ll pay nothing for their first two trips.
But if they look closer they’ll see the promotion actually says, “Get $15 Off Your First Trip.” That means the $15 will only apply to the first trip they take after entering the promotion code into the app. Instead of paying the full $15, Uber will only pay up to $15 on the first trip. They will then pay nothing on any subsequent trip – even if the first trip fell far short of $15. So, if your first trip is $5 and your second is $10, you will pay $10 and Uber will only pay the $5 for the first trip.
Uber has played so many promotional tricks with passengers that it’s understandable why people might be afraid there is some trick with the Uber gift card. However, there is no trick. If you give someone a $15 gift card – using the example above – Uber will pay the full $15 even if it’s spread across multiple trips.
Give (or Receive) the Gift of Uber
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to gift Uber rides, as well as how to redeem an Uber gift card if you’ve received one. Uber remains a way to get a low-cost, reliable ride, making Uber gift cards something that anyone would love to receive.
Curious about how to get the most out of your Uber ride experience? Check out our complete guide to using Uber.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.