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There are many different freelance delivery jobs available for the average person to earn money on the side. From ridesharing opportunities with companies such as Uber and Lyft to food deliveries with DoorDash or Grubhub. But today, we are going to look at how much you can earn as a Postmates courier and how to maximize your earnings.

Postmates was founded in 2011 and now available in over 500 cities across the USA, processing over 3.5 million orders on average per month. The company connects local drivers with customers to deliver ‘anything’ in less than an hour. This could be grocery items, restaurant orders, or goods from local stores.

Signing up to become a Postmates delivery driver couldn’t be easier, and the eligibility requirements are minimal. It’s the ideal side-hustle for those that want to earn cash driving but don’t want all the headache of dealing with passengers.

Drivers can work the hours they want with no minimum or maximum requirements enforced. All they have to do is switch on the user-friendly driver app and decide which delivery orders to take or not. You’ll be guaranteed to be paid on time and know exactly how much you are making.

The question you asked, though, was how much money you can earn. Unfortunately, this isn’t a straightforward answer as there are many considerations to take into account that will vary between driver, location, and customer. We will dig deeper into the different factors involved in a while.

But for now, let’s give you the ballpark figure earnings, and that is somewhere between $10-25 per hour from reading reports from Postmates couriers online. Postmates co-founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann claims that Postmate couriers earn $19 per hour as the median average. Employment site says that the hourly rate is around $15.67.

The primary consideration will be where you are located; if you are delivering in a big city, you will likely be busier than a courier in a rural or suburban area. Wherever you are located, you will rely on tips to increase your earnings, and there are other ways to step up your hourly rate, which we will discuss.

How does Postmates Pay its Drivers?

Nearly everyone grumbles about their job, Postmates drivers are no exception, but if there is one positive aspect of the job that they are unanimous on, that is that you will always be guaranteed to be paid on time.

Postmates gives you two options to get paid weekly by direct deposit or by Instant Pay.

When you sign-up with Postmates, you will be asked to provide your bank details so that you can be paid weekly by direct deposit. Any deliveries that you made between Monday to Sunday midnight PST of the week before will be processed the next week. Once the payments are transferred, they usually appear in your bank account two to three days later. You should expect them by Thursday at the latest.

The other extremely hand option which Postmate drivers love is Instant Pay. It allows drivers to instantly cash out any funds they have available rather than having to wait until the end of the week to get paid. Sometimes unexpected expenses crop up, and waiting for payday either means more significant future issues or taking on an expensive payday loan to tide us over until we get paid.

Postmates Instant Pay makes your finances much more flexible as it allows you to withdraw your cash how many times a day you want. Bear in mind that there are fees, though at a reasonable rate of $0.50 per withdrawal. We’d suggest withdrawing more considerable sums of money as these small $0.50 amounts can soon add up.

All that is required for Instant Pay is a balance of at least $5.00 and a linked MasterCard or Visa debit card. It will be dependent on your bank, but with most, you should expect to see your fund available in your bank to access in under 30 minutes. There are a few banks that don’t support instant payments though most do. For many, getting paid day by day makes life much more comfortable and more straightforward.

What is the Postmates Pay Structure, and How are Earnings Calculated?

The Postmate courier pay structure is based on a simple formula $ per pick-up + $ per Drop-off +$ wait time + $ rate per mile.

Pick-up Rate – When you pick up an order from a merchant or restaurant, you will be paid a flat amount; how much you earn will vary from city to city.

Drop-off Rate – When you have successfully dropped off the customer’s delivery, you will receive payment for this. As with the pick-up rate, how much you earn will vary from city to city.

Wait Time – If you have to wait for your order when arriving at the pick-up, your pay is further enhanced by waiting time calculated per minute.

Rate per Mile – Lastly, you’ll receive a specific amount of pay dependent on your city for each mile you travel.

Tips: On top of this, you get to keep 100% of any tips received. With tipping, you should note that your tips don’t appear in your Fleet dashboard straight away. Even if the customer is prompt in tipping, the soonest it will take to process is 24 hours. So don’t panic if you see no tips after your first day out on the road. It’s probably on its way!

Postmates have a useful Fleet Help Center that shows you the formula for the specific city you are located in.

Here are a few examples:

A courier who is based in Dover, Delaware, would receive $1.65 per Pick-up, $0.80 per Drop-off, Per Minute Waiting Rate of $0.7, and a Rate Per Mile of $0.53.

A courier located in Los Angeles would receive $1.40 per Pick-up, $0.70 per Drop-off, Per Minute Waiting Rate of $0.7, and a Rate Per Mile of $0.69.

If you are based in Orlando, Florida, expect these rates, $1.50 per Pick-up, $1.00 per Drop-off, Per Minute Waiting Rate of $0.7, and a Rate Per Mile of $0.45.

If you sign-up for Postmates as a courier in the Big Apple, you would receive $1.80 per Pick-up, $0.70 per Drop-off, Per Minute Waiting Rate of $0.7, and a Rate Per Mile of $1.05.

On top of the base rate and tips, you can also inflate your earnings with bonuses.

Postmates Bonuses

As with most freelance driving and delivery jobs, Postmates give couriers a chance to make more money with special incentives.

At particularly busy times when Postmates need more couriers on the road, they offer a special bonus called Blitz Pricing. If you can schedule your driving during peak hours, it is a guaranteed way of boosting earnings. Blitz pricing is typically offered at weekends, lunchtimes (10.30 am to 1.30 pm), and dinnertime [5.30 pm to 8.30 pm].

Crushers are another bonus to look out for. When you complete a specific number of deliveries in a certain amount of time, you will receive a monetary reward.

Two further bonuses are per delivery bonuses in which you earn extra money for every delivery you accept and complete within a specific timeframe. The other is making a guaranteed earnings bonus, Postmates will guarantee you a minimum payout for completing a minimum number of deliveries over a set amount of time.

If you have friends or family members who are looking for a way to earn some side income, you can also earn a bonus from Postmates for the referral.

How to Maximise Earnings as a Postmates Drivers?

If you are strategic during your deliveries, you can make the best use of your time to maximize your payout.

Head to the Hot Spots – Postmates let their delivery drivers know where the busiest areas are using the Fleet App map. The areas experiencing the highest volume of orders will be shown as dark red on the map.

Give the customer their restaurant receipt – Postmates couriers claim that they make more tips when giving restaurant receipts to the customer. Why customers tip when receiving a receipt isn’t clear, but apparently, they do, so why not take advantage of it!

Drive less – It stands to reason if you minimize the amount of time that you are driving during your shift, the less money you’ll spend on gas. In between orders, find a place to park safely and wait it out rather than driving around unnecessarily.

Drive for more than one company – Postmates is just one of many delivery companies that you can drive for. There’s nothing to stop you from delivering from multiple delivery apps at the same time to maximize your earnings.

Conclusion – How Much Money Can You Make as a Postmates Driver?

There are times when we could all do with some extra cash, be we students or temporarily going through some financial difficulties. It also might be that we are fed up working for a boss and decide to go full-time freelancer as a delivery driver. This can be done by combining delivery work with a non-driving job or signing up to multiple-platforms such as Uber and DoorDash.

Whatever the reason, if you are looking for regular money, Postmates guarantee that. What they can’t guarantee is how much you will earn as it will vary with locations and the tips you receive. If you on maximizing your earnings, you should end up with a few more dollars in your pocket each week. And Postmates Instant Pay feature means that you won’t be living on Ramen noodles until the next payday!



Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.