If you’re looking to cash in on a huge Uber sign up bonus, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I’ll provide you with an Uber invite code that lets you claim your bonus, show you how to apply the promotion, and then touch on everything else you need to know when signing up to drive.
- 1 Uber Sign Up Bonus In 2018
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Changes To The Program
- 4 The Best Cities to Claim an Uber Sign Up Bonus
- 5 How Uber Determine How Large Their Guarantee Will Be
- 6 Maximize Your Uber Driver Sign up Bonus
- 7 Additional Promotions
You already know about Uber’s driver referral program – refer to start driving with Uber – and both of you get financially compensated.
Most new drivers know that by not using a referral code to sign up, they would be throwing money away, so they try as hard as possible to find the best driver sign-up code they can. (Keep reading below for our code).
However, what you may not know, is how Uber’s program has changed in the past few years, and how it affects you if you want to sign up with Uber.
Back in 2013, Uber had just entered my town, and they had a ridiculous offer that I couldn’t ignore, $1500 for driving one trip on their app. Talk about free money! This was a crazy deal and I snapped it up quicker than you could snap your fingers.
Today, things have changed. Let my favorite instructor from our free training program explain more:
HOWEVER, the free sign up bonuses are not gone completely, and can still get up to the high hundreds of dollars, and in some cities, up to $2,500. In other words, they are still definitely worth claiming.
Before I dive into the finer details, let’s now take a look at how you can claim yours.
Uber Sign Up Bonus In 2018
To qualify for an Uber guarantee, you must have an Uber driver invite code.
Does it matter which code to use to claim your guarantee?
While many drivers will claim that their code is better than others, I’ve found that it appears that they are all created equal.
Unless there’s a limited-time promotion exclusive to your city, most driver’s promo code will get you the guarantee. The only factors that can affect the amount are when and where you sign up.
Since referring new drivers to Uber rewards both drivers (i.e. Ridester gets a bonus for referring people that click the link below), if you know a driver, you should 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.
You can apply an Uber referral bonus two ways; either click the referral link or manually apply the code during the signup process.
1. Clicking the Referral Link
Once clicked, the code will be automatically applied to your account and you will be eligible for the driver guarantee.
The landing page will display the guaranteed amount, and provide you with the terms and conditions associated with this promotion. This will include how many trips you need to take in what timeframe to be eligible.
Proceed with the signup process at this point by creating an account and entering the rest of the information to complete the registration process.
Tip: Check out our Guide To Becoming An Uber Driver for a step-by-step tutorial of the driver application process and Uber driver requirements)
2. Manually Applying 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 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.
Although the invite code box is labeled “optional”, if you do not insert it before moving on to the next steps, you’ll have to retroactively claim a bonus. This takes time and is a fairly frustrating process. I highly suggest taking the time to ensure you’ve properly completed this step before moving on.
Once the code is entered, click “Next” and eligible drivers will see the code applied.
A Quick Clarification
After doing a fair amount of research for this article, I noticed that quite a few people on social media, forums, and blogs were making bold claims about their referral codes. I want to clear a few things up:
- Sign-on bonuses are not worth $5,000, $2,000, or near that. While Uber used to offer amounts this large, they don’t anymore.
- 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 the wrong information in order to get you to use their code. Ridester won’t.
- Your Uber driver promo code and guarantee promotion will depend on which city you drive in. Please check the signup page or with your local Uber team if you have questions about this amount.
- If you don’t pass the background check, you won’t be eligible to drive, therefore disqualifying you for the bonus.
If you still have questions about your sign-on bonus, check with Uber via the Help Portal within the partner hub or driver app. They will have the most accurate and updated information for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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.
Don’t forget about the required number of trips you need to drive in the allotted time. If you fail to drive the required number, you won’t be eligible for the guarantee.
For example, 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.
Do I get the Uber Guarantee in Addition to What I Earned Driving for Uber?
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 guaranteed 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 promised 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 made less than the guaranteed amount on those 20 trips, you won’t get 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.
Are Uber driver guarantee payouts the same for both new and referring drivers?
Most of the time, the payouts are the same for both drivers involved. For example, if the promotion for San Diego was $500, both referring and new drivers would both receive a $500 bonus. However, this just depends on the time and place the promotion was claimed.
Some cities offer the new driver nothing at all, which in my opinion is very unfair. If this happens to you, let us know and we’ll look into the issue more.
Changes To The Program
But why were the bonus amounts so high to begin with?
Uber had to give away such large bonuses in their early days because:
- Many people had still never heard of Uber. Uber’s growth strategy was through referrals. If no-one knew Uber, then how could drivers take advantage of a referral promotion?
- 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.
What better way to get the word out to a lot of people than to offer a ton of money to each partner who signs up?
Long story short… 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 a large driver referral for new signups.
As a result, an Uber sign up bonus has shifted from an easy cash handout to an Uber driver guarantee.
In 2018, it isn’t just necessary for Uber to hand out such a large cash bonus, it’s also just not possible for them to continue to do so.
Uber has been aggressive in their spending, and it’s starting to show. They’ve been losing money to the tune of more than $1 billion a year. Hence, they need to cut back, it’s a matter of life or death. In 2016 they reported a loss of $2.8 billion, and this jumped up by 61% to $4.5 billion in 2017!
Those huge losses may help to explain why they have become “wiser” with their spending, changing the policy of their referral scheme in the past few years.
Making The Shift
Today, Uber is handling their referral scheme more responsibly – gone are the days where new applicants could take advantage of Uber’s sign up bonus, get some extra cash, and then bail on the platform.
Now, they only pay bonuses after a driver has shown a real commitment to sticking around.
Also, they don’t give bonuses out anymore. Bonuses are now guarantees as I said earlier. 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.
What This Means for Drivers
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 when they were starting out.
It’s also a more financially responsible strategy for reducing their chances of going bankrupt. You might not care if they disappear, as it’s likely a new company will take their place, but all the time you’ve spent investing in the Uber ecosystem will have gone to waste, e.g. your carefully curated driver rating.
In hindsight, it’s likely that the same people who signed up to drive for a $1,500 bonus would just as likely have 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 show up for a $1,500 bonus over 100 trips.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Even though the Uber bonuses for new drivers aren’t what they used to be, they are still worth claiming.
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
It’s easy to assume that the bigger the city, the higher the guarantee. For instance, cities such as New York, Los Angeles & Chicago must be where new drivers are getting all the best deals, right?
But this isn’t the case. There was a time where you could get a higher cash Uber driver bonus if you drove in a larger city, but as you’ll find out in the next section, this was only during a critical time of the company’s expansion.
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 numbers are for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily up-to-date.
Here’s some additional examples:
|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|
Now let’s look at a quick example in the past.
In Charleston, SC, Uber was offering a $200 guarantee to drivers who completed 30 trips within 30 days. That came to a guaranteed $6.67 per trip.
In this example, if a driver earned $5.00 on average per trip, Uber will have subsidized that and handed over another $1.67 per trip. However, if the driver earned an average of $7.00 per trip, Uber will pay nothing in addition to that.
In other words, Uber guaranteed the drivers of Charleston, that they will make at least $6.67 on their first 30 trips.
If a driver made more than that, then they’ll get no bonus at all. It’s only if he made less, that he will get a bonus.
How Uber Determine How Large Their Guarantee Will Be
Generally, the amount of Uber’s guarantee is determined by two things:
- How large the driver shortage is in a particular city.
- The average earnings per-trip in each city.
This is to make sure passenger demand doesn’t lead to a driver shortage, causing prices for passengers to increase due to SURGE pricing.
The more drivers needed, the higher the sign-up bonus. Or at least it did in the past, now it’s the more drivers needed, the higher the guarantee.
(As mentioned earlier, this was why signing up in a bigger city in the past could have led to higher bonuses. During Uber’s early growth, their expansion strategy was to target the large cities such as San Francisco, New York & Chicago. Once they won over those cities, expansion elsewhere would be easier. Therefore, they were desperate to make sure there was an adequate supply of drivers so that riders got a great first impression of their app, and start the viral engine that led to their growth.)
So that they don’t lose money, Uber offers driver guarantees that are as close as possible to what a driver would normally earn. The closer they come to actual earnings, the less exposure they have when it comes to paying out. One way of understanding the driver guarantee rates is to look at how much you’re guaranteed per trip, and compare it to what your average earnings per trip would be.
How much you are guaranteed per trip is closely tied to the time and distance rates for that city. Also, how they structure the guarantee tells you how severe the driver shortage in that city is. By looking at the total guarantee and the number of trips offered, you can work a few things out.
For instance, in Atlanta they’re only offering the guarantee for 20 trips and the total earnings guaranteed are only $125. This tells you that they don’t have much of a driver shortage in Atlanta and they are looking to maintain their current level of drivers.
In a market like Silicon Valley, however, with guarantees over 100 trips, it indicates they’re experiencing a more severe driver shortage, and are looking for drivers who stay driving for Uber.
Also, by offering the guarantee over a larger number of trips, they can advertise a higher total guarantee, which pulls in more new drivers.
For example, in Silicon Valley they can advertise, ‘Guaranteed Earnings of $1,025 if You Complete 100 Trips in Your First 30 Days’, which sounds a lot better 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 is higher in Silicon Valley, but what it averages out to on a per-trip basis is in keeping with what drivers earn in that market.
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’. Even though this is an unrealistic example, the point still stands, Uber lose nothing in making that offer.
It all comes to the same price per trip.
Don’t Forget Uber’s Commission!
Here’s something that trips most new drivers up.
Looking at the data, 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.
For instance, the per-trip guarantee in Dallas is $7.00. Multiply that by 1.8 and you get $12.60 per hour.
- Car/Lease Payments
- Tolls, License, Permit Fees
- Gas and Fuel
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Carwashes, and More…
After Uber’s commission is taken out, the average Dallas driver receives about $9.45 per hour, and that’s not counting gas and car expenses. Atlanta drivers average 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.
… no matter how little it may seem like you make, claiming this promotion is still worth doing.
It lowers your risk and can provide a cushion when budgeting their first few weeks as a driver.
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 few easy ways to take your earnings to the next level.
You may ask, with guarantees essentially covering new drivers for what they would have already earned on average anyway, what are the benefits of using an invite code?
For one, they do act as a guaranteed minimum, ensuring that you will earn no less than the stated amount per trip.
Fares are variable, so it’s possible that you might not earn as much as they are guaranteeing, especially before you learn where you can pick up profitable fares in your city. However, the guarantee ensures you have a minimum amount coming in while you’re still learning the ropes with Uber.
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.
In effect, you can turn your guarantee into a real bonus!
Let’s show you how.
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 normal 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 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.
To put it another way, why would you do more work for the same amount of money? Remember that not only do long fares take up your time, meaning you can’t pick up other fares, but they also cost you in fuel. It’s best to do as many short trips as possible during your guaranteed income quota, meaning you get as much of a bonus as possible.
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, as people will be using Uber to get to work downtown. These are the sort of things you can do increase your chances of getting longer trips. Useful to note for the future.
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 need to hang out in different places. Here are a few actionable ideas:
- Early in the mornings, instead of waiting near a major hotel, wait in a residential area that’s close to where people work. The chances are you’ll get trips from people who are possibly late, and are in a rush, to the area where they work which is close by.
- If you’re a night owl, then try positioning yourself in a bar area near a college on weekend nights. The closer the bars, the better. Students will take an Uber from campus to the bars early in the evening, and then back to campus later on.
- Do the opposite of the airport tip suggested earlier and position yourself at a hotel near an airport. Pick a time when most outsiders and tourists leave your city, and you’re likely to get a few short trips from the hotel to the airport. Remember people stay in airport hotels because of the convenience of being able to travel to the airport quickly.
These are just some ideas you can run with to get the shortest trips possible during your bonus period. If you think creatively and apply the same principles to your city you’ll be able to come up with a few more ideas of your own, so that your guarantee turns into a bonus!
Once you’ve claimed your Uber driver referral, you’re unfortunately no longer eligible for another easy sign-up bonus. BUT.. there are still additional promotions you can claim. These come in the form of weekly bonus incentives called Quest and Boost.
You can view these two, and other current Uber promotions, by clicking the “Earnings” tab at the bottom of the driver app.
Uber Quest is a driver incentive promotion that rewards drivers for completing a set number of trips within a certain timeframe. Usually, this timeframe is a week or weekend.
You can think of these as on-going new driver bonuses, just at random and on a weekly basis. For example, a Quest promotion might pay $75 if you drive 20 trips between the dates of May 15-18.
The Partner app will track your progress as you drive, so you’ll know exactly how many more trips you need to redeem the bonus. It’s a great way to keep drivers on the road.
Watch the video below for a breakdown of everything you need to know about Uber Quest incentives.
Uber Boost is another way for existing drivers to earn more money.
This promotion is similar to SURGE pricing, paying drivers a rate that is higher than a normal fare for trips within a Boost zone. These incentives depend on where and when a driver initiates a pickup.
Unlike a surge zone, Boost zones are set in advance and can be utilized for a much longer time. The app will lay out when and where these zones will appear, giving drivers plenty of advance warning to plan ahead.
Watch the video below for a breakdown of everything you need to know about Boost.
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!