Starting your gig as a rideshare driver is exciting. You get to set your own hours, make tips, and get paid to drive your sweet ride. But did you know that you have the potential to earn a Lyft sign-up bonus just for being a new driver?
That’s right: Most rideshare apps offer new driver bonuses, allowing you to make extra money in the beginning stages of your new gig. These bonuses are low-hanging fruit for drivers, and with amounts as high as they currently are, it doesn’t make sense not to claim one.
At the time of publication, new Lyft drivers have the chance to claim an earnings guarantee of $1,000, and it’s easier than you might think. All you have to do is apply using a Lyft driver referral code like ours.
In this post, we’re outlining everything you need to unlock these bonuses and how Lyft’s referral bonus compares to Uber’s.
- How to Claim Your Lyft Sign-Up Bonus
- Why You Should Claim Your Lyft Sign-Up Bonus
- Lyft Sign-Up Bonus Requirements
- How Lyft Sign-Up Bonus Amounts Are Determined
- Why Lyft’s New Driver Sign-Up Bonuses Are Better Than Uber’s
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Claim Your Lyft Sign-Up Bonus
Assuming your city does offer a bonus, you may be wondering how to claim it. Getting your bonus is easy, and you can do it in one of two ways.
The first method, which we recommend, is to sign up through a referral link. We suggest this method because it ensures that you will be eligible to receive your bonus, without the extra work of putting in a promo code (which can also be easy to mistype).
The second method is to enter a promo code when you complete your Lyft application. We recommend you use the promo code RIDESHAREAPPS (affiliate link disclosure), but any code will work.
1. Follow Our Sign-Up Link
If you’d like to help support our site, you can claim your Lyft sign-up bonus using our referral link. We’d greatly appreciate you using ours, since running a website providing free information to current and prospective drivers like you can be costly.
All you have to do is click this link (we recommend using your desktop, not a smartphone), submit your phone number, then proceed with the next steps in the application. Once clicked, the link will automatically apply the code to your account, and you’ll be eligible for the sign-up bonus once you finish applying.
If the driver invite code was applied to your account properly, you’ll see a message similar to the one below in browser window, as well as a bonus details at the bottom of the page. Your screen should look like the image below after you click on the sign-up link.
2. Enter the Code Manually
Entering a Lyft referral code is naturally embedded within the Lyft application process. Because completing Lyft application process is an entirely different post in itself, we’ll just provide the first steps to get you through the promo code stage:
- Head to the driver sign-up page on Lyft.com.
- Select whether you have a car or need a car, enter your phone number, and agree to the Terms of Service. Click “Next.”
- Enter the basic information requested on the following page, including first and last name, email address, and the city you’ll drive in. Note that the Lyft city you enter will be based on the market closest to you, so it may not be your exact location. For example, Boulder drivers should input “Denver,” Dearborn drivers should input “Detroit,” and Annapolis drivers should input “Baltimore.”
- Now comes the important part: Manually enter the Lyft driver referral code “RIDESHAREAPPS” to be eligible for a sign-up bonus in the box labeled “Promo/Referral Code.” Note: The box says “optional” because entering a referral code is not a new driver requirement. However, if you do not enter a Lyft driver promo code in this box during this step, you’ll miss out on an easy bonus during your first rides.
- Click “SUBMIT” to be sent a verification code via text, which you’ll be able to enter in the following screen to proceed with the application process.
And that’s all there is to claiming a bonus!
Why You Should Claim Your Lyft Sign-Up Bonus
If you’re going to commit to drive with Lyft anyway, it makes sense to claim your Lyft new driver bonus. The goal of the bonus is to encourage drivers to be available as Lyft expands its operations to new cities by making the gig highly profitable throughout the U.S., from New York City to San Francisco. Like any other app, the success of Lyft depends on the network effect: The more people use Lyft, the more useful Lyft is.
By meeting Lyft’s requirements to claim the bonus, you’ll also gain valuable driver experience that will help you learn the ins and outs of Lyft. This will ultimately boost your future earnings in the form of tips and improved ratings. As with any other job, experience is key to success for full-time and part-time Lyft drivers.
Finally, if you’re claiming a Lyft driver bonus that comes from the referral of another driver or an educational website such as this one, then you’re supporting the broader rideshare community. This ensures that services like Lyft become more accessible and higher quality.
Lyft Sign-Up Bonus Requirements
In order to receive the new driver bonus, you first need to get a current Lyft driver referral code. As we mentioned before, you can use our referral link above to earn up to $1,000 in guaranteed earnings, as long as you meet the requirements.
Referral codes are also available from a variety of websites, social media channels, Google, and other drivers, or you may receive it in a promotional email from Lyft. Lyft’s official website often offers bonus amounts of $50, $100, and $200, but is currently offering an earnings guarantee worth up to $1,000. Please not that in order to be eligible for this bonus, specific requirements must be met.
In addition to being a new driver, there are additional ride requirements that Lyft drivers have to meet. Ride requirements differ from Lyft driver requirements and vehicle requirements. Rather, they refer to the amount of rides you need to complete within a specific time frame to receive the full bonus amount.
What are the ride requirements, exactly? This varies with the nature of the promotion, but for the official Lyft driver sign-up bonus, drivers must complete 125 rides within 30 days to receive $1,000 extra.
Additionally, the rides you complete must align with Lyft’s terms:
- No more than two Lyft rides given to the same passenger count toward your ride requirements. This prevents you from gaming the system and allows you to practice your customer service skills with new people.
- You must pass the criminal background check, DMV records check, and vehicle inspection, and have your driver application approved within 30 days of submitting your application. This will require you to submit your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and more within this time frame.
- You must enter the Lyft promo code for the relevant bonus when you sign up.
- You must give the required number of rides within the specified time frame.
As you can see, the new driver bonuses are structured in order to encourage new drivers to give as many rides as possible.
Please note that the conditions to receive the bonus will vary. The conditions we’ve outlined above apply to the official Lyft bonuses, but there are also custom referral bonuses you can receive using invite codes from sites like ours. In some cases, these bonuses can be even better than the ones offered on Lyft’s website — especially in newer markets.
How Lyft Sign-Up Bonus Amounts Are Determined
Generally, the final amount offered by Lyft sign-up bonuses is determined by one major factor: how badly they need new drivers in a given market. The higher the demand from passengers and the lower the total number of drivers they currently have, the more likely the bonus amount will be very attractive. On the other hand, larger cities with many Lyft drivers like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Seattle may not have offers quite as generous.
Lyft always wants to have more drivers than they actually need in order to ensure passenger demand doesn’t lead to shortages of drivers, and long waits for cars. That causes prices for passengers to increase due to Prime Time pricing. Prime Time pricing is Lyft’s version of Uber’s surge pricing, which multiplies fares when demand is disproportionately high.
In contrast to Uber, Lyft wants to offer driver bonuses that will actually be an incentive to bring new drivers in. Uber more frequently offers incentives that appear attractive, but when you take a second look, you realize that in a lot of cases they’re actually no bonus at all. We’ll dive into this more below.
Why Lyft’s New Driver Sign-Up Bonuses Are Better Than Uber’s
Let’s say Uber runs a new driver promotion where they are guaranteeing that new drivers will make at least $200 on their first 50 trips in 30 days. Lyft correspondingly might say, you’ll get a $200 bonus if you complete 50 trips within 30 days.
So, what’s the difference? The difference is, if you complete the required number of trips with Uber, and you earned $199 in the normal course of driving, Uber will only pay you $1 extra. This meets their guaranteed minimum of $200, as they never promised an additional $200 to tack onto what you already earn.
If you complete the required 50 trips with Lyft (in our hypothetical scenario), and you made $199 – Lyft will pay you an additional $200 on top of that for a total of $399. So, Lyft’s offer is truly a bonus that will be paid on top of whatever you earned. You could earn more than the bonus amount with Lyft and they’ll still pay you the bonus. In this example, you could earn $400 from your first 50 trips and Lyft would still pay you the $200 on top of that for a total of $600 on your first 50 trips.
However, with both companies, if you don’t complete the required number of trips within the required time frame, you won’t get anything at all. For instance, if you complete 49 trips instead of 50, you’ll get nothing extra. In the case of Uber, there’s a chance you won’t get anything extra anyway.
In addition, Lyft states bonus amounts in post-commission terms. This means the amount you see is the amount you get. Uber states their guarantees in pre-commission terms, meaning you will get about 25% less than what they state.
In these two respects the Lyft bonuses are definitely more generous than Uber’s.
In the screenshot above, Lyft clearly displays to drivers the requirements of and their progress in completing any and all bonus promotions they’re eligible for. You’ll have similar visibility into your progress for your new driver bonus.
In this case, for the Power Driver Bonus, drivers are required to accept at least 90% of the calls they get. You can see the driver above has accepted 100% so he’s doing great. They must give at least 10 Peak Rides, which means rides at designated hours that Lyft chooses. And in the above promotion, drivers must complete at least 50 total rides. The driver in the screenshot has completed 16, so he still has a ways to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have more questions about the Lyft sign-up bonus and its perks? Here are answers to some of the most common:
1. Does Lyft allow retroactive sign-up bonuses?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. In order to claim your sign-up bonus, you need to enter the promo code as part of your driver application. To avoid this issue, we recommend signing up using a referral link. When you sign up using this method, you’ll be automatically eligible to receive the bonus.
2. When will I receive my bonus?
Lyft states that bonuses will be paid out one to two weeks after the end of the promotion, if you met all the qualifications. This means that you’ll receive the bonus approximately a month and a half after you initially signed up. You may be able to expedite this process using Express Pay, but this is not guaranteed.
3. How will I receive my bonus?
Assuming you meet the requirements, the bonus will be paid within the Lyft app and available for withdrawal, just like any other payment you receive for giving Lyft rides.
4. How do I know if I’ve qualified for the bonus?
During the initial sign-up process, you’ll know that you’re eligible for a bonus after Lyft approves your application. You will receive an email stating the amount of the bonus, the ride requirements you must meet to receive it, and the deadline by which you must meet the ride requirements.
To know if you’ve met all the qualifications to receive the bonus, you can track your progress within the Lyft Driver app on Android or iPhone.
Start Your Lyft Driver Journey Today
We hope you now have a better understanding of the value of signing up to drive with Lyft using a referral link, as well as how to claim your new driver bonus. To learn more about how to start driving for Lyft, we recommend checking out the following guides:
- Your Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Lyft Driver
- Your Complete Guide to the Lyft Background Check Process
Happy and safe driving!