Everybody loves a good deal. Include the word “free” with anything and you can pretty much guarantee it won’t be missed.
Brands are well aware of this, which is why attractive promotional deals are often used to reel in new customers. Uber, as a brand, is the epitome of acing this strategy.
With all the talk in the rideshare industry about recent news or huge promotions, it’s easy to forget about one thing: Uber promo codes for existing users.
It’s a hard truth to hear, but an Uber promo code only applies to new users, and we’ll get to that in just a second.
It’s no secret that Uber is giving away tons of free ride credit through lucrative promotions for first-time Uber users. And if you haven’t already claimed those, you definitely should.
At sign up, download the rider app and then enter one of the referral codes for a new user promotion. Once entered, you’ll see the credit amount hit your account, and it will be good towards your first ride.
That’s another topic altogether though. For more information on these codes and how they work, check out our Definitive Guide to Uber Promo Codes.
Free rides are great, but there’s a catch: The promotions above only apply to new users, not existing users who have already claimed their new Uber rider promotion and taken a ride.
Have you already claimed your code and moved to an “existing user”? Don’t worry, there are still unique and little-known methods that riders can use to earn free ride credit. And they work like crazy.
Want proof? Just take a look at some of the past credits to my personal account:
Today’s guide will be geared towards existing Uber users who are looking for practical solutions to earn credits for their next Uber ride.
So, if you already have an Uber account and are looking for ways to get more free Uber credits, I will outline what works for me, and how you too can gain ride credit on the house.
Learn How to Find (and Use) These Savings Methods
If you can figure out how to leverage the methods I outline below, you’ll not only know something that very few riders do, but you’ll also start to see credit building up in your rider account.
Despite the incredible power of these methods, most riders don’t take advantage, and their process looks similar to this:
Well today, that will change. That’s where the unique methods I mentioned above, not Uber promo codes for existing users, come into play.
They fall into five simple categories:
- Uber Rider Referral Program
- Acquire Membership Reward Points With Selective Credit Cards
- Ride With Friends and Family
- Try Another Rideshare App
- Bonus Methods and Tips
If you’re creative, you can use different methods within each one of these categories to earn ride credit.
Let’s dive right in and take a look at each method in greater detail.
Method #1: Uber Rider Referral Program
At some point after Uber’s launch, the company realized they needed to grow. They tried various strategies and began to gain decent traction.
When they decided to turn to their riders to help with the problem by implementing a referral program as a way to spread the word about the platform, it really took off.
The program was simple: Give each rider a promo code that is good for a certain dollar amount in free ride credit when they give it to a new user. When the new user downloads the app and claims the ride credit using that code, the referring passenger also gets free ride credit in their own account.
Riders took advantage of the program in full force, and Uber experienced explosive growth as a result. Not only did this redefine the referral game and shape the way other companies market themselves, it also opened the eyes of millions of Uber users worldwide.
Long story short: The program was lucrative, successful, and ripe for the picking.
And despite the fact that the program was implemented over four years ago, it’s still the best way for existing Uber users to earn free ride credit.
How to Refer New Users to Uber
Referring new users to Uber is easy, and can be done in a few simple steps.
In the Uber app, click the Menu Button > Free Rides. A screen with your code and ways to share it will appear.
Uber makes it really easy to share your code via email or text. If you hit either of these buttons, you can easily send the account-specific download link (which includes your Uber referral code) to your contacts.
You can also share your code on social media. If you click the link “Share on social media” from this page, the app automatically publishes a post with your download link.
The best part is that you’re not limited to just this page in the app. Uber users can also share their code in different ways, however they see fit.
Since you can share your Uber code pretty much anywhere, there are quite a few users getting creative with how they share them.
Some unique and interesting methods we’ve heard about:
- Custom-designed referral cards
- Fake parking tickets
- Hotels (residual income)
- Car dealerships (residual income)
- Bus stops
- Theme parks
The points above are all great ideas, but there’s one method that has proven to work like a charm. This comes from our friend in Chicago who thought this one up after a night out on the town:
We tried the taxi method and were surprised at how successful it was. The riders were fairly receptive and we saw a couple conversions in just one night. Not bad for a few minutes of conversation!
What NOT to Do
Inviting friends is cool. Talking to people who get out of taxis is cool, too. Spamming sites with your referral code is NOT cool.
We see this every single day, and blog owners are growing tired of it.
This isn’t a very effective way to earn rides because people likely won’t read your comment, visit your link, or use your code. Instead, we recommend printing yourself some custom referral cards and passing them out when you’re on the go. You’ll see much better results.
Where NOT to Promote Your Uber Code
Uber gives you the creative freedom to promote your Uber offer code through a variety of mediums, but paid advertising is not one of them. Sharing your Uber coupon code through Google ads, or social media advertising like Facebook ads, Twitter ads, or Instagram ads is not allowed, and neither is sharing it on daily deal sites like Retailmenot.
But as you can see, there are a heavy number of users advertising their Uber codes on Retailmenot.
While there’s quite a bit of potential there, if you submit your code to a site like this you’ll risk getting banned from the passenger referral program. Then you’ll really have to start looking for Uber promo codes for existing users.
Uber makes it pretty clear that users shouldn’t share codes via paid advertising, public coupon sites like Retailmenot, or similar methods.
Heed the warning: You don’t want to risk not being able to invite people.
Method #2: Acquire Membership Reward Points With Selective Credit Cards
Uber lets you choose from a variety of payment methods to pay your fare. And due to the ridesharing company’s channel relationship with various credit card brands, you can now enjoy different membership benefits depending on which one you use.
Here are the top credit cards to earn rewards points for Uber:
- American Express Card: Platinum or Centurion cardholders can earn free Uber credits worth $15 every month for U.S rides, along with a $20 bonus in December. You can use the credits for your Uber Eats order too. Any remaining credits on your American Express Card will not roll over to the next month.
- Uber Visa Card: This card rewards you with cash back that you can exchange for points. It gives you 4% cash back on dining (includes Uber Eats), 3% cashback on hotel, vacation home rentals, and airfare, 2% cash back on online purchases including Netflix, and 1% cash back on everything else. You can redeem the points for Uber credits that you can then use for your rides. Earning 500 points will give you $5, 2,500 points will give you $25, 5,000 points will give you $50, and so on.
- Citi Double Cash: Choosing this credit card as your payment method for UberPOOL rides can yield you about eight bonus trips, each worth $15. This means that you will get $15 off your next UberPOOL ride. This Uber offer is only valid for UberPOOL and not other vehicle type or Uber Eats.
With these payment options, you might not see the discounts applied on your current ride, but using them strategically can help you save significantly on your future Uber trips.
Method #3: Ride With Friends and Family
The third method to try in lieu of looking for an Uber code for existing users is a very simple concept, but most riders probably wouldn’t think of it.
If you referred a friend to Uber and they downloaded the app and entered your code, you’ll both get a free ride credit in your account. That’s great, but it doesn’t stop there.
When your friend takes their first ride, simply hop in the car with them. A free, or highly discounted ride for them is a free ride for you.
More often than not, a new user downloading Uber will do so at the time they are looking to take action, which in this case is claiming their first Uber ride. I’ve seen it happen with my friends time and time again, and this is a method that sounds simple, but works.
A few things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t be pushy — You don’t want your friends or family to think you’re taking advantage of them for a free ride, so gently suggest they request the Uber since they have a free ride.
2. Split the ride if it isn’t free — A promo code does not guarantee that your ride will be free, so there’s a chance that your friend may have to pay for their ride. The promotion amount is subtracted from the total amount, so if you take a longer ride and there is still a fare to pay, split it with your friend. They’ll appreciate it!
3. Request the return trip — If your friend requests a ride somewhere, and you tag along, request the return trip since you also got a free ride credit out of the transaction. This is obviously just common courtesy, but taking the time to keep things fare goes a long way!
As I said, this is simple but also effective, especially if you’re out with a large group.
Method #4: Try Another Rideshare App
While Uber might be the behemoth of the ridesharing industry, Lyft isn’t too far behind. With more than 5 million active users on their platform, Lyft is doing everything they can to dominate the competitive rideshare playground.
When users find out that they can get up to $50 in free ride credit from Lyft, they’re ecstatic. It’s almost as exciting as finding a list of Uber promo codes for existing users. (Don’t get too excited though…they don’t exist).
Many Uber users don’t realize that Uber’s largest competitor, Lyft, is also giving away a bunch of killer promotions to new riders and drivers.
In their effort to win the battle against Uber, Lyft is giving new riders a ton of free ride credit and giving drivers sign-on bonuses worth over $1,000 in some cases.
If you’re not biased to the Uber platform and willing to try something new, give Lyft a try. Use the code below to claim your first-time ride credit.
Lyft operates a very similar business model to Uber. Though unlike Uber’s business-centric, professional feel, Lyft goes for the friendly approach.
I use both Uber and Lyft, and both get me where I need to go, every time. If you like Uber, I definitely recommend giving Lyft a shot with the code “RIDESTERLYFT”. You’ll love it!
Bonus: Tips from a Referral Expert
In addition to the methods we’ve already outlined, we asked Aaron Leupp, the mastermind behind the powerhouse referral startup PromoAffiliates.com, to weigh in on the quest for Uber promo codes for existing users.
PromoAffiliates has risen from a scrappy, innovative idea to a huge influencer in the referral space. The company works with tons of well-known companies and has been featured on various news outlets including TechCrunch.
In short, Aaron knows what he’s doing with referrals, and is absolutely killing it in the space.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize the Uber referral program:
1. Share Online
Share your code online, especially with all your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and in your phone contacts. Friday afternoon before everyone goes out is the perfect time since that way they can go, “Oh, I need this tonight!”
2. Street Teams
Hit the streets with posters, coasters, promo cards, and more! But nothing beats the promo cards. You hand out a promo card and sometimes they don’t use it immediately, but every time they open that wallet, it’s still there. The second they need that free ride, BOOM, there’s your code in their wallet.
Do a story time video about your experience with the company and also include the promo code in your video. People are more likely to try something new after they hear or see their friend’s experience with it. It makes it less risky and more fun.
3. Get Creative
A bunch of friends and I put our promo codes on 10,000 fake parking tickets on April Fool’s Day and put them on cars. Not only did we make people’s day, but people also shared the fake parking tickets they got on social media and our codes went viral.
These are just a few examples that have worked for us in the past and I am sure you guys can come up with much more as well on your own.
4. Work With PromoAffiiliates
If you find yourself excelling at acquiring referrals, and think you’d like to get paid cash instead of ride credit, hit up PromoAffiliates. They’ve acquired so many users for startups that the companies now pay them cold, hard cash.
“Getting free stuff in exchange for giving away free stuff. Explain to me something better than this! “ –Aaron Leupp
I know, it’s a lot to take in, but I think it’s definitely worth it to explore the options I’ve outlined here. Again, while there are no Uber promo codes for existing users, it’s evident that there is still plenty of potential to earn credit if you just think outside the box.
The ways riders can get free rides include:
- Take advantage of the Uber Rider Referral Program to invite new riders to the app
- Ride along with a new user who hasn’t yet claimed their free ride credit
- Try another competitor to Uber, such as Lyft
Check out these easy methods and before you know it you’ll be king or queen of the back seat!
Over to You
I really hope you learned something that can help you avoid a lengthy search for Uber promo codes for existing users, and start earning credit.
Now I want your take on the process: What methods have you tried? Which worked best? Or maybe you have a suggestion that we didn’t cover. Either way, post a comment below and let us know your thoughts!