Bonuses can be very lucrative for Lyft drivers. With good bonuses, you can clear $1,000 per week!
But $1k in a week isn’t something that every driver will achieve every week. Especially when you don’t get any bonus offers and you’re not sure how to get more.
It’s important to know how all of the bonuses work so that when an opportunity comes your way, you can earn bonuses in the most efficient way possible.
What you need to know
- New drivers can get a sign-up bonus or earnings guarantee. Use our referral link
- Drivers can earn more with Streaks, Challenges, Bonus zones, Bonus hours, and more
- Bonuses are offered to drivers based on predicted supply and demand
- If you aren’t getting any bonuses, there isn’t much you can do but wait until new offers come in
- If Lyft didn’t pay your bonus, contact driver support to ask for a review
- Sign-up bonuses for new drivers
- Ride Challenges
- Streak Bonus
- Bonus Zones
- Bonus Hour
- Turbo Bonus
- Existing drivers: Earnings guarantees and cash bonuses
- Driver referral bonus
- Not getting bonuses? Why, and how to get more
- Lyft didn’t pay your bonus? What to do
See the power of bonuses on Lyft
Check out the photo below to see the power of bonuses on Lyft. Without bonuses, the 3 rides this driver did would have paid $22.56. With bonuses, the overall payouts nearly tripled to $60.81.
That’s the power of bonuses. Now, let’s dig into the details of each one that you can earn.
Sign-up bonuses for new Lyft drivers
Lyft offers several different sign-up bonuses for new Lyft drivers: Earnings guarantees, a cash bonus, and the multi-tier bonus.
To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you must sign up with a promo code, click a referral link, or click an ad that promises a bonus.
For example, you can click our referral link to see which signup bonus is available right now in your area.
Bonuses vary depending on your location, and Lyft frequently changes promotions. There isn’t a way to choose which bonus you will get.
If you have a friend who is a Lyft driver, it’s a good idea to use their promo code when you apply. You will get a new-driver promotion and your friend will get a referral bonus too.
Cash bonus for completing rides — For new drivers
One common bonus for new drivers is a bonus for completing rides within 30 days of your driver account activation.
For example, “Get a $700 bonus when you give 200 rides in your first 30 days.”
To qualify, you must enter a valid promo code on your application. You can manually add a code, or one might be automatically entered into the application if you followed a referral link or an ad.
A bonus will be automatically added to your earnings after completing the required rides.
Earnings guarantees — For new drivers
Earnings guarantees are a promotion that guarantees you will earn at least a minimum amount after completing rides.
If your ride earnings are less than the guarantee, Lyft will give you a bonus to match the guarantee.
For example, “Earn at least $135 when you give 10 rides”
If you give 10 rides and your ride earnings are only $100, Lyft will pay a $35 bonus so that your earnings meet the $135 guarantee.
Note that earnings guarantees are NOT just a cash bonus in the amount of the guarantee.
For example, some new drivers might see ‘Earn $2000 guaranteed” and think they are getting a $200o bonus.
You only get a bonus if you earn less than the guarantee. There is no bonus if you earn more than the guarantee from your ride earnings!
Earnings that don’t count toward the guarantee are tips, tolls, cancellation fees, airport fees, any Lyft fees, and bonuses. Bonus zone earnings ARE included.
Earnings Guarantee strategies: Your goal is to complete the required number of rides in the fewest miles possible.
You want to target the shortest, fastest rides when you’re on a guarantee.
Short, lower-paying rides will help you quickly hit the guarantee and improve your chances of getting a big bonus.
The multi-tier bonus is a new-driver promotion that pays bonuses for completing rides during a set time period.
The bonuses are separated into tiers, each with a different ride requirement and a different bonus. After you complete the requirement for one tier, you can earn the next tier by completing more rides.
For example, a Multi-Tier bonus that is up to $400
- Give 10 rides for an extra $50
- Give a total of 40 rides for an extra $100 bonus ($150 total)
- Give a total of 100 rides for an extra $250 bonus ($400 total)
Like other new-driver bonuses, you must sign up using a promo code to qualify for the multi-tier bonus.
How to see which promotions and bonuses are available to you
You can find all of the currently available bonus promotions by viewing your full schedule.
To find your schedule, go to the home screen of the Lyft Driver app and swipe up on the overlay near bottom of the screen. Tap on ‘see full schedule’ to see which promotions are available this week.
A ride challenge is a bonus for completing multiple rides during a period of time.
For example: “Complete 20 rides between Monday 5 am and Friday 6 am to earn an extra $80”
Lyft offers challenges on the home screen of the driver app, and in the “full schedule” on the bottom of the home screen overlay page.
Ride challenges can have tiers, offering up to 5 levels of bonuses. The more tiers you complete, the more bonuses you’ll earn.
For example, the tiered ride challenge below has 3 levels: 102 rides for $264, 20 rides for an extra $104, then 31 rides for an extra $241.
In some areas, you can select between several different challenge options. After you pick one challenge, the other options disappear.
In the example below, you can choose between three challenges and each challenge has two tiers of bonuses.
For the $70/85 ride challenge, you would first get a $30 bonus after 55 rides, then a $40 bonus after the next 30 rides.
After you complete a challenge, the bonus will show up in your earnings as a “Ride Challenge.”
Another challenge rule to be aware of is that Ride Challenge earnings don’t count toward Earnings Guarantees. That’s good news if you’re on a guarantee and manage to stack a Challenge on top of it.
Ride challenge strategies: Target shorter rides to quickly complete the challenge without driving too many miles.
The streak bonus
Streaks are a bonus for completing back-to-back rides that begin in a specified time period.
To earn a Streak, you must accept every ride request and complete each ride without cancelling.
Example of a streak: “$16 streak, 3 rides in a row, 10 AM–1 PM.” That means you will get a $16 bonus if you complete 3 rides in a row, with the first ride beginning during the 10 AM–1 PM hour.
A streak begins when you accept a ride during the streak time period, and the bonus is added to your earnings when you complete the required number of rides.
A Streak ends without a bonus if you reject a ride request, cancel a ride, or sign out of the app.
Streak zones are a type of streak that only begin if you are inside a designated area on the map.
Below, this driver earned over $670 from Streaks alone. Streaks made up over 25% of their earnings for the week. If you’re lucky enough to get Streak offers, they can be very lucrative.
Streak strategies: Target areas with short, quick rides to complete a Streak in the shortest amount of time. Tourist areas, bar areas, and universities may offer streak-friendly rides.
A Bonus Zone gives you a bonus for driving into a busy area on the map. The bonus will apply to your next ride—even if you leave the zone.
Bonus Zones on Lyft are similar to Uber’s ‘sticky surge,’ which works in the same way.
You can find Bonus Zones on the driver app map, indicated by a purple cloud with the bonus amount listed inside.
Bonus Zones update based on real-time supply and demand. If you’re far from a bonus zone, you might find that it is gone by the time you enter it.
What’s the highest Bonus Zone?
The highest Bonus Zone we’ve seen was for $50. Lyft doesn’t say that there is a maximum bonus zone, but they rarely go above $20
Bonus Zone strategies: Don’t chase a Bonus Zone unless you are very close to it. Zones update in real time, so the bonus can already be gone by the time you get to a zone.
Bonus Hour offers a bonus for every ride that you complete during the hour. Unlike Streaks, you can decline rides or go offline and still be eligible for the bonus.
It’s similar to Peak Pay on DoorDash, which also offers a flat bonus for each delivery during a time period.
In the example below, drivers can get a $5 bonus for every ride during the 10–11pm hour.
The Turbo bonus
Turbo is a bonus multiplier the adds 10–40% to your ride earnings when Turbo is live. The bonuses apply to rides in all areas of the map—you don’t have to be in a specific area to earn the bonus.
Lyft will send you a notification or email if you qualify for Turbo, or you can check the weekly schedule to see if Turbo is available.
The bonus is included in the upfront payout estimate, and you can see how exactly how much the Turbo was in the ride receipt after a ride is over.
Note that the Turbo multiplier is only added to base ride earnings, and does not apply to taxes, tolls, and tips.
Earnings guarantees & cash bonuses for existing drivers
Lyft sometimes offers guaranteed earnings promotions and cash bonuses to existing drivers.
For guaranteed earnings promotions, the rules are the same as guaranteed earnings promotions for new drivers: If your ride earnings are less than the earnings guarantee, you will get a bonus to match the guarantee.
There’s nothing you can directly do to trigger this offer from Lyft. Typically they are sent to drivers who haven’t driven for a while.
The driver below had a $785 earnings guarantee. Their ride earnings were only $390.44, so Lyft paid a bonus of $394.56 to match the guarantee. Nice one!
Lyft might also offer a cash bonus for existing drivers, usually when a driver hasn’t done a ride in awhile—usually months.
Below, I was offered a $1000 bonus to give 120 rides over the course of a month. I hadn’t driven for Lyft in a long time when I got this offer.
Driver referral bonus: Get paid to refer a new driver to Lyft
You can earn a bonus for referring new drivers to the Lyft app. Typically the referral bonus is a cash bonus you receive after your referral has completed a required number of rides.
For example, “Refer a new or former driver and get up to $800. You’ll get the bonus when they give 180 rides in 30 days.”
Often, referral bonuses are double sided. That means that both drivers receive a promotion. Usually, the referred driver gets an earnings guarantee or bonus, and the referring driver gets a cash bonus.
Referral bonus rules: Your referral must sign up with your invite code or invite link.
Express Drive applicants aren’t eligible for a bonus, but you may still earn a bonus for referring them.
You’ll be notified when your referred applicant completes the requirements. The bonus usually appears immediately but can take 1–2 pay cycles.
How to refer a driver
There are two main ways to share your referral code: The Refer a Driver feature in the app, or by giving someone your promo code.
To find and share your referral code: Head to Menu > More Ways to Earn > Refer a Driver
Use the Share button to send your referral link in a text message, email, or on social media.
Not getting bonus offers? Here’s why
Lyft uses bonuses to motivate drivers to get on the road. So if you’re getting a lot of bonus offers, you can assume that Lyft needs for more drivers to meet the expected ride demand.
And if you aren’t getting any bonuses, it’s a signal that Lyft doesn’t need more drivers on the road or wants to incentivize different drivers to drive.
Many drivers speculate that bonuses are targeted at newer drivers or drivers who haven’t driven in a while. If you’re a full-time driver, you might see your bonuses dry up compared to your early days of driving.
How can you get more bonuses? Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change the number of bonus offers you get.
Make sure to keep all notifications active for Lyft: App, text, and email. Lyft usually sends out notifications when bonuses are available.
If you take a break from Lyft, you might see your bonuses start to reappear. But even that tactic won’t work 100% of the time because Lyft constantly changes how they offer bonuses.
What to do if Lyft doesn’t pay a bonus
Typically the Lyft bonus system is fully automated and doesn’t require you to take any action to get your bonuses.
But now and then, you might not get the bonus you think you deserve. If Lyft doesn’t pay one of your bonuses, you can contact Lyft to report the missing earnings.
Another good idea is to take a screenshot of any important guarantee or promotion that you’re offered, just in case you’ll need it to prove your case later on.
It can be frustrating to deal with Lyft support, but if you keep up the effort you will typically get any bonuses you’re owed.
More help for Lyft drivers