The Complete Guide to Buying and Using a Lyft Gift Card

Getting the right gift for your friend or loved one can be a challenge. You want something that’s thoughtful, but you also want to get them something they can use. One of the greatest innovations for solving this dilemma is the gift card. You can show you know the person by picking a store they love, while still giving them the option to buy whatever they like.

But did you know that you can give someone a gift card to pay for Lyft rides? It’s true: There are Lyft gift cards in amounts up to $250. You can redeem these cards for any services Lyft offers, all from within the app. This means you get the same convenience you’re accustomed to, all without having to pay a cent.

Let’s look at why you’d want to buy a gift card, where to buy them and how to redeem them.

Why Buy a Lyft Gift Card?

The Complete Guide to a Lyft Gift Card

As convenient as they are, the cost of Lyft rides can add up. If you know someone who uses Lyft a lot already, then a gift card is a no-brainer. They’re especially great gifts for college students, way more hip and useful than that iTunes gift card you may have been considering.

Lyft isn’t just for young people, however. They can also be handy for business travelers, since Lyft is almost always cheaper than renting a car or paying to park your car at the airport. Or what about your elderly relative who doesn’t drive and wants a way to get around that’s easier and cheaper than calling up a taxi?

Just as with any other gift card, these gift cards are available at a variety of price points, ranging from $25 (enough for a couple short rides) to $250 (plenty to cover several weeks of light use or an intercity trip). This means there’s a card for every occasion, from something small like a birthday to something major such as a retirement or wedding.

Where Can I Buy a Lyft Gift Card?

Complete Guide to a Lyft Gift Card

Just like other gift cards, you have a variety of options for purchasing a Lyft gift card. To start with, you can buy one directly from the source. Just go to Lyft.com/gift and follow the instructions. You’ll need to have a Lyft account (or create one) to send gift cards directly from Lyft. The gift cards available on Lyft’s website are all digital, with email delivery as the only option. Payment options include credit card, debit card or PayPal account.

However, one drawback of buying Lyft gift cards directly is that you can’t get a physical gift to give the recipient — everything happens digitally. This may not be a problem for many people, but sometimes you’d prefer to have a physical gift card, one you can include along with a handwritten note.

If that’s the case, then you have a few different third party options for buying physical gift cards. To start with, you can turn to everyone’s favorite online retailer: Amazon. You can buy physical gift cards on Amazon.com for amounts up to $50 and have them shipped to you or the recipient (with free one-day shipping available to Amazon Prime members at the time of publication).

Note: Some Amazon reviewers have complained that the redemption code can tear off quite easily, rendering the card unusable in some cases. Therefore, we suggest you proceed with caution when buying physical gift cards from Amazon.

If you want to purchase a gift card at a brick and mortar store, you have a few options. At select Kroger, Office Depot or Safeway locations, you can purchase physical cards for up to $250. Unlike the e-gift cards from Lyft, you don’t need a Lyft account to purchase them — just pay as you normally would for any other item.

How Do I Redeem a Gift Card?

Redeeming a Lyft gift card is easy.

To redeem a physical gift card:

  1. Locate the “Claim Code.” This is a 16-digit code located on the back of the gift card.
  2. Open the Lyft app.
  3. Tap your photo in the top left corner.
  4. Tap the “Promos” tab.
  5. Type the Claim Code in the “Enter promo code” box.
  6. Tap “Apply.”

For a digital gift card, the process is similar:

  1. Open the Lyft app
  2. Tap your photo in the top left corner
  3. Tap the “Promos” tab
  4. Type the Claim Code code from the email in the “Enter promo code” box
  5. Tap “Apply.”

Note that you’ll need a default payment method on file in order to use any gift cards. This will cover the following costs:

  • Tips
  • Cancellation and damage fees
  • Any ride where the cost is more than your gift card balance

If you have any issues using a gift card (or if a card is lost or stolen), contact Lyft support.

Once you’ve redeemed the gift card, you can check your remaining balance using the following steps:

  1. Open the app.
  2. Tap your photo in the top left corner.
  3. Tap the “Promos” tab.
  4. Your gift card balance is listed in bold. Under the remaining amount, you’ll see more terms and conditions in gray.

Do Lyft Gift Cards Work Like Lyft Promo Codes?

We love to inform you of the latest promotional codes and other deals from Lyft, as they can save (or even make) you significant money. However, one drawback of promo codes is that they expire and have specific terms attached to their use. For example, many Lyft promo codes only allow you to get a discount on your first Lyft ride. Lyft will advertise $15 of ride credit for new customers, but it’s no good for subsequent trips.

The good news for gift card holders is that, unlike other forms of promotional Lyft credit, gift cards are valid for any number of Lyft rides, so long as there’s enough balance remaining on the card to cover all or part of the ride. The gift cards also never expire, so you or the recipient of your gift can use them whenever is convenient.

Give the Gift of Lyft

We hope this guide has helped you see all the benefits of giving a Lyft gift card, as well as how easy it is to redeem the gift card for any Lyft trip. More of an Uber user? We created an entire guide to how to buy and use Uber gift cards as well.