Lyft to Roll out Airline-Like Rewards Program for Loyal Riders Including Upgrades, Savings

The program launches in select cities this December.

Lyft

Lyft will launch a rewards program, allowing loyal riders to accumulate points that can be used for upgrades. It's the latest move by the ride-hailing company to secure more loyalty from its customers.

The program launches in December, and for now, Lyft isn't offering many details. A company blog post did say the rewards program won't be available to all Lyft riders initially. Customers in certain cities will be invited via email to participate in the program.

Those that do sign up will earn points based on how much they spend on Lyft rides. These points will be redeemable for perks like upgrades to the higher-end Lyft Lux service, savings on future rides, and access to more experienced drivers. But other details on how the program will work are unavailable at this time.

Rewards programs are a staple of the airline industry, but they're relatively new to ride-hailing. In the United States, Lyft is looking to gain ground on its much larger rival Uber, and the rewards program could give users an incentive to stick with the smaller company. Both Lyft and Uber are expected to launch initial public offerings (IPO) in 2019, and both companies have been introducing new services to make themselves more attractive to investors.

Given how Lyft and Uber tend to match each other step for step, it's probably only a matter of time before Uber launches a rewards program of its own. After all, when Lyft launched its subscription service a few weeks ago, Uber announced a comparable service of its own about two weeks later. However, the specific terms of rewards programs will determine if they have any real value for customers.

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