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19 min read

    19 min read

    Postmates drivers are in high demand right now. Postmates says you can earn up to $27 an hour delivering food and more. It’s one of the best gig jobs out there.

    Right now, Postmates drivers are earning at minimum $20-27 an hour, depending on when and where you deliver. Add in customer tips, and you can get paid even more. You can also cash out instantly, every day you drive.

    New Lyft Driver - Earn 1500:week

    I’ll show you how to improve your efficiency so you can avoid some of the lower-paying orders that will net you less. You don’t need a car to make deliveries with Postmates. You can also do Postmates delivery by bike, car, scooter, motorcycle, or even by walking.

    Delivering with Postmates is a little different from typical delivery: Postmates drivers pick up everything from food to Best Buy orders! Below, we offer you the top Postmates driver delivery tips so you can earn more in less time.

    Postmates Driver Pay: How Much Does Postmates Pay?

    In surveys we’ve done of Postmates delivery drivers, people that work for Postmates find that they make around $20-27 an hour, depending on where they live and the tips they receive. This is due to an increase in tips and lower competition (fewer drivers out doing delivery). 

    From our experience, we found Postmates driver pay by bike came to $15/hr (more on that below). 

    Check out how much Postmates drivers are earning here: Postmates Driver Pay: Can you make $20 an hour?

     

    Kory Mann, a popular Los Angeles YouTuber, shares how she made over $1,000 in one month (less than part-time!) delivering with Postmates in the video. Her top tips?

    • Drive during lunch and dinner hours – these are considered ‘peak hours’ for Postmates orders
    • Incentives and tips make a huge difference in earnings
    • Take multiple requests! Stack requests, especially if the deliveries are close by

     

     

    Postmates Referral Guarantees By City

    Good as of 2020 only if you use a Postmates referral code

    You can find your specific city and payout here, but a few stand outs include:

    • NYC: complete 105 deliveries in 30 days and earn $850 ($8 extra per order)
    • Philadelphia: complete 65 deliveries in 30 days to earn $525 ($8 extra per order)
    • Denver: complete 85 deliveries in 30 days and earn $675 ($8 extra per order)
    • Los Angeles: complete 130 deliveries in 30 days and earn $1050 ($8 extra per order)
    • Salt Lake City: complete 60 deliveries in 30 days and earn $475 ($8 extra per order)

    These bonuses are good as of 2020, so if you’re thinking of signing up for Postmates, now is a good time to do it! You can sign up with our referral code here to get your Postmates Sign Up Bonus.

    Working for Postmates as a Bike Courier

    If you want to deliver for Postmates on a bike, we found Postmates bike couriers can make $15/hour. 

    As a biker, you’ll get a lot of short distance orders where you’re getting paid around $4 or $5 for the delivery (without blitz pricing).  I prefer the short orders since I can do them really fast, but if you’re not getting tips, it can get a little frustrating.

    If you’re trying to maximize your earnings, make sure you also consider distance to the restaurant.  You don’t want to accept orders for a restaurant that’s really far away from where you are unless it’s really slow.  Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting valuable time biking to the restaurant.

    Advantages of Doing Deliveries On Your Bike

    Sure, driving around food is a lot easier than biking around with food. However, biking has its advantages too.  Here are four advantages with biking that you can’t get from driving:

    • You get exercise – A lot of people pay to go to the gym after work. I just turn on Postmates, hop on my bike, and make some deliveries.  It’s like I’m getting paid to exercise!
    • Low expenses – The great thing about biking is that you’ll drastically reduce your overhead expenses. When you’re doing deliveries using your bike, you don’t have to worry about paying for gas or putting miles on your car.  The cost to maintain a bike for an entire year is pretty minimal.  Plus, you reduce your healthcare expenses by staying fit and healthy.
    • Don’t worry about finding parking – Anyone who has done deliveries in a car knows what a pain it is to find parking.  Restaurants tend to be located in busy areas that aren’t particularly friendly to cars.  I love being able to just bike up to the restaurant and walk right in without having to deal with parking.
    • Avoid traffic – Another great benefit! The delivery rush tends to happen around dinner time, right when people happen to be on the road.  When you’re on a bike, you can just cruise right through all of that traffic.  It’s a sweet feeling when you’re able to fly past all of those cars.

    Challenges of Delivering for Postmates on a Bike

    Of course, delivering anything on a bike isn’t always easy! Here are some of the biggest challenges:

    • Getting around with ‘stuff’ – Carrying food or other stuff from Postmates orders is challenging with just a bag. You’ll want to get a backpack to easily contain things and make it easier for you to get around. 
    • Pizzas, coffees, and ice cream – These are some of the hardest things to bike with, and I learned this the hard way with one of my first bike deliveries being 4 lattes. Not pretty. Luckily, you’ll get to see what the order is when you’re delivering on bike, so be reasonable. Can you bike with a large pizza in your hands? If so, good for you! If not, just decline it and move on.

    One thing to remember is that, as a bike courier, your expenses will be minimal, which means more money in your pocket.  Drivers are going to have to deal with gas and putting miles on their car.  Maintaining your bike, on the other hand, doesn’t have to cost very much. 

    One suggestion I have to further reduce your potential expenses is to make use of your city’s bike share system. Most cities with bike share systems allow you to purchase a cost-effective yearly membership.  Usually, it won’t cost more than $10 a month.  The great thing is that, by using your city’s bike share system, you can avoid all of the potential maintenance costs and wear and tear on your own bike. 

    How Much Does Postmates Pay in California?

    Depending on where you live in California, you can earn up to $20-27 per hour delivering with Postmates. Right now, Postmates is offering new drivers sign up guarantees.

    Postmates Pay in San Diego

    New drivers in San Diego can earn $1,250 for their first 150 trips completed.

    Postmates Pay in Long Beach

    Postmates couriers in Long Beach can earn $815 in guaranteed pay for their first 100 completed deliveries.

    Postmates Pay in Los Angeles

    Los Angeles is a very lucrative area for delivery drivers, and that’s certainly true for new Postmates couriers in LA. Postmates delivery drivers in LA can earn at least $1,200 in guaranteed earnings for their first 180 completed deliveries.

    Postmates Pay in San Francisco

    Earnings in San Francisco for food delivery are some of the highest we see anywhere – the relatively small sized area, number of restaurants, and higher earnings in the city usually lead to more expensive orders and better tips.

    New San Francisco Postmates delivery drivers can make $700 in guaranteed earnings with 100 completed deliveries.

    How Much Does Postmates Pay in Phoenix, AZ?

    Phoenix is a unique market given its size, but if you stick close to downtown and the surrounding areas, chances are you can make at least $20/hour driving with Postmates. Just make sure not to get taken out to the suburbs – like Gilbert!

    New Postmates drivers in Phoenix can earn $1,125 in guaranteed earnings for their first 140 completed deliveries.

    How Much Does Postmates Pay in Seattle, WA?

    Similar to San Francisco, a relatively dense area with homes and restaurants, plus higher average earnings, usually means better earnings for Postmates couriers. New Postmates couriers in Seattle can earn $550 for their first 80 completed deliveries.

    Postmates Payment Structure: How Are Postmates Drivers Paid?

    While working for Postmates may pay a little less than other popular delivery companies, like DoorDash, payouts are calculated pretty straightforwardly:

    The earnings for each delivery include:

    • An amount for each completed pick-up
    • An amount for each completed drop-off
    • A per-minute-waited rate for the time you spend at the pick-up location
    • A per-mile rate for the distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations
    • 100% of the tips you earn!

    For Phoenix, my formula looks like this:

    postmates earnings in phoenix

    Postmates Delivery Earnings in Phoenix, AZ (2020 rates)

    Postmates Delivery Earnings in Phoenix, AZ (2020 rates)

    You can find the formula for your city here. Postmates couriers also keep 100% of their tips.

    Something important to note: Postmates still has bonuses… but only if you sign up with a referral code! This is the bonus I’m offered in Phoenix:

     

    postmates driver bonus

    Note that you’ll only get this extra bonus if you sign up with a referral code!

    You’ll get paid every Monday with Postmates, or you can get your earnings on demand with Instant Deposits.

    Postmates Sign Up Bonus

    Postmates is one of the few delivery companies out there still offering referral bonuses for new drivers! Your sign up bonus will depend on the city in which you drive, so make sure to sign up with a Postmates referral code!

    Postmates recently began an incentive program that guarantees you will make a specified amount of money (a la Uber’s guaranteed earnings program). For example, after using my Postmates referral code to sign up in Phoenix, if I complete 85 deliveries in 30 days, I would earn a referral guarantee of $675.

    Postmates Driver Advice

    Here are our top tips for Postmates Drivers:

    tips for postmates drivers

    1) Take advantage of Postmates incentives!

    Similar to a few other delivery companies, like DoorDash, Postmates offers a variety of incentives for drivers. Use them!

    Here are the types of incentives Postmates offers:

    • Bonus per Delivery: Earn an additional payout bonus for every delivery accepted within a specified time frame and completed within the specified zone.
    • Guaranteed Earnings: Complete a certain number of deliveries within a set period of time and earn a guaranteed minimum payout
    • Crushers: Complete a certain number of deliveries within a set time period and earn an additional payout bonus
    • Invites: Invite friends to become a Postmate and earn a guaranteed amount for each invitee that completes a certain number of deliveries within a set time period.

    2) Pay attention to peak driving times in your city!

    Postmates offers a handy list, by state and city, of peak times and payouts/referrals. Make sure to check out the peak times in your city to see when Postmates recommend you drive.

    For example, in Florida, Postmates recommends drivers get out from:

    • Every day from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Demand increases as customers order early to time the delivery arrival with their lunch break.
    • Every day from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. In the evenings, demand spikes as customers order dinner. This is the busiest time of day.

    These are similar to the peak times in California, but the California page provides more information on the type of vehicles accepted (including walking) and small business registration information.

    3) Time is money!

    As much as possible, don’t accept deliveries for restaurants that make you wait until the food is cooked. You’re not paid as much for waiting for food, and you want to keep moving.

    4) Communicate with your customer

    Let them know when you’ve arrived at the restaurant (and double check that their order is correct), then let them know you’re on your way.

    This is extra helpful now, as you’ll also want to text them after you deliver the food (no contact delivery) so they know to go outside and get it without interacting with you.

    5) Take advantage of Blitz pricing

    When you’re on Postmates, you’ll notice before accepting a request that sometimes you’re offered ‘Blitz’ pricing. This gives you a bonus on earnings!

    For example, if you receive a blitz pricing notification for 1.5x, you’ll receive 50% on top of that order. If it’s a $10 order, you’ve just made $15 (not including tips!)

    Common Postmates Courier Expenses

    Much like Uber driver expenses, there are some common Postmates courier expenses, including:

    • Delivery insurance – if your auto insurance doesn’t already cover you, you’ll want to get some insurance for doing deliveries
    • Car payment/lease
    • Gas and/or tolls
    • Repairs and maintenance

    Don’t forget about those miscellaneous monthly and annual expenses, including:

    • Cell phone bill (to use the app and navigation)
    • Parking and permits
    • Meals (if you’re going to be one the road for a while and take a few breaks)
    • Satellite radio or music streaming subscription (or a subscription to Audible!)

    Become a Postmates Driver

    The Postmates application process is very simple. To become a Postmates driver all you’ll need is:

    • Download the Postmates app
    • Create an account with an email address and password
    • Input your basic information, including what city you’re driving in and the vehicle you’re using (if delivering with a car)

    You’ll also go through a standard background check (yes, you’ll need a Social Security Number) but before that process kicks off, you’ll actually have to do a few more things. This is where most drivers get confused – you’ll need to set up things like direct deposit before Postmates runs you through the background check process, so make sure to follow their instructions:

    • Review the Fleet Agreement
    • Upload your profile photo
    • Add your referral code
    • Set up direct deposit
    • Activate your Postmates Card in your app once you receive your Welcome Kit

    Note: some markets do not require a Postmates Card. In these instances, your Welcome Kit will be sent after you complete your first delivery.

    Once you link your card, upload your selfie, and download the Fleet app, your background check begins and the final part of the process is kicked off, so watch your email inbox for next steps and instructions.

    Postmates Driver Qualifications

    To become a Postmates driver, you’ll need to be 18 years of age or older. You’ll need some sort of vehicle to drive, but scooters count and in some cities, you can deliver on foot.

    Here are instructions for using the Postmates driver app: How to Use the Postmates App as a New Fleet Delivery Driver

     

    Postmates Vehicle Requirements

    There are no real vehicle requirements for signing up with Postmates. 

    Signing up to deliver with Postmates was easy. While going through the sign up process, I added my driver’s license info and type of vehicle – not what type of car, mind you. It was what type of vehicle, as in car, scooter, truck, motorcycle, etc.

    Although DoorDash asked me to specify my type of car (without noting any specific requirements) Postmates does not. I don’t think either service cares what type of car you drive.

    Clearly, there’s no reason a DD/Postmates car needs to be in the same condition as an Uber/Lyft vehicle. The food doesn’t care! Finally, I was told to expect a package in the mail the following week.

    Postmates Orientation

    In the past, to work for Postmates would have you go to an in-person orientation. Nowadays, Postmates will have you fill out the information above and then follow up with a Welcome Kit like the one below.

    A day or two later, a package arrived. Inside were two items:

    1. A Postmates bag.
    2. A Postmates credit card.

     

    You’ll also receive a Postmates credit card.

    I was pretty surprised nothing else came with this kit – no instructions! It’s why watching our videos on how to use the apps are so helpful. 

    Also, this is why we always recommend signing up with multiple delivery apps – try something like DoorDash or Instacart first so you can get the hang of delivery!

    Here’s what the driver app looks like in its offline state:

    Finally, it was time. I had my app. I had my nifty Postmates bag. I had plenty of gas in the tank. Unlike DoorDash, there’s no scheduling function on the Postmates app. If you want to start working you just slide the button on the top-right and go live. It was now that time.

    Working for Postmates – My Experience

    My first official Postmates pickup was for Sprinkles Cupcakes.

    Just like DoorDash, as soon as I arrived, I tapped my screen to reveal the specifics of my order.

    I walked in and confidently stated, “Hi, I’m Dash and I have a Postmates order for Melissa.”

    The employee checked the order, got the cupcakes, and handed them to me. I slid to the next screen and got this:

    This is where my experience working for Postmates diverged from my past experience. The majority of DoorDash restaurants have a DD corporate account, allowing them to complete their transaction directly. This direct account eliminates my involvement in a transaction. I typically sign the DD order printout, I assume for their own record-keeping, and go on my way.

    Postmates is very different. I felt like every time I picked up an order, I needed to ask for the receipt and enter the receipt value into the app. Furthermore – and this is where it gets cumbersome – I needed to take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the screen, like this:

    After I submitted the above claim, I was given directions to the customer’s house and delivered without incident. Once completed, I got this:

    Cool! I earned $6.43!

    Pro-tip: Don’t lose your Postmates credit card! I briefly lost my Postmates credit card mid-shift (I blame the misplacement on the accumulation of photograph-requiring receipts in my pocket, but that’s a different rant). I paid the restaurant $13.25 with my own credit card to get through the order.

    After the incident, I read support FAQs that said PM won’t reimburse drivers for meals paid on their own card. I understand that policy position, but I thought my incident was cut & dried enough to warrant a one-time reimbursement/hand slap. I never received a response for either of my support emails.

    After my first week on the job, I received a deposit for my week of work: $105.21, for part time driving.

    Note: Don’t forget to track your miles as a delivery driver! As a delivery driver (and rideshare driver) you can deduct mileage at tax time. Looking for a free mileage tracker? Check out Stride (available on Android and iOS).

    Takeaways for Working for Postmates in 2020

    There is a lot of competition in the delivery space though with Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other local companies getting in on the food delivery action. This is both good and bad, as it’s hard to say which one company you should go with – it depends on what’s the most popular company in your market. On the other hand, it does encourage you to sign up for multiple companies to determine which one pays you the best and keeps you the busiest.

    As of December 2020, Uber has acquired Postmates – one less competitor in the delivery space!

    As always, it makes the most sense to combine delivery with rideshare driving (Uber and Lyft) so you stay consistently busy during your driving hours. Postmates can help you do this by keeping you busy during lunch, which is typically a slow time of day for drivers (at least during the weekdays).

    At the very least, you can sign up with Postmates today, deliver the required number of deliveries for your city in 30 days, and get a guaranteed pay out! These amounts are good as of 2020, and you’ll need a Postmates referral code to get the guarantee. You can use our Postmates referral code here to sign up with Postmates.

    Postmates Courier FAQs

    What are the most common Postmates deliveries?

    Depending on the area you’re driving in and the time of day you’re delivering, you may have a different experience. But, overall, you’ll likely receive more food delivery around lunch and dinner time for local restaurants. There will be occasions when you’ll be delivering alcohol, but Postmates offers instructions on verifying a customer’s ID if that comes up.

    How do I sign up for Postmates?

    Make sure to sign up for Postmates with a referral link! Also, be sure to have your phone handy as you’ll be sent a verification code while signing up.

    Is Postmates available in my city?

    Postmates is most likely available in your city! You can sign up to deliver for Postmates to check and see if Postmates is in your city.

    Does Postmates pricing change during high demand?

    Postmates has broken down the most likely busy times for you here:

    postmates driver income

    It is not guaranteed that you’ll earn more during this time, but if the demand is high, you’ll likely receive blitz pricing. They don’t seem to have a breakdown listed of what this blitz pricing really looks like, but you will be notified before accepting a delivery that it will pay higher due to being in a blitz price time and location.

    How can I contact the customer if something goes wrong?

    Within the app, click on the question mark in the corner if you’re having an issue. From there, scroll to the bottom and click on the Email link under “Contact Us”. That will take you to a page where you choose what general issue you’re having and give you more options to keep narrowing down your issue. From there, you can fill out a form to let them know exactly what is going on.

    What are batched and chained deliveries?

    A batched delivery will contain multiple orders from the same location. This lets you do multiple deliveries at once, saving you time and earning you more money. Be sure to double check you’re delivering the correct order to the right drop-off space.

    A chained delivery is multiple orders from different locations. These will end up being deliveries where the drop-off location is in close proximity to each other.

    What do I do if the customer isn’t there to receive the order?

    If you go to the delivery location and the customer cannot be found, Postmates has you return all items that are able to be returned such as non-food and non-perishables. In some instances, your app will be able to detect the items in the order that can be returned and direct you back to the pick-up spot.

    Do I get rated for making deliveries?

    You are giving a thumbs up or a thumbs down from your customer after your delivery. This will not affect your standings as a courier for Postmates.

    Do you currently drive for Postmates? If so, what tips do you have for new Postmates couriers?

    Want More Tips? Deliver With DoorDash

    ddlgoDashers receive tips on 97% of their deliveries. DoorDash has a tip button and encourages customers to setup "automatic" tips. Become a dasher here.

    Get started as a gig worker today! Learn more:
    - Is driving for Doordash worth it?
    - Postmates Driver Pay
    - Instacart Shopper Pay
    - Uber Eats Driver Review
    - Best food delivery service to work for

    -RSG Team

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.