Can You Pay Uber with Cash? How to Use Uber Without a Credit Card

FT Contributor  | 

In short, Uber services may be paid for through physical cash, but there are some grey areas involved. For example, paying for Uber with cash may be feasible in highly populated areas such as New York City, NY that have a bigger Uber presence, but may not be available in smaller areas such as Aspen, CO. Make sure to clarify the intent of using cash for payment prior to the use of an Uber service so that all parties are aware and can adjust accordingly.

Uber as a company is constantly growing, changing and evolving. That being said, not only are there new services that Uber provides, but there are also multiple ways to pay. It is important to understand that, just like paying for Uber services in cash, some payment methods are limited to particular regions. Credit cards simplify the Uber ride-hailing lifestyle, but this does NOT limit users to this payment method only.

How to Pay for Uber Rides Using Cash

As mentioned above, it is possible to pay for Uber in cash in some cities. Riders must initially disclose that they are intending to pay in cash so that the potential driver is aware and can accept the ride accordingly. While paying directly in cash isn’t always an option, riders may always tip using cash regardless of the type of transaction used.

Using a Debit Card

Don’t have a credit card or prefer not to use a credit card? Debit card payments work identically to credit cards in the eyes of Uber. Users can even enter their debit card information in the same manner as adding a credit card, manually or scanned.

Follow the steps below to add a debit card payment:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method
  4. Manually enter in the debit card information, or scan the card

The only thing to keep in mind when using a debit card is to make sure that there are appropriate funds in the associated account. Other than that, the use of a debit card is virtually identical to that of a credit card.

Using PayPal

Prefer to keep bank or card information out of Uber’s hands? PayPal can act as a mediator between the account(s) and the application. This is another payment option that is available on a city-by-city basis and is not openly available everywhere. The PayPal intermediary needs available funds by linking a credit or debit card to the application, or through another means of financing.

Follow the steps below to add a PayPal payment:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method to “PayPal”
  4. Input information associated with PayPal account

Using Your Phone: Apple Pay or Android Pay

Another way to keep from directly entering card information can be achieved via two means: Apple Pay and Android Pay (also known as Google Pay). The only real difference here is that you’ll have to complete payments for rides or services outside of the application.

Follow the steps below to use Apple Pay:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method to “Apple Pay”
  4. Launch Apple Pay application (How to set up Apple Pay)

Follow the steps below to use Android/Google Pay:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method to “Google Pay”
  4. Launch Google Pay application (How to set up Google Pay)

Split Your Fare With Venmo

If none of the above options suit your payment preferences, Venmo also provides a viable payment option.

Follow the steps below to use Venmo:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method to “Venmo”
  4. Input Venmo account information or create an account in the application for a new user
  5. Choose “Authorize” to authenticate the payment

One new option that the team-up between Uber and Venmo offers is the ability to split the cost of the particular Uber service with a friend.

Uber Cash

A recent addition to the Uber platform, made possible by Venmo, is Uber Cash. Although Uber Cash appears as if it is the same as paying in cash, it is not.  Uber Cash has users add funds into the Uber account prior to paying for any of Uber’s provided services. There are also incentives for using Uber Cash.

Follow the steps below to use Uber Cash:

  1. Launch the Uber application
  2. Choose “Add Payment”
  3. Change payment method to “Uber Cash”
  4. Upload funds as needed prior to payment

There are many payment methods that Uber provides users to choose from. Where there is a will, Uber has found a way.


Image Source: Deposit Photos

This post was updated September 9, 2019. It was originally published September 14, 2019.