Current Lyft Promotions for 2018: Rider and Driver Promo Guide

Header image via Lyft

Lyft is one of the fastest-growing ride-sharing services in the transportation industry. Part of this growth can be attributed to the aggressive recruiting and awesome promotions that the company has run over the past few years.

The current Lyft promotions are separated into two different categories:

If you’re a rider, you can expect to be flooded with free ride credit at signup. If you are a driver, you will be pleased to know that Lyft is looking to throw money your way when you refer new drivers and riders to the app.

For example, if you’re looking to become a Lyft driver, the company is currently paying drivers massive bonuses worth up to $2,500 in some cities.

promo car cash

Sign-on bonus for new Lyft drivers

Make $1,000 guaranteed in all cities - CLAIM THIS BONUS

Give 125 rides in your first 30 days to make $1,000 guaranteed.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get the best promotion possible. Let’s dive right in.

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Current Lyft Driver Promotions

The promotions that Lyft is offering new and existing drivers is barely short of crazy. These promotions are usually double-sided, meaning they are incredibly lucrative for both the referring and new driver.

These referral bonuses include sign-on bonuses for new drivers, and cash bonuses for each new driver or passenger that existing drivers refer to the service.

promo car cash

Sign-on bonus for new Lyft drivers

Click the button below to get started

1. New Lyft Driver Sign-on Bonus

The first current promotion for new Lyft drivers comes in the form of a sign-on bonus that is paid to the driver after completing a predetermined number of trips.

Offering these bonuses is a way for Lyft to recruit new drivers and keep enough drivers driving at all times so passengers don’t have to wait for long.

The amount of the sign-on bonus for new Lyft drivers greatly depends on what city you sign up to drive in. In the past, we’ve seen bonuses range anywhere from $10 all the way up to $1,000 in cities where a ton of new drivers are needed.

promo car cash

Sign-on bonus for new Lyft drivers

Click the button below to get started

And as we said above, the bonuses are double-sided, meaning both the new and referring driver will be paid once the requirements are met.

Bonus Requirements

New Lyft drivers have the opportunity to earn a sign-on bonus if a few requirements are met.

The referring driver must:

  • Must be an existing Lyft driver in good standing at the time the referred driver applies
  • Share their new driver referral code with the referred driver. The new driver must enter this in order for the bonus to be applied

The referred driver must:

  1. Read all the information listed on this page to see if they are eligible to drive
  2. Start their application during the new driver promotion. It is running currently, don’t worry!
  3. Fill out a New Lyft Driver Application or apply directly through the Lyft app (see below)
  4. Enter the new driver promo code RIDESHAREAPPS at time of signup. Enter this code in the “Promo Code” box when applying
  5. Become approved within 30 days of applying to drive with Lyft
  6. Complete the required number of trips as stated in the table below. No more than two rides given to the same passenger will count toward the ride requirement. For example, you can’t go pick up your friend and give him 30 rides and expect to get the bonus

New Lyft Driver Bonuses By City:

*Disclaimer: We get our data directly from the Lyft website. While we update this data as much as possible, we are limited to the bonus data they provide. If you have a question about a bonus amount, contact Lyft directly and see what the bonus is for your city.

Here’s what the Lyft team says about bonus amounts and requirements:

Bonus amounts and ride requirements may vary based on the referring driver and the region of the referred applicant. Referring drivers can view the bonus requirements for applicants they refer in their market through the driver portal or app. These requirements may be different if the referred applicant is in a different market than the referring driver.

Referred applicants may receive a communication from a referring driver with bonus requirements, however, please note that Lyft cannot control the final content of such communications and cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies that they may contain.

Once a referred applicant has started their application, Lyft will send a confirmatory email to both the referring driver and referred applicant which will contain the relevant bonus amounts, ride requirements, and time limits needed to qualify for the bonus. Please contact us for details about your application.

Official Lyft Website

2. New Lyft Driver Weekly Guarantees

New drivers in some cities are eligible for a weekly guarantee when they start driving. This means that if they don’t earn the guarantee amount on their own, Lyft will pay them the difference.

This promotion is a great way to keep drivers on the road for an extended period of time. Uber runs a similar promotion, which has seen wide acceptance among drivers since it’s inception.

Lyft 1200 guarantee

While this can be a lucrative promotion, fulfilling the requirements of this promotion is oftentimes strenuous and requires new drivers to pretty much drive full time. Drivers will sometimes have to drive for up to 50 hours, complete 50 rides, and maintain a 90% acceptance rate every week to be eligible.

If you have any type of hesitation or a doubt that you will not be able to complete these requirements, please refer to the sign-on Bonus above. The standard sign-on bonus is much easier to complete, and you will have a much higher chance of earning the bonus through that.

Bonus Requirements

In order to be eligible, new Lyft drivers must meet a few requirements:

  1. Apply and become approved to drive in a city that is offering a Weekly Guarantee promotion
  2. New drivers must apply with an advertisement for Lyft weekly guarantees. The ad will specifically outline the promotion, and while the application page looks similar to others, it is entirely different
  3. Get approved to drive within 30 days of applying
  4. Fulfill the ride, hour, and acceptance rate requirements for the week

After applying and getting approved to drive, new drivers are then eligible to earn a guaranteed amount of money during the following weeks. The number of weeks varies by city, so refer to the email you get at signup.

To be eligible for the bonus, the new driver needs to complete the following steps:

  • Maintain a 90% acceptance rate
  • Complete a predetermined number of rides
  • Complete a predetermined number of hours in driver mode

Additional terms (Directly from the Lyft website)

Please note that the following terms apply, and are subject to change:

  • Weekly guarantees are based on pre-commission ride payments and tips, and any resulting bonuses are subject to Lyft’s commission.
  • Power Driver Bonuses do not apply to the Lyft commission that is taken out of weekly guarantee bonuses.
  • Eligible drivers cannot also receive a new driver referral bonus — only one code can be applied upon applying to drive with Lyft.
  • Lyft driver eligibility and approval is determined at the sole discretion of Lyft, and is not guaranteed.
  • The duration of the application review process may vary.
  • Participation in this promotion is subject to Lyft’s terms of service.
  • This promotion runs for a limited time only and may be suspended or ended at any time in Lyft’s discretion. The amount of the guarantee varies by market and time of application and may be changed in Lyft’s discretion.

Lyft cities that have previously run this promotion

Los Angeles
New York City
Orange County
San Diego
San Francisco
Silicon Valley
Washington, D.C.

3. Average Hourly Guarantees

Another great promotion that Lyft is offering drivers is Average Hourly Guarantees; weekly guarantees that ensure drivers earn a certain amount of earnings per hour they drive.

The guarantee is simple in theory: as long as the driver meets a few requirements and doesn’t earn the predetermined amount of money per hour, Lyft will cover the cost of the rest.

If you’re thinking about driving, this program is definitely something to keep in mind!

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Earning an average hourly guarantee is easy as long as you meet a few requirements:

  • Opt-in – drivers must opt in to the program when they see an email about average hourly guarantees. This process is done weekly, and does not carry over from week to week, since guarantee hours can change depending on the week.
  • Maintain a 90% acceptance rate – this means that drivers must accept 90% of all ride requests they receive. Yep, that is 9/10 requests.
  • Fill each hour – Drivers must spend 50 minutes out of every hour in driver mode to be eligible for the guarantee. Each ride will count towards this hour, so as long as you have the driver app open and switched on, you will be good to go.

Now that you understand what it will take to earn this guarantee, it is now important to outline how the guarantee is calculated.

  1. Lyft will review the guaranteed hours at a certain amount – For example purposes, the hourly amount will be $25
  2. They will then review your eligible gross ride receipts from hours with that amount – This amount is made up of pre-commission time and distance, Prime Time earnings, and tips.
  3. Next, the average hourly gross ride receipts are calculated – This is calculated by dividing the total from Step 2 (above) by the number of eligible hours that you qualified for at the hourly guarantee amount (from step 1).
  4. Get Paid… rejoice! – If the average exceeds the guaranteed average, great! You earn that and Lyft doesn’t pay you anything. However, if the hourly average comes out to be less than the guaranteed amount, Lyft will compensate the difference! The added amount will be included on the pay statement you receive on Tuesday morning.
  5. Lyft reviews the hours for other guaranteed amounts

An example – From the Lyft website

Let’s say there are guarantee hours on Monday, Feb. 16, but John opts in later that week, on Sunday, Feb. 22. Good news for John: He’s still eligible for the guarantee as of Monday, Feb. 16 because that’s within Sunday’s preceding week — they’re in the same pay period.

John drives from 7:05-7:55 a.m., which would count as 50 minutes in driver mode for the 7-8 a.m. hour. If he had driven from 7:30-8:30 a.m., that would only count for 30 minutes of the 7-8 a.m. hour, and separately, 30 minutes of the 8-9 a.m. hour. His passenger requests a ride at 7:45 a.m., so that ride counts towards the 7-8 a.m. hour, even if the ride would have ended at 8:05 a.m. instead of 7:55 a.m. Note that Lyft Line rides can count as multiple rides if they have multiple pickups.

Pay time! John qualified for 10 guarantee hours in a week. During those 10 hours, he made a total of $200 in eligible gross ride receipts, which averages out to $20/hour. Let’s say we guaranteed John an average of $40/hour, pre-commission. After taking out Lyft’s commission (let’s say it’s 20%, for this example), we’ll bonus him an extra $16/hour — a total of $160.

In some cities, different hours are in different guarantee tiers. John’s 10 $40 guarantee hours are in the same tier, because they’re all worth the same amount. Let’s say he drove 5 other hours that had a $25/hr average guarantee — those 5 hours are in a different tier, so they’re added up separately. If John makes $150 in eligible gross ride receipts during the other 5 hours (averaging $30/hr), he wouldn’t get any additional bonus for those hours — but he’d still get the extra $160 from his 10 $40 guarantee hours.

*Average hourly guarantees are pre-commission, and any resulting bonuses are subject to Lyft’s commission. Power Driver Bonuses do not apply to guarantee bonuses. Terms apply and are subject to change.

4. Passenger Referrals

Lyft knows that referring new riders is an important part of helping their community grow, and that is why they are offering a cash bonus when Lyft drivers refer new riders to the Lyft app.

They have a program called ‘Refer Passengers and Get Rewarded’ which is a simple and easy way to earn some extra cash, growing your customer base, and helping Lyft to gain new customers as well.

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How it works

When a new passenger that a driver referred redeems their code in an eligible city, they will get a ride credit and the referring driver will get a bonus. Currently, passengers get a ride credit of up to $20 and drivers get $10 which will be added to the weekly driver deposit.

It’s good to remind passengers that their ride credits will expire after 30 days – they can see all the details in the apps ‘Payment’ section.

Drivers can see the total amount they’ve made from referrals, and bonuses in the Referral Portal section of the Lyft driver backend.

How to refer a passenger

Firstly log into the Referral Portal, click on your unique referral code and wait for the new tab to open in your browser. Once this appears you simply copy the link and share it however you see fit –  via your social media accounts is a good start.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on are all OK but just remember that Lyft won’t pay up if the referrals come through any kind of ads such as Google Adwords, Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter advertising etc.

But feel free to get creative, put it on business cards and hand them out at busy places such as concerts or clubs for example. The more creative you are, the more effective your campaign will be.

Anyone who clicks on your link will then be simply guided through the sign-up process for the app, they can also enter your code directly into their app once they have signed up, or before they request a ride, and any promo’s currently up for grabs will be made available to both you and them.

*Pro Tip – I learned the hard way… DO NOT share these codes on Reddit, other people’s blogs (in the comments) or promote them with ads on social media. My account was temporarily suspended for doing so. Make sure you promote them ethically and smart, otherwise they WILL take steps to correct your mistakes.

Some things to be aware of:

  • It is important to note that each new passenger is only allowed to make one referral in their account – so while it’s a great way of Lyft to say thank you to their customers, it’s not going to make them millionaires!
  • Also, drivers should be aware that if a passenger has already requested you as their driver they won’t be able to enter your code and therefore get the credit. It is only those passengers who haven’t requested a ride that will have the opportunity to then redeem their referral codes.
  • Make sure passengers know that their code expires after 30 days. They may be saving it for a rainy day, but if they wait too long, the credit becomes obsolete and their card will be charged.

5. New Driver Referrals

Many current Lyft drivers don’t know about the driver referral program. Existing drivers can make money by referring new drivers to Lyft. When the new driver fulfills the bonus requirements, both drivers get paid the full amount of the double-sided bonus!

Refer drivers to lyft

You can learn more about new driver referrals by visiting Lyft’s current support article.

Current Lyft Passenger Promotions

Okay, now to the passenger side of things.

As we outlined above, Lyft offers some pretty sweet bonuses for new and existing drivers, but the promotions don’t end there. New and existing passengers alike have the chance to earn tons of referral credit through a few promotions that Lyft is currently running.

1. New Users – Get up to $50 Free Account Credit

New users can get a free ride credit worth up to $50 just for signing up for Lyft.

As part of Lyft’s never-ending effort to grow their customer base, the company gives out free ride credit as an incentive to join. Lyft hopes doing so will convert new riders into loyal users, and many times this works like a charm.

promo car cash

Exclusive promotion for new Lyft riders

Use Lyft promo code: RIDERCOUPON

Get A Free Ride Credit Up To $50

You can read more about Lyft promo codes, how to claim them, and how they work here:

2. Refer New Passengers – Get Ride Credit

Lyft passengers can free ride credit for inviting their friends to try the app. Like the driver bonuses, Lyft passenger promotions are double-sided, awarding free ride credit to new passengers, as well as the existing passenger that made the referral.

give a ride

How it works:

Existing Lyft riders can share their code directly through the app by choosing “Free Rides” from the menu on the left side within the app. From there, you can share your code through email, text, or social media.

Lyft does a great job of integrating this feature into the app, and makes sharing your code an easy and seamless experience, allowing you to make the most of your referrals.

Once a passenger downloads the app and signs up with your referral code, they will see a ride credit appear in the “Payment” section of their Lyft rider app. When they take their first ride, you will see a ride credit appear in your account!

It is easy, lucrative, and a great way to earn free rides.

Please Note…

  • New riders must enter the promo code before requesting their first ride in order for the existing rider to earn credit
  • New riders receive a free ride credit just by downloading the app and entering a promo code. Nothing else is required to earn it
  • Lyft ride credits are good for a term of 30 days. After the 30 days, they expire and are worth nothing
  • Credits are not transferable to any other user or account

More on this topic here:

What’s Next?

Well, after you learn all about the current Lyft promotions, go ahead and grab a promo code from above and head on over to Lyft. We included both the rider and driver promo codes so whatever your intention, you are good to go.

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Last updated February 10, 2020


Brett HellingProfile Photo Brett Helling