Uber Adds an Extra Step for $15 Amex Credit Redemptions

Oct 29, 2018

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Despite TPG himself deciding to walk away from the platform entirely, I still consider myself to be something of an Uber “power user” — the $15 in credits I get from The Platinum Card® from American Express are long gone by this time in any given month.

Over the weekend, I noticed that they hadn’t been applied, though, despite several eligible Uber rides. And our tips box confirmed that I’m certainly not alone.

As it turns out, Uber quietly made a change to how the ridesharing app applies monthly Amex credits. Problem is — it seems they forgot to tell us about it. Oops?

Now, those $15 in Amex credits are applied to your Uber Cash balance, and you need to manually select Uber Cash as your payment method in order to use your credits. If your overall balance isn’t high enough to cover the entire ride, you’ll be prompted to add credits to your account, or you can scroll down and select a card to cover just the remaining amount.

If you don’t specifically request to use your Amex credit by opting to pay with Uber Cash, it’ll sit in your balance until it disappears at the end of the month, replaced by another 15 bucks (or $35 in December) you’ll need to go out of your way to use.

As Uber’s Head of Financial Product Rob Daniel explains:

“We built Uber Cash to consolidate credits into one place in app, and ultimately give customers control over when and how to use their balance along with providing the opportunity to receive up to 5% off rides and Eats.”

The move was supposedly aimed at streamlining all types of credits, and helping Uber passengers avoid applying their Amex credits to business trips — a common issue, apparently. I only discovered the change after noticing that my credit hadn’t been applied, though, and even then it took some back and forth with Uber’s help desk to figure out how to use my 15 bucks. This is a major shift — it should have been clearly communicated the moment it was implemented.

The good news is that there’s still some time to use your credits if they haven’t been applied yet, given that they don’t expire until Wednesday, Oct. 31. Here’s how to take advantage this month, and in the future:

  1. Select Uber Cash as your payment method
  2. Request a ride
  3. If your ride cost exceeds your balance, click “refill options” when prompted
  4. Add credit using a linked payment method, or select “just cover this trip”

The one upside to boosting your Uber Cash balance is that you’ll get a discount when you add a lump sum — 2%, 3% or 5%, depending on how much you add:

You need to have your Platinum Card linked with your account if you’re hoping to take advantage of the free monthly credits, of course — if you don’t, be sure to follow the instructions here.

Featured image by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images.

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