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Report: Uber Shutting Down Accounts That Use Gift Cards

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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.


Some Uber users are discovering a rather ugly surprise today: their accounts are disabled.

DoC reports the shutdowns seem targeted to those “with Uber cash funds that add gift cards to their account. Uber is then asking users for their most recent gift card purchase details.”

Discounted Uber gift cards can help you enjoy Uber rides and Uber Eats for less than retail prices. They’re occasionally sold through Amazon, PayPal Digital Gifts, BJ’s Wholesale Club, etc. Uber Gift card purchases also usually work with Amex Offers at Lowe’s and Staples. It can also be worth your while to buy gift cards from grocery stores and other retailers if you use a card rewarding those purchases.

Uber gift cards

“My gut reaction to this was that accounts that have been disabled have purchased gift cards that were used fraudulently,” DoC’s William Charles writes. “But long term reader @MordyNY had their account shut down and their gift card purchases were directly from Amazon.”

It’s certainly not unusual for frequent Uber or Uber Eats users to load up their accounts with Uber credit purchased through discounted gift cards.

Fallout has, not surprisingly, been swift and harsh:

We’ve read that Uber apparently asking for affected users to show proof of their gift cards. It’s a good idea to hold on to all gift cards — Uber or otherwise — for about a year after you obtain them.

This sure makes the new Chase-Lyft partnership look slightly more appealing, doesn’t it?

— Chris

 

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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.


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11 Comments

  1. This happened to me yesterday. It was nuts. I emailed them and then they asked me to send the gift card information. Sent them a screenshot of it and my account was reactivated.

    A quick look at Twitter shows a LOT of people were affected by this. I don’t understand why this would happen. Do they not want people to redeem gift cards they receive? To just randomly do this is a real inconvenience and I would hope an explanation is provided.

  2. Your gut is wrong….most GCs I bought were from Amazon, BJs or a grocery store with a select few at Raise. Still shut down….I was putting close to $400 in spending every month with Uber/Uber Eats.

  3. Amex Platinum users with Uber Benefits are going to be super pissed. A lot of us top up Uber Cash with GC to fully utilize our Uber Amex credits monthly. Amex needs to step in and ensure their users aren’t targeted during this crack down. Great way for Amex to lose even more customers since they are definitely charging you for the $200 Uber credits that you receive annually.

  4. Same thing happened to me…gift cards purchased during amex promotion with amazon and then account disabled.

  5. Jerry Udell Reply

    I can’t thank you enough for this post. My kids got me Uber gift cards at Christmas as they knew we were about to take a trip to Hong Kong and I’m hard to buy for. Great gift. So I loaded 10x $25 in gcs on my Uber account and Uber freezes my account! Seriously? If they don’t want you to buy and use them why sell them?
    Now I’m forced to use Hong Kong taxis that only take HK $ – cash! Uber loses out as well as me. At least your post explains what happened.
    I thought my account had been hacked. I’ll deal with Uber after the trip but thanks again

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