What happened to those cute Uber deals where the price of getting from here to there beats anything other than walking? The pandemic, that happened.
Stories of fares at least twice what it was last year can be found all over social media and news publications. Someone even told the New York Times that their Uber fare from Midtown Manhattan to John F. Kennedy Airport was the same as their flight to San Francisco. And he presented the $ 250 receipt to prove it.
Would an Uber Pass have helped? Possibly. Let’s explore the benefits of membership.
What is Uber Pass and how can it help you save on trips?
The Uber Ride Pass subscription service was first launched in selected cities in 2018. Now you can subscribe to the Uber Pass in more than 200 cities across the country.
The rideshare company expanded the program last year during the pandemic, despite closing the program in California due to the ongoing battle with the state trying to require Uber to label its drivers as employees rather than contractors.
Uber Pass is a monthly subscription that costs $ 24.99. For me here in Cincinnati, that’s about the cost of a 20-minute Uber ride, give or take. Uber calculates your price based on the time of day and the distance of a trip, plus any booking fees and price increases based on location (New York City is much more expensive than Cincinnati, for example) and demand.
Evaluating the benefits of Uber Pass
What do you get for $ 24.99 a month to make Uber Pass worth the cost? There are four things to consider here:
1. The Uber Pass includes discounted rides for members only
In general, you save 10% on economy trips and 15% on premium trips. Economy includes UberX, UberXL, Uber Green, and Uber Comfort rides, while Premium only includes Uber Black, Premier, and SUV rides.
To cover your $ 24.99 monthly fee from this benefit alone, you’ll need about $ 250 monthly Uber travel costs. Spend a penny more and it has already paid for itself.
But discounted rides aren’t the only perk of the Uber Ride Pass.
2. Uber Pass protects you from price increases
Surge pricing is a frustrating concept for riders: if more customers request rides than drivers offer, Uber will charge riders more because the company offers more for drivers to drive into surge areas (like a popular bar right after it closes on a bank holiday).
This – increased demand and fewer drivers – is now happening on a larger scale. While price increases are typically limited to popular destinations, often during opening and closing hours, riders are seeing them more and more due to the nationwide shortage of Uber drivers.
The Uber Ride Pass protects you from these price increases. It’s a pretty clever strategy from Uber: Uber increases the prices of its rides and then asks you to pay more for its monthly service that protects you from those soaring prices. Either way, Uber wins.
That said, if you ride Uber a lot, you can win too.
3. Uber Pass makes grocery deliveries more affordable
The global pandemic has dramatically increased the number of families who rely on grocery deliveries from apps like Instacart. Uber was a little late, launching grocery delivery in limited markets in July 2020 through its partnership with Cornershop.
If you live in an area with this service, the Uber Ride Pass might make even more sense as the $ 24.99 monthly subscription gives you free delivery on all grocery orders at eligible stores. And a reminder that a good customer and person will tip even when delivery is free.
4. Uber Pass is linked to Uber Eats
Many fully vaccinated people are returning to their pre-pandemic habits, but whether you were a couch potato before COVID-19 or you’re still not sure about getting back to the outside world, Uber Eats grocery delivery is a great solution .
But as someone who has placed a lot of Uber Eats orders (… and Door Dash orders … and Grubhub orders …), I can attest to how much more expensive it is to have your food delivered than to simply collect it. (And a reminder that you absolutely must should Tip your food delivery company no matter which app you choose!)
Fortunately, Uber Pass gives you free delivery charges on all eligible restaurant orders. In fact, Uber has negotiated a deal with select restaurants to save Uber Ride Pass members 5% on their orders.
Should I get an Uber Pass?
There are many advantages to subscribing to Uber Pass, but for most of the average Uber user, it might not be worth the monthly fee.
However, if you don’t have a car and rely on Uber for regular errands like groceries (whether it’s personal grocery shopping or delivery), doctor’s appointments, and evenings out on the town, it can be a worthwhile investment.
View your account history in the Uber app. If your usage decreased during the pandemic, analyze your usage in 2019. Did you make an average of $ 250 more a month? In that case, consider an Uber Ride Pass subscription. If not, it probably makes sense to save money in other ways, like carpooling or public transit.
You can save money on Uber trips by using UberPool, where you travel to a shared destination or on a similar route with strangers. Remember to mask yourself.
If you sign up for the Uber Pass and find that it’s not worth the $ 24.99, you can always cancel with Uber. You are not bound by a contract.
How do I get an Uber Pass?
Getting Uber Pass is easy. Just open the Uber app on your phone, click the menu button in the top left, then click Uber Pass to get started. The ride-sharing company automatically charges the credit card stored in the Uber app for trips.
Uber often runs some sort of promotion for the Ride Pass. For example, Uber is currently offering me a week for free. But because I use Uber maybe every two months, I think I will consist.
Uber Pass vs. Uber Rewards
You may have heard of Uber Rewards, a loyalty program that has its own perks, but it’s important to note that this is different from Uber Pass.
Unlike the Uber Pass, participation in Uber Rewards is free. Open the Uber app to get started; You can find the Uber Rewards link just above the Uber Pass.
There are four levels of Uber Rewards. You level up by taking more and longer trips.
For every dollar you spend on UberPool, Express Pool, or Uber Eats, you get one point; For every dollar you spend on UberX, UberXL, Uber Green, Uber WAV / Assist, Uber Comfort, Uber Connect, Uber Pet and Uber Select, you will receive two points. And for every dollar you spend on Uber Black and Uber Black SUVs, you get three points.
About Rewards Levels
- Blue: From 0 to 499 points you are considered a Blue member. There are no real advantages at this level.
- Gold: From 500 to 2,499 points you are considered a Gold member. Get priority support and flexible cancellations.
- Platinum: From 2,500 to 7,499 points you are considered a Platinum member. You get all of the benefits of Gold, plus an increase in Favorite Route Points (earn 10 Reward Points for every dollar taken when you take a specific route, such as your weekly drive to the grocery store) and priority airport pickups.
- Diamond: With 7,500 points you are at the end of the Diamond membership. You get all the benefits of Platinum, plus Premium Support, Highly Rated Drivers, Premium Ride Point Boost, and Double Points at Uber Eats. Uber also promises free upgrades, if available.
Why did Uber get so expensive?
Although unemployment has fallen from the dangerous 14.8% at the start of the pandemic (the largest in US history), businesses around the world and across industries are still facing labor shortages.
Last year people were stuck at home wondering if Carole Baskin was feeding her husband to a tiger. But this year, fully vaccinated individuals are returning to their lives, ready for a nice meal, strong drink, and safe trip home.
Research firm Rakuten Intelligence recently reported that the cost of an Uber trip in April 2021 shot up 37% year over year. May was even worse with a 40% increase.
The only problem? The ongoing staff shortage means businesses are unwilling to meet demand, from fast food chains to amusement parks to ridesharing like Uber and Lyft.
This came as quite a surprise to Uber customers, who likely got used to fast pickups and low tariffs prior to the pandemic. Now customers everywhere are facing longer waiting times and higher prices for an Uber trip.
For city dwellers who frequently use Uber, this can become overwhelming. The same goes for people who use Uber to get them home safely from parties or bars.
Timothy Moore is Senior Editor of WDW Magazine and a freelance writer and editor on topics such as personal finance, travel, careers, education, animal care, and automotive. He has been working in this field since 2012 with publications such as The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, WDW Magazine, Glassdoor, Aol and The News Wheel.