Insider Tip: “How I Saved $100 on 70-Mile Uber Rides AND Earned 2X Points”

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Scott is a Million Mile Secrets team member.

Scott:   Here’s the trick.

Insider Tip How I Saved 100 On 70 Mile Uber Rides AND Earned 2X Points
I Enjoyed Both the Savings and the Experience!

Step 1.   Select “Express POOL” in the Uber app.

There are no other steps.

This may or may not be available in your area, but it’s definitely worth checking and trying out.  Oh, and I earned 2X points by paying with my trusty Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Here’s My Most Recent Experience

I wanted to travel ~70 miles (each way) to hang out with my friend for the weekend.  Uber hit me with a one-way, triple-digit price tag.  No way.  I’m not doing that.

So I clicked Express POOL.  My road trip was pleasant.  The driver was an interesting and courteous conversationalist.  Plus, we didn’t hit anything.

We picked up a passenger and dropped her off.  We picked up one more for a short detour, and then let her out, too.  It was wonderfully uneventful.  I enjoyed the conversation with the driver who knew when to chat and when to relax with music.

That $100+ car ride dropped to $45 for a cost of ~15 minutes extra riding time.

The driver was friendly and made the ride better, so I did what’s unthinkable in our hobby… I pulled out <gasp> CASH for his tip.  I know.  I know.

Note to newbies:   Million Mile Secret agents endeavor to earn travel points for every single purchase we make.  Because if we ever wind up 2 miles short of a free flight, we’ll instantly recall that time we made a $4 purchase with paper currency.  Just kidding!  Sort of.

For my return home, I again went with Express POOL.  This time, the price was $40 instead of ~$95.  We picked up no one.  So, as you see, I saved $55 for 0 extra minutes in travel time.  I slept the whole ride back.

I’ve taken Uber Express POOL 5 times so far, and only had to pick up extra passengers 3 times.  Your mileage may vary.  Literally!

I’ve Encountered This One Minor Drawback for My Uber Discount

With Uber Express POOL, the app may require you to walk ~5 minutes.  Sometimes it tells you to stand in a place where the driver can in no way stop the car without being serenaded by angry honking horns.  So the driver will likely call you to explain how to find him or her.  I find this to be only a minor inconvenience.  But I could see it being an issue during a snowstorm or bout of extreme laziness.

I was happy to get half-price long-distance Uber rides while also earning 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card (because Chase Sapphire Preferred awards you double points per dollar on travel).

Summary of the Insider Secret to Uber Discounts

  • Use Uber Express POOL or Uber POOL — sometimes it’s half-price!
  • Pay with a card that earns points or cash back for travel, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • If you haven’t taken Uber before, use a discount code like this one.
  • Refuse to tip the hard-working driver who made this cheap ride possible.  (Actually, I tip.  But do what you feel comfortable with!)