The easy way to earn bonus points every time you take Lyft
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Editor’s note: This post updates information on new partnerships. It was originally published on July 2, 2019.
One of the best ways to boost your loyalty account balances is by double-dipping your rewards. This takes many forms and requires different levels of effort, but one of the easiest ways to do this involves the ride-sharing company Lyft. Every time you summon a Lyft, you could earn extra points and miles with not just one but two different loyalty programs simultaneously. And the process for doing so is incredibly easy.
Today we’ll be looking at all the ways you can earn points and miles toward flights and hotel stays just by taking a Lyft so you don’t miss out on any rewards.
As noted above, Lyft gives users the option to link two popular reward programs:
The best part? When the most recent partnership with Hilton launched, Lyft confirmed that “riders will be able to earn across all partnerships.” This effectively turns this into a triple-dip opportunity, as you’ll earn points on the credit card you use for the ride, plus points or miles in both of the above programs.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how to take advantage of this great bonus potential.
Delta and Lyft officially launched their partnership back in 2017, allowing you to earn bonus SkyMiles for every ride you take. While Delta’s SkyMiles program isn’t the most lucrative, there are still some great sweet spots you can book using your miles, and the earning rates with Lyft are quite flexible. Here’s what you’ll get through the Delta-Lyft partnership:
- 1 mile per dollar spent on eligible rides
- 2 miles per dollar spent on rides to/from the airport
- $20 ride credit as a new Lyft user
All you need to do to unlock these rewards is link your Delta and Lyft accounts. Here’s how to do that:
1. Visit www.deltalyft.com.
2. Enter your first name, last name and SkyMiles number, agree to the terms and conditions, then click “GO.”
3. Click Continue with Lyft to confirm your account (or create a new one).
4. Confirm your details with Lyft, then click “Accept.”
Once you’ve finished this process, you’ll start automatically earning Delta SkyMiles every time you pay for a Lyft.
This is one of Lyft’s most recent partnerships and the first one with a hotel program, putting you closer to free hotel stays. Here’s what you can earn with Hilton Honors for taking Lyft rides:
- 3 points/dollar on rides
- 2 points/dollar on shared rides
- $5 off the first three rides for new users
- Bonus points on up to $10,000 in Lyft rides
If you reach the maximum spend of $10,000 in Lyft rides/year, you’ll earn 30,000 Hilton Honors points, worth $180.
To start earning points, follow these easy steps:
1. Visit www.hiltonhonorslyft.com.
2. Sign into your Hilton Honors account
3. Verify your account info, check the boxes to agree to the terms, then click “Link Accounts.”
4. Click “Accept” to finish connecting your Hilton and Lyft accounts.
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll start earning Hilton Honors points every time you take a Lyft.
Best Cards for Lyft
This is a fantastic triple-dip opportunity, as you can stack both of these loyalty program bonuses along with your standard credit card earnings. To further maximize these purchases, use a card that offers additional rewards for ride-sharing. Here are a few recommendations:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: There’s a reason why the CSP is TPG readers’ favorite travel rewards card, and Chase’s new partnership with Lyft just made it an even more rewarding pick. CSP card holders can now earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on Lyft riders. To activate, set your CSP as your preferred Lyft payment method. That’s a fantastic upgrade from the old 2x points per dollar spent. You can also enjoy the 5x points or 5% cash back with both the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: The CSR’s annual fee just went up from $450 to $550, but with the increase came a new host of perks. One particularly lucrative addition is the elevated earnings and savings cardholders are now eligible for with Lyft. Riders who use their CSR will now earn 10x points per dollar spent and will enjoy a complimentary Lyft Pink membership. The membership itself can result in some serious savings — in fact, I saved $43 after using it for one month (and that calculation includes the cost of a paid membership, so CSR members would save even more).
World Elite™ Mastercard®: Back in April, Mastercard announced that it would be giving all World Elite cardholders $10 a month towards Lyft after members take five rides each calendar month. Once that happens, the credit will automatically be applied to the next ride, capped at once per month. Cards covered include the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, Citi® Prestige Card, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard and the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard.
The information for the Citi Prestige, Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard, Chase Freedom, Virgin Atlantic Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Further reading: The best credit cards for Uber and Lyft
Other ways to save on Lyft
All of the above cards offer great earnings and savings potential. However, if you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Reserve with one free year of Lyft Pink, you may want to look into getting a Pink membership.
The membership costs $20 a month and offers up to 15% savings on all rides. It also comes with some pretty awesome perks such as complimentary bikes and scooters, priority airport pick up and more. This could add up to some major savings for those who are frequent riders.
If you’re new to Lyft, you could be eligible for $10 cash back through Rakuten. After that, riders can earn 25 cents back on every ride. In order to activate the rewards, you’ll have to call your ride through the Rakuten app. Rakuten also allows you to earn your rewards as Amex Membership Rewards points instead of just cash. Better yet, they value points at just 1 cent each meaning you can earn points quite cheaply and then redeem them at higher values. The one pain point with this earning strategy is that you’ll have to remember to activate it each time you order a Lyft.
Making the most of your points and miles can be a complicated thing, but in the case of Lyft’s partnerships with major loyalty programs, the opposite is true. By taking advantage of these partnerships and using the right rewards card, you’ll be on well on your way to earning future travel rewards every time you hail a Lyft — with minimal effort.
Featured photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.
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