We’ve covered quite a few Lyft promotions in the past, matching new users with free rides and drivers with massive sign-on bonuses. But in all of our research, we discovered that there is another promotion we haven’t yet covered: Lyft promo codes for existing users.
Many Lyft users write to us every month wondering if there is any way to get free ride credit after they claim their first promotion.
The answer is yes; we’re happy to report that while there are no existing-user specific promo codes, there still are many different ways for existing Lyft users to get free ride credit.
We dove into the topic and came up with a few surefire ways that existing users can get free rides from Lyft. We personally use these methods to earn credit, so we can personally vouch that these are tried and true methods that have proven over and over again to work.
The 5-Method Process to Earning Free Lyft Ride Credit
There are 5 ways to earn free Lyft credit:
Method #1: Claim a new user promotion
Method #2: Get a code from a Lyft event
Method #3: Bum a ride with a friend
Method #4: Refer a friend or new user
Method #5: Leverage the Lyft Ambassador Program
Method #6: Use another lucrative promotion
First, you should take a look at the promotions that you may not have utilized yet.
If you haven’t yet taken your first Lyft ride, then look into applying a Lyft promotion to your account for the first time, then taking a ride.
Second, you can take advantage of the ride credit vicariously through others who haven’t taken a ride yet.
More often than not, you will find that this is one of the best ways to ride around town without breaking the bank.
Third, Lyft users can earn free credit inviting new users to the platform.
This is probably one of the most lucrative ways to get ride credit, and offers the most flexibility and options for Lyft users looking to hustle for rides.
Please note: while we have outlined different ways for existing Lyft riders to get free credit legally and ethically, there are a few other methods that allow users to get free ride credit that completely break Lyft’s TOS. We will not be covering those methods below, and we do not recommend you even think about trying them. If you’re really curious, browse the forums for more information on the topic.
That being said, let’s dive right in.
#1 – New User Promotion
As we went into great detail about above, the first and easiest way for Lyft users to get a free ride is by signing up for the first time, then using a Lyft promo code to unlock free ride credit. This is a single use coupon for a free first ride, and can only be applied when a user downloads Lyft for the first time.
The code provides a credit worth up to $50. It is clearly in Lyft’s interest to get you to try the service, and become a customer, so for them to give $50 is clearly worth the cost of the discount. (Note that the $50 credit may vary based on your location).
Using the code is easy. You will need to download the Lyft app. Once you have the app on your phone, enter the promo code you’ve been provided in the payment tab; where it says “Add credit code”. You will need to do this before you book your first ride. You will have 14 days to use the code. The app controls the amount of credit you have on your account. If there is credit on your account (for example, from this promo code), those funds will be used before any payments are drawn from your payment account.
Your First Trip
When you’re set to make a trip, enter a pick-up location that is easy for the driver to identify, and to access. It can be valuable to call the driver directly and provide specific information. For example, you may let them know that you can only turn left into the street you’re in; that you’re about 100 yards down the road from the corner, and that you’re wearing a white shirt. You will need to upload your destination before the driver arrives. This is also done through the app.
While not specifically about your first trip, another thing to remember is the Lyft rating service. You get to rate your driver. But they also get to rate you (as a passenger). So, be sure to treat your driver well – it may impact on how effectively you can be in getting future rides!
After you’ve used this promo, you are considered to be “an existing user”. You may be looking for other incentives. Many people ask… “Are there promo codes for existing users?” The simple answer is “no”. The more complex answer is “yes, but…”. There are ways of getting various discounts, but you will need to plan a little to be able to access these codes (or other incentives). Here are the details:
#2 Lyft Events
If you attend an exclusive Lyft event, you may be able to obtain a one-off promo code. This is rare, it isn’t available to most users, and the promo code has a short expiration – it may only last for a few days.
An example was an event held in Austin, TX in March. Lyft set up special pick-up and drop-off zones at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival. As well as having designated locations (to make life easier for attendees), people were provided with $10 discount cards; and a “weird mode” offer. Customers were not informed about what weird mode was. But when their weird mode vehicle arrived it was decked out in lights, and configured for dance parties, karaoke sessions or birthday parties.
Other cities also host Lyft events. These may seminars, or may be festivals that occur in your city. If there is an event that Lyft is supporting, they will publicize the details through all the usual methods (direct notification to Lyft customers, Facebook, etc.) Make the most of the opportunity to enjoy the event while receiving a discounted ride!
#3 Bum a Ride
This isn’t a new promo code, but rather just using common sense. As we mentioned above, Lyft wants to acquire new users, and they will provide a promo code for each new user that takes the app for a test drive. If you’re out and about with a friend and they’re a new Lyft user, they will have a free first ride, in the same way that you did.
You’re both out, together, and are both going from the same place to the same place. So… Bum a ride – travel with them, on their free first ride. You can help them set up their account, and get their promo code. It will only take a minute. Once they’re set – just jump in the car with them! Depending on who you’re with and where you’re going, you (and your friends) may be able to use this option many times.
Don’t limit this to one friend. Think about it… How often are you out with a group of friends, and all doing the same thing, going to the same place, at the same time? The chances are that someone in the group isn’t an existing Lyft customer. Simply encourage the friends who aren’t Lyft customers to download the app. And again, your reward is clear – you get the chance to ride along with them, for free!
When Lyft first came to my city, not many people had heard about it, and it spread like wildfire once they did. If one of my friends would ask the question, “how are we getting downtown?” I would take a quick second to tell them about Lyft and how they could try it for free. I got tons of free rides doing this, and everybody was happy. Of all the methods I outline, this is one of the easiest ways to get free rides. But not only that, when you refer a friend, you can also get a free ride to your account. Which bring me to my next methods; referring a friend:
#4 Refer a Friend
If you’re an existing Lyft user and you like the service, then you’re one of the best marketing tools that Lyft can invest in. Your recommendation to your friends and associates is one of the most powerful forms for Lyft to increase their customer base.
Lyft will reward you for recommending and promoting their service. They will give you a free ride for up to $20 simply by getting your friend to use Lyft. To qualify, the friend cannot have downloaded the Lyft app on their smartphone before. You will get $20 for each friend you encourage to use Lyft.
You will also need to make sure that your friend identifies that you’re the one who has referred them. Every Lyft customer has a unique referral code. It’s in your Lyft app. Boot up the app on your smartphone, and go to the “invite friends” option (in the main menu). Your referral code will appear, and you can choose to invite friends from the contact list.
It is worth noting that this promo code isn’t available everywhere – it is generally only available in large cities. You can check using the app to see whether this is available in your area.
If you’re referring a friend, it will be worth both your time and theirs to ensure they know how to get the best from Lyft. They will need to know things such as how to download the app, making sure you have the promo code loaded before you make your first booking, how to book a ride, and how to communicate with the driver about pick up locations.
When you refer a friend, you’ll need to make sure you follow the appropriate procedure. You can refer a friend by providing them with a link. You get to the link by clicking on your code in your Lyft app. It should open a new tab in your browser. The link should look something like: www.lyft.com/invited.
Copy this link, and forward it to your friends. You can email it, or use social media. When your friends use the link, the referral will be credited to your account, and you’ll both be able to use any promos that apply. It is worth noting that Lyft won’t accept links that have been posted through advertising (paid or unpaid), including Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, Craigslist, etc.
#5 Lyft Ambassador
Another great, and fairly new, way for existing Lyft users to earn free ride credit is by signing up to become a Lyft brand ambassador. Lyft ambassadors are every day Lyft riders and drivers who are paid to spread the word about Lyft, and to recruit new riders and drivers to the rideshare platform.
Lyft considers ambassadors to be key players of their recruitment team. As an ambassador, you’re charged with growing Lyft in your city. You will be the “Voice” of Lyft, and will put marketing campaigns in place. You will be able to create partnerships that help grow Lyft (all of which will be rewarded.
The Ambassador program provides a pay-back (in cash) for referring new riders. It also provides free ride credits for referring new drivers. How you work to grow Lyft is in your hands – you will work on your own schedule. You will need to be 18 years or older to be an ambassador, and you will need to have set up a Lyft account. Most of all you will need to be passionate about Lyft, and the Lyft mission: Uniting humanity and technology to make every day rides welcoming, affordable and memorable.
The incentives can be worthwhile. Currently, the incentive is $10 per passenger you refer, and up to $1,000 per driver you refer. While this is the current rate, Lyft has paid even more than that in the past. You may also be paid an hourly rate for working at events. There are also milestone-based cash bonuses, marketing materials, and ‘Lyft swag’. There is no cap on the earning potential from being a Lyft Ambassador – you can earn as much as you’re able!
If you join the Ambassador program, you’ll have support from Lyft head office. They will work with you to develop a local marketing strategy, and support you as you support the Lyft business.
If you become a Lyft ambassador, you will have various methods of promoting Lyft. Some examples include working among people who are likely to be Lyft users. College campuses will provide many opportunities to make contact and recruit users. Bars are another place where there is an audience just waiting to have a safe driver take them home – a natural audience for Lyft customers.
When you’ve signed up as a Lyft ambassador, there is a virtually open-ended market for you. And the rewards are not simply in free or discounted rides – Lyft will put money on the table to encourage you to promote their service. There are people who have earned six-figure incomes in a year from promoting Lyft! If you’re an ambassador, you will have to make sure you’re operating within Lyft’s agreed guidelines.
Many of my friends are Lyft ambassadors, and we can assure you that the time you put into the program is well worth it. There are very few opportunities like this, so sign up now and start enjoying the benefits!
#6 Use Uber
Believe it or not, Lyft rides can get rewarded with a free ride if they… download the Uber app. Once you do this, you will have access to a new promo code, with free ride credit getting applied to your account towards your first ride.
Uber was the ‘first cab off the rank’ in the ride-sharing market. They are the largest player in the game. Uber started operating in 2010, and as of March 2016 operates in over 400 cities, globally. While Uber and Lyft both operate in the same space, they have different approaches. Uber seeks to present its organization as highly professional, with well-presented drivers. In contrasts, Lyft has been described as ‘encouraging uniqueness’.
While Uber and Lyft have very different flavors, they compete in a variety of ways. Both use promo codes for introductory rides. Both organizations offer rewards for referrals. Both provide opportunities for ambassadors to earn from promoting their business.
When it comes to cost-per ride, independent reviews suggest there isn’t a lot of difference. Costs will vary between cities, but will generally be about $2 a mile. Costs rise where there is a higher demand – San Francisco and Los Angeles are to cases in point. Both services are less expensive than a comparable taxi ride. There is little doubt that the competition between them helps keep the prices down. Costs will vary based on your preferred vehicle. While the standard price for a 20 mile ride may be about $35-$45, both companies provide premium options that will still get you there, but will cost more. A luxury option could be four times the rate of a standard vehicle.
It’s great that Lyft encourages a trial of their service by providing a $50 discount on an initial ride. From Lyft’s point of view, they want to grow their business, and if you work with them to help them grow, they’ll reward you. It is up to you to think of the best options for getting additional free rides. There are many choices, so just keep thinking of how you can use these options. What benefits Lyft will also benefit you!