Posted by William Charles on August 16, 2017

Published on August 16th, 2017 | by William Charles


[Expired?] Upside: Make a $400+ Travel Booking & Get $250 In Gift Cards

Update: Looks like all codes are now only $125 instead of $250 :(.

The Offer

Must use a referral link, feel free to share & find codes in this linked post.

  • Upside Travel is offering a $250 gift card (Amazon, Target, Whole Foods, eBay & more) when you’re a new Upside user, use a referral link and complete a $400 Upside package. You’ll also get whatever gift cards you’d normally earn from Upside (if it’s a cheap booking most likely $15).


The Fine Print

  • Only one promo code per transaction.
  • Your promotion will be applied at checkout.
  • Your gift card total cannot exceed the cost of your trip.
  • Your code requires a minimum purchase of $400.
  • Your code expires on 12/25/2017.

Our Verdict

For those not familiar with Upside I’d recommend reading our review. Basically it allows you to search for flights, hotels and Uber rides and create a ‘package’. What’s different to a normal online travel agency is they are targeted towards corporate customers and aim to save big businesses/corporations money by offering their travelers gift card rewards for taking cheaper options. That way employees are reward with a gift card for taking a ‘worse’ option and businesses/corporations save money.

When I did my initial searching I found Upside more expensive than the competition (before the package savings & gift card rebates). I was actually surprised that Upside priced out so well even when comparing it to other online travel agencies including discounts. I still haven’t booked with them because I prefer other options out there, but if I can find something priced around $400 then I’ll probably jump on this deal. You need to pick two of the following:

  • Flight.
  • Hotel
  • Uber. Let’s you pick one of the following (these are promo codes that must be used during your trip. 12:01 am the day of your flight there until 11:59 pm the day of your flight back):
    • Two rides up to $25 each for $50
    • Four rides up to $25 each for $100
    • 8 rides up to $25 each for $200
    • 12 rides up to $25 each for $300

Personally I find it very easy to save a lot of money on hotels (more information here) and much more difficult to save on flights & Uber. If I can find something that is around that $400 price point for those two then this looks like a winner. I haven’t done a lot of research on this deal just yet and I’m assuming prices are still somewhat competitive but could be easily wrong (update after doing a few more searches I was definitely able to find cheaper flight prices else where but there wasn’t a huge difference. Remember that when you get to the final booking price they will also show you the total price which includes the discount they provide you. After taking that into account prices were basically the same and sometimes cheaper). As always it’s super important that you do your own price comparisons for your own routing/deal to make sure it’s competitive.

If anybody has any experience with Upside then please share your experiences in the comments below.

Hat tip to Extreme Hotel Deals

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Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

PSA: if someone wants to get $250 they can use my promo code: [referral code removed, I’ll update the post and let people share their codes in a different post]

same terms as above but giftcard is a little more and can be used for Amazon, Target, and more.

Hi Matthew,

I would appreciate if you send me your promo code.

Doesnt work anymore, expired. But this one is still good indefinitely. minimum $100-125 gift card to many popular retail stores like amazon, target, athletica, etc when booking via The packages are actually cheaper than booking directly with airlines or hotels as well. Try it

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

Also for experience, I have used Upside multiple times and have nothing but good things to say. They have been very helpful in solving hotel issues and any questions I have.

Some info I have found important in my searchs:

They do not use all airlines (most notable Delta and partners)

It seems they do not use flights that have 2 or more stops

Travel must originate in the USA

Right now the promo codes seem to work for flight only bookings or hotel only bookings as long as they go above the $400 minimum.

Had a couple of questions:

1) Can we choose which gift cards we’ll receive?
2) Is this coded as a travel expense on CC?
3) I am planning a hotel only booking, will it work just fine?

Thanks for sharing the referral

Are the Uber codes valid worldwide, or us-only?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

yes they can be applied internationally

Thanks. But presumably they are only valid during the dates of you trip (between departure/return flight date, or during hotel stay)?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

correct. and right now it looks like the longest trip you can make is about a month or so. so not a lot of time.

I called and asked – your uber codes are valid from 12:01 am the day of your flight there until 11:59 pm the day of your flight back.

Just be aware that they manually review your trip when awarding any gift cards. I used them when they had a $200 off $200 Groupon right after they launched and did a partial trip (hotel only, skipped the flight). They did not award the card and said it was because I didn’t complete the trip. I had to argue with them about it since nowhere in the terms did it mention that. They might have updated the terms since then.

They also are just booking you through other travel portals. My hotel stay was really an Expedia booking.

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

Very valid points. I took advantage of ther $200 gift card promo when they started and had no problem getting my gift cards when I did not use a hotel or part of a flight. I did however call the navigators (their customer service) and let them know ahead of time that I would not be using it. They then made notes on the account and I had no trouble. As for the pricing, he is correct. They basically match up with booking websites so that is where getting a huge giftcard can be lucrative!

Hi Will, I have found your website very useful over the years. I do professional web design and if you’re interested in a website redesign let’s talk. I see you’re using an older version of the Gonzo theme and WP Engine (which I’m very proficient in) as well as some other plugins and customizations. I have special unique tools that will help bolster your business and potentially triple revenue.

My signup page shows “Your code expires on 12/24/2025”. Do i have to make the purchase before 08/19/17 or 12/24/2025?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

Yes the purchase has to be by August 19th at 11:59 pm

Is this for new customers only? What if I booked through upside before? Would that be considered existing customer even if I don’t have an account?Would that make me not qualify for the $250?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

as long as you dont have an account you should be eligible. However if you have received gift cards, you most likely have an account. However a good way to maximize your value is to have a spouse or significant other make an account and use a code. They can book travel for anyone, not just themselves.

Anyone knows how this will code in terms of credit card rewards?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

for my Chase sapphire Reserve it has been categorized as travel, earning me 3X

Thanks Matthew. Unfortunately it doesn’t code as airline so I’m giving up 5x on Amex platinum.

Looks like new referrals are only generating $125

I meant new referral links.

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

Correct. The $250 referral was targeted to upside members!

Could I book a $100 hotel and add $300 uber credits to meet the $400 threshold and sell the uber credits and still get the $250?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

No. The Uber credits have to be used during the time frame of the trip. So, if you book a week long package it needs to be used during that week. Sorry!

Do the Uber credits work on Uber eats as well? That would take care of some meals for the trip as well as improve the value proposition of this deal!

Will, where is your referral link?

Is there a way to add two people to a package for airfare purposes? I don’t see that option

Matthew stainbrook
Matthew stainbrook

Unfortunately no. You would have to make two separate bookings!

Do I have to book at the same time I sign up using referral link ?

Matthew Stainbrook
Matthew Stainbrook

Nope! just know that the first trip you do, you will need to input the promo code of your choice. if youo don’t, first time only promo codes will no longer work.

Great find! Was able to get the $250 gift card with just a flight booking alone (no uber or hotel). The next day, the agent for the site sent me an email confirming my flight booking, including weather conditions in the city I’m flying to, and even gave me a complimentary upgrade to economy plus for my flight!

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