Financial Health

The Best Delivery Apps to Start Making Money Now

The rise of delivery apps confirms that the “gig economy” is real, and anyone can get involved. You now can pick up hours here and there, using just a bike or car to earn money on your terms and schedule.

But now, with so many delivery apps to choose from, you must weigh your options before jumping in. Every app has unique pros, cons, and perks, and research is critical.

We’ve put in the legwork at Steady to bring together all the available apps in one place to streamline and simplify the process of finding the right ones for your situation. This article outlines all the top delivery apps so you can see what’s out there and start earning that extra income today.

Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery was a reliable side gig long before there was an “app for everything.” Now, it’s easier than ever to earn, thanks to apps that get you working immediately. 

Here are the food delivery apps that give you the best returns on your time and effort.


Uber became a household name with its rideshare service but has since carved out its place in the food delivery space. After a successful launch in 2014, the app is now a mainstream, reliable side hustle for anyone willing to do the work.

The app is available in nearly every city and town, offering a great entry point for side income, provided you have a vehicle that meets the standards.

Pros of UberEats:

  • Smooth and intuitive user experience, directly integrated with the Uber App
  • Simultaneous rideshare and food delivery (or the option to do one at a time)
  • Surge pricing (busy times of the day or week) is a powerful incentive to earn more
  • Boost promotions can earn you more per delivery based on specific locations and times
  • No requirement to set schedules in advance - just fire up the app and go
  • Drivers keep tips earned via the app and often collect cash tips on the road
  • The in-app earnings tracker is easy to use and gives visibility into weekly trends

Cons of UberEats:

  • Payments may not be as quick as you’d like
  • Tips are not guaranteed and will fluctuate unpredictably
  • You may find yourself waiting at restaurants for orders to be filled

UberEats Requirements:

To drive for UberEats by car, you must be at least 19 years old and have a reliable 2-door or 4-door car. You must also have a valid driver’s license and be ready to submit your social security number to pass a background screening before driving.

Delivery by scooter is similar if you have a motorized scooter under 50cc. Just to be sure, sign up for the scooter delivery transportation method when creating your account.

You can also choose to deliver by bicycle or foot if you’re at least 18 years old and have a government-issued ID. This is a great way to save on gas and make quick cash.

UberEats Earning Potential:

UberEats drivers can earn between $14 and $18 per hour in net pay depending on the time, place, and other variables. This means factoring in expenses like gas, maintenance, and other costs.

However, if you take advantage of peak hours and tap into the Uber surge pricing on nights and weekends, that hourly rate can rise well over $20 an hour, plus an increased likelihood of tips. As always, better service and speed equal more pay, no matter what delivery app you choose.


As a direct competitor to UberEats, you’ll see many familiar features and limitations in the GrubHub app. This service was built specifically for food delivery in 2004, not as an add-on to an already successful rideshare app.

GrubHub is available nearly everywhere and is a great way to learn the ropes of food delivery while bringing in extra cash on the go.

Pros of Grubhub:

  • Order information is highly detailed, with options for alternatives
  • Tips are more encouraged than in other apps, with better transparency
  • Specific locations allow for guaranteed based pay
  • Driver support is better, with live US-based phone support instead of text
  • Signup is extremely quick and easy, with minimal requirements to get started
  • One of the larger delivery apps, meaning you’ll have more opportunities to work

Cons of Grubhub:

  • Lacking incentives and bonuses that encourage you to take on more deliveries
  • Some drivers are required to schedule shifts in advance, reducing the convenience level
  • Deliveries may be assigned at the end of a shift, requiring more time than expected

Grubhub Requirements:

Grubhub is known for its simple and quick sign-up process, requiring only a car, valid ID, and background check. You need to be at least 19 years old to start, and no special training is required.

GrubhubEarning Potential:

Grubhub might be one of the faster ways to make money in your city, but the average earning potential is on the lower side, at $12 to $15 an hour.

You can set yourself up for success by tracking your earnings more accurately and determining when - and where - to earn more based on key factors.


Everyone knows about DoorDash, as it currently dominates the online food ordering market with a share of nearly 60%. Let’s see how the features and functions stack up against its competitors and what that means for you as a driver in search of extra cash.

Pros of DoorDash:

  • Promotions like Peak Pay offer higher earnings during busy times of the day or week
  • Challenges effective “gamify” delivery for drivers as they get bonuses for meeting goals
  • After completing 100 orders with a high customer rating, drivers can sign up for DoorDash Drive, allowing them to deliver larger catering orders and earn more
  • Payments are speedy and on time, with an easy-to-use interface for dashers

Cons of DoorDash:

  • Payouts vary widely, and drivers may find themselves with downtime between orders
  • Requirements are a bit steeper than competing apps
  • Cashing out with Fast Pay costs $2 if you don’t want to wait for payday

DoorDash Requirements:

Dashers need to undergo a more stringent background check to sign up for deliveries and require at least one year of driving experience. This may limit certain drivers who have limited experience or a series of traffic violations.

Apart from that, the sign-up process is relatively quick and straightforward for DoorDash.

DoorDashEarning Potential:

DoorDash has a broad range of earning potential based on cities, timing, and incentives. Low-end earners may see an average of $13 an hour, while the top earners can make upwards of $22.

To maximize your earnings on DoorDash, commit to excellent service and stay consistent.

Package Delivery Apps

Deliveries aren’t always about the food! Packages and other necessities must be delivered on time, offering more opportunities for you to make money as a driver. Here are the top apps to consider as you expand your horizons.

Amazon Flex

The online superstore Amazon has paved the way for flexible, gig-based employment that can earn you money delivering packages around your city. This app has features and payouts that are worth a closer look.

Pros of Amazon Flex:

  • Payment is generally more reliable (and higher) than the major food delivery apps
  • Amazon’s infrastructure and support network is one of the best
  • Base pay (and tips) allow drivers to earn more and make some decent side income

Cons of Amazon Flex:

  • Flex uses scheduling “blocks” that require you to complete a certain number of deliveries in a set timeframe, which isn’t always possible with traffic and volume
  • Some drivers warn of dealing with complicated deliveries in large apartment structures
  • Delivering packages is more physically taxing than delivering orders of food
  • Sign-up requirements are more strict than in other apps

Amazon Flex Requirements:

You must be 21 or older to sign up for Amazon Flex and have a car that meets the service’s specifications. That means a mid-sized sedan, SUV, or closed-bed truck that can store plenty of packages safely at one time.

You also need to pass a background check and get familiar with the application flow, which is a bit different from basic food delivery services.

Amazon FlexEarning Potential:

The upside of Amazon Flex is the higher earning potential, especially as you master the art of pickups, deliveries, and maximizing your time on the road. Beginners can earn $15 an hour out of the gate, while high-end earners can see more than $25 an hour.


This app is famous for delivering everything, including important documents, dry cleaning, and more. Postmates is a unique service and requires a particular type of person to rise to the task.

Pros of Postmates:

  • Any method of transportation is accepted - driving, biking, walking, even skateboarding
  • The variety of delivery jobs makes it easy to select an opportunity and get moving
  • Ideal for people using bikes in high-density metro areas like New York and San Francisco
  • Larger tips are likely when dealing with time-sensitive deliveries

Cons of Postmates:

  • Unless you move very fast, Postmates doesn’t pay much and places all extra costs on the person delivering
  • Blitz pricing opportunities have declined in recent years
  • Not great for large cities that require longer driving times

Postmates Requirements:

Postmates isn’t too demanding with its sign-up requirements, allowing nearly anyone over 18 to get started. Be ready to show a valid driver’s license and insurance if you plan to drive.

Postmates Earning Potential:

Of all the apps on this list, Postmates is the most unpredictable in terms of payment. If you’re driving in a larger city like LA or Chicago, you’re unlikely to earn more than $15 an hour when you run the numbers.

However, those who are aggressive on a bike can use this as a courier service and make some decent income in certain cities with bustling financial hubs.

Grocery Delivery Apps

In recent years, grocery delivery apps have become hugely popular for users and participants in the gig economy. Here are the apps worth looking at and what they offer.


This app partners with local grocery stores to get custom orders from the store to the door in a short timeframe. As a delivery driver, you can accept orders, pick up the items in-store, then bring them to customers to earn money.

Pros of Instacart:

  • More dynamic, engaging, and full-service than other simple delivery apps
  • Higher earning potential with tips, and greater emphasis on service
  • Bonuses offered for five-star reviews
  • Peak boosts when working during high-demand periods of the week or day
  • You keep 100% of tips from the app and collect cash as well

Cons of Instacart:

  • Customers can be picky, and you may have to deal with unhappy customers
  • Jobs are not always guaranteed at certain times of the day
  • You’ll need to move quickly in stores and on the road to make good money
  • Moving and lifting heavy groceries can be a burden

Instacart Requirements:

You’ll need to be over 18, pass a criminal background check, have a clean driving record, and be able to lift more than 50 pounds without help to work for Instacart.

Instacart Earning Potential:

Based on your city and how you choose to work, you can earn anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour with Instacart. As you gain experience and improve your service, that number can increase further.


If your city has a goPuff hub, add it to your list of options for side income. The service isn’t as well known, but it can offer a more streamlined and efficient user experience with good pay.

Pros of goPuff: 

  • Deliveries all come from one central warehouse hub rather than random locations
  • Guaranteed minimum pay helps you plan out your trips
  • goPuff drivers make decent tips and deliver more than just groceries
  • Ideal for larger cities that require longer driving distances

Cons of goPuff:

  • Not every city has a goPuff hub
  • Fewer openings for new drivers
  • Prepare to handle more cash and track payments

goPuff Requirements:

You must be 21 or over to drive for goPuff, and spots aren’t always guaranteed. Depending on your goals, you may have to wait longer to become part of the team, but it may be worth it.

goPuff Earning Potential:

Beginner drivers will earn between $12 and $15 an hour, with the potential to rise the ranks and earn more.

Which App Pays the Most?

The big takeaway from this article is that many variables will determine how much you earn on a given app. 

It comes down to time, place, traffic, weather, promotions, and even the customer's mood, so there’s no telling which app is definitively better for side income.

To maximize your earning potential, we suggest using Steady to discover opportunities in your area and make the most of each hour. You can also earn cash rewards through Income Boosters to get you started and try out various apps. 

From there, try running several apps concurrently and learn the patterns in your city to create the best schedule and increase payouts. After a few months of experimentation and effort, you’ll find that you can earn far more than the average driver - it just takes strategy.

What To Do Next?

Ready to start your journey as a delivery driver and start making some extra money? Load up Steady and use the app as your home base to pick and choose the best delivery gigs in your area. 

Steady will help you keep your income sources organized, track your progress, and set income goals, so you can determine the best course of action each week. 

That’s how you get ahead in the game of modern delivery apps and earn some real money in the meantime. 


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