Why Uber Users with American Express Cards Will Be Getting Rides

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Uber, the popular ride-sharing service with the ever-expanding valuation, and American Express have teamed up to create a mobile loyalty partnership that will allow eligible charge card users to earn AmEx rewards points or use AmEx points for their Uber rides.

Seems as though everyone wants a piece of Uber, and it's not even publicly-traded. Yet.

In what the companies describe as a "first-of-its-kind tech integration" between Uber's Apple iOS app and American Express card members, it marks the first time that Uber riders can use loyalty reward points through an app and in real time for their on-demand transportation needs. Amex card users enrolled in its membership rewards program can choose to earn double points or use points for their Uber rides, according to a joint press release.

Once the app is downloaded, AmEx card users with an eligible card on file will be prompted to enroll their card in the program with just one tap. Card Members who opt in to the loyalty program will receive an on-screen ride summary and email receipt from Uber showing points were earned or redeemed.

"Through this new, slick and powerful integration with Uber, one of the most forward-looking, mobile-based services in the industry, we are leveraging our unique technology to add a real-time benefit where we know our Card Members want it," Leslie Berland, senior vice president of American Express' Digital Partnerships and Development, said in a release.

"Uber is at the forefront of evolving the way the world moves, and this integration with American Express - a company known for superior service and loyalty programs - helps make travel easier, more seamless and more rewarding for Uber users," said Emil Michael, senior vice president of business at Uber. "This first-of-its-kind platform is the most recent way we are delivering more value more seamlessly to our customers."

As part of the launch, Uber will also roll out a new incentive program funded by American Express called the Sixth Star Awards. The awards will recognize the highest-rated Uber driver partners for service excellence and loyalty. Each week, Uber will select one of its most highly-rated driver partners to receive the award, which includes a special prize valued at $1,000.

Uber operates in more than 60 cities across the U.S., the release says, and more than 120 cities across the world. The four-year-old company made big news on Friday when it announced via its blog that it secured $1.2 billion in financing (the financing will total $1.4 billion after a follow-on round funded by strategic investors in the near future). The company is valued at $18.2 billion, making it the most highly-valued private VC-backed company, according to CB Insights .

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.