(ISSUES SEEMINGLY NOW RESOLVED) Beware: Uber Suspending Accounts For Loading With Gift Cards

Update 1/28/19: Based on Jon’s comment below, affected accounts are now seeing the following message:

Thank you for reaching out to support. Within the last 24 hours, an operational error resulted in a temporary loss of account access for a small number of customers. All impacted accounts have since been restored, so we are resolving your inquiry. If your issue was unrelated to account access, please feel free to respond and we would be happy to help further.

Reliable access is at the heart of our platform, and we regret any inconvenience caused by this interruption.

~

If you’ve redeemed Uber gift cards to your Uber or Uber Eats account(s) in recent months, check your account(s) as there are widespread reports that Uber is suspending accounts even when there’s been no fraudulent activity.

Uber Gift Card

In some cases, accounts with more than $1,000 of Uber gift cards loaded to them have been suspended. It’s not only those with large balances that need to be concerned though as I’ve seen data points where people who’ve only loaded a single $25 gift card to their account have had it suspended.

When contacting Uber regarding this, customers have been asked to confirm the gift card number(s) that they redeemed to their account. For those that bought digital gift cards (perhaps when they’ve been discounted by 10% through Walmart and PayPal Digital Gifts), it’ll likely be a little easier to obtain those numbers. For those that bought physical gift cards though, it’ll be much harder as many people will have thrown the cards away once they were redeemed.

Uber seems to have been very heavy-handed in the way that they’ve gone about this. Once an Uber gift card has been redeemed to an account it can’t be redeemed elsewhere, so I don’t believe there are any fraud concerns from that perspective. Suspending so many accounts when there’s been no discernible fraudulent activity is harsh, especially seeing as it appears to be gift card related. Uber gift cards frequently go on sale – they’re currently 14% off at BJ’s and 10% off at PayPal Digital Gifts and Walmart –  so there are probably a lot of people that have redeemed gift cards recently.

Until this is cleared up, it’d definitely be best not to buy and/or redeem Uber gift cards. In the meantime, this could be a great opportunity to take advantage of the new Chase/Lyft or SoFi/Lyft partnerships while also earning Hilton Honors points.

h/t Doctor of Credit

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

More articles by Stephen Pepper »

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Dustin
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Dustin

FWIW – I completed their form last night and provided the recent gift card information a couple of hours ago. I just checked again and my account is active. They haven’t replied yet to tell me it’s active but it’s working again.

rct12345
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rct12345

Same for me. Was locked and filled the form last night. Just checked now and I’m unlocked. No contact from them. GC funds are intact

TheRewardBoss
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TheRewardBoss

Just needed to confirm last 2 uber trips taken and provide screen print of the last Uber GC and account gets unlocked. Took about 14 hours from lock to unlock.

Earl
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Earl

Has Toby or Martin from American Airlines’ crack corpsec department joined the Uber team?

Jon
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Jon

Just got the following message through the app and everything has been restored.

Thank you for reaching out to support. Within the last 24 hours, an operational error resulted in a temporary loss of account access for a small number of customers. All impacted accounts have since been restored, so we are resolving your inquiry. If your issue was unrelated to account access, please feel free to respond and we would be happy to help further.

Reliable access is at the heart of our platform, and we regret any inconvenience caused by this interruption.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin

I got the same message.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin

This does truly appear to be a technical issue and not intentional action taken against accounts. I just received the following e-mail:

“On January 28th, Uber experienced a technical issue that prevented you from accessing your account. We corrected the error and have applied a credit of $20 to your Uber Cash account for use on a future trip or Uber Eats order.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.”