Uber launched its Uber One subscription service in 2021 with the promise of various perks like free deliveries, but the main benefit was a five percent discount on eligible rides. Now, the company is eliminating that in favor of six percent cashback (in the form of Uber Cash) to be used toward rides, Uber Eats and more, TechCrunch has reported. This despite the fact that Uber One doubled its subscriber base to 12 million last year with the discount marketed prominently on the app.
“As Uber One is the best way to save across Uber and Uber Eats, we’re making it even easier to use your benefits on Uber’s full suite of products,” Uber’s consumer communications lead Becky Katz Davis told TechCrunch. In a letter to subscribers, the company suggested that consumers use their Uber Cash on fancier vehicles or Uber Eats orders.
The move appears to be a way to help Uber boost its ride count and margins. Uber One subscribers now make up 27 percent of total booking, and over 50 percent in some markets, the company said recently. In addition, the service is “profitable,” Khosrowshahi said in an earnings call earlier this year. “And what we find is it’s a very, very effective way, essentially, to draw frequency and higher engagement with our customer base.”
Uber One arrived effectively as a replacement for Uber Rewards, the company’s airline-like rewards program that was dropped last summer. The shift from discounts to Uber Cash could be a risky play, though. Uber brags on its Uber One landing page that members “save on average $27 per month with Uber One.” Now, though, riders will need to do some calculations to see if the new system is worth the $10 per month or $100 annual subscription price.