Visa’s little-noticed purchase last year of a Silicon Valley-based rewards platform is playing a central role in a new loyalty program targeting Uber riders, starting in California’s largest cities.
Visa cardholders in Los Angeles and San Francisco who link a Visa card within the Uber app can earn points on dining and shopping purchases that go toward $10 off an Uber ride in a new, long-term program called Uber Local Offers, the companies said in an Aug. 30 press release.
The deal is one of the biggest loyalty programs so far to emerge on the Visa Commerce Network, an offers and loyalty platform Visa announced earlier this year, and the first to support an ongoing program, a Visa spokesperson said.
Visa in January announced several short-term promotions with Visa Commerce Network with merchants including Uber, Dunkin’ Donuts and Shake Shack.
Visa built its local-offers platform with technology from Mountain View, Calif.-based TrialPay, a startup it acquired in February 2015 for an undisclosed sum, the company said.
In the new program, Uber riders may earn one point for every dollar spent at participating local merchants, and for every 100 points, Visa cardholders may earn $10 off a future Uber ride.
Visa is positioning its new deal with Uber as a permanent program. A Visa spokesperson said the company plans to expand Uber Local Offers to other cities, but no timeline has been set.
Merchants participating in the program so far include Lucille’s Smokehouse Barb-B-Que, Peet’s Coffee and The Pie Hole, among others.
“We’ve built Local Offers right into the Uber app, making it a one stop shop for riders to see our curated list of (participating) places and track progress toward free rides,” said Drew Quinn, Uber’s product manager.