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 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. 

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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.