In the past 11 months, I earned 130 Free Uber rides worth a total of $2,295 USD. Collectively I traveled over 700 miles and spent over 28 hours in an uber all at no cost to me. Back in April of 2014, Tech Insider released an article about the "King of Uber" when Blake Jareds earned over $50,000 in ride credits, all to be taken away and canceled by Uber. After reading this article about a year later, I decided to take this to the test and see how far I could get.
Uber has a promotional code referal program in which you receive a free ride credit for every new user that signs-up with your code and they receive a free ride as well. The value of the credit depends on where you live and on which promotional code you first used. However, the value of ride credits has been decreased from $45 in 2013, to $30 in 2014, $20 in 2015, $15 in October of 2015 and $10 in March of 2016. Every user has a unique promo code. The true key in receiving as many free Uber rides as possible is to improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your promo code, but before we get into how to do that, let's go over Uber's terms of service.
Uber's terms of service indicate that making your promo code "available to the general public" is a violation. Creating new accounts for personal use with your own promo code is also a violation. Doing this may result in the indefinite termination of your Uber account, as it did for me. Market at your own risk.
Step 1: Customize Your Promo Code
Login as a rider on the Uber website, then on the right top hand corner, click on your name and then click on profile. On the right hand side, under your mobile number you will see your invite code. Click on "customize" on the right of your invite code. You may be forced to have the word Uber in your code. Choose a common code that someone would find if they googled for uber codes, such as "UberEverywhere20" or "UberRide20ue". Try to associate the numbers in your code to its promotional value.
There are several ways to promote your code on social media such as:
- Having the code and a short message in your bio such as "Free $20 Uber Ride When You Sign-Up Using Promo Code "UberFreeRide20oc".
- Have your promo code in your cover photo (such as below).
- Use relevant hashtags when posting your code in a tweet
- Search for "I need a ride" or "Anyone have an Uber code" and provide people with your promo code.
Step 3: Email or Text Your Code
The Uber app allows you to send your code to your contacts via Email or Text. Simply login to the app, click on the top left corner, then click on Free Rides.
This is where 90% of your free rides will be generated. This is also strictly against Uber's policy. Simply Google search "Uber Promo Code" or "Free Uber Ride", click on every website on the first two pages of your search. Then go to the bottom of each website, click on contact and shoot them an email with a short and sweet message asking to place your awesome and one of a kind "coupon" (aka promo code) on their website.
- Always leave five-star reviews, even if you have a one-star driver because this lessens your chance of being flagged down by Uber.
- If you're getting a good flow of free rides, keep cool on your marketing and use up your free rides before they're possibly taken away by Uber.
- Lastly, don't make duplicate accounts to get free rides as this is the easiest way to be indefinitely banned from Uber (it happened to me).
Promotional codes and referral programs are available for drivers and there are some individuals cashing out on real money. You might be the next Joseph Ziyaee, a man that earned $90,000 in six months by referring drivers, as stated in the February 2016 Business Insider article "How this Uber driver made $90,000 in 6 months while barley driving at all". The question here is how far will you get?
How Much Does Uber Cost? Uber Quick Tips and Rates
The table below shows the average Uber rates per county in Southern California. The cost of your ride consists of a few things, including the cost per minute, cost per mile, booking fee and surge. The "How Far Will $10 Take You?" row below takes into account the cost per minute, cost per mile, booking fee and the average time it takes to travel one mile, as rates vary by location, time and demand.
Uber's fees vary as well. There are three, including a base fare, a booking fee and surge. As shown in the table below, the base fare has disappeared, but the booking fee, previously known as the "Safe Riders Fee" has been increasing. It is important to note that none of the averages include a surge. What is a surge? A surge is an additional fee that uber charges when demand is high. A surge can range from 1.1 to about (rarely) 6. If you have a surge of 2.0, that simply means your ride will cost 2.0 or twice as much.
The app will let you know if and where there is a surge, but there are several things you can do to avoid them. Surges are based on demand and there is a higher demand for rides on weekends, holidays, events and after the bars close. The easiest way to avoid surges is to wait it out. Sometimes, they only last ten minutes. If the bar closes at 2AM, leave at 1:30AM, or 2:30AM. Lastly, walk a couple blocks away from the crowd, as surges are also based on location. If you are at an event, walk to a restaurant a couple blocks away as this also reduces the time it takes the driver to find you, and the traffic at the event. Be sure to listen to the BizMark Podcast Ep.002 - How To Get 130 Free Uber Rides.