Uber Steps Up Its Game With New Roadside Assistance, Branded Debit Card

April 6, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

There’s no doubt that Uber’s been on the ropes for some time now. The loss of London was perhaps the biggest hit, but there were plenty of others showing up to do some damage to the ridesharing service. Give Uber credit, though, as it’s looking to turn things around with more responsive service, including not only a branded debit card for its drivers and partners, but also a new kind of roadside assistance.

First, the debit card: the Uber Visa Debit Card from GoBank is specifically for those working with Uber, and offers rewards for cash spent on gas and groceries. There’s no minimum balance required with the card, and none of the major fees commonly associated with debit cards like overdraft, setup, or monthly / annual fees. This includes such things as three percent back from Exxon and Mobil, or 1.5 percent back from other gas stations. Certain pieces of automotive maintenance, like Jiffy Lube services, are also covered with a 15 percent discount.

However, that’s not all Uber set out to hook up drivers with, as it also set up a deal with Urgent.ly, a roadside assistance platform, which provides rapid response to those Uber drivers that suffer a breakdown. Those who use the aforementioned debit card for service will pay just $0.49 a month for four different roadside assistance services, like tows, tire changes, and other such fixes. This also includes live updates—in much the same way that those calling for an Uber ride can track a driver’s route to them—and a fleet of 45,000 roadside assistance service vehicles.

Basically, Uber seems to be sweetening the pot a bit thanks to a few select corporate sponsorships. Cheap roadside assistance is great for anyone who drives; for Uber drivers, who likely drive a whole lot more and thus wildly increase the chances of taking a nail in a tire or seeing some part of the car wear out, especially so. It might even encourage some users to turn to Uber driving to begin with thanks to that sheer flood of car-related discounts on hand.

Only time will tell just how well this works in the end, but Uber is definitely making a go of improving its stature with its drivers.