One standout benefit of working as an Uber driver is the job’s unparalleled flexibility. Uber drivers have the freedom to choose their working hours and the jobs, or passenger ride requests, that they take on.
However, this flexibility hasn’t always extended to one crucial aspect: getting paid. Recognizing this gap, in 2016 Uber introduced Instant Pay for its rideshare drivers and Uber Eats delivery drivers, providing the option for daily payouts directly to their bank accounts.
This feature brings a new level of convenience, making gigging with Uber all the more attractive. It streamlines the payment process for drivers to access their earnings faster and more effortlessly instead of waiting for a once-a-week payday to come around.
This article will delve into the details of Uber Instant Pay, highlighting the features of this service. We’ll also address some common FAQs that readers have.
And most importantly, we have accurate and up-to-date information about this feature. Countless other articles about Uber Instant Pay have dated information that references program requirements and perks from when Uber rolled out the program half a decade ago, including false statements about fees or the number of allowed transactions per day.
Get the latest, up-to-date scoop on Uber Instant Pay here.
How Does Uber Instant Pay Work?
Uber Instant Pay offers drivers and couriers the ability to cash out their earnings up to six (6) times a day. At the end of a passenger drop-off or a food delivery, earnings are instantly available for withdrawal.
Drivers can choose to let the earnings build or select the instant cash-out option. Funds will be transferred directly to the driver’s linked bank account or Uber debit card.
This flexible setup is designed to help drivers who generally have a low bank account allowance, or who want their hands on their hard-earned cash sooner than later.
Uber Instant Pay Requirements
In order to use Uber’s Instant Pay, there are specific requirements that Uber X (rideshare) and Uber Eats drivers must meet.
- For Uber Drivers: You must be a registered Uber driver with a valid email address. Uber Pro cardholders receive instant pay after each trip. For other drivers, you can do up to six (6) daily cash-outs, but there is a fee for each transaction.
- For Uber Eats Drivers: Similar to Uber X drivers, you must be a registered Uber Eats driver with a valid email address. Uber Pro cardholders get unlimited, automatic instant payouts after each trip. Otherwise, up to six (6) daily cash-outs are offered.
Additionally, Uber states that for most drivers there is no minimum trip requirement in order to qualify for Instant Pay.
Most drivers and couriers are eligible from their very first trip, but some drivers may need to be actively driving “for a certain period of time” to be eligible.
Many U.S. review articles incorrectly state there is a 14-day wait period and 25-minimum trip requirement for all drivers, however, those requirements are Uber drivers in Australia.
Uber Instant Pay Fees
Setting up Uber Instant Pay is simple and completely free, but it does come with the dreaded F-word: fees. Here’s what you need to know about the fees that come with using Uber Instant Pay.
- Personal Debit Card Fees: Each time you tap the cash out button to get those funds onto your linked personal debit card (most Visa, Mastercard, or Discover debit cards are accepted), you’ll pay a $0.85 fee. While it doesn’t sound like much, those fees can add up. If you maxed out your six (6) instant pay transactions per day, that’s $5.10. Over a week, that’s $35.70.
- Uber GoBank Debit Card: With Uber’s self-branded debit card, there are also fees of $0.85 per instant-pay withdrawal request and you are capped to six (6) transactions per day. As outlined in the above scenario, if you max out your instant pays that’s fees of $35.70 a week or over $150 a month.
- Uber Pro Card: Drivers with the Uber Pro Card get a free, instant cashout after every trip with no fees.
What is the Uber Debit Card?
The Uber Debit Card became the GoBank Debit Card in January 2023, but most drivers still refer to it as the Uber Debit Card.
We are calling out details of the Uber Debit Card in detail because many other rideshare, side hustle, and finance articles have dated and incorrect information about the Uber Debit Card. These false details, like fee-free instant payouts, are a major reason why other reviews “sell” the debit card instant pay benefits to Uber drivers.
Just a Basic Card
This Uber-specific debit card was designed with rideshare and delivery drivers in mind, but now it’s become more of a run-of-the-mill debit card.
- No minimum balance requirements
- Monthly maintenance fee of $8.95, with fee waived for making at least $500 eligible payroll or government direct deposit per billing cycle.
- Free ATM access at GoBank’s network of ATMs
No Longer a Selling Point for Uber Instant Pay
With the change from the Uber Debit Card to the GoBank Debit Card, several key features were discontinued.
- Cash-back perks discontinued. Previously, Uber Debit cardholders got 1% on all purchases, 3% for Exxon and Mobil stations, and 10% for Advanced Auto.
- Backup Balance discontinued. Previously, Uber debit card holders were allowed overdrafts of up to $100 with no penalties. Any overdraft would be deducted from a future deposit.
- Fees for InstantPay were introduced. Previously, drivers could make up to five (5) free instant pay requests per day in the Uber driver app. Now there is an $0.85 charge for each transaction for up to the maximum allowed of six (6) per day.
Think of the Uber Pro Card as the New “Uber Debit Card”
The Uber Pro Debit Mastercard offers many same or similar features that came with the Uber Debit Card before January 2023.
Powered by Branch Bank, the card offers many attractive benefits:
- Up to $150 in Backup Balance. You can overdraw your account by up to $150 without penalty and future deposits will be credited toward the negative balance.
- Cash bank on refueling at gas stations.
- Free automatic cashouts after every trip — usually available within five (5) seconds.
- Five (5) different tiers of rewards: Blue, green, gold, platinum, or diamond.
- Up to 15% cash back on purchases at select merchants and restaurants.
How Long Does Uber Instant Pay Take?
For Uber Pro card holders, Uber states it takes 1 to 5 seconds for an Instant Pay to go through.
For other debit card holders, transactions usually clear “right away” but for some banks it could take up to three (3) business days.
It depends on how quickly your financial institution processes and credits the funds.
How to Set Up Uber Instant Pay
In the Uber driver app, open the Wallet section. Then select “Payment Method” and add your bank account.
Funds will be deposited once a week, or you can go into your wallet and select “Cash Out” sooner using Instant Pay.
For Uber Pro, funds are automatically paid out after each trip.
For Uber GoBank debit cardholders and other cardholders, you will need to actively request Instant Pay for each transaction.
Pros and Cons of Uber Instant Pay
- Fast Access to Earnings: Uber Instant Pay allows drivers to access their earnings instantly, with no need to wait for a weekly payday.
- Flexibility: Drivers can choose to cash out their earnings up to six (6) times a day, giving them greater control over their finances.
- No Minimum Trip Requirements: Most drivers are eligible for Instant Pay from their very first trip, without having to meet other platform requirements.
- Uber Pro Card Benefits: Drivers with the Uber Pro Card can enjoy free instant cashouts after every trip and a slew of other driving-related rewards.
- Transaction Fees: Instant Pay comes with fees for drivers who don’t have an Uber Pro Card. These fees can add up over time, potentially to over one thousand dollars a year.
- Change in Uber Debit Card Benefits: The transition from the Uber Debit Card to the GoBank Debit Card resulted in the discontinuation of core benefits, such as cash back and the backup balance feature.
- Transaction Processing Time: Although some transactions do clear instantly, it may take up to three (3) business days for funds to appear in a driver’s account. Paying an Instant Pay fee to get funds three (3) days later doesn’t seem worth it.
Part pro and part con, Uber is regularly revamping its Instant Pay program — including perks, requirements, and payment methods. And there are different requirements for U.S. contractors versus those in Canada, Australia, the UK, or other areas of the globe.
All of this means it can be a challenge to stay on top of these changes, understand the existing benefits, and get the correct program information. The Rideshare Guy and Uber’s U.S. site.
Tip: Double-check the URL string to make sure it’s for US drivers and not CAN, UK, or AUS) will have the latest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that drivers have about Uber Instant Pay.
Do prepaid cards work with Uber Instant Pay?
Probably not. Driver forums and articles across the Internet give a range of answers. Prior to 2020, it appears some drivers could use a prepaid Walmart MoneyCard to cash out via Instant Pay. However, since then Uber has heavily pushed its own debit card options.
On Uber’s US page explaining Instant Pay, it states that a personal debit card is required and notes that “most Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted.”
How does Instant pay appear on weekly statements?
Withdrawals made via Instant Pay will show up on your weekly statement as “Instant Payout.”
Is Instant Pay available on holidays and weekends?
Instant Pay can be requested on holidays and weekends, but with some banks or debit cards, there may be a delay of one (1) or more business days. Check with your financial institution.
Why isn’t my Uber Instant Pay working?
Here are some common reasons why Uber Instant Pay may not be working for you.
- Location: You must be in the United States or another location that supports Instant Pay.
- Payment settings: Double-check your payment settings in the app. Make sure you’ve set it to Uber Instant Pay.
- Account status: Drivers may be ineligible if their account is under review.
- Payment method: Make sure you have added a supported debit card (with a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logo). Double-check the card’s expiration date.
- Frequency: You’ve requested too many instant pay cash-outs. You are limited to six (6) per day, and for some drivers, there may be a daily cap of five (5) transactions.
When is the Uber Free Weekly Deposit?
In addition to Instant Pay, Uber offers a free weekly deposit to drivers and couriers. Earnings are calculated for a one-week cycle, from 4 a.m. on Monday until 3:59 a.m. on the following Monday.
If you’re tracking your money, here are the key days of the week for Uber weekly deposits:
- Monday: Last week’s earning cycle ends and a new earning cycle begins. Monday marks the start and end of the week for payment periods.
- Wednesday: Earnings are processed in the evening.
- Thursday: Funds are deposited directly in your linked bank account.
Some financial institutions take longer to process deposits, meaning you may need to wait until Friday to have access to funds.
What is the Minimum Amount Needed to Cash Out?
Do Other Delivery Apps Have Instant Pay Too?
Yes, Lyft, DoorDash, GrubHub, and other similar gig apps all have a similar version of Instant Pay.
Lyft offers Express Pay for a $0.85 fee if you have at least $5 in earnings, DoorDash offers daily Fast Pay for a $1.99 fee, and GrubHub offers Instant Cashout for a $0.50 fee. Grocery apps, Shipt and Instacart, also offer a daily cashout option too.
Uber Instant Pay can be a solid, flexible option for drivers who need to access their funds now instead of waiting until Thursday or Friday payday. Better to get an advance on funds than to overdraw your account or find yourself in a jam.
This service comes with daily cashout limits and fees, so it’s an option best used sparingly — unless you have the Uber Pro Card as these cardholders pay no Instant Pay fees.
As forewarned earlier in this article, Uber is continually revamping Uber Instant Pay and other payment methods to make the process more seamless – and further enmesh its drivers in the Uber ecosystem.
Most review articles you’ll find contain dated information. Even if you go directly to the source, Uber.com, you could find conflicting or confusing information. Search results snippets and top articles from Uber that crop up commonly contain information meant for Canadian, British, Australian, or New Zealand drivers.
The main thing to take away is Uber does have instant pay for a small fee that’s available daily to drivers and instant pay for no fees for those who have the Uber Pro Card. Fee amounts, transaction limits, and other details can vary by driver or geographic region.
Just logging into the app, and seeing current Instant Pay details, will always be your best bet. And if you hit a wall, talk to Uber Support in the app.