No more double-dipping: Lyft axes valuable points-earning sweet spot
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
An easy way to maximize your points and miles is by double or even triple dipping. This is when you collect multiple types of rewards for a single activity, like when you use a shopping portal and earn points with your credit card.
Although Lyft doesn't have a loyalty program of its own, it has long offered an easy way to double-dip on rides. In addition to the points you earn through your credit card, Lyft currently allows you to earn extra points and miles with not just one but two different loyalty programs simultaneously.
Unfortunately, this is changing.
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Double-dipping on Lyft rides
Lyft gives users the option to link two popular reward programs: Delta SkyMiles and Hilton Honors (JetBlue TrueBlue used to also be a partner, but that ended in 2019). Every time you ride, you can earn points across both partners. But, not for much longer.
Come June 30, you may only earn points or miles with one travel rewards partner at a time. You can make your selection through the "Rewards" tab on the Lyft app. If you don't make a selection by June 30, Lyft will default to the program you enrolled in first. Luckily, you can change your selection at any time.
On the bright side, Lyft hasn't announced any changes to the earning rates. Those will remain the same.
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 (my referral code)
If you haven't done so already, you can link your Delta and Lyft accounts via www.deltalyft.com.
Meanwhile, here’s what you can earn with Hilton Honors for taking Lyft rides:
- 3 points per dollar on rides
- 2 points per dollar on shared rides
- $5 off the first three rides for new users (my referral code)
- Bonus points on up to $10,000 in Lyft rides
You can link your Delta and Hilton accounts via www.hiltonhonorslyft.com.
Which partner should you choose?
TPG's monthly valuations peg Delta SkyMiles at 1.1 cents apiece and Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents apiece. Based on these numbers alone, you'll usually be better off selecting Hilton, getting about 1.8% back on standard rides, as opposed to Delta which only earns about 1.1% back.
Rides to the airport earn about 2.2% back with Delta, which beats Hilton. Also, Delta doesn't have a maximum on how many miles you can earn.
Fortunately, you can change which partner you want to earn with at any time. So, for instance, you can pick Hilton for city rides and Delta for airport rides.
Best cards for Lyft
While you can now only earn points or miles with one travel partner, you can still double-dip by stacking these bonuses with your credit card earnings. To further maximize these purchases, use a card that offers additional rewards for ride-sharing, such as the following:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Cardholders earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft through March 2022, and 5x points on travel, which includes Uber. New cardholders can currently earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The card has a $95 annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Cardholders earn 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft through March 2022 and 3x points on all other travel. One particularly lucrative perk is that cardholders get a complimentary Lyft Pink membership, which unlocks additional savings on rides. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The card has a $550 annual fee.
World Elite™ Mastercard®: World Elite cardholders can get a $5 Lyft credit for every three rides taken in a calendar month, which will be automatically applied to the next ride, capped at once per month. Eligible cards include the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, Citi Prestige® Card, and Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard.
The information for the Citi Prestige and Hawaiian Airlines 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
Overall, today’s announcement is a loss for Lyft riders. It does make sense, though. For instance, when staying at a hotel, you can typically either only earn hotel points or airline miles. On the bright side, the earning rates aren’t changing and users are being given three weeks to double-dip on their rides before this opportunity goes away.