19 Unknown Uber Hacks to Save Money (Plus Free Rides)

By Dustyn Ferguson •  Updated: 02/25/22 •  10 min read
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Uber has saved us from taxis, making it easier to order and usually cheaper to use. But, this wouldn’t be a good blog about saving money if we didn’t go a step further and find ways to save even more, and even tell you some ways to get Uber free rides.

This list contains the best money-saving tips for Uber around, many of which are unknown. Let’s get into the 19 Uber hacks:

How to Save Money on Uber

1. Cash back on Uber rides with Ibotta

Ibotta is one of my favorite apps, it can save you so much money on a lot of things; including Uber rides!

Earn 75 cents (or more) on each ride you take with Uber when you use the Ibotta app. It’s easy to use, all you need to do is sign up and find the Uber deal. Then, it’ll open your Uber app and you’re all set. Once you book your ride successfully, you’ll get your cash back offer on the Ibotta app.

Sign up for Ibotta and use the code “xidadjv” to get a free $10 bonus.


2. Free rides with the Freebird app

Freebird is an app that has partnered with restaurants and bars near you to cover part (or all) of your Uber bill if you buy from their establishment.

It’s a neat concept, restaurants get more customers and you get a free or reduced-fare ride with Uber.

Oftentimes, if I’m going somewhere and plan to Uber, I’ll see if any restaurants on the Freebird app are nearby and take advantage of the offer.

Plus, the app will give you $5 on your ride home, from anywhere. So if you are out and need an Uber home, the Freebird app will hook you up with $5 just for booking through their app (which costs you nothing more).

Best part? You can still use all of Uber’s services. Whether you use Uber Pool or XL, you’ll still get the offers available on Freebird!


3. Earn cash back on every ride with the Drop app ($5 bonus)

The Freebird app is great for when there is a restaurant you want to go to is on the app, or when you need a ride home. But sometimes, you need to take an Uber to somewhere they don’t reward you.

In that case, the Drop app will still reward you with cash back for using Uber. In fact, every single ride you take with Uber will earn you cash back when you sign up for the Drop app.

All you need to do is sign up, select Uber as one of the five places you want to earn points from, link a card, and live life as usual. You’ll earn points without having to do anything else, which you can later redeem for gift cards!

Click here to download the Drop app. Once you download it and are signing up, make sure you enter the referral code Z6QCB and make sure Uber is selected as one of your five stores (you can only choose five!). Once you link a debit or credit card that you have on your Uber account, you’ll get your $5 sign-up bonus and start earning points on every Uber ride you take from now on.

Use referral code Z6QCB when signing up to get a free $5 when signing up for the Drop app.


4. Always compare prices with Lyft

When is Uber cheaper? It depends, a lot.

Depending on the time of day, pickup, and drop-off location, Lyft and Uber prices can vary drastically.

If you are in it to get the cheapest rides possible and aren’t brand loyal, always check prices with Lyft or other ride-sharing apps.

I do this almost every ride. So far, the biggest difference I’ve seen was around $6 vs $15 for the same exact ride. That’s a HUGE difference, making it worth comparing the prices for every single ride.

If you end up finding a cheaper ride with Lyft, signing up with Rakuten will enable you to also earn cash back for every single ride you take. Sign up for Rakuten here ($10 signup bonus) and start earning cash back on every Lyft ride you take!


5. Use UberPool

Prices can be significantly cheaper, up to 50% cheaper, than a regular Uber when you use the UberPool feature.

UberPool rides will take a little bit longer since you’ll be sharing the car and route with others.

However, I’ve noticed that half of the time they don’t even pick up any other passengers and get to our destination just as quickly.

If you aren’t in a hurry and can deal with sharing a car, start using UberPool!


6. Check prices for routes from nearby locations

Sometimes walking just a couple of blocks away can yield you a significantly cheaper fare.

Plus, changing the destination to a few blocks away from where you need to go can also yield you savings.

This is mostly true when you are in or going to a crowded area. By selecting a location a couple of blocks away from where it isn’t as busy, you’ll usually find rates at a better price.

Tip: If you have the patience, test both to and from locations on both Uber and Lyft. If you really want the best deal possible, this will really help!


7. Buy discounted Uber gift cards

Buying used gift cards is always a great way to save money when buying items, and this is true for Uber too.

Sites like Raise.com allow you to buy gift cards from other people at a discount. These discounts can vary, usually anywhere from 1% to 20% off the value of the gift card.

If you buy used Uber gift cards at a discount and utilize the other Uber money-saving tips from this list, the savings will really start to add up.

Alternatively, you can do things to earn free gift cards on various apps and websites and redeem them for Uber gift cards.


8. Avoid surge pricing

Surge pricing can jack the prices for an Uber ride a lot, and avoiding the times when surge pricing is going on is a big key to saving money with Uber.

Sometimes, you can wait it out for it to end. In fact, some price surges will only last for a few minutes before returning back to normal.

In general, rush hour will result in surge pricing. On the weekends, when clubs and bars close is another time when prices really tend to surge. Avoid using Uber during these times if you can, or leave a little earlier (or later) to avoid the surges.


9. Compare other forms of transportation

Besides just comparing prices between Uber and Lyft, also compare between the prices of other forms of transportation.

How about a bus, train, or even driving yourself? How about using that free hotel shuttle to your location?

Obviously, each of these has its own pros and cons. But, if the price of Uber and Lyft are both extremely expensive for your tastes, don’t be afraid to consider your options.


10. Watch for promotions on social media

Sometimes, brands partner up with Uber to run a promotion.

This usually comes in the form of a credit towards your next ride.

These don’t come often, but checking social media every so often can result in you getting some free or reduced rides.


11. Complain about bad service or wrong billing

If you feel like your experience was below par, don’t be afraid to complain directly to Uber.

Also, check to make sure you get billed correctly. If you get an unexpected charge or one that isn’t near what was quoted, also don’t be afraid to contact Uber to help you resolve the issue.


12. Book the right car

If it’s just you, you probably don’t need an UberXL (which is meant to hold up to 6 people). By knowing which size Uber you need, you won’t overpay for something you don’t need.

Here’s a list of Uber’s current selection of cars that you should be familiar with:

  • UberPool – their shared service where you will be sharing the car with other passengers. You can only bring up to 2 passengers.
  • UberX – fits up to 4 passengers.
  • UberXL – fits up to 6 passengers, usually in a mini-van.
  • UberSELECT – a luxury vehicle that accommodates up to 4 passengers.
  • UberBLACK – professional, classy service from Uber with vehicles that fit up to 4 passengers.

Want to save money? Skip the luxury options. Want to save some more? Make sure you only get what you need!


13. Join Uber Rewards

Uber Rewards is a feature within that app that takes nothing but a click of a button to join.

Once you join, you will earn points for every eligible ride you take. For every 500 points you earn, you’ll get $5 added to your Uber account. For one click of a button to join, it’s too easy not to do.


14. Get $2 off your first 3 rides

If you haven’t signed up for Uber yet, they’ll give you $2 off your first 3 rides when you sign up with our Uber referral link (click here) and use the referral code DUSTYNF44UE when signing up.

If you are already signed up, sadly you aren’t eligible to get this offer.


15. Earn $5 for every friend you refer

For every person you refer to the Uber app, Uber will reward you both with $5.

This is then put in your Uber account which can be used to pay for your next ride!


16. Split the fare

Taking other people with you into the Uber but don’t want to cover the entire bill? Split it!

The Uber app makes it super easy to split the bill, taking some of that cost off of your shoulders.

A $20 ride split up between 5 people quickly goes from a hefty bill for one person to pocket change when the entire group pays their share.


17. Ride Pass

In some select cities, Uber has a Ride Pass feature that starts at $14.99 per month. It’ll offer price protection, lock in prices, and even save you 15-20% on each ride.

If you ride often, especially on the same route, and the Ride Pass feature is available, it could save you a decent amount of money.


18. Get the Uber Visa credit card

While you should always play it safe when considering a new credit card, if you are in the market for one that will earn you decent rewards; Uber actually offers a pretty good credit card.

Here are some of the features the Uber credit card offers you:

  • 4% back on dining (this includes UberEats). 3% back on hotel and airfare. 2% back on all online purchases. And 1% back on everything else.
  • Redeem your points for Uber cash, cash back, or gift cards. That’s right, you aren’t stuck with only getting credit into your Uber account!
  • No annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn an extra $100 if you spend at least $500 on the card within the first 90 days.


19. Book in advance (schedule your ride)

A little hack to save money on your Uber is scheduling your ride for the future. Even if it’s for 15 minutes out, it can save you a bit of money.



All of these Uber tips and tricks when utilized together will ensure you are not overspending on rides and earning money back on every single ride.

If we left out an Uber hack that you think should have made the list and would help others really save money on Uber rides, let us know below and it will be added to the list!

Dustyn Ferguson

Dustyn is a personal finance aficionado and the founder of Dime Will Tell where he writes about the experiences he's had with saving money, being debt-free, and building side hustles. He's been featured as an expert resource in publications like Huffington Post, Go Banking Rates, & Reader's Digest.