Last updated on July 17th, 2018 at 10:49 pm
No matter where you’re browsing the internet these days, you’re bound to come across an advertisement luring new drivers to either Uber or Lyft – or both! These promising ads offer huge payouts depending on your market, and often seem like a low-risk, high-reward way to earn up to an extra thousand dollars just by driving around your neighborhood. While that’s not exactly wrong, there are some major roadblocks and fine print that make obtaining those rewards more challenging than what immediately meets the eye.
Before you run blindly toward the glittering payouts offered by both Uber and Lyft, make sure you read below to familiarize yourself with exactly what will be expected of you as a driver. After that, we’ll take a glimpse at the current promotions available for both rideshare companies.
Lyft & Uber Promotions: The Initial Sign-Up
The first thing worth mentioning about becoming a new driver is how the registration process works. When you create a new account with either Uber or Lyft, you will have the opportunity to enter a promotion code attached to the account. On Lyft, this is the one and only time you will get the chance to apply this code, meaning if you forget to do so during your registration, you will completely miss out on the offered promotion. Instead, you’ll begin as a standard new driver. You may be able to reach out to Lyft and see if they can retroactively apply the promotion, but in my experience, they have not been willing to do this usually. On Uber, you can sometimes add a code later, but it’s best to do it from the beginning.
I highly recommend exploring the internet for a little while before signing up for either rideshare company. Promotion codes can vary widely between markets, depending on how much demand there is for drivers, so check out your area and any nearby cities where you might be able to earn more bang for your buck. Holiday codes pop up from time to time, though they only work for a limited duration before they’re gone for good.
No matter what code you end up using, absolutely make sure you apply it to your account when you start your application.
Uber & Lyft Driver Promotions: The Sign Up Bonus Or Earnings Guarantee
Lyft and Uber approach driver sign ups differently.
The Lyft driver bonus is per a ride bonus. So, if you get a $500 Lyft driver promo for 180 rides, you get an extra $2.78 per ride. The total bonus amount fluctuates depending on the need for drivers in your area. Typically, the Lyft driver promos range anywhere from $50 all the way up to over $1000 at times. These simple sign-on bonuses are the most common promotion you’ll encounter with Lyft.
Uber currently offers guaranteed earnings for new drivers instead of a cash sign up bonus. Basically, Uber guarantees you’ll earn a certain amount if you complete a certain number of rides. If you don’t make at least that amount (gross earnings), Uber will pay you the difference. The Uber guarantees range from a few hundred dollars to $2000, and sometimes they offer more than one guarantee amount per market.
The number of rides you’ll have to complete can vary depending on your location, but typically fall somewhere in the range of fifty to five hundred rides within a thirty- to ninety-day period. Always check your specific bonus to see exactly what you’ll need to do to complete it.
Why It Doesn’t Always Pay To Choose The Highest Uber Sign Up Guarantee
A recent Uber sign up guarantee for Los Angeles offered guaranteed gross earnings of $600 if the driver completed 70 rides. Chicago recently had an Uber sign up guarantee of $1800 if the driver completed 200 trips. Most new Uber drivers would think the Chicago offer is better, but that’s not actually the case. Believe it or not, on Uber, the lower guarantee amount often makes more sense.
Here’s why. It generally takes around 100 rides or so to become a relatively competent and efficient Uber driver. If a driver signs up with a guarantee similar to the Los Angeles offer ($600), they are more likely to need that guarantee because there’s a higher chance they may not hit $600 after 65 rides. On the other hand, the vast majority of Uber drivers in either Chicago or Los angeles will be able to hit $1800 in gross earnings after 200 rides. The reason is that pretty much every Uber driver is better between rides 100 and 200, than between 0 and 100.
In other words, the higher Uber sign up guarantees of $1000 or $2000 usually require such a high number of rides, that you’re almost certain to surpass the guarantee amount by the time you finish the required rides. Essentially, this renders the really high Uber guarantee pointless. This happens less often on the smaller Uber guarantee amounts.
Something to keep in mind when shooting for your sign-on bonus is that you cannot trick the system by giving rides to one person over and over again. Duplicate rides will not count toward your goal, and could get you deactivated. Each ride must be to a unique individual in order to achieve your sign-on bonus.
Once you’ve hit your goal, your bonus or guarantee will be credited to your account and you’ll be able to choose whether or not you wish to continue as a regularly paid driver. To see the Uber or Lyft guarantee available in your city, click one of the buttons below.
Lyft and Uber Driver Promotions: Weekly Guarantees and Weekly Bonuses
Both Uber & Lyft drivers offer periodic weekly guarantees. The weekly guarantees are similar to the Uber sign up guarantees. Basically, if you do a certain number of rides, you’re guaranteed to earn a certain amount. These guarantees are not offered all the time or in every market, but can skyrocket to as high as one thousand dollars a week if your city has a huge demand for drivers.
Both companies also offer weekly bonuses for completing a certain number of rides. However, the weekly bonus structures differ a bit.
Uber Weekly Bonus
In most markets, Uber offers two weekly bonuses, one for rides given Monday through Thursday, and a second bonus for Friday through Sunday. Uber may offer a driver an extra $120 if they complete 40 rides between Monday and Thursday. In the same week, they may also offer a driver an extra $140 for completing 40 rides between Friday and Saturday. So, if an Uber driver gives 80 rides that week, they’ll earn a bonus of $260, on top of their regular earnings.
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Lyft Weekly Bonus (Power Driver Bonus)
The Lyft weekly bonus is called the Power Driver Bonus, and usually has three or four tiers. Basically, you complete the number of required rides shown below and you’ll receive a bonus. Peak rides are rides during rush hour and busy weekend hours.
While the payoff can be gigantic, reaching the higher level Lyft Power Driver Bonuses can be incredibly strenuous to complete and require you to devote a full-time schedule to driving.
In general, to collect the highest bonus amounts on either Uber or Lyft, you’ll need to be online for approximately fifty hours or more every week, and maintain an acceptance rate of over ninety percent in order to be approved for the payout at the end of each week. (These numbers can and do vary based on your location, but generally don’t fall far from what we have written here.) If you plan to be a part time Lyft driver, you should still be able to reach one of the lower tier Power Driver Bonuses. If you drive part time on Uber, it’s usually possible to reach one of the two weekly bonuses, but not both.
Look Out For Fake Uber & Lyft Referral Codes
If you come across any advertisements promising upwards of three, four, or even five thousand dollars, they’re absolutely fake. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers have started making these false claims in an effort to profit on their own personal referral codes. They will post their code somewhere online with the promise of new drivers making incredible amounts of money, because they earn a small bonus for every new driver they personally refer to Uber or Lyft. This can lead to obvious frustration and disappointment in new drivers, who don’t end up making anywhere close to the promised payout of a few thousand dollars.
Never trust an advertisement that offers payouts that high. The highest sign up bonus currently offered by Lyft is $1000, and most Lyft cities have sign up bonuses that are in the $300 to $600 range. Uber does not offer sign up bonuses anymore, and hasn’t since early 2017. Uber only offers guaranteed earnings when signing up. So, if you see an ad or a post promising a sign up bonus for Uber, it’s a lie or really outdated. Likewise, if you see an offer for a Lyft sign up bonus of $4000, it’s fake.
Sign-On Codes for You
While earnings may vary based on your city, and we cannot guarantee any particular amount, we can extend our own promotion codes to help you earn some extra cash as a new driver!
If you are planning to sign up as an Uber driver, you can use our code of “i9tz1” to ensure your Uber guaranteed earnings.
If you are planning to sign up as a Lyft driver, you can use our code of “RIDESHARECENTRAL” to earn a sign-on bonus of up to $1000 (but more likely $300 – $600). Again, the Lyft bonus is not a lump sum bonus given after completing the required rides. Instead, it is a bonus as you go arrangement. Lyft will add a percentage of the bonus to each ride you complete while working toward your goal. For example, if you sign up with a $600 bonus for 200 completed rides, you’ll get an additional $3 added to each of the rides you complete. The nice thing about this? You can still get part of your bonus even if you don’t complete all of the rides you are expected to.
Once again, both Uber and Lyft change their promotion amounts on a regular basis. They can change almost weekly, so if you happen to catch your city offering a particularly good Lyft promotion (high per ride bonus amount), you should take advantage of that and sign up as quickly as possible! There have been fluctuations in the same week of nearly five hundred dollars, so always keep an eye on what promotions are currently running in your area, that way you don’t miss out on any golden opportunities. As for Uber, when you sign up doesn’t matter as much since they don’t offer sign up bonuses.
The Verdict on Bonuses
So long as you have some extra time, and you can confidently maintain a high acceptance rate as an Uber or Lyft driver, new driver bonuses and guarantees are a good way to earn some extra money. There is a lot of red tape surrounding weekly guarantees, and so it’s wise to exhibit some caution when approaching those specific promotions. Chances are, if you don’t have fifty hours or more to dedicate to driving, you won’t be able to meet the requirements for the highest bonuses, but you can hit the lower tier bonuses. So, while you may not earn an extra $200 – $400 in bonus money each week, as a part-time Uber or Lyft driver, a bonus of $50 to $150 per week should be possible.
Always research the requirements for your specific city, as bonus amounts and the amount of work you’ll have to put in toward obtaining them can fluctuate from one place to the next. To see what Lyft is currently offering in your area, click here. To see what Uber is offering in your area, click here.
Keep yourself informed on all the fine print that goes into fulfilling your promotion, and check out some of the other articles on our site to discover how to start as a new driver and nail your five star ratings right from the beginning.