Bringing back the baller vibe

Did you know Uber has a VIP loyalty program?

Turns out that Uber has a loyalty program for some of its regular customers, but only in select cities. Despite being around a few years, it has gone mostly unnoticed aside from errant tweets and personal blogs, because the company never officially announced it.

Individual Uber market managers decide whether or not to introduce it to their area. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago aren’t on that list, which perhaps explains why no tech blogs have written about the product. New York City, Washington D.C., and Denver are some of the cities that do offer a VIP feature. Since it’s a local initiative, Uber didn’t have a readily available list of all the VIP markets.

Below is an example of the email users receive when a market launches. Hat tip to my Twitter follower Tom Maxwell for noticing Uber just rolled it out in Denver.

Uber's intro email for its VIP program in Denver
Uber’s intro email for its VIP program in Denver

Here’s how it works. If you’re in one of these cities and you take more than 100 Uber rides, you’ll be upgraded to VIP. You’ll see a “VIP” option in your Uber app alongside UberBlack, UberX, UberTaxi and the other products. If you request a VIP car, you’ll only be matched with drivers with a 4.8 rating or above and “high quality cars only.”

There’s only one downside: You pay an UberBlack fee when you request a VIP ride. That might not bother regular UberBlack passengers, but for those who stick with the cheaper UberX option, VIP might not feel so special.

It’s a feature that harkens back to Uber’s earlier days, when the brand was all about being a baller. It rewards Uber’s most loyal customers by making them feel distinguished, and it doesn’t cost Uber anything. If people actually use it, it would generate Uber even more money since it’s the black car rate.

I’m sure there’s a certain class of people who are happy to pay for white gloved treatment and that “very important” caché .

6 Responses to “Did you know Uber has a VIP loyalty program?”

  1. VIP rider

    VIP should waive the surge pricing considering how many times we are using uber. Paying for the VIP service makes no sense. We earned it by riding uber daily.

  2. Anonymous

    Actually, I’m an UberVIP in NYC and they have it for both Uberx and Black. It gives me a VIp option, for both of te services. Cause I’m with you, I rarely request a Black Car. I only found out about it when it showed up in my app once, for using it with UberX and the next day it also popped up next to Black Car, so I was assuming it was the same, but did some google research anyway. So just a heads up for u! It’s possible to be mainly an X rider and still take advantage of the service.

  3. Loyalty programs always work, as long as Uber pays enough attention to it. People get really testy if things don’t accrue properly and rewards (especially the service/support side) is not super tight. E.g. Aeroplan sucks and thus I will always try to use other frequent flyer mile programs first. Thanks for article Carmel

  4. FYI, they did have VIP in Chicago…it went away in July..

    Hey xxxx,
    Thanks for being a top rider! We’re constantly working to improve your experience, and you’ve played big part in improving Uber.

    Starting July 11th, we will no longer offer UberVIP because every UberBLACK ride is a VIP ride.

    Here’s what you can look forward to:

    5-star ride, every ride – You’ll always receive premium treatment when requesting UberBLACK or SUV.
    The Ultimate Stylish Ride – You’ll travel in top-of-the-line vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
    The best ETAs, ever – With even more luxury vehicles now on the road, your driver will pick you up faster than ever before.
    Thank you again for being an awesome rider, and stay tuned for more updates in the future!

    Enjoy the ride ahead,
    Team Uber Chicago