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What is a DoorDash Red Card and How Does it Work?

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If you use DoorDash, you’re likely familiar with the ins and outs of the service.

You may have seen the DoorDash Red Card that drivers use to make purchases.

In this article, we learn how these cards work, the reasons behind them, and their benefits to drivers and customers.

What Is a DoorDash Red Card?

Many people have heard of DoorDash Red Cards and wonder what they are and who uses them.

The company issues them to DoorDash drivers, also known as Dashers.

The Dashers then use them to make purchases at restaurants or stores on behalf of their customers.

How Does a DoorDash Red Card Work?

A DoorDash Dasher receives their Red Card as part of their activation kit during orientation, and they then take a course that teaches them how the Red Card works.

DoorDash loads the card with the amount required for each order, and then the Dasher uses it as a credit card.

Customers use the Red Card when they require payment before delivery.

Depending on the customer’s payment status, the DoorDash app prompts the driver to either place the order or make a payment with the Red Card.

How to Use the DoorDash Red Card

Using the Red Card as a DoorDash Dasher is pretty easy.

Most Dashers get the hang of using the card right away and understand pretty quickly how it works.

The Red Card is not for receiving payments, driver tips, or any other form of driver compensation.

Instead, it is a method for making payments to restaurants when an order requires a prepayment.

Some orders do not require this prepayment service, in which case the Dasher does not use the Red Card.

Dashers use the Red Card only when prompted by the DoorDasher app.

After a Dasher accepts an order, the app will either say “Place Order” or “Pay With Red Card.”

screenshot of how to use the doordash red card

When the app reads “Place Order,” Dashers should place the order with the restaurant and proceed to pick up the order.

When the app reads “Pay With Red Card,” Dashers then place the order and proceed to the restaurant.

Once there, they use the Red Card to pay for the order.

DoorDash loads the Red Card with the correct amount for the order (including a small buffer).

Drivers can only use it at the correct time at the correct restaurant for the correct amount.

When making a Red Card payment, Dashers must always choose credit as the payment method.

Debit card purchase attempts fail because Red Cards have no PINs.

The fact that DoorDash Red Cards say debit on their faces has no bearing on the transaction process.

Dashers must never add a tip when paying with the Red Card.

They should not request a receipt unless the order specifically asks for one.

If a receipt is requested, the Dasher should keep it.

They never need to give Red Card receipts to customers.

DoorDash ensures Red Cards have the proper funds.

Dashers should not worry if there is a discrepancy between the total on the receipt and the total on the DoorDasher app.

DoorDash operations know the correct amount.

DoorDash Red Cards provide convenience and make it possible for Dashers to pick up their order quickly and get on to the next one!

How to Activate a DoorDash Red Card

Once a new Dasher receives their Red Cards, they set up their account by following these steps:

Setting up Red Card on iOS:

  • Open the Dasher App and select your account.
  • On the top of the page, tap the red-colored link that reads: Did DoorDash give you a payment card?
  • Input the new card’s delight number and last four digits.

Setting up Red Card on Android:

  • Open the Dasher App and tap the menu icon.
  • Select Red Card from the dropdown menu.
  • Enter the card number and last four digits.

What If I Have Trouble Setting up My Red Card?

A few things can cause problems in setting up a Red Card:

  • You must have completed the entire signup process before setting up your Red Card. If you have yet to receive a Welcome message from DoorDash, your account has not yet been activated. Wait until you receive the Welcome message, then activate your card.
  • If your account is active and you are having trouble activating the Red Card, make sure your WiFi is connected.
  • If the card is failing, quit the app, wait for about 30 seconds, and relaunch it.
  • If the app freezes or you receive an error message, uninstall and reinstall the app. The app’s latest version may be free of the bug you encountered.

More troubleshooting tips are available on the Dasher app.

What to Do If the Red Card Is Declined?

If your Red Card is declined, follow these steps:

  • Confirm that the order requires a Red Card payment. Most orders do not need a Red Card. Affirm that the Dasher app wants you to use the Red Card. If it is not, simply pay for the order normally.
  • If the Dasher app directs you to use the Red Card, confirm that the merchant is swiping it as a credit card.
  • If the merchant is attempting the “swipe as a credit card,” then sign out of the Dasher app and uninstall it from your phone. Wait three minutes, then reinstall the app. Have the merchant try to process the Red Card again.
  • If the order still does not process, go to the self-help menu in the app.
  • Go to the app’s right-hand corner and select HELP (iPhone), or ? (Android).
  • Select “Red Card declined.”
  • Follow the instructions to solve the issue.

What to Do If You Lose Your Dasher Red Card?

Of course, you wouldn’t want to try dashing without a Red Card.

That would mean either declining all orders that require a Red Card or paying for those orders yourself and then contacting support to submit a receipt for reimbursement.

Neither of those options is as good as the convenience of Red Card orders.

To keep themselves out of that situation, many Dashers order a spare Red Card.

We strongly recommend this approach.

If you lose your Red Card, you can dash for two weeks without a Red Card, and DoorDash won’t send you any order requiring one.

After two weeks, a new Red Card must be in your possession to maintain access to the app.

How to Report Your Red Card Lost:

For iOS phones, follow these instructions step by step:

  • Log in to the Dasher app, then click the account in the bottom bar.
  • Tap the option “lost your Red Card?” At the top of the screen.
  • Remove the lost Red Card from your Dasher account.
  • Confirm by tapping, “Yes, it’s Lost.”


  • Sign in to your driver app.
  • Select the upper left-hand corner menu.
  • Click account.
  • Tap Red Card.
  • On the next screen, tap “Mark as lost.”

How to Get a Free Replacement Red Card

To request a new card, follow these steps:

  • In the app, visit the DoorDash Store.
  • Select dasher gear.
  • Scroll to the Red Card for your region.
  • Select your preferred shipping method.
  • Click add to cart.

Via Local Office

Local DoorDash offices remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, so no Red Card replacement is currently available at any branch.

They may become available at local offices again when they reopen.

Benefits of Using the Red Card

The DoorDash Red Card facilitates orders.

It allows Dashers to make pickups at restaurants or stores that are not in the DoorDash system, shop for multiple items in-store to get the best prices, and pick up at closer locations.

Without the Red Card, DoorDash would be forced to turn down more order requests.

Red Card Benefits for Customers

The flexibility of the Red Card provides cost savings and faster service for DoorDash customers.

If the Red Card were unavailable, customers would be limited to placing orders at stores and restaurants set up for prepaid orders.

But what if there is a more convenient location to place the order?

The Red Card allows the customer to prepay the order, and then DoorDash transfers the balance to the Red Card, allowing the Dasher the freedom to purchase from the establishment of the customer’s choice.

The Red Card also saves customers money.

Because Dashers can shop for individual items with the Red Card, they can obtain the best prices.

In addition, customers can order from restaurants offering specials even if they are not available for prepaid orders on the DoorDash app.

Red Card Benefits for Drivers

Drivers need consistent streams of orders to keep busy and attain their financial goals.

The Red Card helps make it possible.

Many orders, such as those filled for restaurants, could not be accepted if no Red Card was available.

Because Dashers can make purchases from virtually any establishment using the Red Card, they have more orders to fill.

At an average of $6 per order plus the tip, each Red Card order puts money directly in drivers’ pockets.

In addition, Dashers can use the Red Card to manage their routes more efficiently.

For example, if a customer places a Red Card order from Wendy’s, the driver can search for Wendy’s in the area where the driver is currently and the delivery location.

The Dasher can then select the Wendy’s that minimizes mileage and time.

This both saves gas and makes the Dasher available sooner for more pings and to make more money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about the Red Card?

Here are the answers to four common inquiries:

Do Drivers Have to Pay for Red Cards?


DoorDash provides Red Cards at no cost.

Are There Extra Fees for Customers to Place Red Card Orders?


Red Card orders cost the same and the same DoorDash fees apply to all orders.

Can Drivers Charge Any Amount on Red Cards?

Red Cards work for one order at a time for the authorized amount.

Can Red Cards Be Used Anywhere?

Red Cards work like regular credit cards and can be processed in any establishment that accepts them.

Red Cards Make More Orders Possible

The Red Card serves the unique function of providing for the authorized purchase of food or items at a restaurant or store of the customer’s choosing.

Dashers simply need to drive to the establishment, place the order, pay for it with the prepaid Red Card and make the delivery.

Because of Red Cards, customers can order from wherever they want, and Dashers deliver orders faster and make more money.

If you need to order a food delivery from any restaurant or store in your area, place a DoorDash order now.

9 thoughts on “What is a DoorDash Red Card and How Does it Work?”

  1. Thanks for the article. You’ve convinced me to not activate the red card. Definitely not worth the headache to do everything for $6.

  2. Thanks Mike. This totally sounds as nothing good for dashers since we could get complicated placing others and benefit is not that good.

  3. Um, while I thought the article was informative, the comments were….non sensical? Do you guys speak english, much less write it?

  4. As a Dasher, I feel this just slows us down. When we applied to Dash I don’t think we were aware there would be times we’d have to place and pay for orders too. Personally I don’t like it. The order can’t be started until we place it, then we have to wait longer for them to make the order. It seems like a big waste of time for us and our customers.

  5. I’ve yet had to use the, place the order, then pay via red card, and then deliver that the article speaks of. Instead I’ve been sent into stores to hunt for specific items inside the store and then check out with what I could find. Dollar stores and Grocery outlet are not consistent with any merchandise, their website item availability isn’t accurate and DoorDash just allows customers to order.
    The DoorDash system gets confused and stuck on items, example of a customer authorizing 1 pound packaging of chicken breast. 1st of all, there is no such thing as 1 pound maximum for prepackaged chicken.
    The system wouldn’t allow Dasher to mark it unavailable, so the Customer could reauthorize a different weight, and because of that issue the Dasher can’t check out.
    DoorDash tells Dasher to text or call customer for changes but not keeping DoorDash in the loop means that not enough funds are on the card.
    Let’s just say that what should have been a 15-20 shopping spree turned into 1 hour.
    I now refuse to do grocery stores because those fees are no greater then delivering food orders and take up too much time.

  6. The red card sounded like it would be ok to try, but upon reading the article I decide not to activate it. Going to stores and paying for it w the card, delivering it to the customer and hoping they had exact change seemed like it could waste time from delivering if they didn’t have exact money, but then to read that you have to place orders. I will stick w the customer places the order, the store fills such order and I deliver.


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