Uber drivers are paid weekly via direct deposit, but for many drivers, Uber’s payment system isn’t very clear or easy to understand. It’s not always perfectly clear why you were paid the amount that you got or when to expect different types of payment to come through. And when something goes wrong with your payment, it can be really frustrating to figure out what happened, why it happened, and how to prove to Uber that they owe you more money.
In this guide, my goal is to explain every aspect of Uber’s payment system for drivers so you know what to expect in your payments each week and how you can fix any problems that may arise.
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How Uber drivers get paid – The payment system
- Fares are charged to customers based on mileage and time
- Uber takes a 25% cut from each fare
- Drivers are paid weekly via direct deposit on Wednesday or Thursday
- The pay period is from Monday at 4 am to the next Monday at 4 am
- Your pay includes the sum of fares, promotions, bonuses, and reimbursements
- You receive a detailed payment statement on Tuesday, or occasionally Wednesday
- The direct deposit payment (ACH) usually clears on Thursday or Friday
- You can get paid more frequently with Uber Instant Pay, or third-party services
- Resolve payment issues by contacting Uber either through the app or going in person
How much Uber drivers get paid
This article is about the technical side of how Uber drivers get paid. I cover Uber’s payment system for drivers, and how to drivers can use and understand it. If you’re looking to see how much drivers get paid in general, read the results of my survey: How much do Uber drivers get paid?
How Uber calculates driver pay for a fare
Uber drivers are paid for each fare they give to passengers. The amount of the fare is a calculation based upon distance and time Uber takes a 25% cut from each fare (or 20% for some grandfathered-in drivers). When passenger demand is high, Uber adds Surge Pricing to the fare by multiplying the fare by the surge rate, anywhere from 0.5x and up.
For more detail on how Uber passenger fares are charged, read my article about the Uber fare estimator.
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Your weekly payment statement
You should receive a weekly payment statement for every week that you give rides or earn referral commissions. The payment statement is typically emailed on Tuesday, but I’ve seen payment statements come on Wednesday, too. The pay statement won’t come at the same time every week, so don’t start getting worried if you think your pay statement is a few hours late.
How often are Uber drivers paid? When does Uber deposit your money?
Drivers are paid weekly, typically on Wednesday or Thursday. Uber deposits your money via direct deposit (ACH). Typically you’ll get a pending transaction on Wednesday that clears by Thursday. If there is no pending payment by Thursday morning, use the steps I list below to contact Uber about your payment problem.
The different ways Uber displays your pay
Uber provides you with several different types of pay statements, each with varying levels of detail.
- Email pay statement — Displays your pay on a day-by-day basis, with one “Other” section
- In-app pay statement — Displays your total pay for the week, with all the line items listed above
- Full payment statement at partners.uber.com — Displays your pay fare-by-fare, with a section detailing other payments like bonuses and reimbursements
To see the most detailed payment statement, go to partners.uber.com. That’s where your payment will be broken down line-by-line, piece-by-piece, and fare-by-fare.
The items listed in an Uber payment statement
- Fare — How much you received from passenger fares, not including Uber’s fee or the Rider Fee
- Surge — Additional fare earnings from Surge rides
- Uber fee — A deduction of Uber’s cut
- Tolls — Reimbursements for any tolls you paid while driving
- Wait time — A small per minute payout that begins accumulating after you’ve waited for a passenger for 2 minutes
- Long pickup fee — A small payout for pickup lengths that pass a certain threshold, IE 10 minutes away or more
- Cancellation fee — A $5 payout to drivers if the rider cancels 2 minutes after making a request, or if a rider makes the driver wait for 5 minutes or more
- Rider Fee payment and deduction — You collect the Rider Fee from passengers, then Uber collects it from you
- Other — A line item for Fare corrections, the cleaning fee, and miscellaneous reimbursements
- Other Payments — A section that includes referral bonuses and guarantees/incentives/promotions
- Total Payout — How much you’re due to receive on your next direct deposit
Miscellaneous pay statement items: Tolls and “Other”
- Tolls — Listed as “Toll.” Uber will reimburse you if you pay for toll roads or bridge crossings
- Fare corrections — If Uber decides to pay you back for money they owe you, it will show up on the payment statement
- Cleaning/damage — Usually listed as “Other.” Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with this, but if a passenger causes a major mess or damages your car, you can tell Uber and get reimbursed
The “Other Payments” section: Promotions and bonuses
Promotions: Hourly guarantees and incentives
Hourly guarantees and incentives are paid out weekly. They will show up on your weekly payment statement in the”Promotions” section of the pay statement.
Uber offers a variety of hourly guarantees and incentives to get you on the road, and they go by names like Power Driver Plus, Fare Boost, and a Silver/Gold/Platinum Metal program. If you meet the terms of those programs — which is another issue entirely that requires its own article — you’ll be paid one promotional payment on your weekly statement. If you don’t get any promotional payment at the end of the week and you think you should have, you’ll need to open up a dispute with Uber.
Passenger and Driver Referral Bonuses
All Uber drivers can get paid to refer new passengers and drivers to Uber. You can find your promo code in the “Free Rides” section of the Uber app. In the driver app, find your promo code and refer new drivers in Earnings > Invites.
- Passenger referral bonuses — Uber calls these “Rider Acquisition Reward.” These are the $5 bonuses you get when a passenger enters your promo code and takes their first ride. You’re paid after a passenger enters your code AND takes their first ride. You’ll get a passenger app notification when someone enters your code, but you don’t typically get a notification when they take their first ride. These are paid in bulk weekly, so if you referred 5 passengers the Rider Acquisition Award will be $25.
- Driver referral bonuses — Uber calls these “Referral Reward.” You’ll get this payment when a new driver that you refer uses your promo code in their online application AND they complete the minimum number of rides. You will get an email notification and a driver app notification when someone successfully signs up with your code. When they complete the required number of rides, you get an email letting you know that a referral reward is on the way. On your weekly pay statement, you’ll see one “Referral Reward” payout that tallies up all of your driver referrals for the week, but the detailed pay statement at partners.uber.com will break it down person by person.
When can you expect bonus payments to come in? Passenger referral bonuses can take a week or two to come in, and because it’s harder to track when people use your code and when they took their first ride, it’s hard to know exactly when you’ll get paid. It’s also very hard to hunt down missed passenger referral payments because Uber will ask you for the referrals’ information, which you probably don’t collect when you’re just handing out promo codes. In the end, you’ll have to have faith in this system, which in my experience has left a lot to be desired. In the end, I think I’ve been paid for 80% of my passenger referrals, and I’ve let the rest go.
Driver referral notifications and payments are much more reliable than passenger referrals. The notification system works well, and I’ve always been paid on my next statement after getting a notification that my referral has completed the required number of rides.
Manage your Uber banking information at partners.uber.com
During the application process, you’ll be asked to visit the Banking tab of partners.uber.com to input your bank account number and bank routing number for direct deposits. After you’ve set up your direct deposit details there isn’t anything you need to actively do to receive your pay. Uber pays you via ACH electronic payment, and your pay should show up on your online bank statement on Wednesday or Thursday. The payment takes around one day to clear and become available for withdrawal. If you don’t see a payment show up in your account by late Thursday, something is wrong and you’ll need to contact Uber.
(Drivers used to use vault.uber.com for managing banking information, but they’ve merged the vault.uber.com features with partners.uber.com. Vault now redirects to the regular partner site.)
Inputting your banking information is something you’ll probably only do once, but if you need to update your banking info, here are two ways to get it done: Head to partners.uber.com, log in, click “banking.” You’ll be redirected to vault.uber.com. Inside the app, you’ll get linked to vault.uber.com, so you may as well go directly to vault.uber.com.
Visit partners.uber.com and click the Banking tab to edit your Bank Account Details and your National ID or business ID (EIN).
If you can’t log into partners.uber.com, you may have been deactivated. To check, try logging into the driver app or partners.uber.com. If you can’t log into those other, you’ve likely been deactivated. You’ll now need to contact with help.uber.com or in person to sort out payment issues.
Can Uber send your payment to a prepaid card?
Uber’s direct deposit requires an account number and a routing number, so the only prepaid-style accounts that can receive a direct must have those two features. For instance, the Netspend prepaid card has an account and routing number, so you can have your Uber pay directly deposited into that account.
Payment statement problems: How to dispute your pay
It would be nice if every payment from Uber was 100% correct, but experienced drivers know that mistakes do happen. You can dispute your pay with Uber with a reasonable expectation that you’ll get paid back, but expect to prove your case and expect for it to take many days or even weeks to resolve.
Expect to prove your case! Uber will ask for detailed information about any missing payment claims you make, so do your best to back up your claim with evidence. There is one major frustration with having to back up your claim, though: Uber asks for evidence, but the evidence you need is usually their information, so if you never got their information due to an error, then you don’t have evidence. It’s a bizarre circular logic that has prevented me from working out a few pay issues, but for the most part Uber is OK at resolving payment issues because they have a ton of data on their end.
Common payment problems and solutions
- Your statement is missing a trip
- The fare seems wrong for one of your trips
- Your hourly guarantee is wrong
- A referral bonus is missing
- Your total payout seems wrong
- You didn’t receive your direct deposit
Where to make your payment disputes
For an issue with an individual fare, request a fare review by finding the fare inside the app or on partners.uber.com and selecting “Fare Review.” A list of options will pop up.
The best place to begin pay disputes is either inside the driver app or on help.uber.com.
In the driver app, got to Account > Help > Report an Issue > Payments and Rewards > Payment Review Request
“Payment Review Request” is where you’ll see a list of almost all the pay issues that there are, along with forms for you to fill out to begin the dispute process.
On help.uber.com, you’ll have to log in and use the search feature or dig around until you find the right menu that contains your problem. The various different payment problems are scattered around different menus.
If you can’t find your payment issue inside the app or on help.uber.com, send Uber a message.
When all else fails, contact Uber inside the driver app begin your payment dispute. Expect to show some evidence, and expect for it to take a while to sort out.
Get your money sooner with Uber Instant Pay
You might not want to wait until the weekly payday to get your earnings, and both Uber and third party companies have stepped in to offer banking solutions that allow you to get paid whenever you want. These services add some complexity (new accounts, new cards, fees, etc.) to the way you get paid, so I only recommend these options if you really need to get your money sooner.
Uber Instant Pay
Uber Instant Pay is a partnership with a bank called GoBank to give drivers access to a debit account that allows you to access Uber earnings as they come in. Fortunately it’s not a predatory payday lending service — you pay a small flat fee to get your money. It’s still somewhat complicated for what it does, and it’s not currently in all markets. You have to apply and get approved, so if you’ve had issues with banking and credit in the past, this may not be the option for you.
With Uber Instant Pay, you can transfer your earnings to an Uber GoBank debit card whenever you want. Your payment statement notes the date, time, and amount that you deduct via instant pay and adjusts your weekly pay accordingly. There is a $0.50 fee to transfer your earnings to the Instant Pay debit card. You can add money to the GoBank debit account, use it to get cash, and use it to make online bill payments. Think of it as a separate Uber checking account that you can use just like any bank account, but with some limitations and fees.
Here’s more detail in the Uber Instant Pay terms. In my opinion, it’s a bit more complicated than normal bank accounts, and I’m not sure that it’s worth dealing with all of the rules and restrictions just to get your money right away.
Drivers: Have you ever successfully resolved a payment issue with Uber? How did you get it done?