A Quick Test Drive of the Uber Gift Card…Use Cases Abound

Originally published by John Grund and Aaron Mercurio on First Annapolis.

Uber recently launched a gift card just in time for the holiday season.

Uber digital gift cards

Figure 1: UBER Gift Card Design Choices

The cards are being promoted and distributed online (our test was triggered by an email from Uber) and in physical stores (Target, Gamestop, and others are listed as distribution partners). We tested the purchase and redemption experience soon after the program launched.

Purchasing an Uber gift card was simple—we were offered different denominations and a few design choices, including uploading your own photo (see Figure 1). There was also an option for businesses to place a bulk order.

Consumers can buy gift cards online through a link at Uber.com, but not yet in the Uber app. The online gift card purchase engine is powered by CashStar. CashStar also acts as the merchant of record for digital gift cards, processing both credit/debit cards and PayPal under their merchant account with merchant descriptions of CS*UBERGIFTCARD and PAYPAL *CS*UBER, respectively, appearing on the cardholder’s statement.

The digital version of the gift card arrives with a subject of “[Sender] just sent you an Uber Gift Card” from UberGiftCards@Cashstar.com. The gift card describes the dollar amount gifted, a personalized message from the sender, a link to redemption instructions, and a statement that the card is good for rides in every Uber city in the U.S., with no fees and no expiration date.

The actual redemption process is quite simple and takes place within the app (see Figure 2):

  1. Open the ‘Payment’ section within the Uber App’s side menu
  2. Select “Add Promo/Gift Code”
  3. Enter the alphanumeric card number provided on the gift card (plastic or digital)
  4. Funds are automatically debited from your account’s balance when you use the app for a ride