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This step is like the golden ticket of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. In order to make big money as an Uber driver, you’ll need to leverage the weekly quests and promotions. Since I mainly focused on Uber quests (since they provided a much better incentive), I’m going to briefly discuss how they work.
If you complete a certain number of trips, you’ll earn extra money as a bonus. The amount of trips you need to do and the bonuses may vary every week. Sometimes, the trips and the bonus rate stays the same, but other times, it changes.
Take a look at the following image:
Every week, I received an email from Uber that briefly explained what the new promotions was going to be. So as you can see from the above image, if I drive 22 trips, I” make $40 extra as a bonus. Or, I can drive 69 trips and make an extra $110. But I have to complete these trips between Monday and Friday.
Now there are two types of quest promotions:
• One for weekdays (starting Monday at 4:00 am to Friday at 4:00 am)
• One for weekends (starting Friday at 4:00 am to Monday at 4:00 am)
Weekdays get their own quests and weekends get their own quests. In other words, these two types of promotions are completely independent from each other. Below are some more specific regarding this.
Trips Don’t Carry Over
Let’s day the weekend quest promotion is a as follows: drive 55 trips to make $120. You end up completing 54 trips and suddenly, 4:01 am on Monday rolls around. Guess what? You don’t get your $120 because those 54 trips don’t carry over to the new week. And a new week = new quests.
Bonuses Don’t Stack
Let’s say that you want to complete the weekday quest from the image above, which is as follows: drive 22 trips to make $40. Now when you complete 60 trips, you’ll make the difference of $110 and $40, which is $70. So that original $40 bonus is part of the $110 bonus; you just get the remaining amount of the $110 when you complete the 60 trips.
If you aim for the 60 trips, you don’t get $40 + $110. You just get $110.
Here’s what I mean: first you drive 22 trips to make $40. Now when you complete 60 trips, you’ll make the difference of $110 and $40, which is $70. So that original $40 bonus is part of $110 bonus; you just get the remaining amount of the $110 when you complete the 60 trips.
Trips Must Be Done in a Specific Area
The “quest” image from above stated the following: these trips can be completed anytime between Monday 4:00 am through Friday 4:00 am and anywhere in the city of Nashville. Nashville, that is. This means that if I wanted to complete a Nashville quest promotion in Bowling Green Kentucky, I would receive a whopping $0 as a bonus.
But there’s a tiny loophole to this: you can take a passenger to a different area that it will still count toward your total trip count for a quest promotion. But this doesn’t work the other way around. So let’s say I pick up a passenger from Nashville and take them somewhere in Bowling Green. This will count toward a quest promotion. But if I pick up a passenger from Bowling Green and take them to Nashville, this will not count toward the same quest promotion. In other words, trips have to start in a specified county (per the Uber promotional emails) for them to count toward your final bonus rate.
Set Destinations Count for Uber Promotions
The set destination feature is where the Uber app will only find passengers that are headed toward a specific destination that you type in. So let’s say you are in Bowling Green Kentucky and set your destination to Nashville. The app will only find passengers who are also headed in the same direction as Nashville. Not necessarily to Nashville, but towards the same general direction as Nashville.
And just to reiterate this one more time, the set destination feature has to be set in the specified area that the Uber promotional email stated. So I could complete a set destination drive from Bowling Green to Nashville and it will count towards the promotion. But if I do a set destination drive from Nashville to Bowling Green, then it will not count. And if you don’t care about completing quest promotions, feel free to set this type of feature to any area that you choose.
And one more note: you can only utilize the set destination feature twice per driving day.
Weekday Rush Hour Bonuses
As the name implies, these types of bonuses can only be earned during the weekdays. Typically, such bonuses are stated as follows: if you drive between 7:00 am-9:00 am and 4:00 pm-7:00 pm between Monday through Thursday, you’ll earn an extra $2-$3 per trip (which is subject to change every week, but these are the usual rates).
So imagine completing 12 trips between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm at the $2 rush hour bonus rate. That’s an extra $24 in your pocket. At the $3 bonus rate, you would earn an extra $36. Now, these trips also stack to a certain “cap” amount. Usually, the rush hour cap is 45 trips (which is the maximum number of trips that a driver can complete during the rush hour period for the day). This means that if you miraculously complete 46 trips during the rush hour time frame, you only get the rush hour bonus for the first 45 trips.
The Match Behind My $500 – $700 Weekly Earnings
Here’s a quick and simple breakdown of my past earnings via your new BFF for the day: Math.
I always aimed to earn a minimum of $500 in two days between Friday and Sunday (although I would usually drive Saturdays and Sundays). This means that I would also aim to complete the weekend quest promotion. Most of the time, this was as follows: drive 55 trips to make $120. The key here, is that I would always assume that I would complete the 55 trips to make $120. I would typically drive 28 trips on one day and 27 trips on the following day, which equals out to 55 trips. I would not stop for the day until those exact number of trips were completed.
Since I automatically assumed the $120 in earnings, my new goal was simply $500-$120=$380.
And because I only drove two days out of the week, this becomes $380/2=$190 per day. $190 to earn from completing 27-28 trips per day becomes $190/28=$6.78 per trip and $190/27=$7.03 per trip. The average between $6.78 and $7.03 is $6.90. So, in layman’s terms, my real goal was to earn an average of $6.90 per trip to earn a minimum of $500. The length of the trips obviously varied, as some were so short that I only made $2.62 (which is the minimum amount that a driver can earn per trip). But the takeaway here is that the money you earn from both short and long trips will average out to at least $6.90 per trip.
To reiterate the math from this ending point:
$6.90(55 trips)=$379.50. $379.50+$120 (bonus rate from completing 55 trips)=$499.50 (which is essentially $500). But this is assuming a $120 promotional bonus rate, which is pretty high. What if this rate changes though? Although it never changed for me, I would have adjusted my driving schedule according to the new promotional rate. In short, in a hypothetical world where the weekend promotional rate was less than $120, I would have either completed even more trips on the weekend or drive an additional day (such as Friday, which is also a great day for those rush hour bonuses).
Or, if you’re in a market where there are no promotions at all, you could still earn around $380 for two days of driving from the math above.
While these earnings and promotional rates are certainly not guaranteed for drivers, I can confidently say that this was the type of money I made back in my driving days. Here is proof via some of my past earnings:
Earnings Screenshot #1:
Using the $529.14 weekly earnings: $29.62 hourly average. $9.62 trip average.
Using the $376.14 trip earnings: $21.06 hourly average. $6.83 trip average.
Earnings Screenshot #2:
Using the $623.19 weekly earnings: $29.49 hourly average. $11.33 trip average.
Using the $468.19 trip earnings: $22.15 hourly average. $8.51 trip average.
Earnings Screenshot #3:
The math below excludes the $5.00 adjustment from the week prior.
Using the $642.25 weekly earnings: $29.72 hourly average. $11.67 trip average.
Using the $500.25 trip earnings: $23.14 hourly average. $9.09 trip average.
Next Read: Step 4: I Focused on Surges and Boots
Marketing Team Leader at Waze
Let me say this right off the bat: I don’t drive for Uber and Lyft anymore. I have since achieved bigger and better goals in my life, but I wanted to share some of my knowledge with current drivers and people who want to become drivers in the future.