Uber Sign Up Bonus: Everything You Need To Know

In the early days of Uber and Lyft, rideshare drivers could claim an Uber sign up bonus in exchange for almost no effort at all on the part of drivers.

When I first joined Uber in 2013, they had just come to town and they gave me $1,500 after I drove just one trip.  It was crazy!

They had to give away such large bonuses in the early days because of several reasons:

  1. Many people had still never heard of Uber, which is essential if you want drivers to claim an Uber sign up bonus.
  2. They needed as many drivers as possible to sign up within a very short period of time in order to keep up with rider demand.

So, what better way to get the word out to a lot of people than to offer a ton of money to each driver who signs up?

These bonuses were so incredibly generous because new rideshare companies like Uber were desperate for thousands of drivers to sign up in every new market they were expanding into.

Fast forward a few years, and Uber is very well known, with many people having the mindset that if you need a little extra cash without the hassle of a boss or a formal schedule, signing up to drive with Uber is the way to go.

But now that so many people are flocking to the platform, they don’t need to offer such large signup bonuses for Uber drivers.

As a result, an Uber sign up bonus has shifted from an easy cash handout to an Uber driver guarantee.

Uber Sign Up Bonus In 2017

Not only is it not necessary though, it’s also not possible for them to continue offering such an extravagant Uber sign up bonus for new drivers.

They’ve been losing money to the tune of more than $1 billion a year, so they have to cut back, it’s a matter of survival.  In the first half of 2016 alone, Bloomberg reported they had lost $1.27 billion!  And by the end of the year they accumulated a whopping $2.8 billion loss.

Those huge losses explain why Uber has become “wiser”, with the bonuses in the last year or two.

Shifting To Uber New Driver Guarantees

Today, Uber is handling bonuses in a much more responsible way – they’ve virtually eliminated them in a traditional Uber sign up bonus capacity, and began to think of them in a different way.

Today they in fact do the responsible thing – they only pay bonuses after a new driver has shown a real commitment to sticking around.

And they don’t actually give bonuses anymore.  Bonuses are now Guarantees. They guarantee that new drivers will make a certain income, over some period of time, usually a month, if they drive a certain number of trips.

Uber driver guarantee advertisement - Uber driver sign up bonus screenshot

An example of a driver using an Uber driver invite code to encourage potential drivers to claim an Uber sign up bonus

What This Means For Drivers

While it wasn’t incredibly clear in the beginning, it’s just good business and it’s financially responsible.

It’s not nearly as attractive to drivers and it surely will not bring in as many new drivers, but, they don’t need as many drivers now as they did in the beginning.

Looking back, it appears that the same people who signed up to drive for a $1,500 bonus would have just as likely signed up for a $500 bonus. And the people who showed up for a $1,500 bonus for driving one trip, would have just as likely shown up for a $1,500 bonus over 100 trips.

But even though the Uber bonuses for new drivers aren’t what they used to be, they are still worth claiming.

– Want to claim an Uber signup bonus? Use an Uber driver invite code at signup. Keep reading below for more details. –

Let’s take a look at some example guarantees currently being offered in a few cities around the country.

The Best Cities To Claim An Uber Sign Up Bonus

The top five markets for Uber driver guarantees in the past have been San Jose, Silicon Valley and northern New Jersey (near New York City).

**Note: guarantee amounts vary by city and time of signup. These are meant to be used as an example reference only, and not necessarily up-to-date bonus cool.

Here’s some examples from the past:

City Guarantee Per Trip Trips in 30 Days Total Guarantee
San Jose $10.25 100 $ 1,025
Silicon Valley $10.25 100 $ 1,025
Northern Jersey $10.00 50 $ 500
Seattle $8.13 40 $ 325
Denver $8.00 50 $ 400
Dallas $7.00 50 $ 350
Chicago $7.33 75 $ 550
Atlanta $6.25 20 $125

Now let’s look at a quick example of a current Uber driver guarantee.

In Charleston, SC, Uber is currently offering a $200 guarantee to drivers who complete 30 trips within 30 days.  That essentially comes to an extra $6.67 per trip.

If a driver earns $5.00 on average per trip, Uber will subsidize that and hand over another $1.67 per trip.  However, if the driver earns an average of $7.00 per trip, Uber will pay nothing in addition to that.

In other words, Uber is guaranteeing the drivers of Charleston, that they will make at least $6.67 on their first 30 trips.

If a driver makes more than that, then he will get no bonus at all.  It’s only if he makes less than that, that he will get a bonus.

How Uber Sign Up Bonus Amounts Are Determined

Generally, the amount of the Uber sign-up bonus guarantees are determined by two factors:

  1. The severity of the driver shortage in a particular city; and
  2. The average per-trip earnings in each city.

This is to ensure passenger demand doesn’t lead to shortages of drivers, causing prices for passengers to increase due to SURGE pricing.

Uber sign up bonus graphic

More drivers needed in a city means higher Uber sign up bonus amounts

Uber obviously wants to offer driver guarantees that are as close to what a driver would normally earn as possible. The closer they come to actual earnings, the less exposure they have to paying out more than they are being paid on each trip.

So, the per-trip earnings give you a very good idea as to what a driver can make on average per trip and from that we can estimate approximately how much drivers make in any given market per hour.

The per-trip guarantee amount is closely tied to the time and distance rates. The total amount of the guarantee and the number of trips they offer the guarantee for indicate the severity of the driver shortage.

For instance, in Atlanta they’re only offering the guarantee for 20 trips and the total earnings that are guaranteed are only $125.  This indicates that they don’t really have a driver shortage in Atlanta and they just need to maintain the current level of drivers in that city.

In markets like Silicon Valley, however, where they’re offering the guarantee over 100 trips, that would indicate they’re experiencing a more severe driver shortage there.

By offering the guarantee over a larger number of trips, they can advertise a higher total guaranteed amount.

In this case they can advertise, ‘Guaranteed Earnings of $1,025 if You Complete 100 Trips in Your First 30 Days’.  That sounds a lot better and will attract more drivers than what they can advertise in Atlanta which is, ‘Guaranteed Earnings of $125 if You Complete 20 Trips in Your First 30 Days’.

The total guarantee amount is higher in Silicon Valley, but what it averages out to on a per-trip basis is in keeping with what drivers in that market earn.

So to Uber, if they’ve done their math right, it doesn’t cost them any more to offer $1,025 over 100 trips than it does to offer $102 over 10 trips.  They will be paid by the passengers, on average, exactly what they’re paying the drivers.

They could just as easily say, ‘Guaranteed Earnings of $10,250 if You Complete 1,000 Trips in Your First 30 Days’.

It comes to the same price per trip and the passengers are essentially paying for it all.

Uber Driver Guarantee Amounts Are Always Stated In Pre-Commission Terms

From the hardest data we can find, it looks like the average driver completes about 1.8 trips per hour.

Multiplying the above guaranteed rates per trip, you can come up with a rough idea of how much real drivers are actually making.

Uber sign up bonus income graphic

Image Credit: Screenshot from Pando.com

For instance, the per-trip guarantee in Dallas is $7.00.  Multiply that by 1.8 and you get $12.60 per hour.

However, that’s not what the driver makes. That is before Uber’s commission is taken out. Not to mention, all the expenses that Uber drivers incur while driving:

  • Insurance
  • Car/Lease Payments
  • Tolls, License, Permit Fees
  • Gas and Fuel
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Carwashes, and More…

The average Dallas driver actually receives about $9.45 per hour – before gas and car expenses.  Atlanta drivers are averaging roughly $9.37 an hour before car expenses.

Uber always states the Guarantee amount before they take their commission.

Drivers actual earnings are 75% (in some markets less) of the amount Uber states as the guarantee.  So, a $10 per-trip guarantee is actually a $7.50 guarantee to the driver.  A $500 total guarantee is actually a $375 guarantee.

Things are a little better in places like San Jose and northern Jersey where the average per-trip guarantee is $10.00-$10.25.

Those drivers are most likely earning about $13.50 an hour after Uber’s commission and before car expenses.

Since one of the factors that determines the amount of the guarantee is driver supply vs. rider demand, these amounts may or may not be closely tied to the actual rate Uber charges in a particular city.

On the other hand, the rates do come into play because they are not going to guarantee an amount significantly higher than what a driver would otherwise normally earn – unless they have a severe shortage of drivers in a particular market.

But again…

… no matter how little it may seem like you make, claiming an Uber driver sign up bonus is still worth doing.

Let’s now take a look at how you can claim yours.

How to Claim Your Uber Sign Up Bonus

To qualify for an Uber sign on bonus, you must have an Uber driver invite code.

Does it matter which code you use to claim the Uber sign-on bonus?

While many drivers will claim that their code is better than others, we’ve found that it appears that they are pretty much all created equal.

Unless there’s some limited-time promotion exclusive to your city, most driver’s promo code will get you the bonus, and is simply effected by the date of and city in which you signed up to drive.

Uber Driver Invite Code for 2017

Since referring new drivers to Uber rewards both drivers (ie. we get a bonus for referring people that click the link below), if you know a driver, use their link.

But if you’re looking to claim an Uber referral bonus quickly, then apply to drive by simply clicking the “PRGEY” text below, and you’ll be taken to the signup page, where the bonus will be automatically applied.

Best Uber Driver Code for 2017:

PRGEY –

Bonus varies by city, and are subject to Uber’s official referral terms.

Applying the Uber Driver Bonus

You can apply an Uber referral bonus two ways; either click the referral link or manually apply the code during the signup process.

1. Click the Referral Link

For less work, if you’d like to automatically apply the Uber driver sign up code without entering it manually, simply click the signup link.

Once clicked, the code will be automatically applied to your account and you will be eligible for the driver guarantee.

Proceed with the signup process at this point.

2. Manually Apply the Code

If you’re in the middle of the signup process and looking for the code, you can still continue without having to click the link above.

The screenshot below is taken from Uber’s driver sign-up page, one that has not clicked a signup link. You’ll notice a box at the bottom where they ask you for an Uber driver Invite Code.

If you leave that blank, you will not get a guarantee. So simply enter your code of choice, in this case “PRGEY” to claim your new driver bonus.

Drive with Uber signup page including Uber driver sign up bonus code

 

Once the code is entered, click “Next” and eligible drivers will see the code applied.

Uber Driver Invite Code Disclaimer

After doing a fair amount of research for this article, we noticed quite a few people on social media, forums, and blogs making bold claims about their referral codes.

  • Uber driver sign-on bonuses are not worth $5,000, $2,000, or near that. While Uber used to offer amounts this large, they don’t any more.
  • Uber sign up bonuses are now shifted to guarantees. If somebody tells you otherwise, look elsewhere for updated information.
  • Look out for inaccurate claims about these types of bonuses. Most drivers will tell you wrong information in order to get you to use their code. We won’t.
  • Your Uber driver invite code and guarantee promotion will depend on which city you drive in. Please check the signup page or with your local team if you have questions about this amount.

If you still have questions on your Uber driver sign-on bonus, check with Uber directly, as they will have the most accurate and updated information for you.


Uber Sign Up Bonus FAQ

Here’s some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding these types of bonuses.

What are Uber Driver Guarantees?

Uber Driver Guarantees are a way to ensure that drivers make at least a stated amount of fares per hour if certain requirements are met.

If drivers meet all the requirements listed for the guarantee, and do not earn the amount guaranteed, Uber will pay the difference. If drivers earn more than the guaranteed amount, Uber will not apply any additional payment.

The best way to think about guarantees is Uber trying to communicate how much we believe you can earn in fares during high demand times, but offering a “safety net” of sorts in case that proves inaccurate on an individual level.

Are Guarantees Listed in Gross Amounts or Net?

Uber sign up bonus guarantee amounts are listed in gross amounts (which include Uber’s fee). When they are paid, you will receive the net amount (with Uber’s fee removed).

What Requirements do I Have to Meet in Order to Qualify for the Uber Sign Up Bonus?

The number one requirement Uber drivers must meet to claim a bonus is to apply an Uber driver invite code during the driver sign up process. Without this code, you will not be eligible for the guarantee.

The other requirements will be listed for you when you sign up with Uber. They vary depending on where you will be driving, and change constantly. Check with the Uber driver site for your specific city when you sign up.

The other important requirement that you mustn’t overlook is that in this current version of sign-up guarantees you must drive the required number of trips within the required time.

You must drive all the trips within the allotted time.

If the guarantee says you will be paid for 100 trips in 30 days, then you must drive all 100 trips – within 30 days.  You will be paid nothing if you drive 99 trips.

Is the Uber Guarantee Amount in Addition to What I Earn on the Trips?

No. If you met all requirements of the Guarantee program, you drove the required number of trips within the required amount of time, but what you actually earned comes to more than the guarantee amount, you will be paid nothing in addition to what you have already earned.

You will be paid out by the guarantee only if your actual earnings fall short of the total amount of the guarantee.

Will Uber Pay me the Guaranteed Amount Per Trip?

No. Uber does not pay anything per trip.

So, if you are in an area where 50 trips are required within 30 days but you only drove 20 trips and you made less than the guaranteed amount on the 20 trips, you will not be paid anything.

You must drive the full number of required trips to be eligible for the guarantee.

How Much Will My Uber Guarantee Be?

This question can only be answered by Uber at the time you sign up to drive.  Amounts vary by city and they change frequently.

Whatever Invite Code you use does not affect the amount of your Guarantee. The amount is determined by what city you’ll be driving in.


Maximize Your Uber Driver Sign up Bonus

Once you sign up to drive and apply a new Uber driver signup bonus to your account, you are then eligible for the bonus.

However, there a couple easy ways to take your earnings to the next level, and every driver should take note.

With guarantees basically covering new drivers for what they would have earned on average anyway, what are the benefits of using an invite code?

For one, they do act as a guaranteed minimum insuring that you will earn no less than that on each trip during the guarantee period.

It is always possible that you might not earn as much as they are guaranteeing on every trip.  So, the guarantee insures that you will.

The second benefit is if you use our strategies, you can increase your chances of getting paid more per trip than your guaranteed trips are worth.

We will show you how can turn the guarantee into a real bonus!

How to Get the Most Bonus Out of a Guarantee

In the real world, drivers want to get the longest trips they can because they earn more money on longer trips.

However, in the world of Guaranteed Income, that normally rational strategy is turned on its head.  When you are guaranteed a certain amount per trip, it starts to make more sense to pick up the shortest trips possible.

For example, in Charleston, Uber is paying a guaranteed sum of $6.67 per trip for a new driver’s first 30 trips. The minimum trip in Charleston regularly earns a driver $4.50.

So, if a new Charleston driver is lucky enough to get a short half-mile trip he would make $4.50 because Uber would then kick in and subsidize the trip with an additional $2.17.

The $2.17 would be a bonus, because it’s money on top of what the trip was actually worth.  If this same Charleston driver gets a 5-mile trip next, he will make around $8.25.

Under the guaranteed earnings, Uber would add nothing to his pay for this trip as he would have made $1.58 more than the Uber guarantee.

On this trip the driver gets no bonus at all, no advantage, nothing.  And the $1.58 will be taken into consideration on his next trip in order to calculate whether he is entitled to a subsidy on it.

For instance, if the next trip is another minimum-fare trip where the driver would earn $4.50 – Uber will take the $1.58 from the previous trip and apply it to the next trip.  Then instead of adding $2.17 to that trip they would only add $0.59.

If you’re earning exactly what long-time drivers are earning, then Uber is really giving you nothing to sign up.  You therefore want to take the shortest trips possible so you can come out a little bit ahead.

How to Get Short Trips

Since you’re a new driver, you probably won’t know that while you can’t perfectly control what kinds of trips you’ll get, there are ways to put yourself in a position where you’ll have the greatest chance of getting a certain type of trip.

For instance, if you’re looking for long trips, your chances will be increased if you park outside major hotels very early in the morning.  You’ll be in the best position there to get a trip to the airport, which will be a longer trip than normal.

Or, you can hang out in the distant suburbs to a major city early in the mornings, knowing that people will be using Uber to get to work downtown.  Those are things you can do to increase your chances of getting longer trips.

On the other hand, if you want short trips – and the only time you’ll want those is during the initial guarantee period – you’ll hang out in different places.

For example, early in the mornings, instead of waiting out near a major hotel, instead wait in a residential area that’s very close to where people work.  Chances are you’ll get trips from there to the area where they work which will be close by.

Or if you’re more a night owl than an early bird, try some night time strategies for short trips.

Try positioning yourself in a bar area that’s near a college on weekend nights.  The closer the bars are to the college the better.

Because students will take an Uber from campus to the bars early in the evening and back to campus from the bars later on.  If campus is under a mile away, you’re going to get more short trips that night than if you position yourself somewhere else.

Another idea is instead of positioning yourself near a downtown hotel early in the mornings looking for airport trips, position yourself at an airport hotel very early on weekday mornings.  (And usually during the last half of the week is best).

I’m talking about the airport hotels that are very close to or actually on airport property.

Put yourself there early in the mornings on weekdays (or whenever most out-of-towners leave your city), and you’re likely to get a few trips from the hotel to the airport.

That is after all why people stay in airport hotels, because they want easy access to the airport when they leave town.  You’re bound to get short trips from there!

These are just a few ideas for helping you get the shortest trips possible during your bonus period.  Think creatively and apply these same principles to your city and turn that guarantee into a bonus!

What do you think of Uber sign up bonuses shifting to guarantees instead of each cash handouts? What are some ways to maximize these guarantees? Let us know by dropping your opinion below!

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