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

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

  1. Matthew Stainbrook says:

    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.

  2. Matthew Stainbrook says:

    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.

    • RK says:

      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

  3. Austin says:

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

  4. papercauldron says:

    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 says:

      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!

  5. web designer says:

    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.

  6. Cai says:

    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?

  7. Stephen says:

    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 says:

      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.

  8. GL says:

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

  9. Pag says:

    Looks like new referrals are only generating $125

  10. Matthew Stainbrook says:

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

  11. Brian says:

    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 says:

      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!

      • GL says:

        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!

  12. Ken says:

    Will, where is your referral link?

  13. BRIAN GALINDO says:

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

  14. goodguys21 says:

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

    • Matthew Stainbrook says:

      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.

  15. Rachel says:

    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!

  16. Darin says:

    Anyone know whether AA travel will credit as fare or distance? Chase, Citi and other booking sites often show up as “bulk” tickets and get credited by distance. While this can be an advantage in some cases, for my upcoming travel it would be a big disadvantage if it’s not a transparent fare to AA.

    • mommafrica says:

      +1. And as a person with a disability (Disabled Vet), can I still choose my own seats as well? Will the site send me to AA directly for seating is what I’m actually truly asking?

      • Nick Reyes says:

        I was able to go to AA and plug in my confirmation number and then add my Alaska Airlines MVP Gold number. That status allowed me to choose Main Cabin Extra seating for free (a benefit of MVP Gold until January 1). So my point is that you should be able to select seats I believe.

  17. y says:

    How and when do you choose the gift card?

  18. Slinks says:

    The only promo code that seems to work is Matthew Stainbrook’s! All the others I tried first said invalid. Odd and also Matthew’s promo code is his surname whereas everyone else’s is a set of random letters… Matthew, how did you get your particular promo code please?

    Also, now that I have signed up, no-one can sign up through my promo link (a set of random letters)!!!!

    • Nick Reyes says:

      There is at least one more than works in the referral thread. Look for promo codes that are a name rather than number.

      Matt might answer you also, but I saw your comment and figured I’d respond. I emailed with Matt about this yesterday. He got targeted (as did some other existing users) for the $250 referral. The normal referral is $125, which is the referral link you get after you make your first booking. It looks like a lot of people posted that referral (which is just a random combo of numbers and letters). The name-based referrals had the higher offer.

      I emailed support to ask if there was a way to get a $250 referral (intending to tell people if that worked). They told me that I should like them on Facebook, listen for their adds on the radio, and check my email inbox as the marketing team often offers different kinds of referral bonuses. So, to my knowledge, there is no way to get one of your own — but you can always ask Upside – maybe you’ll get a different response than I did.

      • Slinks says:

        Thanks so much for the detailed reply, Nick! That makes sense. I have contacted Upside anyway as my referral code just says invalid when used (doesn’t even offer $125) so will mention this too and if I get a reply, I’ll update with their answer 🙂

  19. George says:

    Looks like I missed this. Does anyone know if it was extended?

    • Brian C says:

      They just started a new campaign today of $200 (not quite as good as $250 but still pretty good). Only targeted user’s have this referral. Several users posted on the referral page (see top of post). I would post a link here for you but not allowed, but just check the referral page.

      My link is there as well 🙂

  20. Ken says:

    Can the Uber credit be used in a different country from the flight destination?

  21. Dale R says:

    Can anyone confirm if the Uber credit worked with UberEats as well?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Please do not share your referral links/codes unless the post specifically states it's allowed. If the post states it is allowed please follow the rules carefully. If you'd like an image next to your comments please create a gravatar. Most of all please be kind and respectful to each other. 

Back to Top ↑