Can you pay an Uber driver with cash? [2021 update]

Everyone thinks of Uber as cashless – but did you know you can actually pay for your ride in cash? We have the details!

Can You Pay For An Uber In Cash?

When it boils down to it, Uber succeeds because you basically get a taxi that isn’t technically a taxi. You get where you need to go, pay your bill, and you’re off. A big difference with Uber, however, is that it is mostly geared to be cashless. So, can you pay an Uber driver with cash?

In MOST cases, you can, but you’ll need to modify some settings in your Uber app and it doesn’t work in all areas or with all Uber services. Today we’ll tell you how you can set your default payment as cash and the potential pitfalls of going this route.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use cash in a mostly cashless system like Uber!

How to set your default payment option as cash

In order to pay cash for your ride, you need to designate that cash is your preferred form of payment before you schedule and start the ride. This is easy to do by following a few simple steps to get to the right setting in your Uber app. Just follow these steps:

  • On your Smartphone, log in to your Uber app and then we want to click on ‘Wallet’.
  • After you’ve selected ‘Wallet’ you’ll be given a menu of options and we want to select ‘Ride profiles’.
  • If you haven’t set up a special name for your profile, then select the one which reads ‘personal’ and this will take us to our payment options for the profile.
  • Select ‘Cash’ and we are good to go!

You should now be able to pay cash for your Uber ride but there are some potential caveats which you’ll need to consider. While cash is a valid payment option, you’ve got a few good reasons why it might be better to go with the preferred option of credit.  

Considerations and caveats of using cash

Uber was designed with the idea in mind that everything can be convenient by handling it electronically. You put in your ride request or your food order from Uber Eats, the driver arrives, and you get your grub or you take a ride to where you want to go.

At the termination of the transaction, you press a button on your phone to pay and add a tip if you like.

Done deal.

When you go with cash, however, things don’t always run as smoothly, as the cash option is more of a secondary consideration in Uber’s business model. Let’s take a look at potential pitfalls that you’ll want to be aware of.

Your bill might be rounded up

A number of Uber customers have reported cases where their bills were rounded up. So, a fare for $7.50 might end up being rounded to a flat $8.00 if you have opted to pay in cash. While reports of this are infrequent and it may not happen in your area, it’s something to keep an eye out for.

You might get your change in credit

Uber drivers are encouraged to carry a little cash with them in the event that they might be required to give change on a cash purchase. That doesn’t mean that they will have change, however. Some drivers prefer not to carry a lot of cash as a safety option and some even have an option to simply credit the cash to your account.

If you were looking to get a little change after your ride, then this can be inconvenient, but it’s something that you need to consider as it is possible you’ll pay cash and get all of your change in the form of a credit to your Uber account.

Your Uber driver might not accept it

While cash is an option, it’s uncommon to pay so directly with Uber and your driver might not even know that it’s an option. This can lead to confusion and your driver might insist that you complete the transaction with credit.

Cash is likely just going to be an option for rides

While cash payment is going to be an option for Uber rides in most areas, Uber eats is a different story. We are not aware of a cash option for Uber Eats at this time, so if you want to pay cash for your lunch or dinner then you will have to go with a standard delivery. Uber Eats is still credit-only.

Some final words of paying cash for your Uber

As you can see, while cash is an option with Uber, there are definitely a few caveats to going with legal tender instead of simply taking the e-pay route. If you still want to use cash, however, then you can definitely set it up for your rides. Just make the profile changes we recommended and you’ll be ready to go!

Just remember, it might not be as smooth as you think!