Last Updated on 2024-01-05

The DoorDash “Sign Up Bonus” - It’s Not What You Think

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

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Phil Grossman

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

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Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

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Faith McLaughlin

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

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Matt Wheeler

5 years of experience working across GrubHub, DoorDash, Shipt, and Uber Eats

Since you’re here, you’ve probably heard rumors of a DoorDash sign-up bonus — or perhaps you’re just wondering if there is one. 

Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but there is currently (as of 2024) no sign-up bonus. And there is a good reason for this: DoorDash doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus because it would be too easy for fraudsters to game the system and create fake signups.

If you’re reading about a “sign up bonus” on another webpage, they are probably referring to one of the following programs - none of which is what we would call a true “sign up bonus”:

  • A temporary location-based promotion available to all local Dashers
  • A temporary location-based referral bonus available only to Dashers with a Dasher friend
  • The Guaranteed Earnings Incentive*
  • Some other bonus that comes well after sign-up

The quickest way to understand whether any signup or new Dasher bonuses are available in your area is to start the sign up process by clicking GigWolf’s promotional link on this page. But read on to understand the details here. 

How to get in on a DoorDash location-based promotion

When DoorDash attempts to expand into new markets, it sometimes offers bonuses for new Dashers who sign up and complete their first few deliveries. When this happens, this offer is available to all Dashers who sign up, regardless of whether you went to yourself or found some referral link.

For example, when DoorDash was very short on drivers in many markets in the Spring of 2023, they ran a promotion in ~10 large cities, including Boston, Miami, and Las Vegas. The terms were that you needed to (1) sign up in one of those areas, and (2) complete 15 deliveries within your first 7 days. If you did so, you would be rewarded with $300. However, this bonus has since ended and is no longer available. 

When such a promotion is active, DoorDash may make this offer available to Dashers in the sign-up flow. Fortunately for our readers, GigWolf is a DoorDash partner - so if there are active location-based promotions available in your area, you will uncover them by initiating the sign up process starting from this page. But beware — this location-based bonus only pops up periodically as supply and demand ebbs and flows, so don’t wait to sign up in hopes of getting this bonus — it may never come. 

What about getting cash for signing up from a referral bonus?

Sometimes, when you sign up your friend Dasher's referral link, you can earn a cash bonus after completing your first deliveries.

However, similar to the above location-based promotions, referral bonuses are temporary based on demand in your area. It's unlikely that any are running in your area right now, even if you did manage to find a friend with a referral link.

If you’re waiting to sign up for DoorDash because you want a referral link that pays you - it’s not worth it. Chances are, you’re not in a location that is currently paying referral bonuses. And your best bet at taking advantage of a referral program offer when it comes to your location is to already be a Dasher by then. If you sign up now, you maximize your chances of qualifying for being able to take advantage of the referral program: if you're a Dasher who's been active for 30 days and has done 30 deliveries when a referral offer hits your area, you can earn that bonus for each person you refer. That can be a ton more cash in your pocket than a single bonus for being referred by a friend.

Why the DoorDash Guaranteed Earnings Incentive is not a bonus

The Guaranteed Earnings Incentive driver promo isn’t a bonus, but it’s a nice perk that can help you plan your finances a bit better. 

It works like this: DoorDash guarantees that it will pay you a set amount of money if you complete a specified number of deliveries within the specified timeframe. If the delivery earnings come out to less than that guaranteed amount, DoorDash will cover the difference. If the deliveries come out to more, then you get to keep the extra money. 

An example Guaranteed Earnings calculation

Let’s make this a bit clearer by running through an example. 

Suppose that DoorDash is running a Guaranteed Earnings Incentive that guarantees you $250 if you complete 25 orders in your first 30 days as a Dasher. You work hard and complete the required number of orders, but your earnings only come out to $200. Well, thanks to the Guaranteed Earnings Incentive, DoorDash will give you an extra $50 to make up for that difference. If your orders paid more than expected, and your earnings came out to $300, you would of course get to keep the $300. You wouldn’t get any extra — it’d be as if the Guaranteed Earnings Incentive never existed.

What’s the likelihood of completing those 25 deliveries? How long does it take? First, you’ll need to sign up for DoorDash, which takes about 2 days. Dashers report that they typically do between 10-25 deliveries in an 8 hour period, depending on demand. So, you can estimate that it will take you between 1-3 full-time work days or 8-24 hours of work. 

Ryan Shaw, a Dasher with three years of experience, says that it typically takes him about 7.5 hours of active time to complete 25 deliveries. 

“There's an important distinction here, though, as that is 7.5 hours of ‘Active Time,’ or in other words, total time spent from accepting the order to marking it complete,” he says. “There is downtime for all drivers, either waiting for offers to show up or turning down offers due to low pay, far distance, or both. Some people are willing to accept every order that's offered to them, while more experienced drivers tend to ‘cherry pick’ offers they deem worth the time and distance required to fulfill the order. It's not uncommon for many drivers on an 8-hour dash to only spend 6 hours actively doing deliveries.”

The Guaranteed Earnings Incentive isn’t available everywhere. If you sign up for DoorDash here, you’ll get a notification if this driver promo is available in your area. If you don’t get a notification, it means that DoorDash isn’t running the promo in your location. 

Other DoorDash Incentives

DoorDash periodically runs challenges and other driver promos that can help Dashers boost their earnings through incentives and bonuses. Here are a few that have been available in the past:

  • DoorDash Lifetime Deliveries Bonus: When DoorDash ran its IPO, it gave a $500 Milestone Bonus to Dashers who had completed 5,000 deliveries. Unfortunately, this bonus is no longer available. 
  • DoorDash Christmas Bonus: DoorDash gave Dashers a Christmas bonus around the time of its IPO, but does not do this regularly. 
  • Peak Pay: When it’s really busy, DoorDash offers incentives to its drivers on a per order basis. These offers are typically $1.00 extra per order but can go even higher at times when demand is significant, which tends to happen during dinner time, on weekends, or overnight.  

Outside of the temporary location-based bonuses and Guaranteed Earnings Incentive that we’ve mentioned above, there are no bonuses available to Dashers. However, there are some other non-monetary perks available:

  • Dash Now: For your first two weeks as a Dasher, you can make use of the “Dash Anytime” feature, which is normally only available to Top Dashers. This allows drivers to start working anytime they want (subject to local availability) without having to schedule in advance. 
  • Priority Access Program: For your first three weeks as a Dasher, you can get priority access to the top paying orders in your area. After the first couple of weeks, you’ll need at least a 4.5 star (out of 5) customer rating and a 50% acceptance rate.
  • VIP Support: As a new Dasher, you’ll get 24/7 access to live support agents in case anything goes wrong on the road. 
  • Acceptance rate reset: This resets your order acceptance rate, which can be useful for Dashers with a low order acceptance rate. Dashers with higher acceptance rates get first dibs on the highest paying orders, so this is a chance to get back to being offered those premium dashes. 

Ready to start earning with DoorDash? Sign up to be a Dasher here (pending Dasher approval and local availability).  

*Not the same as California’s Prop-22 Minimum Guaranteed Earnings which is only available to California dashers.  

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