The Postmates app is a service that delivers food and other products from local stores to your door in minutes.
For many of us, Postmates has been a lifesaver.
We can use it to get food delivered when we’re too tired or busy to cook, or if we need something fast and convenient on the way home from work.
But did you know there are ways to save money on the overall Postmates cost?
In this article, we’ll go over the fees and pricing involved with using the food delivery app so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.
You’ll also discover tips for saving on your next order by using a Postmates promo code or using Postmates Unlimited.
Table Of Contents
How Does Postmates Pricing Work?
Here’s an in-depth look at how the pricing with Postmates works.
It includes the cost of the food, taxes, and various fees charged by Postmates, such as service fees, delivery fees, and cancellation fees.
Don’t forget to include a tip and prepare for an increase in costs during busier times of the day.
Overall, Postmates charges based on a variety of factors like distance traveled and the time it takes to make the delivery for you.
Each merchant individually sets the food prices for each item you order, in accordance with their own pricing model.
For example, one restaurant may offer the same price on the app as it does when ordering at their establishment.
Another restaurant may use slightly different prices when ordering through Postmates.
Either way, you’ll still see complete transparency as you make each selection.
The Postmates app reveals the exact price of each product you decide to order for delivery.
How Much Does Postmates Cost?
The total cost you see on the app includes the food, any applicable sales tax, and fees.
Are Food Prices Higher on Postmates?
If you’re asking whether you’ll pay more overall using Postmates than you would inside the actual restaurant, the answer is yes.
When visiting a restaurant, you only pay for the price of the food plus tax.
You might also pay a tip depending on the type of restaurant you’re eating at.
You wouldn’t typically pay tips when eating at a fast-food establishment, for example.
Compared to other food delivery apps, you’ll typically see the Postmates cost go higher than services such as DoorDash or Grubhub.
The two biggest fees charged by Postmates are the service fee and the delivery fee.
You’ll also see order cancellation fees, additional fees on smaller orders, and higher fees when ordering during busier times.
If you order food from any restaurant, expect to pay a delivery fee between $5.99 and $9.99.
However, the delivery fee goes down substantially when ordering from one of Postmates’ Partner Merchants.
In this case, you’ll pay a delivery fee between $1.99 and $3.99.
You’re always charged a service fee when ordering from Postmates.
However, it’s a variable percentage fee that’s based on your local area and where you’re ordering from.
Like service fees, cancellation fees also vary based on the specific circumstances surrounding your cancellation request.
If you’ve ever taken a trip with a rideshare app such as Lyft or Uber, you’re familiar with “surge pricing“.
The term refers to peak times when prices go up based on the existence of more demand than supply.
Postmates uses the same principle to raise prices during busy times and calls it “Blitz pricing.”
Upon checkout, the Postmates platform will tell you if these rates apply to your current order.
Typically, Blitz pricing raises your order amount up to 1.25, 1.5, or 1.75 times what you’d pay during non-surge times.
It’s possible to see higher Blitz pricing increases.
However, these three increased percentages represent what you’ll typically experience.
You should expect to see Blitz pricing during weekday lunch hours and throughout every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Don’t forget that Postmates drivers expect tips.
The app provides an easy way to include a gratuity when your order is complete.
The current default tip amount is 20% of the order total.
Depending on how satisfied you are with the service, feel free to tip more or less than the suggested 20%.
You can also adjust your default tip percentage in the Postmates app settings.
Though not mandatory, tipping is an excellent way to say thank you.
It’s also the right thing to do when using services such as Postmates; you should note that a driver only makes a percentage of what you’re paying for the order.
They receive the full amount of your tip, however.
Don’t be surprised if you see a charge on your bank account titled “Postmates temp auth“.
This is normal and is simply a hold on your card until the transaction clears the Postmates system.
Why are Postmates Fees so High?
It’s hard to pinpoint why Postmates fees can go higher than other food delivery apps.
One reason is simply that the company can charge whatever it feels the market is willing to pay.
If customers remain willing to pay higher fees, then Postmates will see no reason to lower prices.
On the other hand, you would likely see fees go down if the company saw its consumer base dwindle.
As with any market in a capitalist system, customers can dictate to some extent how much a company charges by altering their buying habits accordingly.
Postmates Cost Comparison
You can always look at Postmates competitors if you’re concerned that you might pay too much when using the Postmates app.
Uber Eats and Grubhub represent two of Postmates’ most common competitors.
Remember that fees on Postmates delivery range from $1.99 to $9.99 depending on whether a restaurant is a Postmates Partner Merchant.
Postmates Fees vs Uber Eats Fees
UberEats charges a service fee and delivery fee just like Postmates does.
UberEats bases its service fee on your order subtotal and charges 15%.
The UberEats delivery fee is dynamic.
The company bases the amount on how close your location is to the restaurant, as well as how many active drivers exist in your area.
You’ll also see the UberEats delivery fee go up during surge times.
But typically, your delivery fees will range from $0.99 to $7.99 when ordering from this platform.
Uber Eats also charges a small order fee when your subtotal sits below a certain amount.
Its website reports that the small order fee changes based on location.
You can avoid the fee by adding additional items to your order.
Like Postmates, UberEats drivers take home 100% of tips they receive.
Related: Postmates vs Uber Eats
Postmates Fees vs Grubhub Fees
Grubhub usually comes in as the cheaper option when compared to Postmates. Its delivery fee can range from $0.99 to $9.99.
However, you’ll normally see delivery pricing on Grubhub fall somewhere between $1.99 and $6.99.
Grubhub, like competing delivery services, also bases prices on location, driver availability, and demand.
The New York Times created a useful chart comparing the delivery fees when using Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats. You can see the chart here.
Price Increases for Postmates
It appears that Postmates (along with other delivery service apps) raised their prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One factor is restaurants increasing prices on individual food items, while another comes from Postmates and its competitors raising their service fees.
In California, Postmates raised its prices due to Proposition 22, a state law classifying app-based delivery drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees of the company.
How to Save on Postmates
Do you love the experience of using Postmates, but want to find ways to combat higher prices?
If so, there are two great ways to save money when using Postmates.
Use a Postmates Promo Code
The first way to save money is by using a Postmates promo code.
You can find current Postmates promo codes here.
As a first-time Postmates user, you’ll save $100 on your first few food delivery orders.
If you’re already on the Postmates app, consider telling others about the promo code.
Referring a friend will provide you a $25 credit on your next order.
Sign Up for Postmates Unlimited
Another way to save money with Postmates is by signing up for its unlimited program.
By paying $99 a year (or $9.99 per month, if preferred), you’ll get free delivery on every restaurant order over $15 and when spending over $30 on grocery orders.
A 5% discount on the service fee also applies on top of the free delivery.
A Postmates Unlimited membership also brings other types of giveaways, deals, discounts, and perks that the app announces periodically.
A bonus offer even includes a 10% discount on the first three Uber rides you take each month.
The service is easy to cancel if you decide to do so. Just go into the Postmates app and switch the auto-renew option to “off”.
You’ll still enjoy its benefits until the end of the current billing cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you understand everything about Postmates and its costs, let’s be sure to address these commonly asked Postmates questions.
Does Postmates Charge for Pickup?
No, Postmates does not charge for pickup.
You only incur delivery fees when you have an order delivered to your door.
When you do a pickup order, you’ll just get charged for your food plus taxes and the service fee.
How Much Does Postmates Charge Restaurants?
Postmates charges restaurants a commission that runs between 15% and 30% on orders placed. Restaurants also pay a fee that ranges from 0.80% to $5 if using the direct bank deposit option.
A restaurant can also pay $5 per month for hardware and tablet rentals.
A Postmates Partner restaurant doesn’t need to pay any processing or rental fees when running a credit card.
All electronic orders get run for free on the tablet provided to partners at no cost.
This perk can save participating merchants anywhere from 3% to 6% on fees.
Can I Get a Refund if My Delivery is Late?
Postmates offers a $15 credit if your Postmates delivery arrives more than 60 minutes after the original time you selected.
However, you can use this offer once per month.
Is Postmates Owned by Uber?
Yes, Uber owns Postmates. Uber transferred almost $3 billion in stock to Postmates when the merger happened in 2020.
During the merger, Uber announced that Postmates will continue to operate as a separate entity.
However, it’s always possible that Uber could decide to merge its Postmates workers into the Uber Eats platform as time goes on.
Now that you know all the costs associated with using Postmates, it’s time to place your next order.
If you think you’ll use the app multiple times per month, consider a Postmates Unlimited membership.
Otherwise, simply download the app, open it, and place an order.