Finance

Uber One Membership Provides Cheaper Rides and Food Delivery

What happened to those sweet Uber deals where the price of getting from here to there beat every other mode of transportation except walking? The pandemic, that’s what happened.

In the initial aftermath of the 2020 lockdowns, when people felt safe hopping in rideshares again, prices for an Uber ride more than doubled in some parts of the country. By 2021, Rakuten Intelligence reported that average prices for Uber and Lyft were 92% higher than they were in 2018. They’ve continued to spike in 2022.

Why So Much Money for an Uber?

The ongoing labor shortage and rising inflation may be the largest factor in rising Uber prices (and longer wait times) in 2022, but there’s another factor at play: rising gas prices. An imbalance in supply and demand, harsher weather events and the Russian war in Ukraine have all led to the highest gas prices on record.

Those high gas prices mean drivers are earning less for each fare. Uber and Lyft drivers voiced their frustrations, and the rideshare apps listened.

Pro Tip

If you’re feeling the pain at the pump, sign up for a gas rewards program for significant savings every time you refuel.

To help cover the rising cost of gas, Uber enacted fuel surcharges, ranging from 35 cents to 45 cents per trip (or Uber Eats order); the entire surcharge goes directly into drivers’ pockets. Lyft acted more aggressively, with a 55-cent surcharge.

Originally intended for 60 days when it was enacted in March of 2022, Uber’s surcharge has continued into the summer, as fuel prices remain high.

Inflation is rampant, wages are low, and Uber drivers understandably deserve that extra change. But when your own budget is more strapped and you need to get around town, how can you afford the rising cost of Uber?

Could Uber One be the key? Possibly. Let’s explore the benefits of membership.

What Is Uber One?

Uber One is a subscription service for both Uber and Uber Eats that gives subscribers perks like discounted rides and free food delivery. Previously, the rideshare company operated separate services: Uber Pass (for rideshare) and Uber Eats Pass (for food delivery).

Uber One is an affordable option — just $9.99 a month. For reference, Uber Pass used to cost $24.99 a month, though the benefits were admittedly more attractive back then.

Assessing the Benefits of Uber One

So what do you get for $9.99 a month to make Uber One worth the cost? Here are four things to consider:

1. Uber One Includes Members-Only Discounted Rides

In general, you will save 5% on Uber rides. This is an objectively worse deal than the 10% to 15% discounts members previously got with Uber Pass, depending on the ride type (Economy vs.  Premium). However, subscribers also spend $15 less each month for Uber One.

At 5% off rides, you would need a monthly Uber ride expense of about $200 to recoup your $9.99 monthly fee. Spend a cent more, and it’ll have already paid for itself.

But discounted rides are not the only perk of Uber One.

2. Uber One Gets You Free Food Delivery From Your Favorite Restaurants

The big difference between Uber Pass (discontinued at the end of 2021) and Uber One is the emphasis on UberEats. Uber One is way more attractive if you regularly get takeout through the service, a reflection on our post-pandemic eating habits.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of Uber One then is the $0 delivery fee on UberEats (with a $15 minimum order). That’s right: You’ll just pay the cost of the food.

Keep in mind: UberEats allows restaurants to set separate menu prices in the app, and most opt for slight increases — so you still may spend more money than you would if you picked the food up yourself.

Maybe that’s why Uber One also gets members up to 10% off their Uber Eats order totals. (Discount amounts can vary by restaurant.)

And remember: Delivery may be free with Uber One, but don’t forget to tip your driver.

3. Uber One Even Includes Free Grocery Delivery

The “up to 10%” member discount on orders doesn’t apply to grocery totals, but Uber One subscribers  can at least get free grocery delivery at participating stores through Uber Eats.

You’ll just need a minimum grocery order of $30 for the free delivery — not hard to do with meat prices up nearly 15% and produce, eggs, and milk following closely behind.

4. Uber One Offers Additional Perks

Uber One also promises members additional perks, like access to top-rated drivers, elevated member support, and the Uber One Promise.

According to Uber, the Uber One Promise means that members will receive $5 in Uber Cash if Uber’s Latest Arrival estimate is wrong. Users can see the Latest Arrival estimate after placing their order; it represents Uber’s calculation for the latest possible delivery of a member’s food.

And while Uber keeps it vague in all of the marketing materials, Uber One members do get exclusive access to additional perks like “invite-only experiences” and “special offers and promotions.”

A woman receives a take out order.
Adobe Stock

Should I Get Uber One?

If you don’t have a car and depend on Uber for regular errands, like groceries (whether buying in person or having delivered), doctor’s appointments and nights out on the town, it could be a worthy investment. And if you regularly order fast food from Uber Eats or competitors like DoorDash, the $9.99 Uber One plan could be even more valuable for you.

A subscription to Uber One gets you a lot of perks, but for most average Uber users, it may not be worth the monthly fee.

Pro Tip

If you’re feeling the pain at the pump, sign up for a gas rewards program for significant savings every time you refuel.

If you sign up for Uber One and determine it’s not worth the $9.99, Uber lets you cancel anytime; you won’t be locked into a contract. Just make sure to actively cancel — it’s designed to auto-renew.

How Do I Get Uber One?

Open the Uber app on your phone, and you should see a brown bar at the top inviting you to a free month of Uber One. If you previously used Uber Pass or UberEats Pass, you may not be served the same free month trial, but you should still see an invite to the service within the app.

Uber One vs. Uber Rewards

You may have heard of Uber Rewards, a loyalty program that comes with its own perks, but it’s important to note that this is different from Uber Pass.

Unlike Uber One, Uber Rewards is free to join. Open the Uber app, tap over to your Account and find the button to join near the top.

There are four levels of Uber Rewards. You level up by taking more and longer rides.

For every dollar you spend on UberPool, Express Pool or Uber Eats, you’ll earn one point; for every dollar you spend on UberX, UberXL, Uber Green, Uber WAV/Assist, Uber Comfort, Uber Connect, Uber Pet and Uber Select, you’ll earn two points. And for every dollar you spend on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, you’ll earn three points.

Uber Rewards Levels

  • Blue: From 0 to 499 points, you are considered a Blue member. There are no real perks at this level.
  • Gold: From 500 to 2,499 points, you are considered a Gold member. You’ll get priority support and flexible cancellations.
  • Platinum: From 2,500 to 7,499 points, you are considered a Platinum member. You’ll get all the perks of Gold, plus favorite route point boost (earn 10 reward points for every dollar when you take a specific route, like your commute to the grocery each week) and priority airport pickups.
  • Diamond: At 7,500 points, you will top out as a Diamond member. You’ll get all the perks of Platinum, plus premium support, highly rated drivers, premium rides point boost and double points on Uber Eats. Uber also promises complimentary upgrades as available.

Contributor Timothy Moore is a writer and editor in Cincinnati. He focuses on banks, automotive, insurance and a variety of lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder. His work has been featured on Debt.com, The Ladders, Glassdoor, WDW Magazine, Angi and The News Wheel.




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