Do Prepaid Cards Work for Lyft?

Do Prepaid Cards Work for Lyft?

November 15, 2019         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Lyft is a ride-sharing platform operating in over 600 cities across the United States. With over 10 million rides per week and 550 million rides per year, Lyft has quickly become one of the biggest names in transit.

There are several ways to pay for Lyft rides, including most major credit cards and mobile wallets. Lyft also accepts prepaid cards, but there are some exclusions to consider. Let’s take a closer look at Lyft’s prepaid card policy.

How to Use a Prepaid Card for Lyft Rides

In the upper left menu of the Lyft app, there is a tab that says “Payment.” Click on that to see your existing payment options. Select “Add card” under the “Payment methods.” From there, you can enter the card details for the prepaid card and use it to pay for rides.

When you reserve your next ride, verify that the prepaid card is the selected payment method. If not, change the payment before completing the ride request.

To Use a Prepaid Card, You Need a Default Payment Method

You can use a prepaid card to pay for a Lyft ride, but you will still need an alternative payment on file. This will be your default payment method for the account. It could be a credit card, a debit card linked to a checking account, Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal. If you use a mobile wallet or PayPal for your default payment method, you must have a valid credit or debit card on file.

Why does Lyft require a default payment method for prepaid cards? If your prepaid card is declined for insufficient funds or other reasons, Lyft will charge the default payment method for the ride. The default payment method may also be charged if there are any damage fees after the ride. For instance, if a member of your group accidentally spills a dark drink in the vehicle, the default payment method may be charged a cleaning fee.

Since prepaid cards have a fixed value, they cannot accept charges beyond their limits. A debit card tied to a checking account can be charged, even if the account is overdrafted. The same goes for most credit cards. By requiring a default payment, Lyft ensures they will be paid for services rendered or damages done to one of their drivers’ vehicles.

Here are some prepaid cards in the Visa and Mastercard network to consider:

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If you are a Walmart shopper, you may want to consider the since it generates cash back rewards of up to $75 per year on certain purchases. You’ll receive 3% cash back on purchases at, 2% cash back on transactions at Murphy USA and Walmart Fuel Stations; and 1% cash back on purchases at Walmart.

card image
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When you have a , you can move money from your PayPal account onto this prepaid card in real time. You can also add money to your account with the no-cost Direct Deposit service. As a cardholder, you will receive special offers and Payback Rewards when you shop at qualifying stores.

Other Ways to Pay for Lyft

If you find that your prepaid card does not work with Lyft, there are some additional ways to pay:

One option is to use your PayPal account. But you will have to have a valid debit card or credit card on file to pay for your Lyft rides with PayPal. To choose this method, open the Lyft app and then the menu in the top left. Tap ‘Payment’ to add or update payment info.

Apple Pay or Google Pay
You could also use Google Pay or Apple Pay to pay for your Lyft rides. Before you do so, you will need to link your debit or credit card to your mobile wallet. Adding a mobile wallet as a payment method can be done following the same procedure: open the Lyft app and then the menu in the top left. Tap ‘Payment’ to add or update payment info.

Lyft Gift Card
If you have any issues using a prepaid card or mobile wallet on Lyft, you could use your prepaid card to purchase a Lyft gift card.

Even without a traditional credit card, you can still pay for Lyft’s services with these payment methods.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 15, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue
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