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One of the easiest ways to earn some extra money as an Uber or Lyft driver is to take advantage of their sign-up bonus offers. Because these companies are focused on growth, they continue to offer a bonus to drivers simply for signing up to become drivers with their companies.

Pretty great, right?

Yes, but only if you really know what you’re doing. As with almost every company offering “free money,” it’s important to understand the fine print and know exactly how to ensure that you receive the bonus, both as a referring driver and as a new driver.

Whether you are already driving, or are considering venturing into a career of ridesharing, here’s everything you need to know about this incredibly profitable and important aspect of bonuses.

The Basics: How it Works

If you’re a new driver looking to sign up, the first thing you need to know – aside from the requirements for Uber and Lyft Drivers – is that a sign-up bonus is ONLY received through a referral from an existing driver. You cannot simply sign up as a new driver for Uber or Lyft and earn a sign-up bonus.

So how does this referral system work? If you’re already a driver, you’ve probably noticed that you receive emails and notifications from Uber reminding you to invite friends to become drivers in order to receive a bonus, and earn one for them as well.

Because Uber and Lyft want new drivers, they use this incentive to get the word out through existing drivers and encourage their friends to sign up. The existing driver takes their referral code, invites friends to sign up, and then both existing and new driver will receive a bonus as a result.

Existing Driver (Referer)

  • Retrieve your referral code from your Partner Dashboard under “Invites.”
  • Give the code to friends and tell them to enter it when they sign up as new drivers (you can also tweet or share the code as a link).
  • Remind your friends to complete the process of signing up and completing the required number of rides*.
  • A bonus** will automatically be credited to your account once they do this.

New Driver (Referee)

  • Use the referral code you’ve received from a friend when you sign up as a new Uber or Lyft driver. If you use a referral link, it should automatically enter the code for you.
  • Once you are active, you must complete the specified number of rides* within 30 days.
  • The bonus** will automatically be credited to your account, once you’ve satisfied the ride number requirement.

*The number of rides required within the 30 day period to earn the bonus is typically between 50-100 rides, depending on your city
**The bonus amount is dependent upon the new driver’s city, not the existing driver’s.