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You probably know Amazon as the Seattle-based online store that offers two-day delivery to members, as well as streaming video, music, and audiobooks. Perhaps you’re even familiar with some of their other services, such as their grocery or restaurant delivery. And if you’re technically inclined, you might know that Amazon Web Services (AWS) powers a massive quantity of the internet.
What you might not know, however, is that Amazon also has lucrative gig economy jobs available to delivery partners who want to help them enable their quick package deliveries (as well as deliveries of other goods from local restaurants and grocery stores). The collective term for this program is Amazon Flex, and it represents an opportunity to earn a solid amount of extra cash, especially compared to other rideshare and delivery services out there.
- Amazon Flex Pay Compared to Other Delivery and Rideshare Apps
- Does Amazon Flex Pay Vary Based on City?
- How to Boost Your Amazon Flex Pay
- When Does Amazon Flex Pay?
- Does Amazon Reimburse Drivers for Expenses?
Amazon Flex pays their drivers a minimum of $18 per hour, with wages going as high as $25 per hour during busy times such as the holiday season. This sounds like a great deal, and it is, especially when you consider the average hourly earnings for some other popular gig economy apps:
- Average hourly Uber and Lyft driver earnings — While this is difficult to measure (since fares vary based on city and operating costs vary based on vehicle), the average hourly Uber and Lyft driver pay ranges between $8 and $13, according to a summary of existing research published in “The Guardian.”
- Average hourly Postmates earnings — About $9 per hour. Learn more about how much you can make for Postmates here.
- Average hourly DoorDash earnings — $10 per hour (though as high as $25 is possible in some circumstances).
- Average hourly Grubhub earnings — $12 per hour based on data from Indeed.
What really sets Amazon Flex apart from other apps, however, is that their pay is hourly and clear up front. You’ll know before each shift (called a “delivery block”) what you’ll earn for the deliveries you make.
Furthermore, you know that it will be at least $18 per hour. This is comforting, as while it is possible to make far more than that per hour driving for Uber or Lyft, there’s no guarantee in most cases.
To a certain degree, the pay for Amazon Flex does depend on your city. The minimum hourly pay of $18 is the same across all cities, but in some places, the minimum could be even higher in order to account for higher costs of living.
Curious where Amazon Flex is available? The service exists in pretty much every major metropolitan area where Amazon deliveries occur (currently over 50 cities across the U.S.). However, demand varies greatly depending on your market.
This is one of the downsides of Amazon Flex. The high wages are compelling, but the other side of that is that most of the positions are already filled. With hourly wages better than most low-skill part-time jobs out there, the turnover rate is much lower than other delivery apps.
To see if Amazon Flex is hiring in your city, visit the “Get Started” page on the Amazon Flex website. At the time of publication, Amazon Flex is looking for delivery partners in the following cities:
- Hartford and New Haven, CT
- Nashua, NH
- NYC and Long Island, NY
- Rochester, NY
- Pittsburgh, PA
If Amazon Flex isn’t currently hiring in your city, don’t worry. You can still submit your information to the company letting them know you’re interested. This way, you’ll be the first to know of new openings as they arise in your city. To do this, go to the Amazon Flex Get Started page and select “My region is not here” from the list:
After that, hit “Next” and then enter your information:
Once you’ve submitted this, the company will be in touch about new openings.
Earning $18 per hour already sounds like a great deal, but what can you do to earn extra money beyond that? You have a few different steps you can take.
To start, you can drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. Assuming that you’re making deliveries in a car (which is typical for most cities where Amazon Flex operates), your vehicle operating costs will be a major factor in how much of your earnings you can keep. If you drive a car that costs less to operate overall, that can make Amazon Flex an even more lucrative opportunity.
Next, you can accept the delivery blocks that pay the most. This is something you’ll learn with experience, but you should know in particular that Prime Now deliveries offer extra earning potential. This is because customers have the option of leaving you a tip when you make the delivery. The same is true of Amazon Restaurants and AmazonFresh deliveries.
Finally, you need to be willing to take on more deliveries during the holiday season. This is the time of year when demand for Amazon Flex is highest, since people are ordering their holiday gifts. Things can be crazy this time of year due to the increased volume (and bad weather in some parts of the country). The payoff, however, comes in the form of hourly rates that are much closer to the fabled $25 per hour.
Amazon Flex processes payments on Tuesdays and Fridays, sending them via direct deposit using the bank account info you provided when you set up your Flex account. Your earnings should be available in your bank account the following business day.
Note that bank holidays can delay the availability of your funds. Also, if you made deliveries that were eligible for tips, you should allow an additional 1–2 days for the tip amounts to finalize (since customers have the option of adding a tip after you make the delivery).
To check your current Amazon Flex earnings, open the Amazon Flex app and tap where it says “Earnings.” This will display a summary of all your earnings to date.
No, they do not. Amazon Flex drivers are independent contractors, which means they are responsible for paying their own vehicle expenses, parking, tolls, insurance, and the costs of a current Android or iPhone that can run the Amazon Flex app. This also means, by the way, that you’re responsible for filing and paying taxes on the money you earn driving for Amazon Flex, as the company does not withhold any taxes from your earnings.
When you’re calculating how much you earn from Amazon Flex, be sure to take into account all the expenses and taxes. After these (especially with the wear and tear on your vehicle), your earnings can end up being lower than you might have thought.
Earn More With the Amazon Flex Program
As far as side gigs go, Amazon Flex is one of the best. We hope you now see just how much you can earn as an Amazon Flex delivery driver, as well as how to maximize and receive your earnings. To learn more about how to become an Amazon Flex driver, check out our guide to Amazon Flex driver requirements and our beginner’s guide to Amazon delivery jobs.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.