Smart & Connected Life Connected Car Tech How to Use Uber Rewards and Referrals Earn Uber credits and even become an Uber VIP by Anita George Writer Anita George is a writer who has been covering technology since 2013. Her work has appeared in Paste Magazine and she holds both B.A. and B.S. degrees. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Anita George Updated on July 19, 2019 Spencer Platt/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America Connected Car Tech Android Auto Apple Carplay Navigation Tweet Share Email One way to keep the cost of Uber rides down is to make use of Uber's various rewards programs: Uber Rewards, Uber's referral code system, and Uber VIP. Uber Rewards and the app's referral code system are rewards programs available to all Uber riders as long as it's available in their city. Uber VIP, however, is only available to riders who are also customers of certain credit card companies. Learn what each rewards program has to offer, how to sign up for Uber Rewards, and how to use Uber referral codes. Instructions given in this guide include steps for signing up for the Uber Rewards program, as well as how to use Uber referral codes within Uber's mobile apps. The Uber Rewards Program and Using Uber Credits Essentially, Uber Rewards is a loyalty program based on a points system. Uber Rewards program members can earn points for every dollar spent on Uber car rides and Uber Eats meals. Basically, Uber gives you one point for every dollar spent on rides with UberPool and ExpressPool, and with your meals purchased via Uber Eats. Members can also earn double points for dollars spent on rides from UberX, UberXL, and Select; triple points for dollars spent on rides from Black and Black SUV. Uber Rewards points can be redeemed in $5 Uber Cash increments, every 500 points. Each $5 Uber Cash reward can used to pay for Uber rides or Uber Eats meals. "Uber Cash" and "Uber credits" are used interchangeably because they're both the same cash bonuses Uber rewards its customers with. Once referred to as "Uber credits," Uber has since changed the name of these bonuses to "Uber Cash." Uber Rewards Membership Levels There are also different membership levels Uber Rewards members can earn and each level has different perks. From lowest to highest, it's Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. If you've earned less than 500 points, you're a Blue member. Blue members don't have any other perks besides being able to earn points and redeem them for $5 in Uber Cash. Gold members are those who have earned at least 500 points, and perks include Priority tech support from Uber and Flexible Cancellations, which entitles them to refunds if they cancel a ride and "rebook" within 15 minutes. Uber Rewards members can reach Platinum status once they earn 2,500 points. Platinum status members get all of the perks Blue and Gold members get, price protection on UberX between the two destinations "you ride between the most," and priority airport pickups. Price protection provides protection from higher prices during busy hours. Lastly, Diamond level members get all of the above perks plus four additional perks once they earn the 7,500 points necessary to become a Diamond level member. Diamond-only level perks include premium support, "highly rated" drivers, complimentary upgrades, and free delivery on three Uber Eats meals every six months. The complimentary upgrades are surprise upgrades to premium Uber rides (such as Uber Black) when you reserve an UberX ride. According to Uber, the Uber Rewards program is available in all U.S. cities. The best way to ensure it's available in your city is to open your Uber app and see if there's an invitation to join waiting for you. It should pop up on your main screen. How to Sign Up for Uber Rewards To join the Uber Rewards program, you'll have to do so via the Uber mobile app. Open the Uber app on your mobile device. On the main map screen, tap the Hamburger Menu icon located in the top left corner of your screen. Tap Uber Rewards. You'll then be taken to a screen with some basic information about the rewards program. At the bottom of this screen, tap Join for free. The next screen will show you the Uber Rewards program Terms and Conditions. Review them, then tap Accept. What Are Uber Referrals? Using Uber referral codes is a way to earn discounts on Uber rides by inviting your friends to sign up for the Uber app. Basically, every Uber user is given a special invite code they can share with their friends. If you share your special invite code with a friend and that friend signs up for Uber using your code, Uber will reward both of you with discounts on Uber rides. According to the app, friends who use your code to sign up for Uber will get a $2 discount on their first three rides. The person who shared their code gets a $5 discount on their next ride once the newly signed up friend takes their first Uber ride. Discounts can only be used in your own country and they expire within 60 days if you don't use them. How to Use Uber Referral Codes To take advantage of the Uber Referral code discounts, you'll need to access and share your special invite code with your friends. This can be done via the Uber mobile app. Open the Uber app on your mobile device. Select the Hamburger Menu in the top left corner of your main map screen. Tap Free Rides. Your special invite code should appear at the bottom of the screen in a white text box. You can share your code one of two ways: Tap Invite Friends at the bottom of the screen, choose a contact from the list to share the code with.Tap the three connected dots icon located within the special code text box, then choose one of the messaging app options. There should be a pre-made message containing your special code. From here, you can send your code as you would any other message from your desired app. Uber VIP: A Special Rewards Program for Certain Credit Card Holders Uber VIP is an exclusive rewards program for certain American Express cardholders. Uber VIP was once available to a limited number of loyal Uber customers regardless of whether or not they were Amex cardholders, but with the rise of Uber's Rewards program, Uber has opted to exclude non-Amex cardholders from using Uber VIP. Uber VIP Perks There aren't many perks that come with being an Uber VIP member, but the few perks it does have are still pretty useful. The smaller, lesser-known perks of being an Uber VIP member include only being matched with Uber drivers who have a 4.8 star rating or higher, and only being matched with "high-quality cars" driven by Uber VIP drivers. The biggest perk of Uber VIP, however, is an annual $200 Uber Cash bonus VIP members receive just for being a member with an American Express Consumer Platinum card or Centurion card. According to Uber, not only are these cardholders eligible to be Uber VIP members, they're also eligible to receive a $200 Uber Cash (credits) bonus. The bonus is essentially $200 in Uber credits, paid out in monthly increments every year you're an Amex cardmember. Every month, Uber VIP members are given $15 in Uber Cash to use every month, except in December, when Uber VIP members are awarded a $20 bonus in addition to the $15 in Uber Cash they normally get. Th $200 Uber Cash reward can be used on all Uber services in the United States, but the monthly rewards expire at the end of every month if they are not used; the credits do not roll over. It's also worth mentioning that Uber considers the Uber VIP program and the Uber Rewards program to be completely separate from each other, so it's permitted for Uber users to claim rewards from both rewards programs.