An Uber Passenger Referral Strategy That Works

A woman driving a car

Working as a rideshare driver is all about capitalizing on opportunities.

And we’re not just talking about opportunities to pick up passengers. We’re talking about making the best of surge pricing by following the alcohol or working major events. Or selling things to passengers with tools like Cargo. Or using both Uber and Lyft at the same time to find the closest possible fare.

There are a ton of untapped opportunities outside of the daily routine.

One of the lesser-known tactics drivers can use to make more money is through passenger referrals.

This article will explain what passenger referrals are. We’ll also discuss some strategies you can implement to make some real money.


What is the Passenger Referral Bonus?

As you may have guessed, the passenger referral bonus is a code that new riders can use to receive discounted rides.

To cash in on this offer, all you need to do is encourage someone to use either Uber or Lyft for the first time with your code. When the person you refer orders an Uber or a Lyft using your code, you reap the benefits.

Since both rideshare services are offering their version of the passenger referral program, drivers can potentially earn double the reward for half the effort.

There are a couple of ways to go about doing this.

Let’s say you drive for both Uber and Lyft. If you find someone who has never used either rideshare company, you can give them both referral codes. Savvy drivers can market this as ‘try one, then the other and tell me which one you think is better’ angle.

You can make extra money from both Uber and Lyft this way.

The amount that drivers can earn varies. You can check by going to your driver dashboard in the Lyft Driver App or the Uber Driver App to see what the current offerings are. That is also where you will find your unique driver code.

The bonus is definitely worth your time. Remember, to cash in on the passenger referral program, the person you invite has to be a brand new customer, or in other words, never used Uber or Lyft before. If someone is an existing user, you can’t get a referral reward.

Make sure they know that to get a discount on their first ride they must add the invite code to their account before ordering the ride. To be considered a successful referral, the Uber passenger will have to complete a certain number of rides before you bonus.

First-time Uber riders can get a discounted rate if they enter the referral code into their order before the ride begins. It’s a win-win situation because the person using the code gets a free ride or a discount on several rides. And the referrer gets a little kickback from Uber.

This is a great way to add a little extra income to your regular wages.

To learn more about the referral program, including how to find your referral code, check out this page.

How Do You Share a Referral Code?

Now that you know a bit more about the passenger referral system, let’s talk strategy. Drivers interested in taking advantage of passenger referrals need a way to reach people. Specifically, those who haven’t used rideshare before.

To contact these potential riders, drivers should identify where they can get in touch with as many people as possible.

Family and Friends

The easiest way to start is to invite friends and family. If they already use the app and are down to help tell your friends and family members to spread the word. This way, you maximize your chances of new riders using your code and increase how much money you earn each week.

Can You do Paid Promotions Online

Some people may be thinking: Systems like AdWords and Facebook Ads are pretty easy. Why don’t I pay to promote my code online?!

This might sounds like a great idea. But it’s not. This is prohibited by Uber’s Terms and Conditions, so don’t even think about it.

Feel free to post the code on your own social media channels as often as you’d like, as long as there is no money behind it.

If you are unsure about whether your promotion method is permitted, check out the terms and conditions associated with the rider referral code system. As long as you do not violate the rules in place for either Lyft or Uber, you should be in the clear.

The Business Card Method

Outside of the internet, drivers can implement traditional tactics to get their code out to the masses. One of the most useful things rideshare entrepreneurs can use is business cards.

These cards should be attention-grabbing, memorable, and informative. Once you have these cards made with your code printed on them, your next move is to put a stack of them on display.

To do this, we recommend asking public establishments if you can leave a few business cards there. Ideal places include coffee shops, libraries, bars, and restaurants.

Consider buying a stand to prop up the cards. Business cards on a stand are more likely to be seen and are easier to read.

Another way to circulate your business cards involves friends and family. Ask those closest to you if they know anyone that has not used Uber.

If they say yes, give them a few of your business cards. One for the person they are thinking of, and a few extra for anyone else they come across that is in a similar situation. Repeat this process for the Lyft app.

Speaking of Lyft, we want to go over one of the extra perks they offer rideshare drivers in regards to making business cards.

Lyft drivers get a special discount if they opt to print their business cards created with Vistaprint.

When a company offers you up to 60% off of your passenger referral code cards, it is worth looking into. Lyft drivers interested in taking advantage of this sweet deal can learn more here.

Once you have your spiffy new cards, go to sporting events, bars, or other crowd gathering activities and pass them around.

Those taking part in the festivities might opt to use the rideshare service that night!

It helps you increase the odds of getting trips and passive cash if potential new riders take you up on using the referral code.

Redeeming an Uber Referral Code

It is very important to explain to people how to enter your referral code once they download the application. If someone requests a ride before they enter your code, it’s already too late.

So anytime someone is interested in using the code, make sure to walk them through it to make sure it’s done properly.

Although both of the top rideshare apps offer a passenger referral system, the way to go about redeeming the rewards code is a bit different.

Let’s start with Lyft.

Once a passenger has downloaded the Lyft app and follows the directions to create an account, they need to look at the upper-left part of the app.

  • Click on the 3 horizontal bars that represent the Menu.
  • Then hit Promos
  • Add the very top of the screen, the person should enter the code where it says “Enter promo code.”

That’s it!

If done correctly, passengers can receive a discounted fare and drivers earn a nice bonus.

Now, let’s compare the process to Uber’s method.

New Uber users go through the same process of downloading the Uber app, creating an Uber account, and logging in.

  • Click on the 3 horizontal bars that represent the Menu.
  • Then hit Payment
  • Scroll down to the bottom and tap Add Promo Code
  • A screen will pop up where you insert the code.

The passenger referral system is a profitable method rideshare entrepreneurs can use to earn some extra cash.

Drivers interested in implementing this strategy can do so by figuring out what their redeemable code is then sharing it with others.

Popular ways to promote this include sharing referral codes online by posting the code on social media accounts.

Remember, if you choose to post your code online, you can’t create ads to promote the code.

For more information on how to use the code, be sure to read the terms and conditions.

Drivers that promote their code via physical methods can do so by issuing business cards. These cards should contain your referral code, how to redeem it, and why potential new Uber passengers would want to use it.

Lyft drivers who use Vistaprint to create code cards qualify for a discount on their order.

Once you have your business cards, think about how to distribute them. We recommend leaving them in public places, preferably propped up so people can see them.

To do this, check out coffee shops and libraries to see if it is permissible to leave a stack of cards with them. By doing so, you can encourage curious onlookers to pick up your card and consider joining the rideshare community.

Also, consider going to popular locations, such as sporting events, bars, and other social  hotspots to spread the word about your code.

While you are there, pass out your cards to participants in a respectful manner. By doing so, you may be able to grab new riders right then and there. If not, do not worry. They may take you up on your offer on another night.

The main idea is to get your passenger referral code out there and entice new riders to use it.

Related Content From