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How To Make Money With Lyft (+Bonus Tips To Maximize Your Earnings)

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What Is Lyft?

Lyft Review

lyft logo

Lyft is one of the most popular ridesharing platforms in the US and makes for a great platform to earn an income as a driver. The platform’s app is available in over 600 cities in the US, and there is no shortage of demand for rides. Thus, you are certain to reliably and consistently earn a decent income as a driver and can even stand to earn up to $28 per hour during peark periods in some cities.



Legit & Safe

Earning Potential

Flexible Schedule

Payout Process


  • Flexible working hours – you can work as much or as little as you want. Drive more during peak hours (7am-9am/6pm-9pm) to maximize your earnings.
  • Instant payment with the Lyft debit card – the card also has no low-balance or maintainence fees and gives drivers up to 4% cash back on spending.
  • 3 different ways to earn – you can earn money by completing trips, gettin customer tips (you keep 100%), and bonuses for hitting certain quotas.
  • 3rd party liability insurance – Lyft will provide up to $1,000,000 3rd party auto liability coverage if your personal insurance does not apply.


  • High minimum age requirements – you must be at least 21 to drive for Lyft in most cities, although the minimum age can be up to 25 in some cities.
  • Vehicle expenses – Lyft will not reimburse you for expenses such as fuel, maintenance and repairs. These can add up to 40% of your earnings.

Lyft is a ride sharing platform, connecting you to people who need someone to transport them from one place to another.

Typically, ridesharing is a cheaper and more convenient alternative to taxi. The app is mostly in hype because all processes are digital starting from placing an order to paying for the ride.

When you become a Lyft driver, you need to download an app on your iPhone or Android smartphone to get access to available car sharing requests in your area.

Basically, how Lyft works is following: 

  • Customers make requests within the app
  • You as a driver should pick them up from their requested location and drop off at their desired address.

How Much Can You Make With Lyft Per Day?

On average, driving with Lyft you can expect to earn anywhere from $20 to $28 hourly, averaging $120 – $168 daily if you work 6 hours a day.

However, the exact amount of money you can make per day depends on many factors. 

First and foremost, the city you’re driving in determines your earnings. Lyft is in more demand in certain cities than others and has different rates in different states.

For example, a driver from New York City reported to be making $28/hour, while another driver from Denver makes $20/hour.

Additionally, when you provide a positive service, customers don’t mind tipping you, that adds up to your regular earnings.

What Are Lyft Driver Requirements?

In order to apply as a Lyft driver and start accepting ride sharing requests, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Driving license – you must  have a valid driving license and meet the age requirements for driving in your region.
  • Background check – you must consent to take a criminal background check and allow Lyft to review your driving history. Note that the company doesn’t check your credit.
  • Have your car or a rental – your vehicle must have 4 doors. You can also rent the car via Express Drive. Be aware that the vehicle requirements vary by region. If you don’t have your car, consider Gridwise.
  • Insurance and other documents – if you’re using your own car, you must upload your car registration document and the valid insurance. Some regions may require vehicle inspection as well.

What Do Your Lyft Payments Consist of?


Lyft pays you for each minute of every trip. The amount you’ll earn per minute varies from city to city.


Just like time you spend on the road, Lyft also pays you for each mile you drive. The rate per mile also depends on your city.


Passengers tip you for providing excellent service. And you’re always keeping 100% of tips.


Lyft offers you various bonus opportunities. For example, you can participate in challenges or earn bonuses when you drive during busy times. 

How Do You Increase Your Lyft Earnings?

Along with the base pay Lyft you’ll earn for each ride, and bonus opportunities, Lyft allows you to increase your earnings with some ‘hidden features’. 

Along with the base pay Lyft you’ll earn for each ride, and bonus opportunities, Lyft allows you to increase your earnings with some ‘hidden features’. 

Let’s see what you can do to master the tricks and maximize your Lyft earnings.

Use Real-time Demand Maps

One of the best features Lyft provides is real-time demand maps, or as they call it, hot spots map.

This feature is built in the Lyft driver app showing you hot spots on the map, i.e. locations where the demand is elevated.

The map gets updated in real time, so you always know which areas are worth working in. 

Check Demand Forecasts

Say you need to plan your day in advance. In this case, you can check demand forecasts so you know exactly which areas to be available in tomorrow.

Keep On Top Of Opportunities This Week

Lyft offers personalized weekly ride challenges. For example, you might need to complete a certain amount of rides within a certain timeframe. And you’ll get a bonus when you keep on top of weekly opportunities

As the weekly challenges are personalized, Lyft only sends them via email.

Get More Tips

Tips are a great addition to your regular earnings. A lot of customers don’t mind leaving tips when they receive excellent service. Just make sure you drive safely and talk to your customers in a polite and kind manner. Some drivers also increase their chances of getting tips by offering water, chewing gum, chocolate or other complementary gifts.

How To Get Paid & Save More With Lyft?

Lyft offers you the program – Lyft Direct – allowing them to reward you for driving with them even more. When you apply for the program, you’ll receive a free Mastercard debit designed for Lyft drivers. This card enables you to access various discounts and cashbacks from Lyft partner retailers.  

Let’s see what Lyft has to offer:

Cashback On Groceries

When you purchase with your Lyft debit card, you’ll receive a 1% cash back on your regular grocery shopping at select stores. To see the eligible grocery stores in your location, navigate to the Rewards tab in the Lyft Direct app (for iPhone and Android).

Cashback On Gas

You’ll get 1% cash back when you purchase gas (up to $100 per transaction) at participating Fuelman Network gas stations when you pay with your Lyft debit card.

Vehicle Services

Lyft offers you discounts from partner vehicle service retailers, such as Jiffy Lube,  National Tire and Service Center, Tire Kingdom and Pep Boys.

Lyft Driver Centers

You can also enjoy discounts on various services from routine checks and maintenance to complex repairs and support. Just discover eligible driver centers in your location and schedule service here.

Lyft Rewards

Being a Lyft driver is extremely rewarding. Lyft rewards program recognizes your drive, dedication and excellent service. This program lets you:

  • Earn points on earnings during busy times. Just navigate to the ‘Lyft Rewards’ section in your Lyft Driver app to find busy hours in your area.
  • Unlock tiers with your points. There are 3 reward tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum. The higher tear you unlock, the more rewards you’ll be able to access.

How & When Does Lyft Pay You?

Lyft offers 3 ways to  get paid:

  • Direct Pay – choosing this option, you’ll get paid instantly after completing each ride. In order to enable direct pay, you need to apply to a Lyft Direct and get a debit card designed for Lyft drivers.
  • Express Pay – this option lets you withdraw your earnings to your bank account within a couple of hours for an additional fee of $0.50.
  • Weekly Pay – by default, Lyft will transfer your earnings to your bank account every Tuesday morning. Weekly payments typically arrive in your account within 2 days.

Is Driving Lyft Worth it?

Whether you’re looking for a side hustle opportunity or a full-time job, driving with Lyft might be the best option for you.

As we’ve already seen, you can make on average $20 – $28 hourly driving people around.

And as the app allows users to easily transport from one place to another, the demand for it is just increasing. This ultimately translates into more opportunities for you.

Lyft Alternatives

While driving with Lyft comes with many benefits, you may still want to work with 2 or more apps at the same time in order to maximize your earnings.

Let’s review some of the Lyft alternatives you can add up to your busy schedule.

Lyft vs Uber

Uber Summary

  • Earn up to $1034 per week including tips
  • Receive payments up to 5 times per day
  • Earn more during surge pricing periods
  • You get to keep 100% of all rider tips

Just like Lyft, Uber is an on-demand peer-to-peer ridesharing platform, allowing you to earn money when you help people transport from one place to another.

While the two companies offer very similar conditions to drivers, many of them actually report that Lyft pays slightly more for each ride. To round it up, being a Lyft driver you’ll earn $2 more per hour. 

On the other hand, Uber increases their price up to 7 times more during peak times, while Lyft only increases their price by at least 2 times.

Lyft vs Postmates

Postmates Summary

  • Postmates was acquired by Uber in 2020
  • Earn at least $4 per order plus bonuses
  • Get extra cash incentives of up to $1000
  • Flexible working hours that are up to you

Postmates is an on-demand food and grocery delivery platform. As a Postmates driver your responsibility is to collect and deliver orders to your customers’ doorsteps.

One of the main downsides Postmates has is that you have to wait until the restaurant prepares your order. And waiting for the order means you’re losing time and ultimately the money. 

As both platforms allow you to work on your own schedule, Postmates can be a good addition to increase your earnings.

Being a driver for both platforms enables you to switch in between the apps in your downtime.

Lyft vs Instacart

Instacart Summary

  • 2 different types of work available
  • Earn up to $10 per full-service order
  • Get $10 for each friend you refer
  • Work as much or as little as you want

With Instacart, you can work as a personal shopper and deliver grocery orders to your customers. 

What’s best about Instacart is that it gives you a complete flexibility of when to shop. Respectively, to maximize your earnings, you can shop when there are no available ridesharing orders on Lyft.

Related: 24 Best Delivery Driver Jobs (Food, Pizza, Packages)

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Kate Starr


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