Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
By now, you’re probably familiar with rideshare services such as Lyft or Uber. These platforms make it possible to use an asset you already have (your vehicle) and put it to work in order to make extra cash.
What you may not know, however, is that there are a host of other services based on the same sharing economy principles. One such service is DoorDash, a food delivery app that lets you drive, bike, or even walk food orders from restaurants to local customers.
One of the best parts of DoorDash is the significant bonus you can earn as a new driver, as long as your city is offering the bonus. **Please note – this is not guaranteed in every city.
With the right promo code, you could earn a DoorDash bonus as an incentive to deliver for the service.
However, to claim this DoorDash sign up bonus you must be sure to meet the right criteria and avoid five common mistakes new drivers make. Otherwise, you could see that sweet cash bonus slip away.
- Pay for food using the company red card — not your own money
- Make money on your own schedule and get paid weekly
First, Understand How DoorDash Works
Before we get into the mistakes, we should say that the best thing you can do to avoid missing out on the sign-up bonus is to understand how delivering for DoorDash works before you sign up for this food delivery service.
As a delivery driver for DoorDash, you make your money from a delivery fee that customers pay in exchange for the convenience of having food delivered to their door (plus tips).
You go to the restaurant and pay for the food using the company red card — never your own money. You then drop it off at the customer’s house. The whole process is quite simple, and if you’re fast and personable, it can be a great way to make some extra money.
But what about the referral bonus itself? How does that work?
Getting the referral bonus is straightforward. You just sign up for DoorDash using a link that a third-party website or current driver gives you.
To get the referral bonus, you’ll need to meet the minimum requirements that DoorDash specifies. The precise requirements vary depending on your city. In some cases, bonuses can go as high as $750, though $300 is more typical in our experience. Whatever the bonus amount, you’ll be required to make a minimum number of deliveries within the first 30 days of signing up to be a DoorDash driver.
Now that you understand what DoorDash is and how to claim your bonus with the service, let’s get to the common mistakes new drivers make.
Mistake #1: Signing Up in an Ineligible City
Before you go to the trouble of signing up for DoorDash (or reading the rest of this article), make sure that DoorDash currently operates in your city.
To save you the time of searching for your city on the DoorDash website, here’s a list of every city where DoorDash is currently available:
- AZ – Phoenix
- CA – Inland Empire
- CA – Los Angeles
- CA – Northern California
- CA – Orange County
- CA – San Diego
- CO – Denver/Boulder
- DC – Washington, D.C.
- FL – Miami
- GA – Atlanta
- IL – Bloomington
- IL – Champaign
- IL – Chicago
- IL – Rockford
- IN – Indianapolis
- IN – South Bend
- KS – Kansas City
- KY – Lexington
- KY – Louisville
- MD – Baltimore
- MA – Boston
- MI – Detroit
- MN – Minneapolis
- NE – Omaha
- NC – Charlotte
- NC – Raleigh
- NJ – New Jersey
- NV – Las Vegas
- NY – Long Island
- NY – New York City
- NY – Westchester
- OH – Cincinnati/Dayton
- OH – Columbus
- OH – Cleveland
- OK – Oklahoma City
- OR – Portland
- PA – Philadelphia
- PA – Pittsburgh
- TN – Nashville
- TX – Austin
- TX – Dallas/Fort Worth
- TX – Houston
- TX – San Antonio
- UT – Salt Lake City
- VA – Richmond
- WA – Seattle
- WI – Milwaukee
- Canada – Calgary
- Canada – Edmonton
- Canada – Toronto
- Canada – Vancouver
Mistake #2: Not Meeting the DoorDash Driver Requirements
It could be very frustrating to read lots of guides and begin the DoorDash sign-up process only to realize that you aren’t even qualified to work for the service.
Here are the requirements you must meet to drive for DoorDash:
- Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance policy (if you’re using a vehicle)
- Don’t have any major traffic violations in the past seven years
- Don’t have more than three accidents in the past three years
- Submit to a background check (very similar to the Uber background check)
- Are eligible to work in the U.S.
- Are 18 years or older (must be 21 to deliver alcohol)
- Own a smartphone that can support the DoorDash app and future updates
Mistake #3: Trying to Retroactively Apply a Promo Code
You cannot retroactively apply DoorDash sign up bonus codes to your account. You must enter the phone number of the person who referred you when you sign up. If you don’t do this, you can still sign up for the service, but you won’t be eligible to receive any referral bonuses.
Luckily, DoorDash has recently updated their system so that as long as you’re using a direct referral link, the relevant information such as the referrer’s phone number will be automatically filled in.
Mistake #4: Not Making Enough Deliveries
To be eligible for the DoorDash sign up bonus, you need to make a certain number of deliveries within the first 30 days of signing up to be a driver. The whole idea behind the referral bonus is to encourage you to make deliveries, so it shouldn’t be hard to meet the requirement.
Still, we recommend making note of when you signed up and keeping track of the number of deliveries you’ve completed just to be sure that you don’t do something silly like miss the minimum by just a couple deliveries.
Mistake #5: Not Meeting Your City’s Vehicle Requirements
One appealing thing about DoorDash when compared to other apps like Uber or Lyft is that don’t need to own a car. In many cities, you can also deliver on a motorcycle, scooter, bike or even on foot.
However, the exact requirements vary from city to city. Some cities are so spread out, for example, that it’s only practical to make deliveries by car or other motorized vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to carefully read the Local Markets page for your city before you sign up. This page will show you exactly what vehicle requirements you need to fulfill in order to drive for DoorDash in your city.
Get Started as a Driver Today to Earn a DoorDash Sign up Bonus
When it comes down to it, it’s easy to avoid the common mistakes that new DoorDash drivers make when working to claim their sign-up bonuses. You’re now equipped to drive confidently, knowing that a large chunk of extra cash will soon be in your bank account.
To start driving for DoorDash (and to get the chance to earn a DoorDash sign up bonus), sign up here!
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.