From today, you can buy gift cards in Walmart, Target, and CVS, and Uber says that the cards will be available in around 35,000 locations across the country in the coming weeks. They will also be available to buy online soon, presumably sidestepping the need for a physical gift card.
To redeem a gift card, head to the payments section of the app, tap the Add Promo / Gift Code option, and then enter the code. The cards can be bought in denominations from $15 all the way up to $500, but it’s worth noting here that they cannot be redeemed against Uber’s off-shoot services — such as UberEats and UberRush — they can only be used to pay for Uber rides. Once a gift card is added to an account, it becomes the default payment option, though you can manually reconfigure this in the Payment settings section.
Though Uber is now the default travel option for millions of people across the U.S., gift cards offer an interesting new conduit for Uber to access an as-yet untapped market. Those who have yet to sign up for Uber will be more inclined to do so if they receive a $50 dollar gift card for their birthday, and, once on board, they will be more likely to use the service again.
Uber says that it will soon be offering a new company gift card program, in which perks are given out to employees — perhaps as part of a bonus scheme or simply to help cover the costs of commuting. This could complement a recently announced partnership with WageWorks, whereby employees are able to pay for UberPool ride-shares using pre-tax dollars.