Australia Markets open in 6 hrs 19 mins

Uber has officially launched its Australian loyalty program, Uber Rewards – here's how it works

James Hennessy

If you're someone who finds themselves dropping a lot of money on Uber and Uber Eats, finally you'll get the recognition and rewards you obviously deserve.

Uber has officially launched its rewards program Uber Rewards in Australia, giving local users a range of benefits based on how much money they spend on the company's services. The more you spend, the more rewards you get, with each dollar spent in Uber's apps giving you points.

Australia is the third market globally to gain access to Uber Rewards, according to the company. It follows an earlier program which rewards customers who consistently get five star ratings with perks like free upgrades.

According to Dom Taylor, the head of strategy and operations at Uber Australia and New Zealand, Uber Rewards will be "free and available at scale for Uber customers inside their app across Australia by early 2020," with some users being able to sign up as early as this week.

"While being first is nice, it is more important to be the most valuable so we’ve spent a lot of time building a platform that will provide tangible value on day one."

So how does it work?

Uber Rewards is divided into four tiers: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Blue is available to everyone on the program, with the other tiers unlocked as you spend more money on Uber's services.

Uber Eats and UberPool customers will earn one point for every eligible dollar spent. UberX, UberXL, Comfort and Assist customers earn two for every eligible dollar spent, with Uber Premier earning triple points on the dollar.

As mentioned, you start on Blue. You then move to Gold (1,200 points) and Platinum (4,000 points) before reaching the top level – Diamond (7,500 points).

At Blue, you're entitled to access to unspecified "regular special offers". It's when you move up the ranks that you start to accrue regular benefits:

  • Gold: 10% off one Uber Comfort trip per month. Additionally, you get access to a special reward every 750 points.
  • Platinum: 'Price confidence' on your favourite UberX route. This means you can select two points, and your rides between those locations may vary in price but won't go over a set "promotional" point – except during extremely busy times, when the reduced price is capped at 35% off the total fare.
  • Diamond: Premium phone support, and the chance of receiving a free upgrade to Uber Comfort or Premium on UberX rides. The company says the latter benefit is "coming soon".

The company also outlined the possible benefits one might receive as part of the 750 point reward system accessed at the Gold tier. Users can select one of the following:

  • 15% off orders with Uber Eats over a three day window.
  • 15% off rides with Uber over a three day period.
  • A $10 donation to Paralympics Australia in the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Is it worth it?

Well, it doesn't cost anything to opt-in, so by any definition, it's a nice-to-have.

You can see from the tiers above that you'll need to be spending relatively big with Uber to start really feeling the benefits of the program. The Gold tier has some goodies in the form of discounted rides and a reward every 750 points – but it's worth remembering that adds up to $375 worth of UberX rides, which could be a fair bit depending on how much you use the service. But add in a few Uber Eats orders and you'll probably get there quick.

If you're an UberX rider, you'll need to have spent $3,500 on rides before the company deigns to give you top-tier Diamond access. Even then, your only major reward is premium phone support and the occasional upgrade to Comfort and Premium.

Basically, it looks like this a loyalty program in the truest sense of the word: a nice collection of benefits to reward those who already use the app quite a bit.

If you're an occasional Uber user, then you probably won't be spurred to start using it substantially more in order to scoop up those sweet, sweet benefits.