Postmates Driver Review: How Much Do Postmates Drivers Make?

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our take: Postmates is a delivery service that hires drivers to pick up and deliver food and other goods to customers. It offers a transparent pricing structure, and each delivery has a payout listed, so you know exactly what you'll make before claiming one. Drivers have the opportunity to earn $20 to $27 per hour plus tips.
  • Flexibility
    5.0
  • Earning Potential
    4.0
  • Support Options
    4.0
  • Ease of Use
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Great flexibility
  • High demand for delivery drivers
  • High income potential

Cons

  • There's a learning curve for success
  • Must calculate and pay taxes on your own as an independent contractor

What Is Postmates?

Postmates is a delivery service that was recently acquired by Uber, although it still maintains its own branding. It’s one of the smaller delivery services with approximately 5% market share. With more than 500,000 drivers and more than 600,000 merchants, Postmates serves around 80% of households in the U.S. across all 50 states.

As a result of the acquisition, Postmates no longer accepts new drivers and instead notes on its website that those who are interested can sign up to deliver for Uber Eats. As part of the transition, Postmates drivers have been receiving notices that indicate that they likewise have to apply if they want to deliver for Uber Eats, according to Gridwise.

The Postmates Fleet platform for delivery drivers will be shutting down for good sometime in June, BuzzFeed News reported. For those who still have access to the platform, however, Postmates offers some advantages. Read on to find out what driving for Postmates is like for those who are still part of the Fleet.

What Postmates Is Best For

Postmates offers drivers the following advantages:

  • Flexibility: Postmates allows you to log in and out as you want to accept deliveries. There are no expectations for you to work a certain number of hours each month.
  • Earning potential: Postmates offers competitive rates for payment. However, you never know how many deliveries will be available to claim at a given time. Plus, a significant portion of your earnings come from tips, which aren’t guaranteed.
  • Support options: Postmates has a robust library of questions, answers and topics to choose from if you need help. You can also get assistance via live chat through the Postmates Fleet app, via email or by calling the Postmates Support number.
  • Ease of use: The app is intuitive and easy to use for claiming orders and making deliveries.

How Much Do Postmates Drivers Make?

Your earnings with Postmates are broken into:

  • Completed pickup
  • Completed delivery
  • Time spent at the pickup location
  • Mileage
  • 100% of tips

Each city has a different formula for earnings. Some examples include:

Rates Auburn, Alabama Fresno, California Newark, New Jersey
Per pickup $1.40 $1.80 $1.55
Per drop-off $0.80 $0.70 $0.70
Per minute $0.07 $0.07 $0.07
Per mile $0.61 $0.55 $0.77
Tips 100% 100% 100%

You can also earn money by referring other drivers. Earning a referral bonus depends on how many deliveries your referral completes in their first month. The bonus amounts and expectations vary by city.

The person you invite is also guaranteed to earn a certain payout for a certain number of deliveries. Some examples include:

Incentives Auburn, Alabama Fresno, California Newark, New Jersey
Inviter bonus $150 $150 $150
Invitee guarantee $275 $525 $275
Number of deliveries in first 30 days 35 65 35

Filing Taxes

Postmates drivers are independent contractors. This means you are responsible for claiming your earnings and paying taxes when you file each year.

Postmates drivers who earn $600 or more in a single year receive a Form 1099-MISC from the IRS. This form reports your earnings from the company.

If you earn less than $600 in a single year with Postmates, you won’t receive a Form 1099-MISC. However, it is still your responsibility to know how much you earned and claim the amount when filing your taxes. If you’re not sure how much you made, you can look through your weekly payouts to add up the correct amount.

Pro Tips To Maximize Your Earnings

Postmates has peak hours when delivery requests are at the highest. If you’re available to work during these hours, you have a greater chance of earning more money. Its busiest times are:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day
  • 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day
  • All day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Blitz – If there is an unexpected demand for deliveries, Postmates offers increased earning opportunities to encourage drivers to work.

Keep in mind that a Blitz may end at any time and is offered on an order-by-order basis. Once demand decreases, Blitz pricing ends. You’ll always know what to expect in payout from each order you accept.

Postmates Bonuses

In addition to your regular earnings, you have the chance to earn bonuses like:

  • Delivery bonuses: If you accept and complete a delivery within a certain time frame, you may be eligible for a bonus for your efficiency.
  • Guaranteed earnings: If you complete a specified number of deliveries within a certain period of time, you’re eligible for guaranteed minimum earnings. This means that even if you somehow make less than the guarantee, Postmates pays you the difference.

Stack Orders

If you see several orders in a nearby area, claim each one. You may be able to claim one order that is still being prepared at a restaurant and then pick up another customer’s order as you wait. Time is money, so the more orders you can fit into a small time frame, the more you’ll make.

Communicate With Your Customers

When you think about earning tips, consider what factors help you serve the customer. Text them when you arrive at the restaurant or store to pick up their order. Double-check that the order is correct and then let them know you’re on the way. If it’s a contactless order that you leave on the porch, text them one last time to let them know you’re dropping it off.

Comparing Postmates to the Competition

Postmates vs. DoorDash

These two delivery services are very similar. Both have peak times and offer similar base pay. However, DoorDash offers a minimum payment for each delivery regardless of how many you make. Postmates generally doesn’t guarantee a minimum payment until you reach a certain number of orders.

DoorDash falls short in the customer service options for its drivers. You can chat through the Doordash app, but Postmates offers a telephone number.

Postmates vs. Grubhub

Grubhub offers less flexibility because it asks you to set a schedule in advance. It also offers a lower base rate for deliveries, averaging only $11 per hour. Postmates offers generous incentives, but Grubhub doesn’t.

Is Driving for a Delivery Service Like Postmates Worth It?

The short answer is: It depends. You’re putting wear and tear on your car by driving it around, so you have to set aside money for car maintenance. Services like Postmates may be right for you if you’re efficient with your time, know your way around town, and offer good customer service. Other expenses to keep in mind include:

  • Monthly car payment or lease payment
  • Delivery insurance — check to see if your auto insurance company offers an add-on for your policy
  • Cellphone for the driver app and navigation around town
  • Gas
  • Parking fees
  • Tolls

Although Postmates isn’t accepting new drivers, you’ll want to take these factors into account when considering alternatives such as Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. You might also consider options that involve other types of deliveries, such as Instacart, Shipt or Amazon Flex.

Postmates FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Postmates.
  • What is a Postmates card?
    • A Postmates card is similar to a credit card and has a unique 16-digit number assigned to it. You use the Postmates card to pay for your orders upon pickup.
  • How do I get paid?
    • Payments process once per week on Monday for the previous Monday-to-Sunday workweek. Your payment may take two to three days to show up in your bank account.
  • How do I complete an automatic transfer?
    • Add a valid debit card to your account and transfer money instantly to your bank account.

    Data is accurate as of May 24, 2021, and subject to change.

    Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

    About the Author

    Katy Hebebrand is a freelance writer with eight years of experience in the financial industry. She earned her BA from the University of West Florida and her MA from Full Sail University. Since beginning to work full-time as a freelance writer three years ago, she has written on topics spanning many fields, including home building, families and parenting, legal and professional/corporate communications.
    Postmates Driver Review: How Much Do Postmates Drivers Make?
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