Last Updated on 2023-08-09

How To Take Advantage of DoorDash Referral Bonuses

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

author image

Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

author image

Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

author image

Faith McLaughlin

8 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates, Uber, and Lyft

author image

Michael Vaness

6 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, and Spark

DoorDash has a well-established referral program that pays bonuses to new and experienced dashers in areas with high demand. It’s a great way to boost your income, but you’ll need to know a few things to make the most out of it. 

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get your DoorDash referral bonus, from when and where it’s available to how to get your referral code. 

Does DoorDash have a referral program? 

Yes! DoorDash has been running a referral program for several years and has no plans to stop. 

With the DoorDash referral program, you can earn big bonuses - we’ve seen as much as $1,800! - just for referring a friend and without having to do any additional Dashes yourself. And it’s not just a one time thing either — you can refer as many people as you want and earn the bonus for every one. You can start earning as soon as you sign up for DoorDash (pending Dasher approval and local availability) and perform 30 deliveries over 30 days.

If you’re a new Dasher, you can also receive a bonus for signing up through a friend’s referral link and completing your first few Dashes. 

But keep in mind: the referral bonus isn’t always available. Its availability depends on your location and the time of year. The point of the bonus is to get more people dashing to meet high demand, so it only pops up when there’s a need.

If you’re waiting to sign up for DoorDash because you want a referral link that pays you - it’s not worth it. If you don't already have a friend trying to get you to sign up/referral link, chances are there isn’t one currently available in your area. DoorDash has policies against trying to refer people you don’t know, so seeking out a stranger’s referral code risks running into trouble with DoorDash.

Your best bet at taking advantage of a bonus when it comes to your location is to already be a Dasher so you can make money by referring your friends when it becomes active. You don’t want to sign up and be stuck in that 30-day “New Dasher” window for that one week you could be earning $1,800 for every friend you bring on board.

It can be hard to predict when a bonus will become available in your area. Referral offers are updated every week, so you can keep checking back, but if it’s not currently offered, there’s no guarantee that it ever will be. 

How does DoorDash referral work? 

If you’re referring someone: 

If you’re a Dasher referring a friend, simply go to the “Account” tab in the DoorDash app and check the “Refer a friend” banner at the top of the page to see whether there is an active referral promotion. If no promos are currently available, it will say either “Currently ineligible” or “Currently unavailable in your area,” like so:

If a referral promo is currently active in your area and you’re eligible, the details of the promotion will be specified right under the banner:

Tapping the “Referrals” button under the banner will bring you to a new screen where you can find more detailed information about the offer and get the referral link: 

To kick off the referral process, you’ll just need to send the link at the bottom to the person you’re referring. Just remember that they must sign up through the link you give them (they need to fill out the sign up form that the link brings them to). 

Once your friend signs up, they will need to complete the specified number of deliveries within the allotted time period for the two of you to receive your bonus. So it’s not a simple sign up bonus - you need them to do some work too. You can track their progress via the same “Referral” screen:

Warning: Publicly posting referral links is against DoorDash’s terms of service, and doing so can get your account deactivated. So, although you might think that throwing up your referral link on your Instagram or posting it on Reddit could get you a ton of bonuses, it’s more likely to get you permanently banned from DoorDash. 

Don’t do it. Only send referral links through direct communications. 

Scott Jones, who has been dashing since 2018, says “Doordash is constantly looking for people doing this, and purges their system of these people, instantly. Be very careful.”

If you’re being referred:

If you’re the person being referred, then the process is even simpler: just sign up using the link your friend gave you, follow the instructions, and complete the required deliveries within the specified timeframe. 

How is the DoorDash referral bonus paid?

When a referral offer is successfully completed, the bonus is sent out with your regular weekly DoorDash payment — there are no extra steps required to claim it. 

There’s no referral bonus showing up — what do I do?

If you’re not seeing a referral bonus on your “Account” page, it usually means one of two things:

1. There is no referral bonus currently available in your area

DoorDash updates its referral promos on a weekly basis, which means that there isn’t always a bonus available. If the “Refer a friend to dash” banner says there’s currently no promotion on offer, then all you can do is keep checking back every week to see if that changes. 

2. You’re not yet eligible 

To take advantage of the referral bonus, you need to:

  1. Be a Dasher for 30 days
  2. Complete 30 deliveries 

If you don’t meet these criteria, you won’t be able to refer anyone until you do.

3. There’s a technical error

This is only the case if the “Refer a friend” banner doesn’t appear at all. If you don’t see the banner on your “Account” page, then try restarting the app, restarting your phone, uninstalling and reinstalling the app, updating your phone’s OS, and if that doesn’t work, contacting DoorDash support. However, in the vast majority of cases, a technical error is not the culprit. 

Michael Vaness, who has been dashing for a year, says you can also try “shutting the app down and going into the dasher app info screen to clear the cache.” He also notes that “sometimes, uninstalling and reinstalling the app can also fix bugs and errors. Just make sure to remember your credentials if you uninstall because the app will not save these, and they will be required upon reinstallation to sign back into your account.”

Tips to get your friends to sign up

The hardest part of most referral programs is convincing your friends to actually go through with signing up. There’s an extra barrier to the DoorDash program because your friends also need to complete several dashes on top of the initial sign up. 

Be tactful about it

Unfortunately, sometimes your friends just won’t be willing to sign up, and nothing you do or say will change that. 

No one likes pushy and aggressive salespeople — especially if that salesperson is a friend they thought they were just grabbing food with. 

If you’re going to try to get your friend to start dashing, your best bet is to casually bring it up, gauge their interest, and if they’re receptive, lay out the reasons you think they should sign up. Then,  send them the invite, and follow up in a few days if they haven’t signed up.

Remind them that they’re getting paid for using your link

 With the DoorDash referral program, you’re not the only one who gets paid — the person you’re referring also gets a bonus! 

So, don’t forget to remind them that if they sign up, they’ll get a $500 bonus too (just make sure to tell them the correct amount).

Think about what’s in the DoorDash experience for them

If the signup bonus isn’t enough to win them over, you can try pitching them on the many benefits that come from DoorDashing.

If they’re looking for a new job or a side hustle, let them know about DoorDash’s flexibility: they can dash as much or as little as they want, making it a full-time gig or a way to earn some extra cash every now and then. 

If they’re comfortable with their current work, try to sell them on just doing enough deliveries to get the bonus as a one-off without any commitment beyond that. It usually takes about 7.5 active hours to complete 25 deliveries, so you can use that to estimate how long it will take them to complete the required number of dashes.

In some areas, you can dash on a bike, so if they’re looking to get some more exercise, you can let them know that dashing can help them stay active while getting paid for their workouts. 

If they’re a very close friend, you can frame it as a favor to you and let them know about how it would mean to you. And if they’re really on the fence, you can even negotiate giving them a cut of your own bonus to sweeten the deal. 

Just remember: don’t push too hard. It won’t get you anywhere. 

Get started with DoorDash

Ready to get dashing and earning referral bonuses? Sign up now to start earning on your own schedule (pending Dasher approval and local availability).

Keep Learning...