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Upfront Fares – No Math and No Surprises

December 22, 2016 / Hong Kong


We’re excited to announce that starting from today, Uber riders in Hong Kong will begin enjoying Upfront Fares for all rides. All you have to do is enter your pick-up and drop-off locations, and this new feature will show you the actual trip fare before you even request a ride.

Upfront Fares are calculated based on your trip’s expected time and distance, and will take into consideration the predicted traffic situation and availability of drivers at the time of the request. When fares go up due to increased demand, instead of surge notifications and estimated fares, you will be quoted the price of the trip, so you will know exactly what you pay before you request. This way, you can always decide what works for you and your budget.

If you have multiple stops or have to change your destination mid-trip, don’t worry! Fares will simply fallback to the traditional fare calculation based on time and distance.

Authorization Hold

Similar to how hotels charge their guests, Uber will request authorization to hold payments equivalent to the Upfront Fares quoted when trips are requested. This will show up as a “pending” charge on your account.

When the trip completes, this hold is converted to a charge of the final trip fare. If the trip has been cancelled or the total fare is different from the Upfront Fares, the original authorization hold will be voided depending on your bank’s policy, the refund  might take a few days.

If you need clarification on your bank’s policy on authorization holds, we recommend contacting your bank directly.


Q: What if I change my destination, have multiple destinations, or make extra stops?
A: Upfront Fares may not be honored if you make significant changes to your trip route. In these cases, we’ll fallback to the traditional fare calculation based on time and distance. You will be notified that fares will change at a few points before and during the trip.

Q: Can my Upfront Fares change even if I don’t change my destination?
A: Our Upfront Fares calculation is based on predicted traffic conditions between your pick-up and drop-off point. However, as you may know, the driving situation in Hong Kong can be unpredictable. Therefore, the fare of a trip can sometimes fallback to the traditional fare calculation based on original time and distance rates.

Q: Surge icons and surge screens no longer appear for Upfront Fares – Why?
A: This new way of showing fare accounts for surge, but provides you with more precise information upfront. For example, instead of seeing that a fare will cost 1.5x, you will see that the trip is going to cost $80. This aims at providing you with more information immediately, so you can choose the product that best meets your needs and budget at the time you request rides.

Q: Will surge pricing be included in the Upfront Fares?
A: Yes. If there are more rider requests than available drivers, fares will increase via surge pricing. The price shown to you will make it even easier for you to compare the costs between uberX and uberBLACK rides. With Upfront Fares you cannot book a car without approving the cost beforehand.

Q: Is the Upfront Fares completely inclusive (such as toll charges etc.)?
A: Generally yes. There are some instances when the final fare could be lower than the fare given upfront (for example, if you have a promo code applied) — or higher (such as if you change the destination of the trip).

Authorization Hold FAQs

Q: Why did I receive a text message from my bank before the trip started?

A: The authorization hold will take place upon requesting your ride. Some banks may send a text notification that an authorization hold has been charged to your account. However sometimes these look the same as actual charges – don’t worry, the authorization holds will either convert into the actual charge or be voided by your bank within a few days.

Q: If I take multiple trips in the same day, will I receive multiple authorization holds?

A: It depends – if an authorization hold from a previous trip has not been completed or cancelled yet, the same authorization hold can be used for multiple trips. However, it’s possible to receive multiple authorization holds on the same day if the previous authorization hold has already been processed.

Q: Why is the amount of the authorization hold higher than my Upfront Fares?

A: Currently, authorization holds are for the full amount of the trip, excluding any promotions or discounts. Don’t worry though, you’ll only be charged the correct amount, and any unused authorization hold amounts will be refunded back to your payment method.

Q: How can I tell the difference between an authorization charge and an actual charge? 

A: In your credit card statement, the charge should show up as “pending” or “voided” instead of “settled”. If you need clarification on your bank’s policy on authorization holds, we recommend contacting your bank directly.

Q: Why was I prompted to add another payment method?

A: This may happen if the authorization hold is not successful. If the amount of the Upfront Fares is not available for us to hold, we will deny the trip. In this scenario we suggest you to add another payment method, or follow up with your bank.

Q: What happens when a trip is cancelled?

A: If you cancel the trip within Uber’s cancellation policy, the authorization hold will be voided immediately, although it may take several business days for this to reflect on your payment method.

Q: Why did I have two charges for the same trip?

A: This can happen if you change your destination within the trip, leading to your final fare being higher than the initial authorization amount. If a second authorization hold for entire actual amount is not successful, your bill may be split into two receipts. Please contact us through help.uber if you need assistance with any authorization hold issues.