One of the main appeals of driving for Lyft is that you are free to drive whenever you want—and free to accept or decline any ride request.
But Lyft has to balance driver flexibility with customer experience. Sometimes drivers decline rides so freely that passenger wait times increase.
That’s why Lyft created the Lyft Rewards program: To incentivize drivers to accept more requests by offering perks like cash back on gas, discounts on services like TurboTax, and free roadside assistance.
Drivers earn rewards points by driving during busy times, points unlock the Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Elite tiers, and each tier offers unique benefits.
But the real question is: Are the benefits worth it? Is it worth accepting 90%+ of rides and driving during peak hours to get a few extra perks?
What you need to know
- Lyft drivers can unlock benefits with the Lyft rewards program
- Reach Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Elite by earning points during busy hours
- You also need to maintain a high driving score. That can mean an acceptance rating over 90%
- The best rewards are cash back on gas up to 7%, extra destination filters, and Priority Mode
- Many drivers will find it difficult to reach and maintain Platinum or Elite
- For drivers in upfront fare markets, you can earn more by being selective about rides
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- How the Lyft rewards program works
- Current benefits and requirements of each tier
- Which Lyft rewards benefits are the best?
- Do drivers like Lyft rewards program? See driver reactions
- Is it worth it reaching Gold, Platinum, or Elite?
How the Lyft rewards program works
Lyft rewards is a benefit program that unlocks perks as you reach each new rewards tier.
There are four tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Elite. You earn 1 point for every $1 of eligible earnings when you drive during busy hours.
You must also maintain a minimum driver rating and driving score to qualify.
To see your current tier and rewards, go to Menu > Feedback and Rewards > Lyft Rewards.
The current benefits of Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Elite
Tier rewards may vary from city to city. Check your Lyft driver app for the rewards in your area.
|Upside gas cash back
|Up to 25¢
|Up to 27¢
|Up to 32¢
|Up to 32¢
|Lyft Direct gas cash back
|All State Roadside Assistance
|Save on TurboTax
|Up to 25% off
|Up to 25% off
|Up to 50% off
|Up to 50% off
|Access to Priority Mode
|Premium airport pickups
|Early access to scheduled rides
Requirements to reach each tier
Note: Points requirements vary from city to city.
|Points (in Los Angeles)
Qualifying period: Earn points for a month, new tiers last for a month
Points you earn during the current month help to unlock tiers for the next month, and points reset at the beginning of each month.
Rewards tier benefits begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day.
When you reach a tier, you will immediately unlock those benefits for the current period and the next period.
For example, if you reach Platinum on May 15th, you will immediately get Platinum benefits and unlock Platinum rewards for the following month, June.
Keep in mind that you will lose your tier status if your driving score or driver rating drops below the requirement.
For many, the challenge isn’t earning points. It’s maintaining the driving score requirement.
About eligible earnings: You don’t get points for all earnings
During busy hours, you earn 1 point for every $1 on base fares, time and distance earnings, and tips up to $15.
You don’t earn points from cancel fees, bonuses like Streaks & Challenges, other fees, and rides you do during non-busy hours.
Rides must take place during “busy hours” to count
Rides must take place during designated ‘busy hours’ to count towards Lyft rewards.
To see busy hours, go to: Feedback and Rewards > Lyft Rewards > Scroll to “Learn More” at the bottom to reach a page that lists the current busy hours.
Eligible Busy hours depend on your market and the current week. Lyft occasionally adjusts busy hours, so check the app regularly for the latest hours.
Driving score requirements
Your driving score is a metric tracked in the Lyft app that combines your acceptance rate, cancel rate, and other service quality factors.
To qualify for Lyft rewards, you’ll need a 60% driving score for Silver and 80% for Gold, Platinum, and Elite. View your current driving score by going to Menu > Feedback and Rewards > Your feedback.
And to keep your current rewards tier, you have to maintain a driving score of 55% or higher for Silver and 75% or higher for Gold, Platinum, and Elite.
Lyft does not say precisely how the driving score is calculated, or how much weight each metric is given.
Driver experiences suggest that the acceptance rate is among the most important factors. A low acceptance rate will quickly drop your driving score; raising it above the goal should significantly increase it.
Acceptance rate: The most significant barrier to a high driving score
It will be easy for most drivers to meet the driving score standards for service flags, safety flags, and cancel rates.
But maintaining a high acceptance rate is much more difficult, especially in markets with upfront fares.
With a low acceptance rate, your driving score will likely not be high enough to meet the requirements for higher tiers.
Lyft sets the acceptance rate goal at 90–95%. When you have full upfront details—the estimated payout and passenger destination—chances are your acceptance rate will be much lower than 90%.
How many rides do you need to do to reach each tier?
Based on earnings examples, you can expect to earn about $6 per ride in eligible earnings—that means ride earnings and tips up to $15.
To get 380 points for Gold, you would need to do around 63 rides in a month—during busy hours. That’s around 16 busy-hour rides per week.
To get 1130 points for Platinum, you would need to give around 188 rides per month during busy hours, or 47 busy-hour rides per week.
47 rides per week during busy hours is a tough goal for most drivers. It means targeting hours you may not ordinarily drive, and driving nearly every day.
Which Lyft rewards benefits are the best?
Many of the benefits are minor discounts or free memberships that anyone can get.
But a few benefits can improve your driving experience and increase your earnings.
Cash back on gas with Lyft Direct and Upside
If you reach Platinum, you can get up to 10% cash back on gas purchases when you pay with the Lyft Direct card and up to 32 cents per gallon cash back on Upside.
You can stack the Upside and Lyft Direct cash back in one transaction, which maxes out your rewards.
Full-time drivers can spend hundreds on gas every week, so 10% plus 32 cents per gallon is a significant reward.
Extra destination filters
Destination filters can help you get a paid ride home, reposition yourself in a better area, or avoid a bad area.
But by default, you only get 1 per day. Getting 3 filters per day with Gold and 4 filters per day with Platinum can give you a lot more control over your rides, which is a profitable perk and a boost.
Priority Mode: Get rides before other drivers
Drives who reach Platinum (or Gold in some markets) can access Priority Mode. While you are in Priority Mode, you will get ride requests before other drivers.
The catch is that the pay per ride is lower in Priority Mode, but the increase in ride volume can make up for the lower pay. Priority Mode is helpful when it’s slow, or when you need to earn a Streak or Challenge.
Phone support for Gold, Platinum, and Elite drivers
Drivers in the Gold, Platinum, and Elite tiers can call a unique phone support line for drivers. It’s a perk that other Lyft drivers don’t enjoy—usually, customers and drivers can’t call Lyft.
Without phone support, your only way to get help is with the chat system. Most drivers can get by with the chat system, but you can’t have a quick back-and-forth conversation via chat, and many drivers are frustrated by slow response times.
After you reach Gold or higher, a new phone support option will appear in the Support and Safety section of the app.
Is the phone support any better than typical support? Some drivers say that phone support can help get quicker answers.
But others say that you’ll get the same level of service over the phone as you would get from the live chat.
“I tried this feature today, spoke to a Lyft agent over the phone for the first time ever! Assistance was actually A+.”
“I gave up contacting support after having Platinum live support. It became painfully clear to me that support could not or would not do anything other than regurgitate whatever their screen said.”
Do you get better rides when you reach a higher tier?
Gold and Platinum drivers don’t necessarily get better rides than other drivers. Rewards tiers don’t give you priority access to higher-paying rides.
You won’t get more Streaks and Challenges just because you reached Gold or Platinum.
Does a good driving score help earn you more?
A high driving score by itself does not directly lead to increased earnings. A high score doesn’t unlock better rides, rates, or bonuses.
But a high driving score can help you unlock the benefits of Gold and Platinum, which can be profitable for some drivers.
Do drivers like Lyft Rewards? See driver reactions
Some drivers enjoy the rewards, but others think that the rewards aren’t jumping through all of the hoops that Lyft requires.
“I stay platinum for the 4 destination filters a day”
“You can’t really argue with the 7% gas cashback and combined getupside gas discounts”
“The only thing worth it is the cash back and I get it on any purchases that are at a gas station.”
“Keeping up with platinum literally burns me out”
“I can’t imagine driving full time and having to deal with such a flawed system”
“Just focus on earning money instead of doing what Lyft wants”
“You’re much better off just looking out for yourself and cherry picking”
“I’ve earned over $250 this week and have 0 points. Not worth it!”
“I lost Platinum when upfront pricing started”
Is it worth it reaching Gold or Platinum?
For most drivers, the main benefit of reaching Gold and Platinum is cash back on gas and extra destination filters. Those have a big impact on your earnings and your daily quality of life.
But do those benefits make up for the loss of control? After all, you will need an acceptance rate of at least 90% or more to reach the driving score requirement.
Upfront pricing makes all the difference
The upfront pricing update changed everything. Before upfront pricing, it was easier to maintain a high acceptance rate and easier to hit Gold or Platinum.
Since you never knew what you would get, it made sense to accept most rides. But now with upfront pricing, you have full information about the rides you accept. You can see the payout, the destination, the total mileage, and time.
When you can easily calculate earnings per mile and per hour, why would you accept rides that don’t meet your goals just for a few extra dollars back on gas or a few Priority Mode rides each day?
In upfront markets, you are probably better off being selective about rides and ignoring your acceptance rate.
Declining low-paying rides is usually more profitable than maxing out your cash back on gas.
But if you’re in a non-upfront pricing market, the cash back and other privileges may be worth it.
Ultimately, you will have to experiment in your area to see if the higher tiers are worth it. Try reaching Gold or Platinum for a month and see if your earnings increase or if you’re more satisfied with your working conditions.