DoorDash Incentives: How Do They Work?


Incentives are some of the best things about gig driving. They can make or break your success while working for any given platform because they do so much to add to earnings. DoorDash does a good job of dishing out incentives to their drivers, and in this post we’ll give you the full picture of what they can do for you.

Here's what we cover:

DoorDash incentives: What they deliver

There are several types of DoorDash incentives, and they all aim to entice drivers to work for and stay loyal to the company. For the most part, DoorDash driver promos and earned incentives are much like those offered by other rideshare and delivery companies.

Some drivers complain that the offers change so often it becomes difficult to keep up with them. This video from Dasher Sarah Elizabeth outlines the latest version of DoorDash’s driver rewards program that’s under beta testing now. Low-acceptance-rate drivers might lose out on discounts and privileges that come with this program, according to this DoorDash driver.

Companies have their reasons for offering incentives, as well as the right to limit them or exclude drivers who don’t meet certain metrics. A low acceptance rate might indicate a driver isn’t doing everything possible to make DoorDash look good to its customers. On the other hand, when they want to entice drivers, the apps will dish out the dough. 

This article from Gridwise shows how aggressive companies began offering incentives in 2021 when there was a shortage of delivery drivers. Naturally, when a company has enough drivers to satisfy demand, they will be less generous about the incentives they offer to potential as well as established gig drivers. That could be why the programs change so much and so often.

The quantity and potential earnings and/or rewards available are driven by the company’s own incentive to attract and keep their drivers. They are also always mindful of how they can please their customers by maintaining a high degree of availability and reliability for DoorDash services.

A look at the individual ways DoorDash lays incentives on its Dashers will help you get a better idea of what’s available and how much extra you might be able to earn.

Peak Pay promotions and DoorDash driver challenges

These incentives are very common and easy to get: 

Peak Pay is available at certain times of day, when there is a lot of business and there are not so many drivers. The only thing you need to do to qualify is schedule time blocks when Peak Pay is in effect in your area.

The map shown below illustrates what Peak Pay promotions look like in the app:

Source: DoorDash website

You can also find incentives under the promotions tab:

Source: DoorDash website

DoorDash driver challenges

Challenges appear at random, and it’s hard to tell exactly when you will see them. The challenge might ask you to complete a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame. Receiving $20 for making five deliveries in a few hours is a common example, but the requirements and rewards vary widely.

Challenges normally pop up when you are using Dash Now, but it’s possible to be eligible for them while driving on a scheduled shift. Drivers suspect there are reasons besides demand behind DoorDash’s challenges. These might include being new to DoorDash or returning to your Dasher duties after a long absence.

At the time of this writing, DoorDash states that challenges are in a beta testing phase. They may or may not be available in your area. More will be revealed if and when DoorDash rolls out the challenge program fully.

The DoorDash new driver bonus: Guaranteed earnings

While there’s not really a DoorDash sign-up bonus, there are benefits to signing on. New Dashers can benefit from a guaranteed earnings program if they sign up to drive using a guaranteed earnings sign-up page. Driver referral codes are widely available, and may or may not appear on your sign-up page. This article from the DoorDash website explains the program in detail.

The guaranteed earnings incentive operates pretty much the way it sounds. DoorDash guarantees you will make a certain amount of money on a given number of deliveries within a certain time frame. If the money you make on those deliveries fails to meet the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will pay the difference. 

Let’s say the offer states you’ll be paid $1,500 if you make 150 deliveries in your first 30 days. If you only make $1,300 from delivering within that time frame, DoorDash will pay the $200 difference. However, if you make the same or more, you will simply keep your earnings, and DoorDash will not pay you anything in addition.

Guaranteed earnings is a very nice incentive for new drivers, and it’s also good for DoorDash. This enticement trains drivers to make as many deliveries as possible in a reasonably short period of time, helping them to set a pattern they’ll probably follow in the future.

New Dashers who use a DoorDash driver referral code might also benefit the driver that invited them to join DoorDash. If the new Dasher meets the criteria of making the full number of deliveries in a given time frame, the referring driver could receive a bonus. DoorDash states these offers change weekly, so it always pays to check the app to see what’s available near you.

Other Dasher promotions

If you don’t see a way to get a DoorDash bonus, or even if you do, there are other offers DoorDash extends to its drivers that you should know about. “Top Dasher” is one that most drivers strive to achieve. Top Dashers are drivers who maintain superlative ratings, high acceptance rates, and solid completion numbers. 

The only privilege DoorDash lists on their website is the ability to use Dash Now at any time. However, the program has, from time to time, included other perks such as priority scheduling and VIP service from Dasher support. Read this article from Gridwise to get all the details about the program and how it might benefit some drivers more than others.

Below are the current requirements to be a Top Dasher. You need to maintain these numbers every month. You’ll have your status either reinstated or removed on the second day of each month.

  • customer rating of at least 4.7
  • acceptance rate of at least 70%
  • completion rate of at least 95%
  • 100 completed deliveries during the last month
  • at least 200 lifetime deliveries completed

You may wonder, as a driver for Doordash, “How do I check incentives?” The Dasher app is one of the most slick and comprehensive platforms out there. Always look to the app for whatever you need. Current offers, your ratings, and other qualifying factors for Top Dasher and the Dasher rewards program can be found on the app dashboard.

You need Gridwise! Download the app, and you’ll see how you can boost your earnings while getting a whole array of conveniences that have been designed for gig drivers, by gig drivers! Gridwise gives you all the things you need to thrive with DoorDash and all your driving gigs.

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