If you’ve been on the fence about driving for rideshare, you may be seriously considering it with all of the new ‘guaranteed earnings’ offered by Uber, Lyft and other companies. Senior RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea shares one driver’s story about how he signed up for Lyft, made a huge bonus ($6,000!) and what he learned during the process below.

    New driver sign-on bonuses can be a great incentive to start driving for companies like Uber and Lyft. But does this mean you have to stay on board after you’ve earned your bonus? For one driver, the answer was no!


    I recently came across a pretty interesting post from a Reddit user who showed how he earned the $5,000 Lyft bonus then decided to quit driving shortly after.

    Of course, many long-term drivers and full-time drivers may be able to earn tens of thousands of dollars driving for rideshare companies each year. This is just one driver’s take on earning Lyft’s new driver bonus but his strategy could be helpful to you if you’re looking to get started with rideshare driving and get the most bang for your buck.

    How Lyft’s Bonus Works

    Lyft offers many bonus opportunities for drivers to earn more money whether it’s offered when driving during busy rush hour times or scheduled weekly bonus opportunities. There’s also a bonus model called Ride Streaks where you can earn extra money for accepting back-to-back rides.

    However, the most enticing bonus by far is often the new driver bonus. Lyft offers what’s called an Earnings Guarantee, which means you could make a specific amount of money once you complete a certain number of trips. It doesn’t matter if the trips are short. Each trip you complete goes toward your count to help you earn the bonus. If your earnings from all your trips are less than the Earnings Guarantee amount, Lyft will cover the difference.

    Learn more about Lyft’s guarantees here: Lyft Driver:A $6000 Guarantee For 100 Rides?! THAT’S $60 PER RIDE!


    New drivers are often offered a generous Earnings Guarantee bonus to help entice them to take more rides and really get used to driving for Lyft.

    To qualify for the new driver bonus, you must:

    • Be approved to drive in an eligible region offering the promotion (there are different promotion amounts and opportunities depending on where you live)
    • Meet the ride requirements shown in the ‘Earnings’ tab on the Lyft driver app

    How One Driver Earned $5,000 From Lyft in One Week

    Let’s go back to the Reddit user. He actually earned a total of $6,100.70 within just 7 days as a new Lyft driver. How?

    lyft new driver bonus

    $6000 in one week – this driver earned over $100 an hour driving for Lyft!

    This driver signed up in the Tampa, Florida market and received a Guaranteed Earnings bonus from Lyft for $6,000. In order to earn the $6,000, he needed to complete 100 rides. Again, Lyft pays the difference to ensure you get your guaranteed earnings.

    So you can see that he earned about $698.53 for his 100 trips and also earned some other bonuses and tips. Then, Lyft paid the difference ($6000-698.53-72.45 = $5229) to give him a grand total of $6,000. The money spent on tolls is not included in qualifying drivers to earn the new sign-on bonus, and tips aren’t included toward a driver’s earnings for the bonus either.

    Tips to Help You Qualify For Your Guaranteed Earnings Bonus

    If you’re thinking about replicating this driver’s success, you may not get the same exact results, but you can definitely maximize your earnings with Lyft during the first few weeks. This particular driver shared some helpful tips to anyone looking to make their Guaranteed Earnings bonus quickly and as painlessly as possible.

    Aim For Short and Quick Trips

    When Lyft offers these kinds of bonuses, they usually require drivers to complete a high number of trips. In this case, the amount was 100 trips. In order to complete that many trips in 7 days and stay sane, it’s key to have a strategy.

    Our Tampa driver on Reddit maximized his time by opting to drive the night shift and stay near bars and college campuses where ride requests are common. Knowing that many students might not have a car but need to get around the local area, he was able to pick up a ton of short 6 to 15-minute rides.

    Remember, when trying to earn your bonus, the number of trips matters more than the length of the trip. Yes, longer trips might pay more, but since Lyft is paying the difference when it comes to your Guaranteed Earnings bonus, you don’t need to aim for 40 minute or hour-long trips.

    Doing 100 trips in 7 days works out to just over 14 rides per day. The best way to do this is to stick with short local trips and consider a high-traffic area where there can be a steady flow of riders.

    Scope Out the Bonus Opportunities For a Bit

    I found it interesting that this Lyft driver said the Earnings Guarantee bonus in his area was always changing. The week after he earned his $6,000 bonus, the offer dropped to $3,000 for the same amount of rides. That’s a huge jump.

    That said, it may be helpful to spend some time scoping out Lyft’s offers to see if and how it changes in your area. You may be able to lock in a larger bonus amount just playing it smart and jumping on the right offer at the right time.

    Try It Out and Do the Math

    The biggest benefit of earning the new driver bonus is that it helps you get the full experience of driving for Lyft. You can learn what you like, what you don’t like, where to drive, how much you can expect in tips, and so much more.

    For our friend on Reddit, continuing to drive for Lyft after earning the bonus ultimately didn’t seem like it would be worth it for him. He mentioned trip pay being on the lower side and also factored in how much it might cost to fuel and maintain his car over time. Driver expenses are going to be different for everyone, so it really depends on your unique situation and goals for your rideshare income.


    If you’re considering becoming a Lyft driver, I’d definitely say it’s worth it to consider pursuing the Guaranteed Earnings bonus. For many drivers, it’s easy money if you’re able to find short trips one after another. It’s also important to keep in mind that Lyft does offer lots of ongoing bonus opportunities as well – even though they may not be as good as that initial sign-on bonus amount.

    However, once you’re signed up and earn the bonus, you can drive as little or as much as you want, take breaks, and ultimately do what works best for you.

    Readers, have you been able to take advantage of any bonuses or guarantees from Lyft or Uber?


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    -Chonce @ RSG

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.