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Does Lyft Take Cash As A Payment For Their Services?

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Since its conception in 2012, Lyft has continued to gain traction.

It serves the increasing amounts of consumers who are becoming intrigued with rideshare platforms.

Overall, Lyft draws people in for a variety of reasons.

Some people might love this way of travel because it is an easy option for getting around on a night out.

Others might be concerned with the environmental factor of vehicles and therefore use rideshares to lessen their carbon footprint.

No matter the reason, they all have to pay for their ride!

Lyft is simple to use.

Yet, the different payment methods and how they can relate to you and your situation can be confusing.

Many people wonder as well: does Lyft take cash as payment?

Before booking any Lyft rides, be sure you understand how to pay and tip your driver.

Does Lyft Take Cash?

No, Lyft does not take cash.

While Uber has allowed cash payments in some parts of the world, Lyft does not offer a way to use cash to cover a fare.

Instead, the person requesting a ride must link a payment option to their Lyft account.

The options available are pretty typical when it comes to rideshare apps.

If you are insistent on using cash as a form of payment for your Lyft ride, it is possible to tip with this option.

However, we will dive more into that process later.

Other Lyft Payment Options

vector graphic of a hand holding a smartphone running the lyft app and getting a lyft estimate for a ride

Lyft offers several options for you to choose from.

After creating your Lyft rider account and confirming your phone number, you can enter in your preferred payment method

These include the following:

1. Credit Card

One of the most common ways that riders pay for Lyft is through a credit card.

Lyft accepts all major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

So, no matter who you use, you should have no problem registering your card.

The process of inputting your card is like any other site or app.

All you need to do is input your card number, CVV code, and expiration date, and you are ready to go!

2. Lyft Gift Card

Like typical gift cards, Lyft gift cards can help pay for rideshare services.

In order to use this option on Lyft though, you must have another payment method listed as a default option.

Also, gift cards cannot be used to cover tips for your driver or extra fees such as cancelations or damages.

Lyft’s gift cards can be found at a variety of retailers.

One of the easiest ways would be to go directly to Lyft’s website and follow the instructions there.

However, You will want to keep in mind that Lyft does not offer physical copies of their gift cards.

Instead, you will receive a digital code by email.

If you are looking for a physical card, you can find them from different sources.

These include stores such as Amazon, Office Depot, or even your local grocery stores.

No matter how you buy the card, the process is the same to load the gift onto your account.

Start by going to the payment screen, finding the gift card icon, and inputting the PIN code.

Then, the gift card amount is available for use as Lyft Cash.

3. Apple Pay

If you have an iPhone and have set up your Apple Pay, you can also use that service to pay for a ride.

Apps like Lyft make it simple to attach this option to your rider account.

4. Google Pay

Google Pay, before known as Android Pay, is like Apple Pay but it is for modern Android phones.

You must have a current credit or debit card linked to your Google Pay account to use this for a rideshare payment.

5. PayPal

PayPal is the ultimate digital payment tool for many goods and services, and Lyft is no different.

If you are using a payment option like this, you must still set a credit/debit card as a default payment method.

Also, make sure that you have the funds available to pay for the trip and the tip!

Did you Know?

Paypal is accepted by many food delivery companies and some rideshare companies.

If you have a large balance going unused, this is a great thing to use Paypal towards!

6. Venmo

Venmo, the popular money-sending app, is another way that riders can pay for their trips.

In order to use it, make sure that you download the Venmo app on your phone and log in to your account.

That way, Lyft can successfully link to your Venmo account.

Tipping with Cash

a vector graphic of a woman handing a lyft driver lyft tipping money through the window of the car after a ride

For any rideshare driver, tips are essential to make a good paycheck.

You can tip your Lyft driver with a cash option if you want, but there are upsides with tipping through the app.

Remember, when you use the app, Lyft does not take any of that, and the driver gets 100% of the tip.

Drivers will go out of their way to make your ride fun and comfortable, so be kind and tip your drivers!

Tipping through the app can make transactions easy to track for the driver and the rider.

Like, if you need to track expenses for a business trip, you can quickly look up receipts to give to work.

It is also an excellent way for drivers to make sure they are getting paid the right amount.

This way, they can manage their money and avoid any tax problems.

Using the rideshare apps to tip can even help to avoid uncomfortable situations.

Sometimes, it’s hard to break large bills to give the correct tip amount, which can get awkward for everyone.

So, even though it’s acceptable to tip drivers with cash, it can be easier to give a tip through the app.

Don’t Get Confused by Lyft Cash

If you explore the payment tab of Lyft, you will find an option to pre-load money onto your Lyft account called Lyft Cash.

Similar to how Uber Cash works, you can do this by manually loading cash into your account, or you can opt to “auto refill” your Lyft Cash.

That way, you are ready to go anywhere at any time.

Lyft Cash is where you can find your gift card balances.

Here, you can also see money loaded from a credit card, bank account, or prepaid card, like the cash card from Cash App.

So, instead of taking the money from a credit card, the money comes out of the Lyft Cash account.

Using this service is a great way to budget rides or use your bank account number to fund your commute.

If you grow weary of this option, you can easily switch to a new payment method.

My Take: The Cash-Based Ride Model is Dead

While rideshare apps have not put taxis out of business, it has changed the industry.

The cash-based structure of the traditional taxi service is becoming outdated.

We, as a society, are moving towards cashless payments in almost every other industry.

Not to mention that the cash-based model has several inherent downsides.

For starters, a business based on exchanging dollar bills can create dangerous situations.

They can be easy targets for criminals as the money involved is more readily available.

This can result in an easy large payday.

Secondly, if you do not have enough cash or a variety of different bills to pay, you would be unable to ride in a taxi.

The cash-based model is not helpful for those circumstances.

When the exchange of money is awkward, it can result in a loss of customers.

No one wants to support a company where they had a bad experience.

Lastly, Lyft monitors drivers, passengers, and rates to create a system based on responsibility.

Rideshare companies’ engagement with drivers and passengers creates high standards for these companies.

For example, standards help drivers create 5-star experiences for riders resulting in better tips from riders and better customer service.

You could say that rideshare apps made much better standards for the industry!

The app-based model helps make the business simple, which creates the best possible experience for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

a vector graphic of a man holding a smartphone saving money on a lyft ride using a lyft promo code as the vehicle picks him up and a woman is riding in the car

Typically, these apps do an excellent job of walking you through them.

Even with all this help, there are still parts of Lyft that are unclear.

Can I use Lyft without a credit card?

The answer is no.

When you set up your account on Lyft, you must enter in a credit card number.

Even if you choose to use PayPal, Venmo, or Apple or Google Pay, you must still have a valid credit card on file with Lyft.

Does Lyft take debit cards?


You can link your debit card by entering the card number, expiration date, and CVV, just like a credit card.

You can also use a debit card to add funds to your Lyft Cash account.

When does Lyft take money out of your account?

When you use rideshares, the ride cost consists of the travel fare, fees or tolls, and the driver’s tip.

Once you request a ride, Lyft puts a payment authorization on your credit card or bank account, making sure that your payment information is correct.

After about 5-7 days, banks release the authorization, and the charge is complete.

There may also be authorizations if you add a stop to your ride route or rent one of the Lyft Scooters.

Did You Know?
Purchasing a toll pass like E-ZPass is a great way to save money on tolls as a rideshare driver!
Plus, the system makes it easy so that you don’t have to stop with riders in your vehicle.

Can you transfer Lyft cash from one account to another?

No. Lyft Cash’s terms and conditions say that Lyft Cash is only available to the account loaded on.

Lyft Cash also cannot transfer to any other accounts on or off the app.

Are there discounts or promotions I can use?

There sure is!

Lyft offers up any active promotions or coupons under the ‘Rewards’ option in the main menu.

Discounts and promos can range from percent off, fixed discounts, or flat-rate fares.

So, there are plenty of ways to save.

Ready for Lyft Off

When using Lyft, you now know what to expect when it comes to payments and the use of cash payments.

Even though it may seem easier to use cash, it can create uncomfortable and unsafe situations.

Armed with the know-how of all the ways to pay and tip, you can book your next ride with ease.

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