New way to get cheap Uber Eats
Ride-sharing giant Uber will launch a loyalty program for its Australian users today, offering discounted fares, cheaper meals, and charitable donations.
But the program comes with catches: you'll need to splash a lot of cash to make the most of it, and your 'loyalty' will be reassessed every six months.
Travel experts have welcomed the scheme, however, and say there are ways to make it pay.
Uber's latest reward scheme follows the introduction of Uber Pro for Aussie drivers earlier this year, in which it flagged the possibility of funding university courses.
Uber Rewards, which will gradually roll out to the company's 3.8 million Australian users from today, will offer 15 per cent discounts on rides and meals, as well as charitable donations to Paralympians looking to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
At the highest tier, Diamond, Uber Rewards will also deliver complimentary ride upgrades and premium phone support.
Uber Australia strategy head Dom Taylor said Australia would be in the "third wave" of countries to receive loyalty perks from the ride-sharing company after it launched a pilot scheme in the US last year.
"We're very excited about creating the first loyalty program that's able to reward people for getting from A to B and putting food on the table," he said.
"It will be free and available at scale for Uber customers across Australia by early 2020, with the first members able to sign up this week."
Uber's loyalty program will feature four levels - Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond - with points earned in each Uber ride or Uber Eats order.
Users will earn one point for every $1 spent on a meal or a ride, Mr Taylor said, two points for every dollar spent on UberX, UberXL and Comfort rides, and three points for Premier rides.
This means most users will have to splash $750 with Uber before receiving a reward.
Loyalty tiers will also take significant investments to unlock with Gold set at 1200 points, Platinum at 4000 points, and Diamond at 7500 points and, unlike other frequent traveller programs, levels will be reassessed every six months.
Executive Traveller editor David Flynn said regular Uber users could still see benefits on the lowest tier, though the ability to avoid big charges on your regular commute, available to Platinum users, would be the most valuable reward.
Mr Flynn said Uber loyalty program users could also consider banking up their "rewards" to use them all at once on a cheap meal or ride.
"It's worth noting that the 750-point rewards packages can be saved and then activated back-to-back," he said.