Did you blow enough money on Uber to get Diamond status? A lot of users are finding out tonight as Uber rolls out its rider loyalty Rewards program to San Francisco and a slew of other cities. The feature calculates how much you’ve spent on Uber and Uber Eats in the last six months and awards you perks like no-fee cancellations if you rebook, guaranteed prices between your two favorite spots and free car upgrades.
Uber confirms to TechCrunch that Rewards will roll out to the entire U.S. soon, but is now available in 25 places across the country.
Uber Rewards is a bit too complicated for everyone to quickly understand, but it does a good job of offering powerful perks and a way for everyone to earn $5 rebates. The program could discourage users from checking other ride-hailing apps if their Uber’s ETA or price seems too high.
Meanwhile, Lyft’s loyalty program remains unseen. The competitor tried to steal the spotlight by announcing its own rewards system just two days before Uber, yet it seems like that was vaporware as it still hasn’t launched. Uber was far from first here, as Southeast Asia’s Grab has had rewards since 2016.
But Uber could flex its deep pockets and cultural cache by using slick product design to differentiate itself in a crowded market of lookalikes.