Harry here. Uber has started moving away from sign up bonuses, but that doesn’t mean they’ve done away with incentives entirely. Today, senior RSG contributor Jon Knope covers Uber sign-on guarantees by city and how you can take advantage of these guarantees to make the most money.
Although sign-up bonuses seem to be a thing of the past, Uber’s sign-up guarantees are going strong. Here are the top ten Uber sign-up offers by city, and how to make the most of them.
Uber’s “guarantee” structure has drawn some criticism from many drivers since many folks sign up under the impression that, once they complete the required number of rides, they’ll take home a big chunk of cash on top of their regular earnings. Instead, the guarantee typically amounts to much less. If you were offered a sign-up guarantee of $300 after completing X number of rides, and you made $297 in fares while completing those rides, you’ll only collect a measly $3 extra.
Uber’s messaging seems to be doing a better job of explaining how the guarantees work but if you’re looking to sign up, make sure you read the fine print.
Making the Most of the Guarantee
This new incentive structure is a lot less lucrative for new drivers, and unfortunately, it looks like it’s here to stay. To maximize your earnings and minimize your expenses, the best strategy for new drivers is simple: Go for short rides. The less you earn on each ride, the less wear and tear you’re putting on your car – and the more you’ll get out of Uber once you complete the initial ride requirement. Although it seems counter-intuitive, it’s best to try and make as little money as possible at first so you can collect more cash as part of your guarantee.
How to Get Short Rides
Obviously, drivers have very little control over what sort of rides they get – but there are a few tricks that will help you find shorter rides. Avoid driving in the early morning, when people are taking lengthy trips to work or to the airport. Focus on the party hours and the bar scene – this is where most short trips occur as folks hop between bars or make short trips back to their neighborhoods.
Midday can be decent, too, although demand will be a lot lower. You might catch passengers running errands close to home, making short trips to local stores or restaurants.
Of course, this strategy only works in conjunction with a more important one: Minimize your expenses. If you’re driving all over trying to get short rides, you will quickly burn through any extra sign-on compensation at the gas pump. Getting short trips is a good strategy for maximizing your sign-on guarantee – but always keep a close eye on your expenses, and avoid driving long distances to find riders.
You can use an app like Mystro (our affiliate code is RSGB3171) to filter out any requests over 5 minutes since there are no acceptance rate requirements when it comes to these sign-on guarantees.
The Best Cities to Sign Up for Uber
Here are the top ten Uber sign-on guarantees by city, according to data we received earlier this week. Pay close attention to the $/trip column – in order to make anything extra out of the guarantee, your average fare after Uber’s cut on each ride will need to be lower than this amount. It’s also a good indicator of how much you can reasonably expect from your guarantee.
If you’re in one of these cities and you’ve been contemplating signing up, I’d recommend getting started today, while the getting’s good. Your guarantee offer will be the same regardless of whose link or referral code you use – and although you may not get anything extra out of a guarantee, you definitely won’t get anything extra if you sign up without a referral.
It doesn’t matter whose code you use – the incentive you’ll receive is entirely dependent on where you’re signing up. Click here to start your Uber driver application using my referral link or enter my code 3e3dg in the app.
If you signed up recently but forgot to add my code, there’s good news: Uber typically accepts retroactive referral codes for up to two weeks after you’ve been accepted onto the platform. Contact Uber through the ‘Help’ section of the driver app by going to Account-> Help-> Payments and Rewards-> Driver Referrals -> Report a missing driver referral.
Send me a note, too – I’ll do everything I can to make sure we both get paid!
How to Find Out About Current Sign-On Offers in Your City
The chart above is from July 2017 – but Uber’s sign-on incentives change constantly. If your city isn’t on the list – or this data is old – contact Uber and ask what’s on offer in your area. If that doesn’t work, you can also try tweeting them or asking via Facebook Messenger. (Uber isn’t always the best about responding to emails).
Not the Only Game in Town
Uber isn’t the only rideshare company out there. If you’re looking to make the most money possible with your car, you’ll want to diversify your platforms.
Lyft is undergoing a growth spurt lately – and so are their sign-up bonuses. No guarantee games, either: The money’s all yours once you finish the ride requirement. Even if you don’t see rideshare driving as a long-term gig, Lyft’s bonuses are a great source of fast and easy cash. Bonus amounts and requirements vary by location – but they’re typically between $100 and $500. Use my referral link to sign up and get it while the getting’s good!
If you’ve driven for Uber before, you’ve likely been invited to participate in UberEATS, Uber’s food delivery service. To deliver for UberEATS, you’ll need to complete a brief online training segment and pick up an insulated carrying bag from your local Uber HQ. If you’re an existing Uber driver, there’s no sign-up bonus for UberEATS, but you can still add it as an option to your profile.
If you’re brand new and looking to only do food delivery with Uber, click here to sign up for UberEATS and start collecting your bonus – or guarantee, as the case may be.
Postmates has a very simple onboarding process and a sizable customer base. You’ll be delivering more than just food – Postmates couriers also pick up from retail establishments. Bonuses up to $200 are on offer in some cities. Get started by using this link to sign up for Postmates.
DoorDash picks up and delivers food from restaurants. You’ll also have the option to schedule “blocks” in advance, unlike other rideshare platforms. You’re free to drop and reschedule blocks as needed – and you’ll receive plenty of tips on top of your base payouts. (For more on DoorDash, read about my experience here.) There are no sign-up bonuses for DoorDash using our link but you may be able to find one online – just make sure to verify the amount ahead of time with DoorDash.
Readers: Were you able to earn extra through a sign-on guarantee? Let us know what’s going on in your city below.
New Lyft Drivers Can Get Up To $1,000!Sign up for Lyft now and you'll get up to $1,000 depending on your market. Sign up here using my referral code and start driving today. Check with Lyft for sign-up amounts by city.
-Jon @ RSG
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