How to easily earn points and miles on your Lyft rides
One of the best ways to boost your loyalty account balances is double dipping or even triple dipping your rewards. Stacking rewards takes many forms and requires different levels of effort, but one of the easiest ways to do this involves the ride-hailing company Lyft.
With Lyft's new partnership with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, now is a great time to earn valuable miles when you summon a Lyft. Best of all, you can earn rewards with three different loyalty programs simultaneously. And the process of doing it is easy. Here’s what you need to know.
Lyft has close partnerships with the following loyalty programs:
Before June 2021, you could simultaneously earn points and miles on Lyft rides with both Delta and Hilton. However, now you’ll have to choose among Alaska, Hilton and Delta. But whether you opt for Alaska, Hilton or Delta, you’ll still be eligible to earn with Chase and Dosh.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how to earn rewards through each partnership.
Alaska Mileage Plan
Alaska is Lyft's newest rewards partner. With its plentiful sweet spots, Alaska Mileage Plan has some of the most valuable airline rewards. Here's what you'll earn from Alaska's partnership with Lyft:
- 1 mile per dollar on all Lyft rides in the U.S. and Canada (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips).
- Through Dec. 31, Mileage Plan members will earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all Lyft rides in the U.S. and Canada (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips).
Linking your Lyft and Alaska accounts takes just a few taps. Go to AlaskaLyft.com and select "Link your accounts." The site will then prompt you to log in to your Mileage Plan account and agree to the terms and conditions.
Next, you'll need to sign in with Lyft and agree to Lyft's terms and conditions. After that, your Alaska and Lyft accounts will be linked.
There's no limit to the number of Alaska miles you can earn with Lyft.
Delta and Lyft officially launched their partnership in 2017, allowing you to earn bonus SkyMiles for every ride you take. While Delta’s SkyMiles program isn’t the most lucrative, you can still book some great sweet spots using your miles. Here’s what you’ll get through Delta and Lyft’s partnership:
- 1 mile per dollar spent (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips) on all U.S. rides.
- 2 miles per dollar spent (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips) on all U.S. airport rides.
- $20 ride credit as a new Lyft user.
All you need to do to unlock these rewards is link your Delta and Lyft accounts. To do so, visit deltalyft.com and enter your first name, last name and SkyMiles number. Agree to the terms and conditions and then click “Link Account.”
Once you click to link your Delta account, you’ll need to confirm your Lyft account or create a new one.
Then, the final step is to confirm your details on Lyft’s website or app. Once you’ve finished this linking process, you’ll automatically earn Delta SkyMiles every time you pay for an eligible Lyft.
While I credit my Lyft rides to Alaska Mileage Plan, you could alternatively opt to earn Hilton Honors points. Here’s what you can earn with Hilton Honors for taking Lyft rides in the U.S. and Canada:
- 3 points per dollar spent (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips) on Lyft economy, luxury and extra-seat rides.
- 2 points per dollar spent (excluding taxes, fees, tolls and tips) on shared Lyft 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 spending of $10,000 in Lyft rides per year, you'd earn up to 30,000 Hilton Honors points. Based on TPG’s valuations, 30,000 Hilton points are worth about $180.
To start earning Hilton points on Lyft rides, visit hiltonhonorslyft.com.
Click “Link your accounts” and sign in to your Hilton Honors account.
You’ll need to agree to the terms and click “Link account.”
Once you’ve completed all these steps, you can earn Hilton Honors points every time you pay for an eligible Lyft.
Should I earn with Alaska, Delta or Hilton?
Deciding whether to credit your rides to Alaska, Delta or Hilton depends on your ride patterns. Alaska is offering 2 miles per dollar spent on all rides through the end of 2022. But once 2023 begins, you'll earn a less impressive 1 mile per dollar spent. Since 1 mile per dollar is the standard Alaska earning rate, we'll use that figure for our analysis.
If you generally use Lyft for airport rides, crediting to Delta SkyMiles and earning 2 SkyMiles per dollar (worth 2.82 cents based on TPG’s valuations) will likely be your best long-term bet.
Those who go for shared Lyft rides should likely opt for Alaska Mileage Plan, as you'll earn 1 mile per dollar spent (worth 1.8 cents at TPG's valuations).
Standard Lyft rides earn 3 Hilton Honors points per dollar (worth 1.8 cents based on TPG’s valuations), the same return you'd get crediting to Alaska Mileage Plan.
If you link your Alaska, Delta and Hilton accounts to Lyft, you’ll likely earn on whichever you most recently linked. To change your rewards partner, select “Rewards” on the left-side toolbar in the Lyft app.
Scroll to “Change partner” and select Alaska Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles or Hilton Honors.
Dosh is one of my all-time-favorite rewards apps. It’s simple: Add your credit card information to the app. When you call a Lyft, Dosh automatically recognizes the transaction and awards you cash back on applicable purchases.
Dosh gives about 2% back on Lyft rides. Once you reach $25 in cash back, you can transfer the funds to various payment platforms, including Venmo, which is what I do. You can earn rewards through Dosh and Hilton, Alaska or Delta simultaneously, letting you double dip on rewards.
Best cards for Lyft
Best of all, you can stack loyalty program bonuses and your standard credit card earnings. This is where the double stack becomes a triple stack.
To maximize your Lyft rides, use a card that offers additional rewards for ride-hailing services. Chase extended its partnership with Lyft earlier this year, so select Chase cardholders can earn bonuses on Lyft purchases. Here are some of the Chase cards that earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (worth 10 cents back per dollar spent at TPG’s valuations) or 5% cash back on Lyft:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited.
- Chase Freedom Flex.
- Chase Freedom Student credit card.
- Ink business cards, including the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.
If you have a Chase card that earns bonus rewards on Lyft rides, consider adding your Chase card to the “payment” section of the Lyft app.
But there's also a case to be made for using a Mastercard for some rides. After all, World and World Elite Mastercard cardholders can earn a $5 monthly credit after taking three Lyft rides in a month. After your third ride, the credit will automatically be applied to the next ride, capped at once per month.
Making the most of your points and miles can be complicated, but the opposite is true in the case of Lyft’s partnerships with major loyalty programs. By taking advantage of these partnerships and using the right rewards card, you’ll be well on your way to earning future travel rewards every time you hail a Lyft — with minimal effort.
Additional reporting by Liz Hund.