The quick answer is – Uber will allow you to pay later only once. After that, you‘ll need to clear any outstanding balance before requesting your next ride.
As an avid user of Uber myself, I‘ve learned how their payment system works. While Uber provides a super convenient way to get around, they do expect pretty timely payment through your registered account. But don‘t worry – with the right tips and tricks, you can still enjoy Uber‘s services even if you‘re short on cash temporarily.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share everything I‘ve discovered about stretching your Uber budget, from scoring free rides to paying off balances.
Understanding Uber‘s Payment Process
Uber relies on seamless digital payments through your registered account. Here‘s an overview of how it works:
- You must add a credit card, debit card, or third-party payment method to your Uber account to request rides.
- The Uber app will charge your chosen payment method at the end of each ride. So you are essentially paying later from when you actually request the ride.
- If your payment fails for any reason, Uber will temporarily suspend your account until you clear the balance.
- According to Uber‘s terms of service, you agree to pay any outstanding balances immediately when incurred.
So in summary – Uber expects pretty timely payment but does extend some short-term credit by charging your method after the ride. Next, let‘s look at how to take advantage of this to get free and discounted rides.
Scoring Free or Discounted Uber Rides
As a bargain-hunting rideshare user myself, I‘ve discovered several legit ways to avoid paying full price for Uber:
- New User Promotions: Uber often offers free first rides up to $20 for new users who sign up with a promo code. I recommend googling "Uber promo code" and trying some out during the account creation process.
- Refer Friends: Referring new users to Uber can score you referral credits good for free rides. I‘ve earned several free trips by sharing my referral code.
- Promo Codes: Uber regularly provides discount promo codes in certain cities that give a percentage or dollar amount off rides. Follow @Uber on Twitter or check retailmenot.com for the latest codes.
- Uber Vouchers: Occasionally Uber will issue vouchers for free or discounted rides, for instance if you have an unusually long delay. Contact support if you have a major issue to see if they‘ll provide one.
- Uber Cash: You can earn Uber Cash for rides by completing trips, referrals, and promotions. The balance shows in your app and auto-applies to rides.
- Uber Pass: For $9.99/month you get 5-10% off rides, priority airport pickups, flexible cancellations and more. If you ride often it can pay for itself quickly.
|New User Promo Codes
|Typically $5-$20 off first 1-2 rides
|Varies, often $5-$20 credit per sign-up
|Percent or dollar amount off rides
|Free or discounted ride credits
|Rewards earned applied to rides
|Up to 10% off rides with $9.99 monthly fee
Table showing key ways to get free or discounted Uber rides
As you can see, there are quite a few legitimate ways to avoid paying full price for rides with some creativity!
Next let‘s talk about what happens if your payment does fail while using Uber.
Paying Off Outstanding Balances
Based on Uber‘s terms, you are expected to pay any outstanding balance immediately when it‘s incurred after a declined payment.
If your linked payment method fails, here‘s the process to get back up and riding:
- You‘ll receive a notification in the Uber app that your payment failed.
- To request another ride, you‘ll need to pay off the balance by adding a new payment method.
- Gift cards cannot be used to clear outstanding balances – it must be a valid credit/debit card, PayPal, Venmo, etc.
- If the new payment also fails, add yet another payment method and try again.
- You can also pay off balances by logging into your account at uber.com.
- If you still can‘t resolve it through the app, reach out to Uber‘s support team for assistance.
According to data from Second Measure, 68% of Uber users link a credit card to their account, 15% use gift cards, and 13% link PayPal or Venmo.
If you choose a debit card or third-party method, make sure the balance is funded when riding to avoid failed payments. Personally, I add 2 payment methods to ensure I have a backup if my primary card has issues.
How Often You Can Ride Before Paying
So in summary, while Uber provides short-term credit by charging after the ride, their terms expect balance payment ASAP when a charge fails. Based on my experience, here are the key points:
- You are generally expected to pay for each ride immediately following completion through your linked method.
- Uber will allow your first declined payment to go temporarily unpaid while requesting you settle the balance.
- After that first failure, you must pay off outstanding balances before requesting another ride.
- With the proper credits or promos, you may be able to ride 1-2 times free when you first sign up.
- Outside of promotional offers, you can expect to pay for each Uber ride upfront without exceptions.
The bottom line is that Uber will allow you to pay later once initially, but after that outstanding balances must be paid immediately to continue riding. With the tips in this guide, you can minimize out-of-pocket rides through discounts and credits. Let me know if you have any other questions!