Mark K. points out that new Uber users can now get 1000 United miles with their first ride.
Customers who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for a limited time*.
To get the 1000 United miles you have to give up the $30 first ride credit.
Now, when you sign up and get the $30 first ride credit using my referral link, I get a $30 first ride credit too. (I used to suggest folks leave their own referral links in the comments, but several readers let me know that it’s against Uber’s rules and folks have had their referral credits taken away for stuff like that, so if you do it then it’s at your own risk.)
United also gets compensated for signing up new Uber customers. They don’t know their referral credit, however. Heh.
In any case, you have to choose one or the other — 1000 United miles, or a free ride up to $30.
In DC, the minimum charge for an UberX ride is $7. So you could buy 1000 United miles at 7/10ths of a cent if you wish. I tend to think of it though as giving up $30 in transportation, so buying those miles at 3 cents. I’d take the ride credit.