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Uber Rewards wants to take the wind out of Lyft's sails

Unlike Lyft, Uber's program has different tiers and perks associated with them.

Sarah Tew/CNET

On Monday, Lyft announced that it would launch Lyft Rewards in limited markets in December. Two days later, Uber announced a similar program.

Uber on Wednesday revealed its own Uber Rewards program. Like Lyft Rewards, Uber will offer perks to users of its services, including both its ride hailing service as well as Uber Eats, which uses Uber drivers to deliver restaurant food to your door.

Both systems rely on points to determine perks, but Uber's system seems better fleshed out from the start. For every dollar spent on Uber Eats or UberPool, users get one reward point. Users get two points per dollar spent on UberX, UberXL, Uber Select and UberWAV (for wheelchair-accessible vans). That rises to three points per dollar spent on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV.

Even if Uber Rewards isn't in your city yet, Uber will let you accumulate points in the background for a few months until it launches, offering a bit of a head start.


Those points will determine what tier a user is in, and what rewards will be dispensed. The base Blue tier doesn't offer anything, but at the 500-point mark, users graduate to the Gold tier, which extends penalty-free cancellations to 15 minutes and offers priority access to its support team. Earn 2,500 points to reach Platinum, which adds price protection for routes and priority pickups at airports.

It takes 7,500 points to reach the top Diamond tier. At that point, the perks grow to include complimentary random upgrades to Uber Black, as well as offering access to highly-rated drivers. Diamond users also get three waived delivery fees on Uber Eats every six months. No matter what tier a user is in, every 500 points also earns $5 in Uber Cash that can be spent on rides and Uber Eats.

Uber Rewards will start in nine markets as Uber tests its system: Atlanta, Denver, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Tampa and Washington, D.C. The company hopes to expand its rewards program across the country in the next few months. Interested users can hop on a waitlist so they can be informed the second Uber Rewards launches in their city. 

Uber: Stay up to date on all our Uber coverage. 

Lyft: It never hurts to keep an eye on the competition, as well.