If you are a rideshare driver on Uber, Lyft, or Postmates, then you are probably familiar with the frustrating delays between earning your money and being able to use it.
The default payment of a weekly direct deposit is fine for some people, but many people need their money faster.
Luckily, Uber now has an Instant Pay feature that allows Uber drivers to cashout their earnings any time they want.
After driving for Uber, Uber’s Instant Pay options transfer the money you just earned into your debit or checking account within minutes.
And you avoid the high-interest rates of payday loans or loans for Uber drivers.
With Instant Pay, there is no more waiting over a week for your Uber pay stub to arrive, then more time for your paycheck to clear into your bank account.
Especially for new drivers who might not know about this feature, read on to learn everything about Instant Pay and how to use it.
Table Of Contents
What Is Uber Instant Pay?
Uber Instant Pay gets rid of the inconvenience and frustration of seeing money in your Uber driver app that you can’t touch.
Direct deposit is convenient, but you are also at the mercy of Uber and your bank.
Direct deposits follow a particular schedule and can take multiple business days to clear.
But Uber Instant Pay solves these complaints.
With just the push of a button, you will see your earnings appear on your debit card instantly.
In a traditional employment situation, you might be paid once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month.
This schedule can be fine for people who have plenty of savings.
But for people who need to use their hard-earned money right away—perhaps some bills are already past due—these delays can be a problem.
But luckily, after the launch of the pilot program Instant Pay, Uber found a way to appease drivers on the Uber platform.
Instant Pay also allowed Uber to compete with Lyft’s express pay.
In short, Uber Instant Pay allows you to do instant pay transfers of the money in your Uber account into your debit account.
Instant Pay uses a mobile banking service called GoBank, and it works with most Visa, Mastercard, and Discover debit cards.
In the first year of Instant Pay alone, Uber paid out more than $1.3 billion to its drivers.
The Problem Uber Instant Pay Solves
The main problem that Uber Instant Pay solves is the slow timing of normal direct deposits.
When performing a weekly deposit into your checking account, Uber uses an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer.
And while ACH is usually faster than a paper check, it can still take several days to clear.
On top of the frustration of seeing your money as “pending”, you also have to wait until the end of your payment week for the ACH transfer to even start.
Between waiting for the payment term to end and the ACH transfer to clear, you might have to wait over a week before you can touch your money.
So Uber Instant Pay aims to solve these problems by letting you do a cash out whenever you want.
How Does Uber Instant Pay Work?
Now that you have a basic idea of what Instant Pay is and why Uber launched it, let’s have a more detailed look into how it works.
An Overview of How the Process Works
Using Uber Instant Pay is an easy process, assuming that you have an eligible debit card.
If you want to avoid fees and plan on using Instant Pay often, you might consider getting the Uber debit card through GoBank.
But if you plan to use it only once in a while, most debit cards will work and the transaction fees are minimal.
The process works similarly to how any refund to your debit card would work.
How Long Does Instant Pay Take?
As the name suggests, Uber Instant Pay is designed to make your money available right away.
But similar to the instant pay-out features of applications like Venmo or PayPal, Uber is at the mercy of the banks.
In the worst-case scenario, your earnings can be delayed by 2-3 days because of a problem with your particular bank.
On the Uber help page, you’ll find a detailed list of the banks which will possibly delay Instant Pay.
At most, the delay could last a few days.
The banks are:
- Bank of New York Mellon
- Webster Bank
- Northern Trust
- First National Bank of Omaha
- H&R Block
- Silicon Valley Bank
- California Bank and Trust
Which Uber Services Allow Drivers to Use Instant Pay?
As you probably know, Uber has become much more than a rideshare service.
Uber also offers delivery services for food and groceries – and much more.
Many Uber drivers will do all of those services at the same time, especially rides and Uber Eats.
These additional services mean more money coming into your Uber account and more of an incentive to cash out immediately.
The short of it is that if you are traditionally eligible to use Instant Pay then you can also use it with the other Uber services.
How Much Does Uber Instant Pay Cost?
The transaction fees for Uber Instant Pay depend upon how often you are using the service and what kind of debit card you have.
With an Uber debit card—a Visa card linked to a GoBank account—there is no fee associated with Instant Pay.
Fees Associated with Instant Pay
Instant payments are convenient, but there is a 50-cent fee charged every time you use the service (again, this fee is waived with the Uber debit card).
And you can use the service up to 5 times per day.
At that rate, you would be losing $2.50 every day.
How to Set Up Uber Instant Pay
Setting up Uber Instant pay is as easy as linking your bank’s debit card to your Uber account.
If you have an eligible card—again most Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards will work—then you should be able to start using it right away.
You can set up Instant Pay inside of the Uber driver app under the Payments section.
What Prepaid Cards Work with Uber Instant Pay?
Prepaid debit cards bearing a Visa or Mastercard logo should work.
But not all debit cards will work.
The best way to find out is to try it!
How to Set Up Uber Instant Pay
Ready to have flexible access to your money?
Luckily, setting up Instant Pay is fairly easy.
If you’re on your mobile device, you can sign up for it directly within the Uber partner app.
To be able to access Instant Pay, you’ll need to add a debit card account to your Uber account.
Don’t have a debit card account?
Uber’s got you covered – you can open an Uber debit card account with GoBank, (which is part of Green Dot Bank).
To get your account set up, add your debit card details into the app.
Once you have a debit account linked with your Uber account, you’re eligible to cash out with Instant Pay.
Recap: an overview of the steps to sign up:
- Sign in to the Uber driver app and tap the menu icon (it’s on the top left)
- Push the button for Earnings and then hit Cash Out. You will have to link an eligible debit card before you can do this.
- You have until Monday at 4 am to cash out the previous week’s earnings, after which it will automatically become an ACH transfer.
Unfortunately, funds cashed out this way can only go to a debit account, so you’ll need to be willing to open a new one or add your existing account.
How Can I Get My Money With Uber Instant Pay?
Getting your money out with Uber Instant Pay is easy.
Just log onto the app and click on the earnings tab.
As long as you’ve already added your debit card account, you’ll see an “instant pay” option.
Click on that and you’ll be able to see how much money is available in your account.
When you’re ready to cash out and move the money into your debit account, tap on “transfer now.”
It’s as simple as that.
Remember, even though it’s called “instant” pay, you may not be able to access the money immediately.
It all depends on the bank you use.
If your bank does not appear on the list we mentioned above, we suggest using Instant Pay at least once.
That way you’ll know how long it takes for the funds to become available in your bank account.
At the very least, you’ll know if you can rely on it in case of a cash emergency.
Two Ways to Cash Out With Uber Instant Pay
We mentioned above that there are two types of accounts you can use to cash out with Uber Instant Pay:
- your personal debit card
- an Uber Debit Card
Using a personal debit card:
Most people prefer to use their existing debit card account, if only for the fact that the account already exists.
That makes it easy to keep all of your funds in one convenient place.
You can sign up for Uber Instant Pay with most Visa, MasterCard, and Discover accounts, but there’s one thing you should be aware of:
Each transaction will cost you $0.50.
It doesn’t matter if you cash out $10 or $500, you’ll pay a $0.50 processing fee every time you cash out.
And if you cash out 5 times a day 5 days a week, that’s $12.50 a week you’ll be spending just in transaction fees.
If your bank takes a few days to process instant pay payments, there’s absolutely no reason to cash out more than once a day.
That only makes sense if you have access to the funds immediately and are in pressing need of cash at that moment.
One other thing to remember: depending on the ATM you use, you might also be charged transactional fees for cash withdrawals as well.
Fifty cents here and a dollar there might not seem like much.
But if you make consistent withdrawals on small amounts of money, those fees can add up over time.
Using an Uber debit card:
If you don’t want to pay $0.50 per transaction, you can open up an Uber debit account through GoBank and you won’t have to pay that charge.
But, as with all cards, you might still have to pay withdrawal fees at the ATM if you don’t use an authorized GoBank ATM.
There is no monthly fee to open a GoBank Uber account.
But there’s more to consider than that.
Do you want to deal with another account?
Do you want your money to be in various accounts at the same time?
For most people, having one account is easier than managing multiple ones.
How to Use Uber Instant Cash
Your earnings from working with Uber can become cash almost instantly.
As long as you have an eligible debit card and your bank doesn’t cause delays, you can have usable cash within minutes.
And then you can use your Uber cash however you would normally use your debit or prepaid card!
Troubleshooting: Instant Pay Not Working
Like much of technology these days, Uber Instant Pay is an amazing step forward.
But it does come with the expected technological problems and situations that can cause Instant Pay not to work.
Why Can’t I Use Uber Instant Pay?
There are a few possibilities to explain why you aren’t eligible to use Uber’s Instant Pay.
The most common reason is that you are a new driver.
If you have only just taken your first trip, you won’t yet be eligible for Instant Pay until you meet Uber’s threshold.
Another reason Instant Pay might not be working is that you don’t have the required minimum balance of $1.
Or you could be driving Uber in Canada.
For Canadian drivers, you will have to download the Payfare app to use Instant Pay.
Lastly, Uber Instant Pay is not available to drivers using an Uber lease, Xchange lease, or another peer-to-peer car rental service.
Why Is Instant Pay Not Working?
It is usually a problem with the bank that causes Instant Pay not to work.
In particular, certain prepaid debit cards don’t work, and it is hard to predict which ones.
If you’re having issues, your best bet is to contact both Uber and your bank to try and work it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now have a solid understanding of how Uber Instant Pay works and whether or not you are eligible to use it.
But if you are still not sure whether or not you should use Instant Pay, these frequently asked questions can hopefully clarify any remaining confusion you might have.
Can I use Instant pay to withdraw referral bonuses?
Unfortunately, no, you cannot use Instant Pay to cash out amounts earned by using an Uber invite code.
With Instant Pay you can only withdraw money from Uber rides.
Referral bonuses are paid weekly, along with any other earnings that you did not cash out with Instant Pay throughout the week.
Can you use Green Dot with Uber?
Uber’s Instant Pay option does indeed work with Green Dot debit cards.
Green Dot is the parent operator of the mobile bank GoBank that supplies the Uber debit card.
But this does not guarantee that all prepaid cards will work with Uber.
What Banks Will Not Work with Uber Instant Pay?
Considering that Uber Instant Pay now works with pretty much any Visa, Mastercard, or Discover labeled debit card, the chances are high that Instant Pay works with your bank and card.
Some banks (listed above) will have a higher chance of delays, and some banks or card types will be incompatible.
While there is no official list from Uber of which banks work, the following cards and banks generally have problems with Instant Pay:
- Bank of America
- Western Union Cards
- PNC cards
- PayPal cards
Does DoorDash Have Instant Pay like Uber Eats?
DoorDash does indeed have an instant pay feature that they call Fast Pay.
But there are some differences between Fast Pay and Uber Instant Pay.
Firstly, you can only use Fast Pay once per day (as opposed to 5 times with Uber).
And instead of the 50-cent fee that Uber charges there is a fee of $1.99.
Lastly, Fast Pay is not available in Canada.
Whether you’re an Uber driver or working in their delivery services, you no longer have to wait for your hard-earned money.
ACH deposits can be slow and some people need access to their money as fast as possible.
And Uber Instant Pay allows you to cash out your funds directly to a debit card.
Some banks have delays, but most major cards will accept your money within minutes.
If you don’t mind waiting for a direct deposit, then there’s no real advantage.
But if you need access to your earnings immediately, then consider using Uber Instant Pay today!