7 Ways to Save Money on Uber and Lyft Rides

Ride-share fares can add up fast — especially if you need rides during pricing surges. But there are ways to get around paying top dollar.

From carpooling to gift cards, here are seven ways experts say you can save on Uber and Lyft rides.

1. Compare Fares

First, always comparison shop before booking a ride-share service.

“My go-to trick is to always check both apps for the expected cost. You can even do this ahead of your planned travel,” Alyson Burkett, a certified financial planner at 21 Goats Financial Planning, said in an email.

You can also use a fare comparison tool like RideGuru to compare Uber and Lyft rates against the cost of hiring a taxi or limo. It’s as easy as opening the website, entering your trip details and getting estimates.

[12 Best Discount Shopping Apps]

2. Carpool

Next, consider splitting the cost with friends or other app users.

If Lyft Shared is available in your city, you can save by riding with other people traveling the same route. Similarly, UberPool offers solo riders savings of up to 30% on an UberX fare and typically adds only five to 10 minutes to trips.

“Sharing rides through platforms’ carpooling options substantially cuts costs,” Peter Hamdy, co-founder and managing director at Auckland & Beyond Tours, said in an email.

Burkett added that you can strategize with friends to save on rides. For example, you can meet up at a friend’s house to get picked up together or schedule to pick up a friend on the way.

3. Buy Uber or Lyft Gift Cards

“A lesser known option is to buy Uber or Lyft gift cards from third-party sites and use them for your ride-share accounts,” Brittany Betts, travel expert at FloridaPanhandle, said in an email.

Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert, also recommended the gift card route.

“You can buy gift cards through resale sites like Raise at a discount,” she said in an email. At the time of this writing, the discounts go up to 5.1%.

“Also, warehouse stores like Sam’s Club sell Uber gift cards at a discount. Wait for a sale on these to score them for even less,” Woroch said.

4. Check Credit Card Rewards

Another strategy is to use credit cards to reduce the net cost of ride shares.

“Getting a card that rewards you for these transactions with bonus cash back, free transportation credits or membership fees is a great way to save on future trips,” Woroch said.

For example, she found the SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card from Capital One currently gives you 10% cash back on Uber rides and Uber Eats, and a complimentary Uber One monthly membership.

Lyft also offers some perks through these credit cards:

— A $5 monthly credit for World and World Elite Mastercard holders who pay for at least three Lyft rides per month with their cards.

— A $10 monthly credit for Citi/AAdvantage Executive Mastercard holders who pay for at least three Lyft rides with their cards.

“If you use both services interchangeably, consider a flat-rate cash back card that will give you more back on your rides regardless of which service you book,” Woroch said.

5. Use Coupon Sites

Coupon sites and apps are another potential source of savings.

[Best Coupon Sites, Browser Extensions and Apps]

“Check coupon sites for cash back offers and coupons. For example, CouponCabin has a cash back offer for Uber that can earn you up to $2.50 back per ride,” Trae Bodge, shopping expert at TrueTrae, said in an email.

Fetch is also worth considering. “All you have to do is snap pictures of your daily receipts for groceries, gas, clothing and more to earn points using the free Fetch rewards app,” Woroch said.

She said you can redeem 29,000 points for a $25 Lyft gift card and 27,500 points for a $25 Uber gift card.

“Check their special offers section to learn which brands or store purchases will rake in more points to get those free gift cards faster,” she added.

6. Become a Member

If you’re a frequent ride-share user, it may be cheaper to become a member.

Lyft Pink is $9.99 per month, or $99 per year, and comes with:

— 5% off Standard and XL rides

— Free priority pickup upgrades

— A free year of Grubhub+

— 12 free bike or scooter unlocks per year

— Relaxed cancellations

The company says members save an average of $23 per month on complimentary upgrades.

As for Uber, it offers two memberships:

Uber One is $9.99 per month or $96 per year. It comes with member pricing on eligible Uber rides along with 10% off and no delivery fees for eligible Uber Eats orders from select restaurants and stores.

Uber Pass is $24.99 per month and offers a 10% discount on up to 50 UberX rides per month, no delivery fee on up to 20 eligible Uber Eats orders per month and priority customer support.

7. Reserve Rides Ahead of Time

Lastly, you may be able to save by booking ahead.

“To save on Uber and Lyft rides, timing and planning are key. Ride costs fluctuate based on demand, so avoiding peak times can lead to lower prices,” Hamdy said.

“Reserving Uber rides is one of my favorite ways to lock in rates and avoid real-time pricing surges,” Danielle Desir Corbett, a travel expert and the host of The Thought Card podcast, said in an email. “Scheduling rides 90 days in advance comes in handy, especially when heading to the airport or train station.”

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7 Ways to Save Money on Uber and Lyft Rides originally appeared on usnews.com

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