Can you DoorDash without a Red Card? The simple answer is, yes you can DoorDash without a Red Card. However, most of the time, to be able to log into the Dasher app and receive deliveries, you’ll need to get the Red Card and activate it.
In this post, we’ll look at doing DoorDash without the Red Card and go over everything you need to know about it.
DoorDash Without Red Card
To begin, it’s probably helpful to recap what the DoorDash Red Card is. I’ve written an in-depth post about the DoorDash Red Card, so check that post out if you want more information.
In short, the DoorDash Red Card is a prepaid debit card that DoorDash sends to Dashers to pay for orders that are not prepaid. Most restaurants on DoorDash are prepaid, so you won’t need the Red Card the vast majority of the time, but there are a handful of restaurants where you’ll need to pay for the order yourself. These are generally fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores (in my area, the most common places where I need to use the Red Card are Raising Canes and Walgreens).
Importantly, DoorDash does not require you to accept Red Card orders. You’ll always know in advance if an order requires the Red Card, so if you don’t want to use the Red Card, you can always decline those types of orders. It’s important to be strategic about which Red Card orders you do accept because of the added time it takes to pay for the order.
That being said, while you don’t have to use the Red Card (since you can always decline Red Card orders), my personal experience has been that you need to have an active Red Card on file to be able to log into the Dasher app and complete deliveries. That means while you don’t need the Red Card to DoorDash, you’ll still likely need to have your Red Card activated to do deliveries.
There are some counter-examples however, with people online saying they’ve been able to Dash without an active Red Card. Indeed, even the DoorDash website seems to suggest that you don’t need an active Red Card to start Dashing. Specifically, DoorDash states the following:
Can I dash without a Red Card and a hot bag?
Yes! As you get started, we’ll only offer deliveries that you can complete without a Red Card and hot bag. Once you complete your first dash, we’ll send you an email and text message letting you know that a Red Card and hot bag are on the way.
(Source: DoorDash FAQ)
This is a bit odd because a few years ago, I had a situation where my Red Card expired and the Dasher app wouldn’t let me log in until I activated a new Red Card. Perhaps DoorDash differentiates between current Dashers with expired Red Cards and new Dashers that haven’t received their Red Card yet. All I know is that when my Red Card expired, I was unable to log into the app until I activated a new one. So, your mileage may vary on this part. It sounds like in the comments that a lot of people have been able to Dash without an active Red Card, but it’s unclear from those comments whether they ever had active Red Cards that expired, like what happened in my situation.
Activating The DoorDash Red Card
Getting the Red Card and activating it isn’t difficult. When you sign up for DoorDash, you’ll receive a DoorDash activation kit, which contains a DoorDash delivery bag and the DoorDash Red Card. This is automatically sent to you when you sign up to be a Dasher.
You might be eager to get started earning money with DoorDash, which is probably why a lot of people ask if there is any way to start dashing without the Red Card. If you’re able to log in and start Dashing, then great, go ahead and take advantage of that. If you’re not able to (like I wasn’t able to), then be patient and wait for the Red Card to arrive. Again, while some people suggest that you can dash without the Red Card, my experience has always been that without an active Red Card on file, DoorDash won’t let you start dashing. Maybe things have changed though or maybe it differs depending on your market.
Activating the Red Card only takes a few seconds. Simply log into your Dasher app, then follow the directions in the app to activate your card. Once it’s been activated, you’ll be able to start Dashing. Check out this post from the DoorDash website if you need directions on how to activate your Red Card.
Also, if you lose your Red Card and need a new one, you can order one for free from the DoorDash website, at this link. It can be helpful to order a few extra Red Cards and store them away. That way, if you lose one, you’ll have a backup that’s ready to go.
You Don’t Have To Use The Red Card If You Don’t Want To
It’s important to remember that while you need to activate the Red Card to be able to start dashing, you don’t need to use it if you don’t want to.
Any order that needs the Red Card will be clearly marked in the app. Red Card orders aren’t inherently bad, but they do usually take more time, so it’s important to consider whether the payment is good enough to make it worth your time.
I personally will accept Red Card orders if I know the restaurant won’t be busy or if it’s small enough that I can complete them quickly. Large shopping orders from grocery stores or convenience stores are usually automatic declines for me.
The DoorDash Red Card is something you likely need if you want to start Dashing. It’ll usually take a few business days to arrive and once you get it and activate it, you’ll be able to start getting out there and making more money.
If you are just getting started with DoorDash and aren’t able to start Dashing yet, wait for your activation kit to arrive and then activate your card. If you lose the card and need a new one, quickly order one from the DoorDash website and activate it as soon as you get it. And consider getting extra Red Cards and storing them for future use in case you lose your current card.
Hope that information helps!
Not sure if anything has changed, but I started dashing 3.5 months ago, never activated my red card and have not been locked out. Fingers crossed.
Financial Panther says
Sweet. Thanks for the datapoint. I went by my own experience and maybe you’re right – maybe things have changed.
Any reason you don’t activate your Red Card? Like why not?
As for me I was scrolling the app and seen something about the red card. So I looked it up and that brought me here. I’ve been dashing a month, no card bag or kit. So I don’t know about him. But I didn’t even know about the red card until today.