Business Travel

Beware the $30 Uber Promo for New Users

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Last week I was excited to see the sign up bonus for Uber had jumped to $30 if you used my link. So imagine both our surprise when one of the two people who signed up got this email.

Uber free ride email

No where on the sign up page did it indicate a free ride up to $30 instead of a $30 credit.

uber 30 sign up page

I reached out to Uber for clarification — surprisingly with no response to my two tweets, but did get one when I finally emailed — it is a free ride up to $30 and not a $30 credit.

It’s still a good deal for new users, but it’s important to be strategic about your first ride. Make sure it’s a longer distance or a better class of service to maximize the value. Otherwise you’d be better off using one of the old $10 codes if you only plan to go a few blocks. If you do have a longish cab/car ride coming up, then it’s still a good time to sign up.

And another thing to be aware of — I’m happy to have you share your own referral links in the comments — just know there’s a risk. A reader let me know that Uber’s terms and conditions prohibit posting your link on a website that’s not your own and at least one person who did so on another site had all their referral credit seized. Yikes! 🙁


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. Greg z

    June 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    What if the ride costs me than 30? Does the promo cover the first 30 or the whole ride only if it’s under that?

    • Keri Anderson

      June 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Yep! It covers up to $30, so if your trip is $25 then the whole thing is free. If it’s over $30 then my understanding is they credit you that amount and you pay the difference.

  2. TooCool

    June 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    My referral coade is

  3. Montreece

    July 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    What email contact did you use to get a response from them? I have been waiting for communication from them and I need a corporate contact.

  4. Rebekah

    June 23, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I plan on taking uber to get to my job tomorrow morning. So what this article is saying that if the cost of my ride to work is less than $30, it’s free?

    • Hashim

      July 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Yes, that would be free.

  5. Kimberly

    July 8, 2015 at 12:22 am

    How far does $30 get you ?

    • Geoffrey Sam

      July 11, 2015 at 2:53 am

      If you live in New York City, it’s approximately traveling from a town in the Bronx to a town in queens

  6. Ceydi

    August 4, 2015 at 12:25 am

    So if I use the $30 promo code and my cost is between 26-35 that means my ride can be free or else I can pay 5 if it’s $35 right

  7. Madeleine8230

    August 12, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I went to sign up and it said I would have a $20 credit not $30. I’ll keep looking for the right $30 link I guess

  8. Analysa

    September 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I entered in a promo code when I signed up for uber. When I downloaded the app it doesn’t necessarily say there is a free ride that I have to use but as i tried to enter in the same promo again it said it already applied to my account. Does this mean I still have the free first ride?

    • Keri Anderson

      September 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Yes, if you’ve not used Uber yet then you still have the free ride and it should apply automatically.

  9. Jansi lakshmi

    September 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Hi I have signed to uber today.but I’m from India.but my profile showing $20free ride.clarify me about the free ride

  10. Bob

    October 11, 2015 at 9:30 am

    So just to clarify, if you use a code and don’t hit the max value of the credit the promo won’t roll over to your second trip? For example if I use a 25$ credit and the first ride is 10$ will there be 15$ of usage left ?

    • Keri Anderson

      October 11, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Unfortunately you would not get the $15 in usage. The free ride is for up to $25. Any unused credit goes away 🙁

  11. Jon

    October 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I set up a new account for my dad with this code but it doesn’t come up as a free ride. Is it not supposed to? When I try to enter it in as a promo it says it’s already been applied to the account. He’s looking for an airport trip next weekend so I want to get it fixed for him before then!

    • Edward

      October 20, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Yea Jon, it’s already applied to your account. So look, the uber will pick you up and such, then when its time to pay, the driver presses a button from his app, which tells the server that you’re ready to pay; the discount will show up automatically then. I was trying to figure that out too lol, like “where in this uber app can i see my promo benefits”…

  12. gloria

    July 30, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    can any of the money be used towards the tip? Like if the ride is $20, can i put the other $10 towards the drivers tip?

  13. Robert

    August 27, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I have a free promo code i enter for 22$ do I still get the 30$ dollar one too cuz it says first time rider credit $22 or did I mess up and now I only can use the $22?

    • Keri Anderson

      August 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Unfortunately new riders can only use one promo code when first signing up. But sometimes they offer promos for existing customers.

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