What Is the Uber Say My Name Scam? And What’s The Solution?

There are no shortage of scams in the travel industry that’s for sure.

And as successful as ride sharing has been, there is always a concern for safety for both drivers and passengers.

One ride share scam that has gotten a lot of attention is the “say my name” scam. But what exactly is the scam and what should you know about it?

Below, I will break down the origins of the scam and what it has developed into today as well as offer up some solutions to the problem.

Uber say my name scam (dark) background

The Uber say my name scam comes from the heartbreaking story of Samantha Josephson, a student at University of South Carolina.

In March of 2019, she mistakenly got into a car that she believed to be her Uber and ended up getting murdered. It was a brutal attack and the defender is currently serving a life sentence for his actions.

This understandingly prompted a movement where passengers became more conscious about their safety when getting into ride share vehicles. Legislation has also followed.

One of the pushes of the movement was to ask for Uber drivers to say the name of the passenger when picking them up.

The idea is that a random criminal on the street would not know the name of the passenger (like a registered Uber driver would) and so the risk of getting in with someone dangerous would be mitigated by forcing them to say your name.

Unfortunately, this has the potential to backfire.

You see, scammers recognized that if they could get an Uber driver to say a name, they could then impersonate another person and get a free ride (or do something much worse).

For example, this is how it would go:

  • Uber driver pulls up
  • Passenger: “Say my name”
  • Driver: “Daniel”
  • Scammer: “yep, that’s me”
  • Driver: “Okay, cool get in”

In this situation, the Uber driver cannot only get a bad rating for picking up the wrong person but they could end up wasting their time and losing money by driving someone around who does not have to pay for anything.

So what developed is a situation where we were forced to balance the safety of passengers with the safety of drivers.

As you could probably imagine, this has developed into a disagreement on who should offer up what information and when for the sake of safety and protection.

A passenger may want an Uber driver to say their name because a random criminal would not be able to instantly verify their name (in most cases).

On the other hand, an Uber driver would not want to give out the name of a passenger first because a passenger could agree to be anybody.

This has led to some say my name scuffles (parody).

What does Uber say about this?

Uber offers guidance on how drivers and passengers should interact at the beginning of a ride. Unfortunately, they don’t offer 100% clarity but they do have some helpful tips.

For their rider safety tips they state:

Every time you take a trip with Uber, please make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver by matching the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo with what’s provided in your app…. you can also ask the driver to confirm your name before you get in the car.

Uber clearly is okay with passengers asking the driver to confirm their name before they get in the vehicle. So that is in line with the say my name philosophy.

However, they do go on to mention that as a driver you can “feel free to ask riders to confirm your name before entering your vehicle.”

This to me is the key to solving the problem.

Related: Is Uber Available 24/7?

The solution to the say my name problem

I personally think there is a very simple solution to the problem of balancing drivers getting scammed with passenger safety.

One solution could be for Uber to require passengers to verify rides with a pin number (this is currently an optional feature).

But even if these pins never get widespread adoption in the US, there is still a pretty simple solution.

The solution is that the driver should require the passenger to verify the driver’s name before the passenger enters the vehicle. In other words, the driver would just ask, “What driver are you waiting for?”

The passenger will have the driver’s name in the app and will therefore be able to verify that name unlike a potential scammer.

As far as the passenger goes, they now have plenty of information to go on in order to verify the driver for their safety. For example, they are given the make and model, color, the license plate, and they can also see a photo of the driver. I believe you can also make a phone call to the driver (although you don’t see their real number).

All of the information above is more than enough to verify that you are getting into the correct vehicle.

If for some reason the vehicle details do not completely match up or the photo does not match, then the passenger should simply refuse the ride, just as Uber recommends.

So the ideal exchange when using a rideshare should go like this:

  • Rideshare driver pulls up
  • Passenger verifies the make model and license plate (walks around to back of car if needed) and then takes a peek at the driver to make sure the driver matches with the photo in the app
  • Driver keeps all doors locked and rolls down the window
  • Driver: “Are you Daniel?”
  • Passenger: “Yeah, that’s me.”
  • Driver: “Can you confirm the name of the driver you are waiting on?”
  • Passenger: “Yep, the name is Lauren”
  • Driver: “and can you confirm your destination?”
  • Passenger: the “Westin Downtown”
  • Driver unlocks doors and lets passenger in

In this scenario, the passenger was able to verify several things.

First, by verifying the make and model of the vehicle along with the license plate, they ensure that the vehicle they are stepping into is registered with Uber and is the same vehicle that was selected for the trip.

By verifying the appearance of the driver they could verify that this is in fact the correct registered Uber driver and not some psychopath who car jacked a vehicle or some other rando.

And finally by having their name verified, they get verification that this driver likely has access to the Uber app as a driver.

The driver was also able to verify several things.

They verified that the passenger had access to the driver’s name which means that they either booked the Uber or someone had it booked for them. On top of that, the driver confirmed the destination which a random scammer would not know.

In other words, the driver knows that this is the correct passenger before they ever let the passenger into the vehicle.

When you break it down like the above, you see that getting the driver to say the name of the passenger is probably the least valuable type of verification available.

Saying the passenger’s name is still helpful to make sure that the driver is picking up the right person and it can offer the passenger a bit more assurance but in terms of passenger safety, the other verifiable factors are what the passenger should focus on.

This is especially true when you consider how easy it would be for someone to find out your first name if they really wanted to. For example, a stalker could easily obtain a first name and follow someone that they know utilizes ride shares.

They could wait for that person to call an Uber and then jump in their car parked around the corner, pull up in a vehicle posing as an Uber driver (e.g., fake placards), and make someone feel “secure” by verifying the first name.

But if the passenger is primarily focused on the other details found in the app, they would not be fooled by the imposter.

As for the protection of the driver….

The key for the driver will be to make sure that the passenger cannot see the driver’s name in the app or on the screen in their vehicle before the driver can verify what driver the passenger is waiting on.

But if a driver verifies who the passenger is waiting on and where they are going, it seems to me that this is a pretty solid solution to the problem of the scam.

The main problem with this would be with third-party bookings.

For example, someone can book a ride for someone else and not relay all of the vehicle/driver details. This is why it’s really important that you send all the details you can if you book an Uber for someone else! It’s a safety issue.

Some passengers also may be annoyed that they are being asked questions about the destination and name of the driver. But if you can explain that the questions are for verification/security purposes, they may be more willing to comply.

Related: How Much Does Uber Charge Per Mile?

How common is the scam really?

Once you break down what this scam is, you start to wonder how common or feasible is this scam?

If it’s a scam where it is just a scammer randomly waiting to take advantage of an Uber driver, that’s a pretty risky position for the scammer because they don’t know the final destination.

A driver could easily take them way to the outskirts of town and then they would be forced to find a way back, which could be pricey.

I suppose the scammer could request for the driver to make a change on the destination but the driver should know to tell the scammer that all changes must be made with the passenger’s app.

It’s possible that the scammer could then tell the driver that their phone is dead or not working and so they cannot modify the reservation.

But again, at that point, there is little guarantee for the scammer that this will work out for them.

They will have to rely on the Uber driver to agree to make a modification outside of the app. Some might agree to that but many experienced drivers will just cancel the trip. If the trip is canceled, the scammer could then be left stranded, SOL.

I’m not saying that people are not trying this — I’m sure there are plenty. But it really seems like a high risk, low reward scenario that savvy scammers typically wouldn’t go for on the regular.

Of course, somebody could also have more sinister intentions and just use the opportunity as a way to get into your vehicle and then do something crazy like hold you at gunpoint, etc.

Another version of this scam could involve multiple individuals.

One person orders the ride for another person who claims to be the right passenger by verifying a name that does not belong to them. In this scenario the scammer would know the destination so it would be more worthwhile.

But the scamming passenger would also know the driver’s name so I’m not sure how you could prevent this from happening. Of course, Uber could track this type of activity and shut down accounts that show patterns of this behavior and I’m sure they do.

But this is sort of a different type of scam altogether.

Final word

The say my name scam comes from a horrific event that I don’t want to undermine in any way. They’ve built an entire foundation dedicated to spreading safety about using ride shares which I’m sure has brought about a ton of valuable awareness.

But based on the details that passengers receive about drivers, I’m not sure name verification is such a valuable security feature. I certainly wouldn’t rank it at the top.

It seems that verifying the make and model, license plate, and the photo of the driver is much more valuable information.

And as for drivers, as long as they can keep a passenger from visibly seeing their name, all they have to do is ask the passenger to verify who they are waiting on and/or what the destination is, and that should mitigate the risk of many scammers.

But I don’t think drivers should be hesitant to say someone’s name.

Uber vs Turo in Honolulu, Hawaii (Which is Cheaper?) [2022]

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and not sure if you should go with Uber or Turo and what the price difference might be?

Well, I was wondering the same question and we tested it out on our last trip to Honolulu/Waikiki, Hawaii.

We arrived at a couple of conclusions which I am happy to share with you so that you can make some informed decisions based on real data and first-hand experience.

Uber vs Turo in Honolulu, Hawaii

Below, I’ll take a look at the comparative cost between Uber and Turo when utilizing them in Hawaii and specifically in the Honolulu/Waikiki area.

I’ll give you some price estimates on how much you can expect everything to cost you when visiting different attractions in the area. I’ll factor in everything including gas, rental car coverage, etc.

I’ll also provide you some tips based on my own experience with utilizing both Uber and Turo.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Uber costs in Honolulu/Waikiki

First, let’s take a look at the cost for an Uber trip to and from the airport at Honolulu (HNL).

It’s really important to know that these prices can fluctuate wildly. During morning rush hour, I’ve seen prices shoot up to over $70 for a one-way trip between Waikiki and the airport!

But based on my personal experiences in Hawaii and the research I did, the prices below reflect the “normal” pricing.

Below are some estimated round-trip costs from the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki. It’s one of the hotels we stayed at in Waikiki and should give you an idea of what the prices would be for other hotels in Waikiki.

Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Holiday Inn Express Waikiki

  • UberX – $22.83
  • UberXL – $45.96
  • Uber Premier – $84.72

Holiday Inn Express Waikiki to Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

  • UberX – $25.08
  • UberXL – $44.41
  • Uber Premier – $59.01

Uber costs for Oahu tourist attractions

Oahu is home to a lot of really interesting attractions that are not in Waikiki.

So chances are if you want to see some of these popular destinations, you’re going to want to venture outside of the Waikiki area.

Here’s a look at what you can expect to pay when visiting from Waikiki. Again, keep in mind that surge pricing can definitely happen at these locations and change the price $20 to $30.

To Kualoa Ranch

  • UberX – $57.17
  • UberXL – $101.29
  • Uber Premier – $122.22

From Kualoa Ranch

  • UberX – $48.84
  • UberXL – $93.11
  • Uber Premier – $112.87

To Dole Plantation

  • UberX – $61.27
  • UberXL – $108.48
  • Uber Premier – $128.75

From Dole Plantation

  • UberX – $52.24
  • UberXL – $102.21
  • Uber Premier – $122.03

To Pearl Harbor

  • UberX – $32.41
  • UberXL – $57.52
  • Uber Premier – $71.75

From Pearl Harbor

  • UberX – $24.31
  • UberXL – $49.08
  • Uber Premier – $62.03
Uber Hawaii

Turo costs in Oahu

There are obviously a lot of different types of vehicles that you can choose on Turo. We decided to price out four different types of vehicles.

We’ve provided a price for a one day rental below:

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $144.15
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $201.91
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $143.73
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $72.02

These one day rental prices apply if you are renting for a 24 hour period but also for shorter periods.

So if you picked up a car early in the morning and then dropped it off later in the evening, you still get charged the one day rental. That policy might change in the future but that is what we had to work with.

And because some hosts will offer a discount when you rent for multiple days, we’ve provided a price for a three day rental below:

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $377.57
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $585.39
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $401.37
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $211.29

Note: Some Turo vehicles have minimums that require you to rent them for two or more days. This seems to be more common with cheaper vehicles so it’s not always easy to find a super cheap one day rental.

Jeep Wrangler Turo Hawaii

Turo delivery fees in Hawaii

If you don’t want to pick up your vehicle at the host’s location, you can have them deliver it to you at your hotel or Airbnb or wherever you’re staying.

The thing about getting the car delivered is that usually you will have to pay a delivery fee and those delivery fees can add up pretty quickly.

Here are some Turo delivery fees from HNL airport.

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $60
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $50
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $75
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $45

You’ll notice that the Turo delivery fees for the airport are pretty close to the round-trip airport pick-up and drop-off costs for UberX. However, these fees could be much cheaper than Uber if you were dealing with Uber surge pricing.

Here are some delivery fees from a Waikiki hotel.

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $60
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $50
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $50
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $45
Turo delivery fees

I found it usually the case that it would be cheaper to just Uber to the host’s location and then pick up the vehicle from there. That will usually end up saving you about $10-$20 depending on how far you are from the host.

Note: The thing that is tricky about Turo right now is that it required us to drop off at the same location that we would pick up. Depending on your travel plans, that can make life a little bit more difficult.

Waikiki parking fees for Turo

If you’re staying at a hotel in Waikiki, chances are you’re going to be paying a pretty penny for parking every night.

Here is the overnight parking rate for 10 popular hotels in Waikiki. The self parking price is on the left and valet is on the right if available.

  • Holiday Inn Express Waikiki – $45
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – $55 / $65
  • The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki – $35 / $45
  • Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach – $42 / $55
  • Halekulani Hotel – $50
  • The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach – $41.80
  • Sheraton Waikiki – $35 / $45
  • Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa – $45 / $50
  • Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort – $40
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort And Spa – $50

Every hotel may have a different price but there’s a good chance you’ll be paying about $40 or more for parking every night of your stay.

This is where the cost will really start to add up for Turo.

Note: Parking fees are not outrageous on every island or at every hotel in Hawaii. For example, when we stayed in Kauai both of our resorts did not charge us for parking.


California is known for having the most expensive gas but Hawaii is right up there at number two. Prices obviously fluctuate but you could be paying around $4.50 per gallon.

If you plan on doing quite a bit of driving then these gas prices will force you to take a hit when using Turo but it’s usually not that bad.


A lot of Turo cars come with unlimited miles but some do have limitations on miles. The good thing about Hawaii is that chances are you probably are not going to put a ton of miles on the vehicle.

However, always check to see what those mileage limits will be.


Your auto insurance may or may not cover you with Turo.

And if you typically rely on a credit card to provide you with primary rental car coverage, you most likely will not get that with Turo.

So you may need to look into buying coverage for the car which can increase your cost anywhere from $20 a day to $70.


One really cool thing about using Turo in Hawaii is that they offer special packages that can make your life easier.

For example, some offer you a packaged deal for $50 where you can get beach chairs, umbrella, snorkel gear, a cooler, etc.

These will all be ready for you in your vehicle which will allow you to enjoy the beach.

Comparing the cost (Uber vs Turo)

Now to compare the cost.

Let’s say you just arrived at Honolulu Airport and you plan on spending all of your time in Waikiki except for one day when you want to spend a day at Pearl Harbor.

Below are the prices that you would pay for your transportation with Uber vs Turo.


  • Airport travel: $47
  • Pearl Harbor: $56.72
  • Tip: $13
  • Total: $116


  • Airport travel: $90
  • Pearl Harbor: $107
  • Tip: $25
  • Total: $222

Turo (Cheap car)

  • Rental fee: $72
  • Pick-up fee: $45
  • Hotel Parking: $45
  • Minimum insurance: $20
  • Gas: $6
  • Total: $188

Turo (Jeep Wrangler)

  • Rental fee: $144
  • Pick-up fee: $75
  • Hotel Parking: $45
  • Minimum insurance: $20
  • Gas: $9
  • Total: $293

So by the data points above, you can tell that if you were only traveling to and from the airport and then heading only to Pearl Harbor for a day, the cheaper route would be to go with Uber.

That’s even the case if you go with one of the cheapest cars on Turo.

However, if you have a larger party and are forced to use UberXL, it’s a lot closer and Uber could be more expensive.

Just remember this is only going to Pearl Harbor. If you want to add on other sites like the Punch Bowl then Turo could quickly become cheaper for the day.

But what about the following days if you wanted to continue to get out from Waikiki?

Maybe one day you wanted to go to the Kualoa Ranch and the next day you wanted to go to the Dole Plantation. Let’s see how the cost each day would compare.

To take a round trip on UberX from Waikiki to Kualoa Ranch, that’s going to be $106 and UberXL would be $194. That’s without factoring in the tip which would probably bring those totals to around $116 and $213, respectively.

Compare that to the cost of renting a cheap car from Turo for the second day, which would be ~$143 and the Jeep Wrangler at ~$218.

Getting to the Dole Plantation is a more expensive Uber ride coming out to $113.51 for UberX and $210 for UberXL. Again, tips would drive up those prices to around $124 and $230.

So the prices are actually pretty comparable to Turo but you just can’t forget to factor in all of the flexibility that a rental car offers.

Here’s a chart that adds in a few more destinations to give you an estimated transportation cost roundtrip from Waikiki.

Prices from Waikiki (with 10% Uber tips):

DestinationUberXUberXLTuro (cheap)Turo (Wrangler)
Kualoa Ranch$116$213$143$218
Dole Plantation$124$230$144$219
Polynesian Cultural Center$184$310$146$221
Hanauma Bay$80$132$143$218
Dole Whip waffle cone
Turo is probably cheaper for your Dole Whip needs.

Multiple stops

Some destinations in Oahu are really perfect for day trips where you spend several hours exploring them.

Pearl Harbor is a perfect example of a great day trip. By the time you get through exploring places like the USS Missouri, USS Arizona Memorial, and all of the other sites you’ll probably be ready to head back to your hotel and rest.

But in other cases you will likely want to hop around to check out different sites.

So let’s run one of those examples to see how the price comes out.

Let’s say you wanted to go from Waikiki and visit these three spots in one day:

  • Bishop Museum
  • Halona Beach Cove
  • Polynesian Cultural Center

Waikiki to Bishop Museum

  • UberX: $19
  • UberXL: $33

Bishop Museum to Halona Beach Cove

  • UberX: $36
  • UberXL: $70

Halona Beach Cove to Polynesian Cultural Center

  • UberX: $80
  • UberXL: $156

Polynesian Cultural Center to Waikiki

  • UberX: $80
  • UberXL: $150

For UberX, that total comes out to $215 and for UberX it’s $409.

That’s 92 miles of driving and so your gas costs would be about $20 assuming 20 miles per gallon.

For the cheaper car on Turo, that’s a total expense of ~$157 and for the Jeep Wrangler it’s ~$234.

So it will be significantly cheaper to rent a car with Turo if you plan on hopping around the island during your vacation.

The conclusions

After looking at these different costs, I’ve arrived at the following conclusions:

Uber prices can fluctuate wildly to and from HNL airport so be on the lookout for those surge prices. If you schedule an Uber ride reportedly you can avoid the dynamic pricing.

Taking trips to single (day trip) destinations is probably more economical with Uber than Turo but not always by a huge margin and not for longer trips.

If you get hit with surge pricing Uber can easily be more expensive and if you want to make multiple stops Uber can quickly become more expensive.

Also, if you have more than four people, you can’t use UberX and will be forced to go with UberXL. The prices then jump up dramatically and renting a Turo car usually becomes cheaper (sometimes a lot cheaper).

This is especially true if you have five people in your party because you don’t always have to rent an SUV to accommodate five people.

I personally value the freedom of being able to head out to any destination at any time.

You never know when you might see something on the roadside that you want to stop at such as a food truck or art gallery.

And what about all of the beaches and scenic overlooks you will undoubtedly stumble upon?

Things get complicated and pricey when you’re using Uber and trying to constantly stop to check out different stops but if you have your rental car you can check out anything and everything.

So even if Turo was more expensive than Uber, I would be okay with paying extra for the added flexibility which in a place like Hawaii is invaluable.

Final word

If you think you will be remaining at your hotel or simply in the Waikiki area for the majority of your trip then relying on Uber for all of your transportation needs is obviously going to be cheaper.

If you plan on taking one or two day trips to a specific destination and nowhere else Uber can also be the cheaper way to go.

But if you plan on getting out pretty far from Waikiki or if you think you’ll be making trips with multiple stops then renting a car through Turo can be much cheaper.

And if you have a party of five or more renting a car through Turo can be significantly cheaper than UberXL.

Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers? (Via App or Cash?) [2022]

A lot of UponArriving readers use Uber and Uber Eats, especially since they can get $15 monthly credits from the American Express Platinum Card and other occasional discounts by utilizing Amex Offers. But when it comes to saving money a lot of people wonder whether or not they should tip Uber Eats drivers since tips are not included in the order.

As someone who uses Uber Eats all the time, this question intrigued me so I started asking around and talking to Uber drivers, passengers, and also reviewing what people were chattering about on web forums like Reddit. 

In this article, I will talk about whether or not you should tip your Uber Eats drivers, and I will present arguments for both sides. I will also show you how to tip your Uber driver through the app (or using cash). Finally, I will talk about ways that you can avoid the tipping situation altogether with alternative choices. 

Uber’s position on tipping

Let’s start off the discussion with Uber’s official position.

With regards to tipping drivers, Uber states:

While tipping is never required, you can add a tip as an extra way to thank your delivery partner for their efforts….

We offer the option to tip your delivery partner directly through the Uber Eats app, or you can tip them in cash when they deliver the order. Either way, 100% of the tip goes to the delivery partner.

Uber doesn’t give a clear answer on whether or not tipping is expected.

It just states that it is never required and it’s a way to give thanks to your driver for their efforts.

So that’s a little bit helpful but we’re gonna have to dive a lot deeper. 

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

The case for tipping

There are a few very good reasons why you should tip your Uber Eats driver. 

It’s customary

At least in the United States, most people tip their delivery drivers, especially in the food industry.

These tips happen for delivery of food items like pizza, Chinese take out, etc. so why wouldn’t you also tip your Uber driver?

Perhaps, that’s why the average tip per delivery is about $5 for an Uber Eats driver.

Yes, when tipping you technically are paying somebody extra to do the job they signed up for.

But that’s just the way that our society works, so there is no reason why an Uber Eats driver should be singled out as someone “not worthy” of consideration for tips. 

It’s warranted by their efforts 

Sometimes the situation just mandates a tip, in my opinion.

Could you imagine riding a bike in sweltering hot weather, freezing winds, or through torrential downpour to deliver food on time? Then you show up, deliver the food, and never receive a tip for your efforts? 

And in some metropolitan areas there could be a danger element — dealing with aggressive drivers, unkept roads, and whatever else could be lurking out there.

One survey showed that out of 500 App-based courier drivers, almost half reported being involved in an accident or crash while driving!

Then there is the fact that parking and/or leaving your car idle is very difficult, impossible, or illegal, in many locations. 


Also, if your Uber Eats driver is delivering your food directly to your doorstep, the convenience involved in that should warrant a tip.

This is especially true if they have to hunt down your apartment building, climb up flights of stairs, and then locate your unit (and then find their way back out).

Sometimes we take for granted that we can enjoy almost any type of food we want with only having to take about 10 steps from our couch to our front door.

But that’s only possible because of delivery drivers.


Uber Eats drivers make around $9.37 per trip and $15.84 per hour, without factoring in costs like vehicle depreciation.

Depending on where you live that can be a pretty low amount of wages. If this is that driver’s only source of income then a small tip with each delivery could go a long wait for that person. 

Also, if you live out of the way and it takes your driver a longer time to get to you then those wages could be even lower.

In some cases, the driver could be working effectively for well below minimum wage and so tips could be extremely important to keeping them afloat financially.  

Related: Can You Order DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub When at A Hotel?

The case for NOT tipping

Not everybody is on board with tipping their drivers. Here are some reasons that many people might think to not leave a tip. 

“Uber is a non-tipping service”

Uber originally marketed itself as one of the ride share services that does not require or expect tips. To me, there always seemed to be an emphasis on not tipping when using their services.

And while they did slowly roll out the option to leave a tip it definitely felt like more of an afterthought. So many people do not associate tipping with using Uber. And in fact may even associate not tipping with using Uber.   

Related: How Much Does Uber Charge Per Mile?

The outrageous fees

“The fees are too damn high.”

When you order Uber Eats, you’ll be expected to pay a delivery fee. The amount of this delivery fee can vary greatly.

Once upon a time there was a flat $4.99 delivery fee and for the most part you probably will still be paying a fee of $5 to $6 these days. Paying a delivery fee for a delivery service is understandable. 

However, the delivery fee will vary and it also can get very high during surge pricing hours.

For example, some people have been charged delivery fees of over $20. When you get hit with an insanely high delivery fee of that amount it is really hard to throw out more cash out of your wallet to tip a driver.

Obviously, the driver has nothing to do with that fee but many people feel like they do not want to support Uber any more than necessary to receive their meal when that happens.

Uber Eats also recently added an additional service fee.

This adds an additional 10% and additional $2 when your order is below $10. So by the time you factor in the delivery fee, the service fee, and the taxes, it is really difficult for some people to want to hand out more money for a tip.

For some people, they may also believe that if they refrain from tipping over time and many others do as well that fewer people will drive for Uber Eats, and they will be forced to adjust their fees. That sounds good in theory, but I don’t think that will ever actually happen.  

A bad delivery experience

Sometimes you might have a terrible delivery experience. When using the app, you can track where your driver is and it is for the most part pretty accurate.

Sometimes you can witness the frustrating experience of watching your driver miss your road over and over again or taking some unexplainable backwoods route that takes 3X as long to get to where you are. 

If you notice that they take a substantially longer time than what was needed and your food arrives cold or melted then that can be a major problem.

It’s one thing for them to call you if they are having issues navigating but it’s another for them to never reach out to you and let you know anything and just expect you to be okay with food they should know is in an unacceptable or subpar state. 

The difficulty with this is that sometimes your food may have just taken a long time to be handed over to the driver.

You might perceive them as taking a long time but the real culprit with your cold food may have been with the restaurant’s service to begin with. This is especially the case when items are not delivered. 

Also, sometimes the app gives the drivers horrible directions. If the driver is not familiar with your area than it really is not their fault for being led astray. 

Helping them out

If you go out of your way to meet the Uber driver and make their life easier rather than forcing them to come to your apartment unit or some other area, then you may be justified in thinking that you don’t owe them a tip.

In that case, the argument is that all the driver had to do was drive from Point A to Point B and that is the entirety of their job. They were not asked go above and beyond and probably did not even have to get out of their vehicle. 

I think there is some legitimacy to this argument because you are saving them some time, parking issues, etc. But maybe in those cases you just go with the minimal tip of $1 or something. 

Higher food costs

Some people have reported that the menu prices for ordering food through Uber Eats are higher than they would be if you ordered your food in the restaurant. For example, Chipotle’s prices are said to be about 17 percent higher for delivery than for in-store service.

The higher price paid for the delivery option makes users feel less inclined to offer a tip.

Again, this is another thing that is not the driver’s fault but is something that definitely is not helping their cause. 

Tip: Check out the free app WalletFlo so that you can optimize your credit card spend by seeing the best card to use! You can also track credits, annual fees, and get notifications when you’re eligible for the best cards!

Should you tip your Uber Eats driver?

I think that in general you should tip your Uber Eats driver. The main reason is that the wages can be very low, it can require frustrating work, and a lot of the negative aspects of the Uber Eats experience (e.g., fees) are out of their control.

The only time I would not tip is if the driver showed a blatant disregard for providing me with the food ordered on time. When there is no apology or explanation for why the order was so late, it’s clear that the driver really doesn’t care.

And I would like to discourage that person from working there because they are probably doing the same type of thing for other people and ruining their meals as well.   

How to tip Uber Eats 

There are basically two different ways that you can tip the driver.

Tipping through the app

First, you can tip the driver through the Uber Eats app. When you are getting ready to place your order you can choose to tip your courier.

Your tip will be sent to them one hour after delivery and you are able to adjust that tip before then. Personally, I don’t like to tip until after I have received the service, so I usually just hold off.

You can also wait until after your delivery has taken place and select an amount to tip them. First, you will need to select either thumbs-up or thumbs down for their delivery. Then you will see preselected tip amounts but you can also choose to set your own custom amount. 

Cash tips

Finally, while Uber Eats does not accept cash as a form of payment like Uber does, you are allowed to provide them with a cash tip.

You should note that whether you tipped in cash or you tipped through the app, the driver will receive 100% of that tip (so there’s no need to feel the need to tip in cash just to make sure they receive all of it).

If you have a gift card or some sort of credit that can also be applied to the tip.

How much should you tip Uber Eats drivers?

If you decide to tip your driver, the next question is how much should you tip them?

This is just going to depend on your personal preference but you can tip based on a percentage or just offer them a flat tip. 

Generally, I think leaving $1-$2 for easy, cheap orders is not a terrible tip because at least you are giving them something.

However, if the delivery involves any kind of extra effort on their part such as biking through a city, finding your apartment, dealing with certain elements, I would advise to give them the middle or higher option offered by Uber. This would probably amount to a 15% to 25% tip.  

Do Uber Eats drivers know if you tipped?

Yes, your Uber Eats driver will know whether or not you gave them a tip for your delivery. 

An alternative to tipping 

If you are in a location that is also served by GrubHub (or a similar service), you may consider ordering takeout. This should allow you to avoid the delivery fee altogether. (However, you should be aware that many take out places do receive tips and many believe that it is the right thing to do.)

If you get a card like the American Express Gold Card and you can get a monthly $10 credit to use on a service like this. By avoiding the delivery fee and potentially a tip, this is a great way to maximize the value of your credit.

Final word

I think you should tip your Uber Eats drivers on most occasions and just use your judgment on the amount. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and that should help you decide on what type of tip they deserve. 

UberXL Guide: (Cars List, Requirements, & Rates) [2022]

Uber has exploded in popularity over the past few years and now there are several options to get around the country and the globe with Uber. You can choose to go the cheaper routes with services like Uber Pool and UberX or you can make your experience more premium by going with services like Uber Select or Uber Black.

But what about UberXL? Is it different from UberX or Uber Black SUV? 

In this article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about UberXL, including how much more expensive the price/costs are, the UberXL cars list, and all of the requirements. I’ll also compare it to UberX and Uber Black SUV.

What is UberXL?

UberXL is a type of (more expensive) Uber fare that offers SUV or minivan vehicles to accommodate up to six riders. This fare is designed for groups/families and also for individuals who need extra space to store their luggage to and from the airport.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How to use UberXL?

To use Uber XL, simply log into your Uber app and proceed as if you were going to book an ordinary UberX ride.

Select the destination that you will be heading to and once you do that, if UberXL is available you should see it listed under the menu for choosing a ride, as seen below. (In some cases you may need to swipe up to see UberXL.)

Since UberX is the default option you just need to select the “UberXL” option and then confirm your ride and you’re all good to go!

Uber app showing Uber XL option
Simply input your Destination and you will see the option to select UberXL if it is available.

How much more expensive is UberXL vs UberX?

UberXL will likely be around 30% to 40% more expensive than UberX.

Below are some data points that I used to arrive at this figure.

I did a test booking from my house to my university in Rochester Hills, Michigan which is about 15-20 minutes away. Here is what the rates look like:

  • UberX: $16.62
  • UberXL: $23.62
  • Uber Black: $46.94
  • Uber Black SUV: $65.83
  • Uber Select: $36.84

So, as you can see, UberXL is more expensive than UberX. In fact, the price is about 30% more expensive.

However, when you factor in the fact that it’s up to six riders per UberXL, you can significantly save some money by selecting one UberXL versus multiple UberX rides if you have a group of five or six people. Remember, UberX is designed for up to four passengers.

Related: Is Uber Available 24/7?

When I did another test booking for UberXL at a different time and destination, we can see it’s quite different from UberX. In this case, the price is 38% more expensive, so the price increase is not always a constant percentage. 

This quote was from my house to Detroit Airport (DTW), which takes 50 minutes to one hour. But again, it could be more efficient than booking two Uber rides with a large group or family.

  • UberX: $62.79
  • UberXL: $100.21
  • Uber Black: $181.51
  • Uber Black SUV: $251.95
  • Uber Select: $140.68

Don’t forget that they’ll also be expecting a tip which will add more to the cost (related: To tip or not to tip?).

And if you want to find out more about how Uber fares are calculated, click here.

Is UberXL worth it?

The short answer is yes, but only if you have a group of 5 to 6 people or have tons of luggage that takes up lots of room.

Comparing UberX and UberXL, you get a significant upgrade with UberXL in vehicle size. While UberXL vehicles won’t be luxurious, you will be guaranteed a vehicle with tons of room in both the seat and trunk. Even though the price is almost double of UberX in some cases, it’s perfectly worth it for space if you need or desire it.

However, if you don’t need the extra space, UberX is still perfectly fine as UberXL drivers are on the same level as UberX drivers. Meaning, they aren’t specially trained or held at a higher standard than UberX (unlike drivers for premium Uber options like Uber Select, Black, and Black SUV).

The Turo comparison

After a recent trip to Hawaii we compared the prices for Uber versus Turo.

One of the things I found was that UberXL could be very expensive compared to Turo, especially when you are talking about a group of five since five person vehicles can be pretty cheap to rent and UberX is not available.

So depending on your circumstances, it might be cheaper to rent a Turo vehicle for a day. Just something to consider.

What vehicles qualify for UberXL? (car list)

2008 or newer

First, many different types of cars are limited by the year. Some areas allow models that go all the way back to 2008 but some areas can require you to have newer models such as those ranging from 2013 to new.

2022 Update: Uber now says that UberXL vehicles must be a 2002 or newer.

UberXL models

UberXL doesn’t require certain models of vehicles. The only requirement for vehicles, besides the year, would be to be able to sit up to 6 riders and 1 driver along with luggage.

Additional requirements

  • 4-door vehicle
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial branding
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Valid US driver’s license
  • Proof of personal Auto Insurance
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Pass a vehicle inspection if your vehicle is 5 model years or older

As you can see, the requirements are nothing too special and are very standard for baseline ridesharing vehicle requirements.

Plus, these requirements are exactly the same as UberX too. UberXL drivers are held at the same standard as UberX drivers, meaning ratings cannot be below 4.6 or Uber will kick the driver off the platform.

Examples of UberXL vehicles

  • Kia Sorrento
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Explorer
  • Buick Enclave
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Hyundai Santa Fe

These are just examples of UberXL vehicles and certainly more vehicles are allowed to drive for UberXL. Expect anything that can fit 6 riders.

A typical UberXL vehicle will be an SUV or van.

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How expensive are UberXL vehicles?

If you are like me you might be wondering how expensive the UberXL vehicles are on average. Maybe you want to know how expensive the car is you are going to be riding in or maybe you want to drive an UberXL vehicle and need to know the price.

I’ve looked up some prices for these vehicles that can give you an idea of how expensive they are. The prices are for the base model. If you are considering being an UberXL driver then you might want to get a car more equipped so that you and your riders have more features. So just keep that in mind.


  • 2020 Buick Enclave MSRP: $40,000


  • 2020 Cadillac Escalade MSRP: $75,195


  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse MSRP: $29,800


  • 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan MSRP: $28,535
  • 2020 Dodge Durango MSRP: $30,495


  • 2020 Ford Explorer MSRP: $36,675


  • 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe MSRP: $25,900


  • 2020 Kia Sorento MSRP: $27,335


  • 2020 Toyota Highlander MSRP: $31,350
Image source: Chevrolet

UberX vs UberXL

It all comes down to size, and size matters for UberXL. If you want space for yourself to spread out or are traveling with a group of 6 that needs one Uber or you have tons of luggage that takes up a lot of room, an UberXL vehicle will be best.

Some examples of cars that you will find for UberX:

  • Dodge Charger
  • Toyota Prius
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Kia Sorento & Optima
  • Ford Escape
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Escort
  • Hummer H3
  • Ford Fusion
  • Ford Crown Victoria
  • Nissan Altima
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chrysler 200 & 300

As you can see, there are some good vehicles in there like the BMW 3 Series, but many vehicles won’t be roomy at all. While riding in a BMW would be great, the 3 Series is about the size of a Toyota Prius. So, this just verifies that the vehicles you get as an UberX rider can be small.

Driver qualifications will be the same for both UberX and UberXL. When a driver applies to Uber, the car determines if he or she can serve UberX or UberXL passengers.

Sometimes, you can see UberXL drivers drive as UberX since the driver has the ability to change the class it’s in, but the UberXL driver will be paid less as an UberX driver, even if they are driving an SUV or van.

Both UberX and UberXL drivers have to have a rating of 4.6 or above. Drivers range from amazing to okay with the rare bad driver. I personally haven’t had a bad UberX driver, but have had bad Uber Select and Uber Black drivers. But that may not be the norm for many people.

Tip: If you ever left something in the car, you can read our article about Uber Lost and Found.

UberXL vs Uber Black SUV

This is a very unfair comparison, but UberXL and Uber Black SUV will be very different experiences.

The big differences will be Uber Black SUV vehicles will be hand-selected and have to be a specific model, or at least be greater in value and luxury than the least expensive vehicle on the list. Here are some models of vehicles you can expect to ride in when you order an Uber Black SUV.

  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Ford Expedition Limited/Platinum
  • Audi Q7
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Infiniti QX/56/60/80
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Nissan Armada
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
  • Chevrolet Tahoe/Hybrid
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Lexus LX/GX
  • Lincoln MKT
  • GMC Denali/Hybrid
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Chevrolet Suburban

As you can see, the list is small, curated, and only allows premium luxury vehicles. Every Uber Black SUV has to have an all-black interior and exterior. Seats have to be leather. And on top of those requirements, all Uber Black SUV drivers have to have a limo license.

Meanwhile, UberXL only requires the driver to be above 21 with a clean driving record. Nothing else. So you can see the vehicles and the driver will differ greatly as UberXL will be casual while Uber Black SUV would be for all business.

The only similarity you can see between them is the number of riders in one vehicle, and both UberXL and Uber Black SUV allow 6 riders plus 1 driver.

Image source: Infiniti

Final word

UberXL is valuable if you need the space for either luggage or for people. It’s still very much like UberX in the service department, which isn’t bad. At least you know the type of vehicle size you will get when you order UberXL, unlike UberX which is very random most times.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

How Much Does Uber Charge Per Mile? [2022]

If you are like me you are curious about how much Uber charges per mile.

It’s helpful to know when comparing prices and it also sheds light on how the pricing works in conjunction with other fees.

In this article I will break down everything you need to know about how much Uber charges per mile and also cover some of the other fees you will encounter, so that you will have a complete understanding of the Uber pricing system.

How much does Uber charge per mile?

The cost per mile will change based on the type of fare that you purchase and other factors like location but generally you can expect to be charged between $1 to $2 per mile.

It’s important to note that there are many other fees that go into your total fare which I will cover below.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Breakdown of Uber fees

The cost per mile is just one small fee when it comes to an Uber ride.

It helps to understand all of the different fees and charges that Uber will hit you with so that you will have a complete understanding of your Uber charges.

Here’s a list of the fees you can expect:

  • Base fare
  • Long pick up fee (If applicable)
  • Minimum fare
  • Cost per mile
  • Cost per minute
  • Fixed Booking fee
  • Per-minute wait time
  • Tip

Let’s go through each of these individually so you can see what to expect for each one.

I will use a sample booking that I made within the Tucson, Arizona area to illustrate the prices.

Related: Uber vs Turo in Honolulu, Hawaii (Which is Cheaper?)

Base Fare

The base fare is a flat fee charged at the beginning of every ride.

This is often a very small amount. For example, for a trip I pulled up in Tucson, Arizona it was only $1.30.

On other occasions, I have seen this fare below one dollar, so it is often pretty negligible.

Long pick up fee

If you have a long pick up schedule then you may be hit with per minute and per mile pick up fees.

For a sample booking I did, the per minute pick up fee was $.17 per minute and the per mile pick up fee was $.80 per mile.

(These may be the same rates as the rates during your trip while you are sitting in the car as a passenger.)

Minimum fare

The minimum fare is a mandatory minimum amount that you must pay for your trip.

It is only relevant if your fare total would be below the minimum amount.

This fee is set in order to encourage Uber drivers to pick up individuals on short rides because otherwise such short rides would not be profitable enough to incentivize them to pick up passengers.

For a 10 minute ride in Arizona, the minimum fare came out to $9.80 for an UberX ride.

Cost per mile

This is how much your trip is going to cost you per mile that you are riding as a passenger.

As stated above, this amount can change. For my Arizona trip, the cost per mile was $1.21.

If you have chosen a fare like UberXL, the cost per mile could be significantly higher.

For example, a simple price from Union Square to SFO in San Francisco shows a cost per mile at $2.47.

Note: If you are heading out on a very long ride that involves hours of riding then you may be charged a minimum fare of $50 per hour.

Cost per minute

In addition to getting charged per mile, you also get charged per minute. The charge per minute is generally very low and in my case it was at $.14.

This is something to keep your eye on when traveling with some Uber drivers because it could incentivize them to take a longer drive to get you somewhere.

Because the charge per minute is so low this is not a huge concern but there could be some shady actors out there who would try to take advantage of this.

Booking fee

The booking fee, which used to be called the “safe rides fee,” is a mandatory fee that you must pay for each trip that you take. It is presumably meant to help cover things like operating costs.

This fee changes depending on the type of fare that you book.

For a UberX ride, your booking fee will probably be a little over two dollars. For example, it might be $2.15 or $2.20.

For other type of rides, the fixed booking fee can actually be a decent amount higher. When I checked the fee for a Uber comfort, the fixed booking fee was $2.86.

For other services such as UberXL, the booking fee will probably be around $2.50.

In addition to the fixed booking fee, there will also be a per mile booking fee on some rides. This is usually a very small amount and I have seen it as low as five cents per mile.

Note: You may not see this booking fee if you are booking one of the more premium services such as UberBlack or UberSUV

Related: Uber Rider Rating: Everything you need to know

Per-minute wait time

If your driver has to wait for you to arrive at the vehicle for a certain amount of time, such as over two minutes then you will likely be charged a wait time.

This wait time is charged per minute and the amount can vary. I’ve seen it range from something like $.25 to $.60 per minute.


The last charge that you need to think about is the tip. Tipping is optional but it is recommended to provide a little tip, typically at least 10% is good although some people like to tip more.

Related: Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?

Surge charges

If you are trying to get a ride during a very busy time, you will likely get hit with surge charges.

This amount is calculated by taking your total fare and then multiplying it by a set surge price multiplier. The multiplier will depend on the demand at the time but it could be something like two times or three times the amount of your fare.

The price is hiked in order to encourage other drivers to come into the area to meet up with the demand of passengers.

The highest surge charges that I have came across are usually directly after a large event ends. For example, if you are leaving a stadium after a football or baseball game, those surge prices can drastically increase.

Other instances that I’ve seen involve bad weather such as a bad rain storm that comes in quickly and leaves a lot of people without the ability to walk to their destination.

Cancellation fees

There are a variety of cancellation fees that you should be aware of.

The first is a rider no-show fee. Basically, if you never show up for the driver you can be hit with a $5 fee.

If you choose to cancel the ride then you may be hit with a standard cancellation fee of $5.

There may also be additional fees based on the per mile or per minute rates.

So whatever the per minute and per mile rates are for the trip or for the pick up, you may be responsible for covering those up to the point of canceling.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

How to figure out the cost per mile

If you are trying to figure out how much your trip will cost per mile, it is extremely to easy to do this with the Uber app.

Simply enter in your destination details and then select the type of Uber ride that you will be using (UberX, UberXL, etc.)

Click on the type of Uber fare you are interested and you should see an information circle next to the words “Affordable, every day rides.”

Go ahead and click on that and you will see the complete breakdown of your fare.

This is an estimate of your fare so it could differ slightly at the time that you complete the ride based on things like tolls or surcharges.

It may also change based on the length, duration, or route if your trip ends up changing.

However it is a good estimate and you can check the per mile charge is pretty easily.

As mentioned above, you will see a minimum fare per mile and also a fixed booking fee per mile.

Typically, the fixed booking fee per mile will be substantially less than the minimum fare per mile.

For example, in the UberX example that I took from Arizona the charge per mile was one dollar for the minimum fare and the charge per mile for the booking fee was five cents.

Related: What is Uber VIP?

Final word

The cost per mile on an Uber ride will change based on things like the type of fare you have booked and also your location. This amount can often be between 1 to 2 dollars.

It’s important to remember that the cost per mile is just one charge among a handful of other fees that go into pricing an Uber ride.

Is Uber Available 24/7? [2022]

Perhaps you are partying through the night or maybe you’re simply trying to get a very early start to the airport but either way you might be wondering if Uber is available 24 hours a day.

And if you can book an Uber ride at anytime of the day or night, is that actually a good idea or are you putting yourself at risk for something to go wrong?

In this article, I’ll break down what to expect when trying to ride Uber during all hours of the night and some factors to consider. I’ll also share some valuable tips to make your booking as smooth as possible.

Is Uber available 24/7?

Yes, Uber is available 24 hours a day but in smaller markets you may struggle to find a ride in a timely fashion. Also, there are a few considerations you need to think about when utilizing the service during off peak hours. Keep reading to find out more!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Factors to consider

Uber drivers can work whenever they want

Uber drivers are independent contractors and each Uber driver can sign in and sign out whenever they wish.

This allows them to work odd hours through the night and early morning which is why Uber is essentially a 24 hour service.

They can also choose to work any holidays they would like which makes Uber drivers available any day of the year, including big-time holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Related: 17 Uber Hacks to Save Money and Time

Finding a ride is not always easy

The biggest hurdle you might have is finding a driver in the wee hours of the night.

In some locations this will be surprisingly easy.

Some Uber drivers are night owls and prefer to work during the night.

One major reason is that they can avoid the hassle of traffic which is not only stressful but also eats into gas mileage and wear and tear on the vehicle.

Also, a lot of early morning requests are for airport rides which are pretty simple to take care of especially if they know the main routes.

If you are located in or nearby a major city in the US you likely will not struggle to find an Uber driver at any time.

If you are in a rural area or in the outer suburbs sometimes it can be difficult or even impossible to find a ride at any time.

This means that you may need to start searching for a ride extra early.

If you need to be at the airport at 4:30am and it’s going to take you 30 minutes to get there, then you probably want to request an Uber no later than 3:15am.

That would be giving yourself no less than 45 minutes for a driver to be located and make their way over to your location.

That might sound crazy but I’ve been in instances where it has taken a driver over 30 minutes to get to my location.

Going with this approach might mean arriving at the airport super early but at least you’ll be there on time.

If you are not sure if there will be Uber drivers in your area a smart move to make is to do a test run a day or two prior to your trip.

Wake up at the exact time you would need your ride to be requested and then check the app to see if you can find any drivers. If you see some, be sure to note the wait time.

This will give you an exact idea what to expect but in this type of situation you should also have a back-up plan.

This could be a local taxi service or perhaps some type of dedicated chauffeur service.

If you don’t feel like you can guarantee a driver being available you definitely want to have some plan in place the night before.

Related: How Early Should You Get to the Airport?

Uber’s Scheduled Rides

Some people think that if they utilize the scheduled rides for these off-hour rides they stand a better chance of getting one. According to some Uber drivers this is not the case though.

Scheduling a ride is effectively the same as looking for a ride at that time. The only difference is that the app automatically does it for you.

So the big take away here is that scheduling an Uber ride in advance does NOT necessarily mean you will be guaranteed a driver.

In fact, sometimes it can be harder to find a driver when doing a scheduled ride.

I’ve seen a lot of reports of Uber drivers rejecting scheduled rides for various reasons.

One major reason is that they often have to drive pretty far out of their way to handle these requests which can often be the case for long airport rides.

Scheduled rides also may allow for more waiting time, which can be problematic for both parties: the driver and the rider.

When you schedule a ride sometimes the Uber driver gets the request and then arrives extra early.

They don’t get paid to sit and wait for you so you might start getting messages from them to come on outside.

If you cannot get out there early then by the time you do make your way to the car they may already be in a bad mood from waiting for you.

At that point, you might have a long drive ahead of you which can be awkward or uncomfortable.

Or in a worse situation the driver might get tired of waiting and just cancel your ride.

So if you are the type of person that does not enjoy the added pressure of trying to hurry out the door, then going with a schedule ride may not be the best route.

Note that in some markets there is a new thing called Uber Reservations.

Uber still says they don’t guarantee that a driver will accept your ride request but this appears to be an improved way of finding a committed driver.

In some cases you can even get Uber Cash rewarded to you if your driver does not show up.

Related: How Much Does Uber Charge Per Mile?


If you are traveling in the middle of the night you might be (rightfully) more worried about your safety.

Criminals tend to rely on the veil of darkness to get away with crimes so it is good to have your guard up.

One thing you can do to increase your safety level when ordering an Uber at 3am or 4am is to check the rating of the driver.

If it looks like the driver is new or does not have established ratings than consider canceling the ride.

You may not be charged a cancellation fee if you cancel within 2 to 5 minutes of ordering your ride but the exact time may depend on your location.

If your Uber driver shows up extra late that might be a sign that they are not very responsible because traffic should be at a minimum during the night.

That might be a sign that the driver is not in the best shape to drive or perhaps even up to something.

If they are over five minutes late and you can afford to reschedule you might want to cancel that ride.

Cancel your ride when the driver arrives

If you happen to notice that the driver looks super shady when they arrive then you can simply cancel your ride there.

In that case, you will likely have to eat the cancellation fee unless you can convince Uber that your driver was so shady looking that it would have been bad judgment for you to get into the vehicle.

Convincing Uber customer service that was the case could be very difficult.

However, if you had a strong conviction about something like you noticed the driver was high or drunk, as an Uber user you should not be penalized. In those situations you can report the driver and customer service should be able to take care of you eventually.

Share your GPS location

For an extra layer of security you can always share your GPS location with someone you know. If you have an Apple device this can easily be done with family members in Find My Friends or the Messages app.

UberX Share

Uber Pool (now UberX Share) allows you to share rides with other passengers. It can take longer to get to your destination but you can save money in the process.

In terms of safety, UberX Share could cut both ways.

On the one hand, there typically is safety in numbers so you are not subject to a potential one-on-one encounter with a psycho driver.

If your driver was trying to pull some type of stunt all of you could gang up on him or her.

On the other hand, more people means more variables and you never know who you could be sharing a ride with at that hour.

People traveling around 3am often can be up to no good and for the most part you would probably be better off avoiding those people.

Personally, I would not be looking to utilize UberX Share during off hours.

Uber Black

To decrease the odds of something going wrong you might want to book a more expensive Uber fare.

Booking Uber Black or UberXL could mean increasing your chances of getting a more qualified and trustworthy driver. You’ll have to pay more for the service of course but the peace of mind could be worth it.

Final word

You can definitely take an Uber 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year. However, finding a driver super late at night or early in the morning is not always guaranteed in certain areas.

You need to take extra effort to see what type of drivers may be available and what the wait times will be. Always have a back up plan.

And of course, use a lot of common sense and take precautions if you think your safety is at risk.

17 Uber Hacks to Save Money and Time [2020]

Uber is a terrific way to save money when trying to get around town. Whether you are trying to get from the airport, downtown, or somewhere else, Uber can save you tons compared to traditional taxis. But there are several methods for taking your savings on Uber to the next level. In this article, I’ll talk about several different ways that you can save money with Uber.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

1. Relocate from airports to hotels 

At some airports, the rates for rides originating from airports can be higher due to airports fees. The work-a-round for this issue is to hop on a hotel shuttle bus and make your way to a nearby hotel (preferably in the direction you need to travel) . A lot of these shuttle buses are free and once you arrive at the hotel you can request an Uber from there which will be cheaper. 

Don’t be tempted to drop your pin outside of the airport zone and then assume that a driver will be able to pick you up at the terminal. There are some regulations that prevent the Uber drivers from picking you up in such a way and so some drivers will simply cancel your order. 

Also, be aware that some airports may only offer more expensive fares (like Uber Black). This may not happen as often as it used to but this is something that has happened to me in the past. 

Airport pick-ups can result in higher fees.

2. Ride.guru

Before even deciding to use Uber, you can check the website known as Ride.guru. This will automatically compare prices between different rideshare companies and transport companies so that you can make a smart financial decision when booking your ride. 

I’m a big fan of the layout of the website and it’s very easy to use. You simply input your location and destination and within a few seconds you’ll have a breakdown of all of the different prices. 

3. 5X on Uber gift cards

A great way to save on Uber Is to purchase Uber gift cards. One what you can do this is by purchasing discounted gift cards at websites like Raise (although some times this discount is very small, such as 1%). 

Another way that you can capture savings is by purchasing Uber gift cards with the bonus on certain credit cards. For example, you can use a card that earns 5X on Office Supply Stores and find Uber gift cards there or perhaps find them at grocery stores where you can earn 5X with cards like the Chase Freedom. 

4. Platinum Card $15 & $35 credits 

Another easy way to save with credit cards is to utilize the credits that come with the American Express Platinum Card. With this card you will be issued a $15 monthly credit that you can use on Uber or Uber Eats. When December rolls around you will actually be issued a $35 credit so that the total annual credits come out to $200.

The Platinum Card also comes with a host of other benefits, including: 

5. Uber sign-up promo codes 2019

Whenever you first join Uber, be sure to be on the look out for those special sign-up promotions. You can virtually always save a decent amount of money (up to $25) on your first ride. These will often change, but here are some of the promo codes that were offered as of April 2019:  

  • NEWRIDER15 $5 off each of your first 3 trips
  • NEWRIDER16 $4 off each of your first 4 trips
  • NEWRIDER18 $3 off each of your first 6 trips
  • NEWRIDER25 $2.50 off each of your first 10 trips

6. Use Uber referrals 

Uber has a nice referral program where you can get free rides by referring others to sign-up. The referral of terms can differ but here is an example of how it will work. You log into your app and then click on “Free Rides.”

Then once you do that you should see a code that you can then send out to other people and if they use that code to sign up they will get a benefit and so will you.

In my case, it shows that a new Uber user will get two dollars off each of their first three rides and after they take their first ride I can automatically get $5 off my next ride. These offers tend to change as well so always keep an eye out for the latest referral terms. 

7. Jump on ongoing promotions 

And even if you have been using Uber for a long time you can still take advantage of the ongoing promotions. These can come in various types of different forms so you’ll just always have to be on the lookout for them at certain times of the year (such as during holidays).

Many times these promotional codes are only available for a couple of days so you have to use them pretty quickly. Also, sometimes they are restricted to certain geographic regions. 

8. Protect your Uber rating 

You might be aware that drivers are rated but are you aware that passengers are also rated? You can view your Uber rating by simply logging into the Uber app.

Your rating won’t affect how much you have to pay but it can indirectly affect your Uber Experience. That is because some drivers could choose to not pick you up based on your lower rating. This means that you could be waiting a longer time for your ride to arrive.

So here are some tips to protect your rating:

  • Be on time whenever they are there to pick you up
  • Be helpful if they call you for more information
  • Be willing to strike up good conversation (avoid offensive topics)
  • Try to avoid spilling anything or making a mess in their vehicle
  • Avoid looking and sounding sketchy
  • Promptly leave a tip (or don’t tip)

Tip: Some Uber drivers prefer not to pick up passengers that have a 5.0 rating. That’s because those passengers could be brand-new and potentially sketchy. If you have a rating like a 4.9 or or perhaps a 4.8 you look like a more seasoned passenger and someone that they might be able to trust more. 

9. Avoid bad drivers

Some report that if you give the driver a rating of three stars or below you will not be matched with them again. I’m not sure how true this is but I do think that it makes sense that if you give a driver a bad rating that Uber will try to not match you with the driver again.

10. Use Uber Pool

Uber Pool is probably the best way to save money, sometimes 25% to 50%. You can reserve a vehicle with up to two people but no more and your pick-up and drop-off spot might not be exactly where you’d like it (especially if you are doing ExpressPool). 

While you will be able to save money, there are a few more drawbacks. First, it’s not available in every location so it might not be an option for you. Second, you might be sharing the vehicle with others (but not always).

This means that you might be waiting for your driver to pick up other passengers and sometimes they can also get dropped off before you (even if they were picked up before you). So this is not the option that you want to go with if you are in a rush. 

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

11. Pick the right class

Uber Pool is just one of the different types of classes that you can choose when booking an Uber.  Typically, you’ll want to choose Uber X if you’re interested in the cheapest type of fare. But in other situations, you might want to go with other types of fares. 

Below is a breakdown of all of the different types of classes. Just keep in mind that all of these won’t be available in every location. 

Uber X

  • Cheapest fare. Seats 1–4 people and is curb to curb service.

Uber XL

  • Second cheapest. Seats 1–6 people and is curb to curb service.

Uber Pool

  • Seats 1–4, but you can only fill a max of 2 seats. The pickup spot may be assigned and you may have to walk a bit to it. The drop-off is the same. 

Uber Select

  • Seats 1–4 people with curb to curb service. These are premium rides in higher end cars BMW, Lexus, Mercedes etc. You may get a little more personalized service. 

Uber Black

  • Seats 1–4 people with curb to curb service. These are rides in higher end cars BMW, Lexus, Mercedes etc. with Professional Drivers.

Uber SUV

  • Seats 1–6 people with curb to curb service. The SUV can be a Suburban, Escalade etc. Great for looking important:). With Professional Drivers.

Uber Assist

  • Seats 1–4 and is normally an Uber X vehicle. The offers door to door service. This is intended for for older people who may need help getting to and from the car. Also, for people with disabilities. Each driver goes through special training.

Uber Espanol

  • Seats 1–4 people typically an Uber X car with curb to curb service. These drivers all speak fluent Spanish

Uber WAV

  • This should be the same price as Uber X and offer Seats for 1–4 people and it will offer a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle with curb to curb service.

Attribution: Quora

12. Avoid surge pricing

By now, you are probably aware of what is known as surge pricing. This is when prices increase during peak times, such as when the bars close or before or after a game or concert. But there are a few things that you should know about surge pricing.

The first is that the price surges can be very temporary. An October 2015 study revealed that surge pricing often only lasts a few minutes, so you can simply just wait a few minutes to book your ride in some cases. 

Other times you can simply walk over to another area and try to get out of the surge area. In some cases, you may have to walk pretty far (like a mile) but in other cases you may just have to walk over a couple of blocks to get out of the search radius. 

Some people will simply drop their pin outside of the surge zone but that comes at the risk of confusing or perhaps annoying your Uber driver, since they won’t know exactly where to pick you up from (and they will likely know what you are up to).

There are some apps out there you can try that should be able to show you when and where a surge is occurring but many of them have mixed reviews. 

13. Schedule a ride in advance

Uber will allow you to schedule rides in advance, sometimes up to a few weeks in advance. But note that this feature is not available everywhere and it does not protect you from surge pricing. However, you will be notified if surge pricing is in effect before you ride and be given an option to cancel without a cancellation fee.

14. Uber Ride Pass

Uber customers can pay a monthly fee of $14.99 (or now $24.99) for discounted rates for all UberX, Uber Pool and Uber Express Pool rides in a given month. In addition to up to a 15% discount, rates will be locked in so you won’t be subject to dynamic prices that can be affected by high demand, bad weather, and traffic conditions.

This is a great way to save and avoid surge pricing but it’s not available everywhere. Here is a full list of all of the locations which include:

  • New York City
  • Dallas
  • San Diego
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Las Vegas
  • Orange County, California
  • Phoenix
  • Baltimore
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Portland
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Seattle, Washington

15. Facebook Messenger

In the past, you could sign up for Uber through the Facebook Messenger app and receive a special discount. I’m not sure if this discount is going to return or not as it appears to not be going on. But this is something to be on the lookout for.

16. Split the fare

Uber gives you the option to split the fare when making your payment. This is something that makes sharing rides very easy but it might be better to have someone give you cash so you can earn more points on a solid travel rewards credit card. Of course, you can also just pay cash for your Uber rides if you wish. 

17. Use Uber support

If you ever have any issues with the driver or the experience you can always contact Uber Support. Honestly, I have had a lot of negative experiences with Uber Support but others have had better times and been able to get somewhere. If you ever have a driver that doesn’t have regard for your safety, traffic laws, etc., you might be able to get something out of it. 

Final word

There are a lots of ways to save money with Uber but these methods should help you get more value out of the program.  

Uber Rider Rating: Everything you need to know [2020]

Uber is huge, as in worldwide huge. So, having a good Uber Rider rating is important to get accepted for Ubers. If your score is too low, you might have to wait longer or even be removed from the Uber platform.

In this article, I go over what exactly an Uber rating is, how to check it, how to rate drivers, and understanding the whole Uber rating system. 

What is an Uber Rider rating?

As an Uber rider (also known as a passenger) you will be rated by your Uber Driver each time you finish a ride with Uber. The scoring system is one star to five stars, five being the highest rating a rider can get. The same also goes with drivers, one to five stars for a rating and five being the highest.

All your ratings will average to a number that creates an Uber rating.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How to check my Uber Rider rating?

Checking your Uber Rider rating is as easy as opening up the app and displaying the sidebar.

So, once you opened up the app, click on the sidebar menu icon at the top left corner of your app.

After tapping the sidebar menu icon, the sidebar menu will appear and under your name and to the right of your profile picture you can find your Uber Rider rating average.

If you click on your Uber Rider rating, you will be directed to an explanation of your Uber Rating and how Uber encourages riders and drivers to rate each other showing how it’s important to leave feedback to one another.

As an Uber Rider, you cannot check the rating of each trip you took.

How do Uber ratings work?

For both Uber Riders and Drivers, they are set up so both the rider and driver rate each other.

Drivers have to rate riders, as it’s mandatory. Riders have the option to rate drivers and it’s not necessary each time you take an Uber.

Uber Rider rating an Uber Driver

When you complete any trip as an Uber Rider, you have the ability to give your driver feedback. It will be in the form of a star rating between one and five, five being the highest rating.

The rating you give your driver will be part of their average Uber rating. If the driver has done 1000s of rides, your rating might not make a dent into your driver’s overall rating.

Depending on the rating you gave your driver, you can either give critical feedback for why you rated your driver lower than five stars or give a compliment at five stars.

When you give less than five stars, the critical feedback is necessary so Uber knows what your reason is for rating your driver lower than five stars. It also filters out ratings not for the driver but for the app. So, if you pick a reason that is related to the app, the driver doesn’t get punished.

If you rate your driver five stars, you can give a compliment to your driver. When you add a compliment, you can also submit a message that also shows up with the compliment icon. These compliments then show up on the driver’s profile page, which you can see before, during, and after that ride with that particular driver.

Compliments don’t add to the Uber Driver’s overall rating. However, it does encourage the driver to keep on driving for the platform and sometimes drivers can get badges for receiving enough of the same compliments.

Uber Driver rating an Uber Rider

Again, the rating an Uber Driver gives an Uber Rider will be part of the Uber Rider’s average score. If the rider has a couple of ratings, then it’s easy for ratings to affect their average Uber rating.

When an Uber Rider completes a trip, the Uber Driver for that trip will end the ride. Once the ride is completed, both the rider and driver have the ability to rate one another.

The Uber Driver has to rate the rider before they move on to their next ride or get anymore ride requests.

If the driver rates the rider four or fewer stars, the driver then has to select why the rider got fewer than five stars. Selecting the reason is very important as it prevents drivers from rating all riders badly since Uber has the ability to audit ratings.

Related: How Much Does Uber Charge Per Mile

How do I rate my Uber Driver?

Rating your Uber Driver is as easy as opening up your app.

After you finish your trip and open your Uber app, you will get a prompt to allow you to rate your Uber Driver. You can either give your driver a rating now or later. If you want to give your driver a rating now, just select the number of stars you want to give him or her. If you want to skip giving your driver a rating, just select skip.

Remember, you can always rate your Uber Driver later, but only for a short amount of time.

As I mentioned above, the number of stars selected will give you a prompt to give either a compliment or feedback.

For example, if you gave five stars, it would look like this.

If you want to give a compliment, you can select only one compliment.

But if you selected four or fewer stars, you will have to submit your reason why you think the driver isn’t five-star material.

If you want to add or edit your rating of a past trip. You can do it by going under your past trips via the menu sidebar and select the trip you want to add or edit the rating.

Once you are under the trip, you can select the blank stars to add a rating. If you want to edit a rating, just select “edit rating”.

How to view my Uber Drivers rating and compliments

It’s easy to check your Uber Driver’s rating. You can see it when you first get assigned a driver. You can then look at facts about your driver by clicking on their headshot. You will then be taken to their profile to see other rider feedback and your driver’s accomplishments.

Low Uber ratings can cause you to be kicked off of Uber

If your Uber rating is low, you can be kicked off of the Uber platform as a rider or a driver.

If you are an Uber Driver, your minimum Uber rating depends on the type of Uber you drive. For example, UberX and UberXL Drivers cannot go below a 4.6-star rating. If the driver does, they will be kicked off the Uber Driver platform.

Uber Select cannot go below a 4.75-star rating, if the Uber Select Driver goes below 4.75, they would be demoted to UberX or XL. The same goes for Uber Black and so on.

Uber Riders can also be kicked off, but there is no published minimum for Uber Riders. Riders will most likely get kicked off the Uber platform if after a handful of bad rides with a rating around 3 stars. However, if your rating is 1 star after your very first ride, don’t worry about being kicked off the Uber platform, they will only target established riders that have taken multiple or many trips.

Does it mean as an Uber Rider that you have a free pass to get a low rating? No, and I highly recommend to keep your rating up. The higher the rating you have, the more likely it is that a driver will accept your ride.

In fact, I used to drive for UberX. I have skipped over-riders that had ratings below four stars as each request will show how many stars the rider has. So, I do strongly suggest keeping your rating up as it does influence a driver picking up your Uber request.

How to raise my Uber Rider rating

In reality, there is no shortcut to raise your Uber rating. The rating you have is an average, so adding one more five-star ride to your rating average might not even make a dent.

Luckily, there are simple things as a rider that makes the driver more likely to rate you five stars.

Always be at the pickup point before your driver

Drivers love it when the rider is waiting at the pickup point before the driver is even at the pickup point. This allows the driver to keep on working and not have to wait out the three minutes before getting paid.

Plus, when the rider is at the pickup point, it allows the driver to worry less about where to wait for the rider.

Having an accurate pickup point

Nothing is worse for a driver than going to the pickup point, and finding that the rider chose the wrong pickup point. Always double-check the pickup point you set is accurate.

Being aware of your surroundings

Doing stuff like having an argument with someone else or eating in the car can be annoying to the driver. I am not saying don’t have an argument or eat in the car, but realize your argument could be toxic and when talking to the driver it might rub them the wrong way.

If you want to eat in the car, please ask first and make sure you clean up your trash. Nothing is worse than picking up McDonald’s trash that smelt up the car.

Drivers are humans too

Yes, sometimes we as consumers have to remember that people do work in service-type jobs like Uber. While most people won’t care about common courtesies like saying “how are you”, but saying stuff like that to an Uber Driver makes them realize you actually think of them.

I know what I am saying above is redundant as everyone knows this, but sometimes asking about their day can make a driver feel better.

Most Uber Drivers own their vehicle, so take care

Again, Uber Riders that disrespect a vehicle by hitting the door with their foot, slamming doors, or making a mess in the car will definitely be more than likely marked down. Nothing is worse for a driver to see his or her own car get beaten up by a rider because of hitting the door, breaking objects, scratching, etc.

Normal wear and tear are normal, but breaking things or potentially damaging the car isn’t normal.

Uber Ratings FAQ

Can the Uber Driver change an Uber Rider rating?

Uber Drivers can change Uber Rider ratings via Uber Support with a valid reason.

A valid reason might be selecting the wrong rating and explaining why the original rating is not the true rating you wanted to give out to the rider.

Can I deactivate my Uber rating?

You cannot ever turn off your Uber rating on your own account. You are stuck with Uber ratings on.

Is it possible to remove an Uber rating some gave me?

In fact, there is a way to remove an Uber rating from a driver or rider. However, you need to provide proof that you don’t deserve the rating.

For example, the Uber driver could have been provoking you to buy something. Once you exit the vehicle, you could contact Uber support immediately and tell them the story of how the Uber Driver gave you one star lowing your average and all because you said no to buying their mixtape.

The same goes for Uber Drivers disputing a rating from a passenger. I once had a rider that spilled coke all over my backseat, I ended up filing a cleaning fee as the coke got everywhere on the seat and floor making me go home to clean out my back seat. The rider did give me one star for the cleaning fee, I was able to dispute it.

Final word

Uber ratings are important and definitely a two-way street. Both riders and drivers should rate each other, but must be aware that each time you rate a rider and driver that it could hurt their average. So, make sure you have a good reason otherwise Uber might not even count your rating.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

Uber Lost and Found Guide (How it Works and Fees) [2020]

Uber has made many of our lives 100 times easier and more convenient. It has allowed us to save time and money in many places around the world and hopefully allowed a lot of people to make smarter decisions to stay off the road.

But with so many people using this technology to travel around (sometimes in questionable mental states) it is inevitable that many people will lose things during the process. 

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about Uber lost and found. I’ll cover the steps you need to know for recovering your lost items and will also tell you what you can expect with regards to fees and phone numbers to call (or not call). Finally, I’ll show you some interesting data about the most common and unique lost items with Uber. 

Does Uber have a lost and found?

Yes, Uber does have a lost and found program.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How does the Uber lost and found work?

The Uber lost and found program works pretty simple. You simply use the Uber app or website to get in touch with your driver and then coordinate delivery of your lost item while paying a small fee.

I’ll explain how the process works step-by-step below and also show you what to do in case you are missing your phone.

Uber lost and found process

The Uber lost and found process should be the same regardless of what city you’re located in. So whether you’re in New York, Dallas, San Francisco, etc., the steps below should apply to you. 

Contact the driver

The first thing that you want to do is to contact the Uber driver. If you lost something on a trip that somebody else requested then you will want to get that person to report the lost item through their own Uber app. 

Here is how you can initiate the process.

First, log into the app and then select on “Your Trips.”

Under Your Trips, you should see a tab that displays your past trips and that is where you can find your recent trips. Simply click on whatever trip it was that you lost the item on to proceed.

Now scroll down a little bit under the help tab and you should see a field that says “I lost an item.” Click on that to proceed. 

Next click on “contact driver about a lost item.”

Now you can scroll down to the bottom and enter a phone number where you can be contacted. Uber will then call the number that you entered and connect you with the driver.

If you are unable to get a hold of the driver simply leave a detailed voice mail describing the item that you lost and give them some of your contact information. If the item is super important to you then you should also try to explain the urgency for getting your item back as well. 

Keep in mind that the driver does not have your phone number until you give them it an a voicemail. Thus, if you really value your privacy and don’t like to give out your phone number you might see about giving a phone number to be reached somewhere else.

Coordinate delivery

If the driver does pick up the phone then confirm that they found the lost item and then decide on a mutually convenient time and place to coordinate the return. You really want to be considerate about this because you are asking that person to take time away from their work schedule to help you out. So try to be as accommodating to them as possible. 

If your item is returned there will be a $15 fee.

If you are putting the driver at a severe inconvenience or if they are very far away then you might consider offering them additional cash in order for them to make the return. You might also just request them to mail you the item if they are very far away or unable to meet you.

If you are unable to contact your driver within 24 hours than you can contact Uber to see what they can do to help. Basically, you’ll just need to input some details about the lost item and then Uber will take it from there.

Is Uber responsible for my lost items?

Neither Uber nor drivers are responsible for any items left in a vehicle when a trip ends. You might not like this policy but it actually makes a lot of sense. Forcing Uber or drivers to be responsible for lost items could open up the door for massive fraud/abuse on so many cases.

Imagine how many people would falsely state that they left something like a phone or iPad in a car when in actuality they never even owned one. If Uber or Uber drivers were responsible the floodgates would surely be wide open for claims like that.

Also, practically speaking, it could be very easy for someone else to hop in the back of the vehicle, find your item and not say anything to the driver. In that case, the driver would actually never have any idea that you lost the item. 

So while I don’t agree with a lot that Uber does, their lack of liability in this situation makes a lot of sense. 

Now I’m not exactly sure about the law and this could definitely vary by state. But once a driver has claimed that they have found your item and is on their way to deliver it they could potentially be held responsible for that item if they were negligent with their custody of the item. Just something to think about if the worst happened. [By the way this is not legal advice.]

What if I lost my phone?

If you do not have a phone to report your lost item through the app you can still do this online.

You can visit the website here and then sign in to proceed.

Just like in the case above you will need to enter a number that you can be contacted at. If you lost your phone then simply enter a family or friend’s phone number. Uber will call you and connect you with the driver and then you can work out the return situation if possible.

What is the Uber lost and found fee?

As mentioned, the Uber lost and found fee is $15. This fee is meant to compensate the driver for their lost time. 

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

The most common lost items in the Uber Index

Uber actually publishes an index of all of the lost items and it is pretty interesting to see some of their data.

Here are the 10 most common forgotten items:

  1. Phone
  2. Camera
  3. Wallet
  4. Keys
  5. Purse / Backpack
  6. Clothing
  7. Glasses
  8. Headphones
  9. Vape / E-cig
  10. ID / License

It’s really no surprise to see that phones would be the number one lost item considering that you pretty much have to have that in order to use Uber. All of the other items are pretty standard too.

There’re also many unique items that are lost and here’s a list of 50 of those:

  1. 8 week old coffee-colored Chihuahua
  2. Black faux fur neck cuff in a size large
  3. A photo of a New Years kiss
  4. 6 chicken tenders from 7 Eleven
  5. A black and white tuxedo for a small dog
  6. Full set of 18k gold teeth
  7. Professional grade hula hoop
  8. Salmon head
  9. Medium sized medical marijuana pipe
  10. Birth certificate and social security card
  11. Star Wars skateboard
  12. Very important headband with peacock feathers
  13. A propane tank
  14. A tray of eggs
  15. White leather snakeskin Louboutin heels
  16. Lego championship wrestling belt
  17. A pack of hair and a brown brush shaped like a foot
  18. Ed Sheeran concert tank top
  19. Breast pump with breast milk
  20. Two packs of Italian sausage and a Thanksgiving ham
  21. A shopping cart
  22. Ancestry kit
  23. Lotion and beard oil
  24. Silver & peach colored Venetian masquerade mask
  25. Small handmade cat puppet
  26. Babe Ruth signed baseball
  27. White gold wedding band with diamonds
  28. McDonald’s visor and a large fries
  29. Harry Potter Magic Wand
  30. A special pizza costume
  31. A bird
  32. Red pouch with hammock inside that says “hang loose”
  33. Cheer skirt with a lion head
  34. Yeezy boost 350 butters
  35. A mannequin
  36. Two pieces of my ever-so-special white wedding cake
  37. A fog machine
  38. Japanese style mandolin
  39. Full fish tank with fish and water
  40. An Elvis cape with a few jewels on it
  41. One Gucci flip flop
  42. Red Lobster takeout
  43. Limited edition Chance the Rapper Starbucks gift card
  44. 5×7 prom picture of me and my husband
  45. 10 lbs pulled pork and 10 lbs pulled chicken
  46. Rose gold Kim Kardashian lumee case
  47. A piece of parchment paper with sap on it
  48. Deer antlers and a welding helmet
  49. My dirty laundry
  50. A small plush toy of a cat eating a pizza slice

Uber also publishes a list of the top 10 most forgetful cities:

  1. East Alabama
  2. Gallup, New Mexico
  3. Cookeville, Tennessee
  4. Mississippi Delta
  5. Boone, North Carolina
  6. Sioux City, Iowa
  7. South Georgia
  8. Mankato, Minnesota
  9. College Station, Texas
  10. Tallahassee, Florida

I was a little bit surprised to see College Station, Texas on the list (where I went for undergrad) but maybe it has something to do with Northgate?

You can also find additional data on there like what the most forgetful days of the year are. Interestingly, the most forgetful days for New Year’s and Halloween. 

Final word

It’s not too difficult to file a lost and found claim with Uber. The key is to just be prompt and try to connect with the driver as soon as possible. And then you want to try to be as accommodating to their schedule as possible and to consider the possibility of throwing some additional cash their way to provide them the incentive to help you out. 

By they way, if you’re interested in the Uber credit card, click here to find out more about it. 

What is Uber VIP? (Amex Platinum and Centurion Perks) [2020]

Uber VIP is an American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders-only program that offers benefits that regular Uber riders don’t have. It has similar benefits to Uber Diamond like high-rated drivers and high-quality vehicles but it’s not quite the same.

In this article, I will go into details about the Uber VIP benefits like better drivers, better vehicles, and how to be Uber VIP. Then I will compare Uber VIP to Uber Diamond and also cover some FAQs about Uber VIP.

What is Uber VIP?

Uber VIP is an elite-like program where riders can take advantage of highly-rated drivers and receive superior service and/or better vehicles.

Started in 2015, Uber introduced a frequent rider program called Uber VIP in select cities for highly rated riders and drivers. Yet, Uber VIP for the general public was discontinued back in January 2019 and is now only given to American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders as a benefit. Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders are automatically made Uber VIP when they add their card into the Uber app.

You can read more detail below.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How to be an Uber VIP rider

It’s pretty simple to become an Uber VIP rider. All you need is an American Express Platinum or Centurion card.

Just add your card to the Uber application. Once added you receive Uber VIP benefits whenever you select Uber VIP in select cities.

How to link your Amex Platinum or Centurion card to Uber

To receive Uber VIP benefits and other Amex Platinum and Centurion card benefits, you need to add your card as a payment method on Uber. Here’s how you can do this.

When opening your app, you will want to go directly to the payment page.

From the payment page, you will see the cards you have added and saved on your Uber account. You will also see other sections like ride profiles, credits, promotions, and vouchers.

When you have added your Amex Platinum or Centurion card, you will see under credits that you will receive an “Amex Benefit.” Amex benefits that come with the Platinum and Centurion cards are $15 a month credits ($35 in December) and Uber VIP.

When you see Amex Benefit in your account payment page, you will be able to use Uber VIP benefits in select cities within the USA. (Uber credit is available anywhere in the USA and can be used for UberEats.)

Notice that my Amex Benefit has a note about not being available in my region? Well, that is because Amex Benefits are only available in the USA.

Amex Platinum Card 

The American Express Platinum Card goes a long way in the name of benefits. You can access the Amex Global Lounge Collection, and get other perks like hotel elite status, an incidental airfare credit, and Uber and Uber Eats credits.

The American Express Platinum Card has one of the most valuable welcome bonuses out of any travel credit card. The standard offer is 60,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. By comparison, its competitor, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, only offers a bonus of 50,000 points after hitting the minimum spend. If you value Membership Rewards at 2 cents per point (a little on the higher side), that’s $1,200 worth of value!

What are Uber VIP benefits?

Uber VIP doesn’t offer much in terms of benefits, but Uber VIP does provide a little more quality control when you have selected an Uber VIP ride. Here’s what you can expect with Uber VIP.

  • VIP Drivers only (drivers with a 4.8 rating or above)
  • High-quality Vehicles
  • Exclusive giveaways, special discounts for local attractions, and advanced notice of upcoming Uber-related promotions
  • Note: Uber VIP bookings are the same price as non-Uber VIP bookings

To the casual Uber rider, these benefits might actually be worth something. Higher ratings and slightly better vehicles can make a ride in an UberX or Uber Black far better.

The downside of Uber VIP is the fact that it’s only available in Uber VIP selected cities. (You learn about Uber VIP cities down below.)

For me, the benefits are worth it in Uber VIP cities. I look at Uber VIP as giving the rider slightly more confidence in the driver he or she will be matched with. It could mean a driver that actually helps with your luggage versus a driver that doesn’t flinch as you struggle to get your luggage into the car. (We all have been there once in our life.)

Does Uber VIP guarantee Uber Black service in an UberX ride? No, but it could mean Uber Select service in an UberX ride. Uber Black VIP could also mean slightly better service and better vehicles that are somewhat more luxurious, making it similar to a limousine service.

How to use Uber VIP

Using Uber VIP is as easy as selecting any Uber option from the app.

Once you have set your destination and pickup point in an Uber VIP city, you will see UberX VIP and Uber Black VIP. Notice how both are the same price as non-Uber VIP options.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Uber VIP versus Uber Diamond

This might be a slightly unfair comparison, but Uber Diamond is better than Uber VIP.

Uber Diamond is part of Uber Rewards and requires the user to ride enough to obtain Uber Diamond status. Uber Diamond comes with Uber VIP benefits, but it isn’t limited to select cities. Uber Diamond or any other tier is suitable for any city that Uber serves.

Uber Diamond comes with complimentary upgrades when selecting UberX, highly rated drivers, premium support, price protection on two favorite routes, priority pickups at airports, flexible cancellations, and three free deliveries with Uber Eats. The only benefit that is similar to Uber VIP is highly-rated drivers.

So, in this case, Uber Diamond benefits outpace Uber VIP benefits.

That all comes with a cost. Uber Diamond requires the rider to gain 7,500 points every six months to keep Uber Diamond. For Uber warriors that rely on Uber as their only mode of transportation, then Uber Diamond isn’t hard to obtain.

However, for casual Uber riders, it will be much harder to obtain Uber Diamond status. So, Uber VIP does come out on top for easy to gain benefits as all you need is an Amex Platinum or Centurion card.

The plus side about Uber VIP and Uber Rewards is the fact that you can double-dip on your benefits from both programs. So, any tier of Uber Rewards will be able to receive Uber VIP benefits and Uber Rewards benefits at the same time.

Uber VIP locations

Uber doesn’t publish a list of Uber VIP locations. From my knowledge of using Uber VIP across the country and what we pulled from sources like Uber press releases, Uber VIP is available in:

  • New York, New York
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, Uber isn’t prioritizing the expansion of the Uber VIP program to other cities or countries. While Uber makes the claim that will expand to other markets, Uber VIP hasn’t been introduced into any new markets that we are aware of. Maybe that will change later this year or next year, but Uber hasn’t said much about the Uber VIP program recently.

In fact, Uber is promoting Uber Rewards on their Uber VIP FAQ page and making it more clear that Uber VIP isn’t their priority.


Can I use Uber VIP with Uber Rewards at the same time?

Yes! You can use Uber VIP and Uber Rewards on the same ride using your benefits and earning points together. It’s basically double-dipping your benefits.

What are the requirements to become an Uber VIP?

The only requirement for an Uber VIP rider is holding and linking your American Express Platinum or Centurion card to your Uber account. Once linked, you have Uber VIP available in select cities in the USA.

Is UberX VIP or Uber Black VIP more expensive?

No, Uber VIP will be the same price as non-VIP rides.

Do I have to use my American Express Platinum or Centurion card when booking Uber VIP or using Amex Uber credit?

No, once you have added your Amex Platinum or Centurion card to your Uber account as a payment method, you are good to go, and you’re able to use any card to pay for your Uber rides.

Final word

Uber VIP might be a niche benefit of Amex Uber benefits, but it does serve its purpose to filter out drivers that have lower ratings. So, next time you are using Uber, check if Uber VIP is an option as it might provide a more consistent experience.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

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