Do Prepaid Cards Work for Lyft?

Do Prepaid Cards Work for Lyft?

October 1, 2020         Written By Tracy Farnsworth

Lyft is a ride-sharing company out of San Francisco that operates in hundreds of cities across the U.S. and Canada. Riders who use the mobile app access car rides, car rentals, bicycle sharing, food delivery, and scooters. It is one of the nation’s most popular ride-sharing companies providing an annual ridership of more than 619 million.

How does Lyft work?

You install the Lyft app on your Android or iOS device. Once it is installed, set up your account, add a default payment method, and schedule rides when you need them. You will be given a ride fare estimate from the start so that you have an idea of how much your ride is going to cost. The next available driver picks you up after you submit your ride request. You have that driver’s photo and description of the car so that you know you are getting into the right vehicle when it arrives. You submit payment for the ride when you reach your destination. Riders have several options for paying for Lyft rides. Here is a breakdown of your payment options.

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Debit and Credit Cards: Major debit and credit cards are welcome if they have American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa logos.

E-Wallets: Mobile wallets and e-banking options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal.

Lyft Cash: This is one of the company’s newer options. Add cash to your account using one of the accepted payment methods. You add cash to your Lyft Cash card by tapping “Add Cash.” Choose how much you want to add, select the payment method, and submit the transaction. You can select to have Lyft Cash automatically refill when it falls below $15. You can turn the auto-fill feature on and off as desired.

Lyft Gift Cards: Purchase them on your Lyft app or the website. This is a good option if you are having a hard time getting a prepaid card to work on your Lyft account. More on that below.

Prepaid Cards: Lyft also accepts prepaid cards, but you should be aware of the exclusions and rules. Check out Lyft’s policies on prepaid cards. Many riders like to use a prepaid card due to the security and ease of sticking to a budget.


Here is a look at some prepaid cards you should be able to use with Lyft:

Netspend® All-Access ® Account by MetaBank®

The Netspend® All-Access ® Account by MetaBank® allows you to bank with no minimum balance required to open an Account. You can now get paid faster than a paper check with a direct deposit. You’ll get access to a feature-filled Account, online banking, and a mobile app. Get unlimited surcharge-free withdrawals at any Money Pass® ATM.

Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard®

With direct deposit on the Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard® you can get paid faster than a paper check. No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card. Get your tax refund direct deposited to your card account and no more waiting in line to cash your paper check.

Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard®, now a WWE partner®

The Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard®, now a WWE partner® can be used to pay everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted and, now with direct deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check. No overdraft fees on card purchases. No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card. Use the Netspend Mobile App to manage your card account on the go and enroll to get text messages or email alerts.


What is a Prepaid Card?

A prepaid card works like a credit or debit card, but it is loaded with funds you have added to the card. If your charge is higher than the amount you have loaded on the card, the charge may be denied or you may be required to pay the overage with cash or another payment method. For example, if you have a $50 prepaid card and your purchase is $65, you may be required to submit a second payment method for the additional $15.

Prepaid cards are tied to one of the major credit card payment processors (MasterCard or Visa) or a credit card company like Discover. American Express no longer offers prepaid cards, but there are still gift cards that work like prepaid cards. Lyft works with American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa cards.

The benefit to a prepaid card is security as it is not tied to your checking or savings account. There is no risk of your banking account getting drained if someone steals the prepaid card and there is no debt. You have a set amount to use and cannot go over it without needing to find another way to pay. It helps with budgeting for that reason. Prepaid cards are available to anyone. You do not need a credit check to get one. You get the card, add the cash to it or set up a direct deposit from your paycheck, and use it when needed. If you need to add more funds, simply refill it.

How Do You Use a Prepaid Card for Lyft Rides?

To use a prepaid card for Lyft rides, access the menu in the Lyft app, and select “Payment.” Click the option to “Add Card” that’s found under “Payment Methods.” Add your prepaid card. You will still need to set a default method like a debit or credit card in order to use a prepaid card. If you choose to have a mobile wallet or PayPal as your default method, Lyft also requires you to have a credit or debit card on file.

When you arrange a ride, rental, or other Lyft service on the app, verify that the prepaid card is the method you have selected to use for the payment. If not, switch it so that the prepaid card is selected.

When your ride ends, you will go to the “Rating and Payment” screen. Rate your driver first and leave feedback if necessary. Verify once more that the right payment method is selected and add a tip. Once that is set, click “Submit.” You will get an email receipt once it is successfully submitted.

What if you feel the fare you ended up paying was too high? While drivers often use GPS to get you from point A to point B, construction or accidents can change these routes, which results in higher fares. If you are certain there was a more efficient route, you can talk to Lyft and ask them to review the ride. During busy periods, fares may be higher due to increased demand. You may be paying extra due to service fees, damage fees, or tolls. Make sure that these are not the reason your fare was higher before you ask for a ride review.

Rules to Know When it Comes to Using a Prepaid Card for Lyft Rides

You cannot use your prepaid card without first setting a default payment method. This is done because there is a chance the prepaid will not have enough funds. A default payment method is a back-up that Lyft uses if the full charge is denied. If you have $10 left on the card and your ride costs $15, the extra $5 is charged to your default payment method. That default payment method may also be charged if there are damages. If you are in a car and spill your coffee, the driver would have to have the spill cleaned up. That cleaning fee is your responsibility and is charged to your default payment method.

You should keep track of any potential charges that are charged to your default payment method. If you have a debit card set up and there is not enough money, you could face additional overdraft fees or insufficient fund fees. It is important to pay attention to what could be charged and ensure there is money in place before you use Lyft. You will save yourself a hassle and excessive fees by keeping track of how much you have in your accounts before you pay for a Lyft ride.

What if You Have Issues Using a Prepaid Card?

What do you do if you cannot get your prepaid card to work with Lyft? It is not common to have a prepaid card issue unless the card is expired, reported as stolen, or the balance is $0. If there are no funds on it, you want to refill it. Check the expiration, if there is one, and verify that it’s okay. If the expiration is fine and there is a balance and it still does not go through, try using it to purchase a Lyft gift card or add funds to Lyft Cash. That way, you have used your prepaid card as hoped, but Lyft’s gift card or account balance is used to pay for the ride. Gift cards are instant, so you are not going to wait for hours or days to receive your gift card number.

To purchase a gift, go to the menu icon and select “Promos.” Scroll through that list and select “Gift Lyft to Friends.” Purchase the gift card with your prepaid card. You can also purchase gift cards on your computer on the main website. Once you have the 16-digit gift code, forward the number to yourself for use. If you wanted to give the Lyft gift card to a friend, you have that code sent to your friend’s email address. There is no requirement that the gift card has to be sent to another person though. You are welcome to keep that code for your own use.

To redeem the Lyft gift card, access the menu, and click “Promos.” In the “Enter Promo Code” box, enter the 16-digit code and click “Apply.” Check to see if the Lyft gift card balance is now showing up by clicking on “Promos” from the menu options. You need to have a default payment method selected in case of damage or cancellation fees. Your default payment method is also used for driver tips if there isn’t enough money on the gift card to cover them.

When you need a ride, Lyft’s variety of payment options make it easy to pay. Prepaid cards make it easy and provide security to your online transaction. Prepaid cards never require you to apply for the card, wait for a credit check, and get approved by a credit card issuer, but you may have to sign up and fund your card. Get a prepaid card online and refill it as often as you need to pay for Lyft rides.

If you are looking for a prepaid card, LowCards.com offers an array of prepaid cards, take a look at our selection and submit an application if you find one you like.

 

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 1, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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tracy

About Tracy Farnsworth

Tracy Farnsworth went straight from a business track in high school to a full-time job in mortgage banking in Burlington, Vermont. After having children, she built a freelance career in content writing and took online classes as time allowed. She completed Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing certificate programs with Ireland's online Shaw Academy and completed several courses in SEO and analytics. In her free time, she's the “mom” to a very clingy rat terrier, and the pair walk at least a mile every day. She's also a novice baker who is trying to master the art of sourdough bread.