Profiting With Sign-Up Bonuses

Did you know when you drive for Uber and Lyft there are a lot of other ways you can make money with your car?

In this video, Sam talks about one of the most lucrative ways which is earning money by effectively using Uber and Lyft’s referral programs.  In fact, don’t just think Uber and Lyft, think of all the “sharing”, gig economy, app-based companies that offer referral bonuses.  That means Instacart, Door Dash, Amazon Flex, check out all the new companies and start referring people to all of them that offer referral bonuses!

As for Uber and Lyft though, they have relatively generous bonus programs.  So, let’s take an in-depth look at them today.

If I Recruit New Drivers Aren’t I just Creating Competition for Myself?

Both companies have referral programs to help them recruit new drivers.  As Sam has said in the past, “instead of training people well they have opted to turn out tons of new drivers and hoping that the strong will stick and the weak will be deactivated or be weeded out, or just quit.”  And that’s absolutely right.  Instead of training and treating people right – they have decided the best idea is to just keep bringing in new drivers to replace the ones who have dropped out.

You would think it might be smarter to bring in good people, train them, treat them well and keep them.  There would be nothing better for their business than to have good, experienced drivers.  But, this is what they’ve decided to do so we have to deal with the reality they’ve given us!

You might also think that by helping them recruit new drivers, you’re just creating competition for yourself.  And that’s true.  But they’re going to bring in these drivers whether you help or not.  So, you may as well get your share of the bonuses.  If you’re going to lose money driving because there are too many other drivers, you may as well get compensated for your loss and earning income from these referral bonuses is a good way to do just that.

In the early days, both Uber and Lyft offered some insane rewards!  Like, $1,000 just for signing up and taking your first trip!  However, that was truly financially irresponsible, so they have become more fiscally sane now and realized they can’t go on forever offering such generous referral incentives.  They have no re-configured the rewards so they are not only much smaller than they used to be, but the signing-on driver has to do a lot more work so that he and you qualify for the reward.

A Closer Look at Uber’s Referral Bonuses

The amount of Uber’s bonuses and the work they require for them to be received fluctuates all throughout the year.  The summers are usually the slowest time for most markets, and bonus rewards generally go lower during the summer.  You can expect them to increase a bit in the fall though.

Last summer in Sam’s market of Minneapolis, Uber was offering $50 for any new driver who drove 30 rides.  However, he points out in the video that on Uber’s website, they don’t specify all the details.  For instance, it just says ‘get a $50 bonus’, but they don’t say ‘after the new driver completes 30 trips’!  So, you have to read the fine print and you may even have to contact Uber and ask – to get the full story.  But if you see a promise to earn a certain amount of money, with no strings attached – just know there are strings attached to all the referral bonuses now so you’ll have to check with Uber to see what they are.

The details of the rewards vary from city to city.  For instance, when Sam was looking at the $50 reward for 30 trips in Minneapolis, Charlotte was offering $200 and in Atlanta the bonus was $50, but it was $75 just a couple of months before.

A Caution About Promo Codes You Might Find Online

When a new driver signs up, he doesn’t get the reward unless he signs up with a promo code – that he would typically get from another driver.  Uber drivers can also add a promo code retroactively up to 30 days after they first signed up.  When a driver uses a promo code it insures that he too will get a bonus.  Usually in the same amount that his referring friend will get.

So, when someone who knows about all this, and they’re getting ready to sign up but they don’t know anyone personally from whom they can obtain a promo code, they often go online to search for promo codes.

What they’ll find though is usually not accurate.  If you see people offering promo codes with big promises like “Get $1,000 When You Sign Up with My Promo Code”, that’s not going to be true.  You’re not going to get $1,000 any longer.  Back in 2013 and 2014 you might have.  But no longer today.  The highest rewards today are generally in the low $100s.

Here’s an example of something you might find online – was true a few years ago but no longer today.

People offering promo codes can no longer really tell you an exact amount that you’ll get because those amounts vary so much from city to city and from season to season.  But, you can still use their promo code and you will get whatever bonus Uber is offering but it may not be as high as the person providing the code promised.

A Closer Look at Lyft’s Referral Bonuses

In the past, Lyft typically offered a lump sum bonus both to the driver and the person referring the driver, after the driver completed a certain number of trips.  For instance, they would offer a reward that would pay both the driver and the referrer $500 after the driver completed 150 trips.  Oh and they always had a time restriction on this as well.  They would say you have to complete the 150 trips within 60 days or 90 days, or some random number of days.  Under that system, drivers were smart not to sign up until they were ready to drive – so they could complete the required number of trips within the required time.

Now they’re doing something Sam calls a “drip bonus”.  And most drivers seem to love it.  It works like this.  Lyft promises to pay a driver and the person who referred him, an extra $1.36 per trip on his first 323 trips.  The most both parties can earn is $440.  And they’ll earn it only if the driver completes the maximum number of trips the bonus allows.

Usually there is no time limit on this.  But there might be, so be sure to check the details with Lyft in your city.  Also, the amounts and number of trips vary.  They might offer $1.00 per trip for up to a maximum of 100 trips.  Like Uber, this too changes depending on the city and it changes with the time of year as well.

With the way Lyft structures their rewards, drivers and referrers both can earn something from each and every trip the new driver takes.

One other cool thing with Lyft is that they let you create your own promo code.  So instead of BOBW69846543 you can make it something a little more memorable!


Video Transcription:

Okay, signup bonuses. This is an exciting video because this is an aspect of rideshare that is not directly driving but is another source where you can make some really, really helpful income, okay?

So Lyft, Uber, and all the other small companies have different referral programs and that also goes with delivery and so forth. And they have these referral programs to bring in more drivers and as, I’ve said before, instead of training people well they have opted to turn out tons of new drivers and hoping that the strong will stick and the weak will be deactivated or be weeded out, or just quit.

And so, personally business from a business standpoint I don’t think that’s ideal but that’s what they’ve chosen do and until then, we want to utilize that as much as we can.

Now, back in the heyday when it first came out Lyft and Uber had some insane rewards. So, like Uber would give you $1,000 if you took just one ride. Now, they have become more fiscally responsible and realized that that is not a good idea and so they have different things.

So, let’s talk about Uber first. Uber, right now, Uber, depending on your market, mine right now as of August 2017 I think it’s going to go up come the fall and winter time when it gets busier.

Summers typically are a little slower from not all markets but most markets probably. $50 right now for anyone who drives about 30 rides.

Now, I just told you 30 rides and you don’t see 30 rides anyway here. And because Uber is victoriously ambiguous about their details and you have to contact them. They vary from city to city.

So, when I first got brought on I got something called a guarantee, which means if I drove X amount of rides within a certain amount of time, actually no time period, they guaranteed a certain amount. So, let’s say I got a ton of minimum fares and they were really, really bad rides and I got, you know, let’s say all $300 and their guarantee was $400.

So then Uber will pay the difference and give you $100. So, that’s what a guarantee is and that’s what Uber is doing right now, which I think is a pretty fiscally responsible one.

It’s not as advantageous for us as drivers, new drivers especially but it’s good for them because they have very little to lose and they just make up the difference if you don’t have really good fares.

And so, I want to make a mention for Uber and Lyft. These requirements vary from city to city. So, for example, right now I know that in Charlotte they…not Charlottesville but Charlotte they have a $200 invite for those who are new.

Atlanta was $75 just a month or two ago now it’s $50. And these prices will fluctuate and they’ll play around with different numbers depending on how much you need there are for drivers, okay? So, keep that in mind. They always fluctuating so you always have to ask.

And so, sometimes people will go online and look up Uber promo codes and they’ll see $1000 it’s really random, like $1,053 if you sign up for Uber and then you sign up and later on you find out that it was only guaranteed for $100.

And so, it varies. For me, it was just $200 and so it’s gone quite a bit down. And so, depending on supply and demand…supply they will raise or lower the price.

Related: 17 Creative Ways to Make More Money with Uber

Now let’s talk about Lyft. Lyft has done guarantees and they’ve done historically might, from my experience in what I remember, they have done a lot of lump sums.

So, let’s say this is what I had. I had $500 so I had to drive 150 rides within 90 days or something like that, 45 days, something challenging like that. And at the end of it if I complete them all within the time period they would give me $500 lump sum.

Now what they’re doing is something really cool that I love. It’s a drip bonus. Now a drip bonus, so let’s say I refer someone in St. Paul, again, referring many of us St. Paul drivers, this is specific to this market. It may be different in your market.

If I refer them $440, they will earn an extra up to $440. So, what a drip bonus says every time they do a ride they’ll get an additional $1.36. And you know what? I’ll get additional $1.36.

This is a really advantageous thing. Get your friends on this because if they don’t end up liking it, usually for most people it was a very low barrier entry and they got a little bonus.

They didn’t have to do 150 rides before they got any bonus and they already got a little boost. It’s like a little mini tip from Lyft every time and they can do it all the way up to 440 rides and they have 60 days to do that. And after that, it’s expired and it’s over, okay?

So, that’s how the bonuses work with Lyft and Uber. Now, one more thing. I’m just showing you on the website because on the app you can see all the people I’ve referred and I want to protect their privacy with their names.

But, you have a referral code here and with Lyft, I’m not sure about Uber, Lyft you can make your own referral code too. So, my other referral code is Sam Choi.

So, look, create your customer referral code by clicking here. So, mine is this one and Sam Choi. What you do is when you have people sign up you can either do it manually right here, you can sign them up right here, or you can send them your code and then when they sign up on the app or online they can put your code right in and you’ll get credited to that. And, what it’s really important to do is encourage them along the way, be there as a mentor.

We want people to succeed, we want people to flourish, and we want this industry to do well. So, it’s bad if they don’t do well. So, that’s a really cool thing about this drip bonus.

And the lump sum bonus is that you don’t get paid and actually the guarantee too. You don’t get paid unless they do well and they go out there, and so you want to mentor them and help them out.

So, that’s my guarantee for if any of you guys who use my code to sign up, that’s an obviously a huge financial blessing for myself. I will give you my contact information and you will be able to get personal mentorship by me and I’ll do whatever I can to help you succeed.

And so, that’s bonuses and referrals, and I hope you utilize this and share this with people who you think will do well as Lyft and Uber drivers and this would be a great help for you financially. All right, hopefully, you enjoy this video. Thanks.

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