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Rookie Wednesday: Is UBER better than LYFT? Is LYFT cheaper than UBER & other Q&A!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

uber vs lyft what service is cheaper or better
Who is better? UBER or LYFT?

I think just about anyone who travels, either for work or for pleasure, has at this point tried UBER (if not, it is about time you do <-LINK). I am a huge Uber fan. You could call me and uber-UBER fan. I really like and use UBER. Maybe not every time I travel, but just about. The UBER icon is front and center on my phone next to my Fly Delta APP icon as well as my HYATT icon. The point is, I have found the service to be reliable, cost effective, available worldwide where I travel and customer service has been outstanding when I need them as well.

But what about LYFT <-LINK. I used to have LYFT on my “home page” if you will on my phone but moved them to a sub page due to the most irritating issue of their credit game. You see, LYFT expires credits every 30 days whereas most UBER credits expire every 90 days. Being a points (and points credit) uber enthusiast (see what I did there) it really galls me to see a single point go away. It bugs me. It sticks with me. Each time I fire up the LYFT app I am reminded that I lost some credit, many times, the day before I wanted to use it. But that is about points and credits.

So is one service better than the other? One allows tipping inside the app and the other does not. But that really does not make the “service” any better than the other or the experience.

It comes down to a number of factors then and I think they are, in order:

  • Availability
  • Reliability
  • Price
  • Technology
  • Service

Clearly UBER wins for availability. Do you know how to check if you can get UBER where you are going somewhere in the world? You can check this link. Having said that, this list is not all inclusive.

is lyft or uber in your town

where you can use uber

Here in the South Bend area UBER is available. But what about just outside of South Bend. Mishawaka or Elkhart are near South Bend and, while not listed, you can often request a ride from these neighboring counties. The same thing goes for LYFT. I have even had times where I have “moved” the pointer to just inside an area where there IS UBER service and requested the rider from there and then instantly called the driver to tell them where I am and offered a cash tip if they can get me. Most are happy to do so (not all). Let’s face it, LYFT is way behind UBER when it comes to places you can use the service.

Then we have Reliability. I only have my years of personal experience using both services and have to tell you I have had more LYFT drivers cancel on me than UBER drivers. I have waited a number of times for 10+ minutes for a LYFT pickup only to see the driver cancel the ride on me. Most frustrating. I have only had UBER drivers cancel a few times and that was almost instantly so no harm no foul there.

uber estimate

lyft estimator

Now when it comes to price, this is a tricky one. Now sure we all want to pay as little as we can for just about anything. But if you ask drivers they will tell you the services are paying so little that it is almost not worth driving anymore. But let’s set that topic aside for now as this is about YOU & ME and what we pay. I have found LYFT tends to cost me a little more than UBER but if you check the fare estimator tools, that is LyftCalculator vs the UberEstimate you will often find LYFT comes out cheaper. But then again these are just estimates not to the penny what the real fare will be. Plus, oh yeah, we have the pesky thing about credits expiring quicker with Lyft so maybe you have an UBER credit to use vs the LYFT one that went away (grrrrr).

uber app vs lyft app screen shots
I love the UBER app. LYFT, meh!

Then we have the technology. Here I am talking about user experience AND the driver technology to get you from A-B. Personally I have found the UBER user interface is better, simpler and smarter than LYFT. Plus, when it comes to driving and finding you, the UBER app just works better. You tell me, agree on this one or not. When it comes to tech, I feel UBER wins again!

Lastly we have service. Here again we are talking both the drivers and the company behind the drivers. I have found both have outstanding drivers (once they show up from Lyft, that is). I have only had one complaint ever in dozens and dozens of rides with either service. When it comes to issues with rides, like the rider takes a “longer way” or gets lost, both companies will review the route and credit back “most” of the over charge. I guess since I personally have had more cancels with LYFT vs UBER I give the win to UBER here as well.

So there you are. I call UBER the hands down winner as the best of the two. Having said ALL of this, when it comes down to price, if I happen to have a LYFT credit I can spend vs no credit at UBER, yeah, I will fire up the LYFT app and take the ride. Don’t you? 😉 – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. MSPDeltaDude Reply

    Lyft has horrible customer service! Had a sketchy driver this week who didn’t pick me up in the designated pickup spot as he wanted to avoid the $6 he had to pay the airport. The driver admitted this to me after I called him out as I was annoyed as I had to haul my bags back up to where he was at when I was already in the area I was supposed to be. Wrote to lyft requested my fare be reduced the $6 fee paid since he didn’t pay it. They pulled a Delta with a canned response falling to address the issue. Sent follow up email and haven’t heard back. Going to give them another 24hrs turn going to report them to airport commission. This is Fraud!

  2. For me it’s a no brainer. Uber has an app for Windows phone. Lyft does not. I’ll admit Windows Phone is a small segment of the market, but Lyft doesn’t think we’re worth serving, and Uber does. My one beef with Uber is that, amazingly, several drivers seem unfamiliar with my airport and wind up depositing me on the arrivals level. Maybe there is an ulterior motive, e.g., hoping to pick up arriving passengers on the sly prior to it being legal.

  3. Am I the only one who considers the use of these services a moral issue?
    Cab drivers spend many thousands for their right to drive a cab and are highly regulated (for our benefit). It just seems unfair to me to run them out of business. And, when they’re gone I think we will all be sorry. When you’re stuck in sone undesirable spot in the middle of the night and no uber driver wants to come get you, you’ll have only yourself to blame.

    • @mbh – I would be happy to see cabs go away. I have had few good cab rides ever in my life vs almost all good UBER / LYFT rides. The better choice is cabs join UBER or come up with their own app as many have. If I am stuck anywhere, my UBER app is just a click away 🙂

  4. In San Francisco, I always go with Lyft Line to the airport because they will only pair you with another rider before the trip starts, not during the trip like Uber Pool. I remember one ride to the airport with Uber Pool where I stopped to pick up 3 different additional riders at 3 different locations before heading to the airport. In addition to being incredibly crowded in the driver’s tiny Toyota Prius, the extra stops delayed me so much I arrived to the airport as my flight was boarding (good thing I have PreCheck)! From then on it’s been Lyft all the way (which does end up being cheaper in most instances)!

  5. First, cabs can’t bid for rides, their rates are fixed by law in most places (which is why you see people take cabs when uber rates are really high at some times or routes). Also, cabs have to pick you up no matter when or where you are–not so with uber ot lyft. I’m just saying that when the taxis are all gone, you’ll miss them. Not every day, just when you really, really need one.

  6. To go to the airport from home we have returned to using taxis as Uber drivers can’t find our house in the Hollywood Hills even though we are 3 blocks away from Hollywood Blvd. Time after time we see them ending up on the Hollywood Freeway by mistake- where we watch them cancel our pickup. They are all too new to the job – while taxi drivers are professionals. And we need to make our flights!

    • @Annie – Wait, when I uber, i put in where I am including the address and even call and confirm with the driver as soon as he accepts that he knows where I am. Also, I put in the address where I am going and the GPS takes us there.

  7. I use both Uber and Lyft. I am in Broward County FL and when it came time for a pickup from my house to take me to the airport, I chose whomever could be there faster. The last two times it was Lyft.

    as far as @MBH goes, in NYC Uber offers to send NYC Yellow cabs to your location and then you pay the cab their meter rate once they arrive. This is great for going to one of the airports where there is a flat rate Vs the meter of Uber or Lyft.

    The last two times coming home from FLL, Uber wouldnt even open the map and find me a car while Lyft popped right up.

    Gregg G

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