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How DoorDash Red Cards Work For Dashers [They’re Worth It]

Key Takeaways

  • The DoorDash Red Card is a prepaid MasterCard for Dashers to pay for specific customer orders at restaurants or stores.
  • Before using the Red Card for DoorDash orders, Dashers must activate it through the DoorDash app using the card’s details.
  • This card is only for specific DoorDash orders and cannot be used for personal expenses or to tip at restaurants.
  • Not all DoorDash orders require the Red Card. Dashers will know in advance which orders need payment with this card.

Recommendation: The DoorDash Red Card allows access to more orders, including from restaurants without direct DoorDash billing agreements, but often involves more work for similar pay, as it requires placing and paying for orders at restaurants. Overall, I believe it to be worth it.

As a DoorDash driver, your toolkit consists of more than just your phone and a car, as you also receive several items to make the delivery process a lot smoother.

One of these items is the DoorDash red card. However, many new dashers need clarification about this card and what it does. That’s where this guide comes in handy!

In this guide, I’ll provide you with a detailed guide on the DoorDash red card, including what it is, how it works, how to use it, and more.

What is the DoorDash Red Card?

A DoorDash Red Card is a prepaid card (typically MasterCard) issued to DoorDash drivers, which they use to pay for customer orders at restaurants or stores. It is one of the activation kit items you’ll receive as a part of your starter kit after getting approved for DoorDash.

stock image of what a doordash red card looks like

The one confusing this about this card is that it’s a prepaid card . This means that it’s loaded with the exact amount of money necessary for payment.

This one is also different from the DasherDirect card, which is white-colored (typically Visa) and is mainly used to receive cash-backs and rewards for deliveries.

In other words, you can use the white card for personal payments, such as gas, food, groceries, paying taxes, etc. Yet, you can’t use the Red Card for any of these purposes or for the instant pay feature.

The Main Features of DoorDash Red Card

Now that you know more about the card, here’s a quick look at some of its basic features and aspects:

  • It’s a prepaid card used for specific orders only.
  • You can’t cash out the amount DoorDash deposits in the card
  • You’ll need to use the card for specific orders, not all of them. This mainly includes orders that need prepayment
  • You can’t use the card for any personal payments
  • You don’t receive Dasher tips on the DoorDash Red Card
  • You’ll know that the order requires using the DoorDash Red Card before accepting it
  • Red Card orders are optional, so you’re able to decline them if you don’t want them (more about that later)
  • You’ll need to activate the card before using it

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Keep in mind that you won’t have to use the DoorDash Red Card for all orders made on the app. Instead, only specific types of orders will require using it.

You can DoorDash without a Red Card. The app will notify you if an order requires a Red Card before you accept it, allowing you to avoid these orders if you currently don’t have one.

How the Red Card Works for Dashers

While many new Dashers are confused about how the Red Card works, it’s actually much easier than you think. In fact, it should take you as little as one to two Red Card orders to fully grasp its idea and how to use it.

Before you can use the Red Card for the first time, you’ll first need to activate it. I’ll explain this process in full detail in the next section. But for now, let’s say that you’ve already activated the card.

Remember, you’ll know that the order requires paying with the Red Card before accepting it. You’ll find a “Pay with Red Card” box at the bottom of the order prompt.

Back in the day, you’d only know it was a Red Card order after accepting it. This was either by saying “Place order in Person” or “Pay With Red Card.”

How to Use DoorDash Red Card

The card is designed to pay specifically for orders from restaurants/vendors that only accept orders placed in person. In other words, Dashers will need to place the order themselves rather than have the order ready as they arrive.

Here’s how the process goes:

  • After arriving and placing the order, you’ll either collect the necessary items for the order or wait for its preparation.
  • When making payments with DoorDash Red Card, you must choose “credit card” as a payment method at the vendor.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Older versions of the Red Card had the word “Debit” on them. However, if you choose “debit card” as the payment method, the attempt will fail, as it has no PINs.

When paying for the order, you should enter the exact amount of money in the merchant’s total, not the order total in the app. This also means that you shouldn’t tip with the card.

You should only request a receipt only if the order asks for it. However, you need to keep it on you, as you may need the receipt for reimbursements while cashing out on DoorDash (if you pay for them in cash).

How to Activate and Set Up the Red Card

Activating the DoorDash Red Car is a critical step to complete before accepting Red Card orders.

In this section, I’ll show you how to activate and set up your Card on various devices. Luckily, however, you can do it from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet.

Step 1: Receive the Red Card

You’ll need to have the Red Card on you to activate it on the app. This is because you need the card number for activation.

You should typically receive the card as a part of your starter pack during the orientation phase.

However, if it isn’t ready yet, you’ll receive the card by mail shortly after.

Step 2: Open the Profile Tab in the DoorDash App

Once you have the card, you’ll need to enter its details on the app. The steps are almost the same for iOS and Android.

Open the DoorDash app, and sign in to your account or sign up if you haven’t yet. Tap on “Account” at the bottom bar of the app, then choose “Profile”. You’ll then find a notification at the top of the screen about the Red Card.

If you’re using a different version of the app and can’t find the account tab at the bottom, navigate to the “Red Card” tab in the menu icon at the top left corner of the screen.

Step 3: Enter the Card Details

You’ll need to enter the following details to activate the card, which you can easily find on your personal Red Card:

  • The last four digits of the card serial number
  • The Delight numbers

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.

Learn to DoorDash, Step-By-Step

We created a free course from scratch to show you everything you need to know about Dashing - from start to finish. We cover:

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It's completely open and free - you can view each lesson just like you would a normal blog post. We just want to teach people how to Dash, the right way.

Managing Red Card Funds

The best thing about Red Card funds is that it’s managed entirely by DoorDash. In other words, the app will load it with the necessary amount of money for transactions, and you don’t have to worry about limits.

The app also handles discrepancies in the total amount and usually has wiggle room when it comes to the total amount you enter.

This is because the vendor’s total amount might be slightly higher or lower than what’s in the order.

However, as long as you order the right items and keep a receipt, you should be fine. DoorDash rarely checks receipts, but you might want to keep it for good measure.

Troubleshooting Common Red Card Issues

While using DoorDash Red Cards is typically a smooth process, you may still encounter some issues when using it.

The most common problem here is that the transaction fails or the machine declines the card. In that case, you should consider the following tips:

  • Make sure it’s a Red Card order, as most orders typically aren’t
  • If the machine proceeds as debit and you must enter a PIN code, type “0000”
  • Sign out of the app, and reinstall it on your device, and restart your phone, then sign back in.
  • If all else fails, reach out to Dasher Support through the “?” icon in the top right corner.

Benefits of Using the Red Card

Using the DoorDash Red Card has its advantages and potential earning benefits.

The main advantage of using the card is that it expands your order potential. This is because it unlocks a new stream of orders from merchants that only accept Red Card orders.

Additionally, the payout from Red Card orders is typically higher than standard DoorDash orders.

For instance, while most orders average between $2.5 to $6, many Red Card orders average at $10+.

That being said, you should remember that Red Card orders are “Shop and Pay” ones. This means you’ll typically need to pick the items yourself, which can take extra time.

Red Card Security and Best Practices

The most important tip here is to always keep the card on you and never use it for personal purchases.

You should also keep track of your transactions with the card, although DoorDash doesn’t need you to take a photo of them.

Also, if you don’t want to do Shop and Pay orders, you should avoid activating the DoorDash Red Card. This is to avoid the hassle of filtering through the orders or accepting one by mistake.

Replacing a Lost or Damaged Red Card

If you’ve already activated your Red Card, you’ll need to make sure it stays intact and active at all times.

Dashing without the card can be quite inconvenient because you’ll need to give up on profitable Red Card orders or pay for them out of your own pocket and get reimbursed later.

Luckily, you can order a spare Red Card as a backup card to avoid downtime. Here’s what you should do if your main card is lost or expired:

  1. Open the DoorDasher app and sign in
  2. Click the Account tab at the bottom or select the “Red Card” Tab from the side menu
  3. Choose “Lost/Expired Red Card?” on iOS or “Mark as Lost” on Android
  4. Confirm your choice
  5. Navigate to the Dasher Gear website, choose your location, and pick a new Dasher Red Card

Ideally, you should pick “Standard” as the preferred shipping method, as it keeps the card replacement free.

But if you’re in a hurry, priority mail costs $8.75 but ships the card within five days instead of ten.

Brett’s Take: Should You Accept Red Card Orders?

Red Card orders expand your order variety while Dashing but they’re not for everyone. The main aspect to consider before making up your mind here is “value versus time”.

Red Card orders do pay a little more than standard prepaid orders. However, you still need to pick the items yourself and wait in a long line to pay for them with the card. In some cases, this could be enough time to squeeze in an extra order.

For that reason, I recommend going for Red Card orders if you don’t mind the “extra time, extra money” condition.

However, if you prefer quicker orders and don’t want to worry about losing the card, you should simply avoid it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Really Need the Red Card for DoorDash?

The short answer here is no. While the Red Card unlocks more orders and can boost earnings, it’s not an essential part of your DoorDash toolkit.

You can simply decline DoorDash Red Card orders and still dash. Yet, you’ll miss out on the perks of using it. (a wider range of merchants and potentially higher payouts.)

Does DoorDash Pay for Gas?

DoorDash doesn’t reimburse gas purchases, so you’ll need to pay them out of pocket. However, the DasherDirect card offers various rewards and perks when you buy gas with them, including 2% cash-back.

What Happens if the DoorDash Red Card is Declined?

The first thing you should do is retry the card. If it still doesn’t work, you might need to contact Dasher Support by pressing the help button in the top right corner of the app.

Wrapping Up

This marks the end of today’s guide about the DoorDash Red Card and how it works. As you can see, the Red Card is a valuable tool for any Dasher looking to maximize their earning potential and widen their selection of orders.

Although getting a Red Card is not mandatory, it is still recommended for Dashers looking to earn more while delivering items.

By understanding its features and the best way to use it, you can leverage the card effectively and take your dashing experience to the next level.

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