As a driver for apps like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Amazon Flex, gas is one of your most significant expenses.
The gig companies don’t directly compensate drivers for gas. As a 1099 contractor, you are responsible for your own gas expenses.
But the gig apps know how that gas is at the top of mind for every driver, so most offer ways for driver to get cash back on gas, or other rewards.
Uber, DoorDash, Amazon Flex, and Lyft have debit card programs offering cash back on gas purchases.
Cash back from the debit cards ranges from 1–6%. Not a huge number, but it can add up. And the debit cards have other benefits like free instant cashouts for your pay.
Read on to learn about the gas rewards programs for drivers on the top rideshare and delivery apps.
Cash back on gas: Comparing rewards programs
The debit cards offered by the apps below have cash back rewards for gas purchases and other benefits.
|Program Name||Gas Savings|
|Uber Debit Card||3% cash back (Exxon & Mobil)|
|Amazon Flex Debit Card||Standard 2–6% cash back, 4–12% for a limited time|
|DoorDash DasherDirect||2% cash back|
|Lyft Direct||1% base cash back, up to 4–5%|
|Upside||Up to 25¢/gal cash back|
Do Uber, Lyft, DoorDash etc Compensate Drivers for Gas?
No. None of the gig apps directly compensate drivers for gas expenses. As a 1099 independent contractor, you must pay for your own fuel.
However, you can offset the cost of gas with big tax savings from the standard mileage deduction.
The standard mileage deduction rate for 2023 is 65.5¢ per mile, which will significantly reduce the taxable income for most drivers. More tax tips for drivers here.
Temporary gas surcharges paid to drivers
- Uber had a 45 to 55¢ gas surcharge, but they eliminated it in January 2023
- Instacart temporarily added a 40¢ surcharge, but it is no longer available
- DoorDash briefly added a weekly gas bonus from $5–$15, but it is no longer available
Amazon Flex has not announced any fuel assistance.
Do any apps give drivers gas rebates or gift cards?
No, none of the rideshare or delivery apps currently pay drivers any direct rebate or gift card for gas costs.
Amazon Flex card: 2–6% back on gas, with bonus tiers of 4–12%
The Amazon Flex Debit card gives you 2–6% cash back on gas and will double your cash back depending on your Flex Reward Level.
Flex drivers accumulate rewards points by doing deliveries. Once you reach rewards Level 2, you will get 2% cash back on gas. Level 3 gives you 4% back, and Level 4 gives you 6% back.
Currently, a bonus promotion will double your cash back reward. The maximum cash back limit is $500 per month.
The Flex Debit card is a checking account with Green Dot bank. Your Flex earnings will be directly deposited into the account, and you can use it like any other debit card.
Other Amazon Flex Card features
- 2% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Purchases
- 1% back on all purchases
- Mobile banking via GoBank
Related: What it’s Like to Drive for Amazon Flex
Uber Debit Card: 3% cash back at Exxon and Mobil
The Uber Debit Card offers 3% cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations, up to $200 per month. It is for Uber and Uber Eats drivers.
The debit card gives you a checking account with GoBank that you can manage via the GoBank app. Once you link it with your Uber Driver account, your Uber earnings can be deposited into this account.
The cash back is automatically added to your checking account after you use your card at eligible retailers, but it may take up to 7 days to appear in your account.
Other features of the Uber Debit Card
- Free Instant Pay, up to 5 times per day
- 1% cash back on all purchases, up to $100 per month
- No minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees
- No overdraft fees if the overdraft is less than $100
- Cash back at Jiffy Lube and Advance Auto Parts
Related: The Highs and Lows of Uber Eats Driver Pay
DoorDash DasherDirect: 2% cash back on gas
The DasherDirect account gives you 2% cash back on all gas purchases.
When you select the DasherDirect card as your payout method, your DoorDash earnings will be automatically deposited into the account after each dash.
The DasherDirect account gives you a checking account that you can use for purchases, transfers, and bill pay. There is no minimum balance requirement and no overdraft fee.
Other DasherDirect features
- No fees to withdraw your DoorDash earnings
- Access to over 20,000 no-fee ATMs
- Fully-featured mobile banking app – Pay bills, add other direct deposits
Related: Top Data Sources Show How Much DoorDash Drivers Really Make
Lyft Direct: 1–7% cash back
Lyft Direct is a debit card that offers up to 1–6% cash back on gas, and other benefits. The default cash back for gas is 1%, but you can get more cash back by leveling up your Lyft Rewards tier.
The Lyft Direct debit card is connected to a checking account with Stride that allows you to access your Lyft earnings instantly with no fees.
Other benefits of Lyft Direct
- 4% cash back at restaurants
- 1% back on groceries, and a rotating bonus category
- 1%, 2%, 3%, 7% back on gas depending on Rewards tier
- Mobile banking with no monthly service fee
Instacart doesn’t offer any rewards programs or debit cards that allow shoppers to save on gas. If you search for “gas” in the shopper app, you will find an article that refers you to the Upside app.
Upside: A popular cash back app
Upside is one of the most popular gas savings apps. You can save up to 25 cents per gallon at participating stations.
Both Uber and Instacart refer drivers to Upside. With Uber, you can use their promo code to get extra savings on your first fill up.
You can receive the cash back via PayPal, a bank account, or a gift card.
It’s also possible to stack savings between the gig app debit cards and Upside.
Here’s how Upside works: Find participating stations in the Upside app and tap a button to ‘claim’ the offer.
Next, fill up as normal using your debit or credit card. Make sure to get your receipt. Take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the app to get credit for the purchase.
Some locations offer ‘check in,’ a feature that lets get cash back without uploading your receipt.
Once you upload your receipt or check in at the pump, you can withdraw your cash back within a few days.
How do these gig company debit accounts work?
All of the programs listed on this page offer a debit card that is connected to a checking account.
Each of the gig companies partners with different banking services like Stripe or GoBank.
So even if the card called the Uber Debit card, the bank account is actually with GoBank.
Remember, these accounts are debit, not credit!
All of the cards mentioned in this article are debit accounts. That means you’ll have to keep some money loaded in the account if you plan to make purchases.
It’s not like a credit card, where you can make purchases and pay the bill later.There needs to be money available to cover the expense or you may overdraw the account.
Most of these accounts have no overdraft fees, but only to a certain limit. So make sure not to overdraw!
Remember to keep enough funds in the account to cover future gas expenses.
Are gig app debit cards worth it?
The good: Free instant pay, cash back on gas, low or no-fee mobile banking
The bad: Potential mobile banking issues like transfer times, the hassle of juggling too many cards/accounts, and you can get better cash back with credit cards
The main benefit of all these cards is that they allow you to access your earnings instantly with no fee.
By default, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Amazon Flex all pay once each week via a free direct deposit.
But if you want to withdraw your earnings more often, you will typically have to pay a fee. For some apps, the fee is only $0.50, but for DoorDash the Fast Pay fee is $1.99. That adds up.
The cash back is another perk, but anything below 2% isn’t competitive with other credit cards.
Amazon offers the best debit account, with a maximum of 6% cash back on gas, but you have to do hundreds of deliveries to reach that level.
Uber’s 3% back is good, but it is limited to Mobil and Exxon. Those are usually more expensive than other gas stations.
Another perk of all these cards is that they offer free or cheap transfers, so you can easily send money back and forth between accounts.
The best move is to get the debit card for the app that you use most. Free instant transfers are a great perk.
Want to drive? Apply here
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