Uber sent an email to LA riders yesterday announcing they are
doing a temporary promotion that looks very much like a
Each UberBLACK ride taken will give riders 200 points, and
when they amass 3,000 total points they will be rewarded with
a free $25 Uber ride. Essentially, the program is buy 15 get
While the company has tested “VIP” loyalty programs in New York
and Dallas, they were structured to reward frequent riders with
better cars and special events — neither were loyalty programs in
the traditional “buy X get 1 free” sense.
Let’s take a quick look at the economics, assuming your average
UberBLACK ride is $40. Fifteen rides means you’re spending a total
of $600; and you’re getting $25 in return — giving you about a 4
percent “rebate” on Uber rides. Not bad, especially considering the
alternative is nothing at all.
Since it’s only for UberBLACK, it’s safe to assume that the company
is trying to increase rides in that category, at least in Los Angeles.
As riders have flocked to UberX for its low prices, UberBLACK
drivers have been the ones most affected by the lost business. This
is especially true in cities like Philadelphia, where UberBLACK
drivers have actually started protesting against UberX.