DoorDash's Earn by Time Mode, Explained

Earn by Time mode is a great option for gig workers. Compare Earn by Time and Earn per Offer mode to decide which is better for you. 

8 min read
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When you dash, you can choose between two different earning modes: Earn per Offer and Earn by Time.

Here, we'll explore how Earn by Time mode works, how the guaranteed active hourly rate is calculated, and some frequently asked questions. 

What is DoorDash’s Earn by Time Mode?

Earn by Time mode is a way for you to earn money in a reliable and dependable manner. With this option, you earn a minimum guaranteed active hourly rate while on a delivery. The active hourly rate is based on your active time, which is the time you are engaged in completing an offer, starting from the moment an offer is accepted until it is completed — in addition to 100% of any customer tips (though tips may be less frequent when you choose to earn by time) and available promotions.

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Here's how it works:

  1. Toggle to Earn by Time to begin a dash and start getting offers.

  2. Accept offers to start earning the hourly rate you see in the app. Get paid for every minute, from the moment you accept until you drop off the order (or the order is canceled by a customer or merchant). Plus, keep 100% of any tips on top of that.

  3. You can decline 1 order per hour, but can always switch to Earn per Offer.

Before selecting Earn by Time mode, you will see the guaranteed minimum active hourly rate you'll earn on a delivery – which is the total duration you are online on the Dasher app. For each offer you receive in Earn by Time mode, you’ll also see the estimated mileage and the "deliver by"  time to complete the offer. 

It's important to note that when you are earning by time, you can decline or unassign one offer every hour. If you decline or unassign yourself from a second offer within the same hour, you'll be given the option to end your dash and switch to Earn per Offer mode to continue earning. Any offers declined on Earn by Time mode – whether it's the first decline per hour or the second – will count toward your Acceptance Rate.

Earn by Time has several advantages if you are seeking more earnings consistency. In addition to a guaranteed active hourly rate (plus tips on top), Earn by Time lowers the stress of deciding which offers to accept or reject — this means that you’ll still earn during long waits at the merchant, unexpected traffic, or other delays.

How does active time pay work in Earn by Time mode?

Base pay in Earn by Time is determined using the guaranteed active hourly rate and total active time spent on the delivery, from when you accept an offer to when you complete it (or until it’s canceled by the customer or merchant, should that occur) – including the wait time at the merchant location. 

Tips and applicable promotions are in addition to your guaranteed active hour rate. Note that your standard payout method applies. For example, if you choose a weekly payout, you will see your earnings made from Earn by Time in your weekly payout. 

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Active time differs from dash time. Dash time is the total duration you are online and available to receive offers through the Dasher app. This means the entire time between starting a dash and ending a dash. Therefore, active time represents a portion of your total dash time.

Active time is the time spent completing an offer, from the moment you accept an offer until the moment you deliver the order to the customer – or the order is canceled by a customer or merchant. In Earn by Time mode, you earn a minimum guaranteed active hourly rate based on your active time, plus 100% of any customer tips. That means that you earn even with any unexpected delays, from unforeseen traffic to backed-up kitchens.

Is Earn by Time mode available for all Dashers?

Earn by Time mode is subject to availability in select cities, so be sure to check your Dasher app to see if Earn by Time mode is available for you. Note that we may modify or end the Earn by Time mode offering at any time, and access to Earn by Time mode is not guaranteed. We also reserve the right to delay payment for purposes of investigation and to withhold payment or deactivate your account(s) if we determine in our sole discretion that you have used or attempted to use Earn by Time mode in a fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise suspicious manner or in violation of any applicable law or regulation.

Can you earn more than the guaranteed active hourly rate?

 Yes. In addition to the active hourly rate, you earn 100% of tips and any applicable promotions, though tips may be less frequent when you choose to earn by time. The guaranteed active hourly rate is calculated so you can earn reliably and work towards meeting your financial goals. If Peak Pay is in effect, this bonus will be added to the active hourly rate for the duration of the incentive.

Frequently asked questions about Earn by Time 

Can the active hourly rate change?

The guaranteed active hourly rate may change throughout the day and by location. However, once you start a dash, the active hourly rate is fixed and applies throughout the entire dash session in Earn by Time mode. We encourage you to always check your app for the latest guaranteed active hourly rate. 

Can you decline or unassign offers? 

In Earn by Time mode, you can decline or unassign one offer per hour. If you choose to unassign from an offer, you will generally not get paid for any of the time spent on that delivery after accepting the offer, and the unassign will count towards your one decline per hour as well as your completion rate. If you decline or unassign a second offer in that hour, your Earn by Time dash will end. You can always start another dash using Earn per Offer. 

If you are actively on a delivery, declining an offer doesn’t count toward the one decline per hour.

What happens if a delivery is unassigned or canceled?

If more than one delivery per hour is unassigned or canceled by you, your Earn by Time session will automatically end. However, you can still dash using Earn per Offer mode.

However, if a customer or merchant cancels an order, you will be paid the active hourly rate from the time you accepted the offer to the time the customer or merchant canceled it, and it will not affect your completion rate. 

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Which earning mode is best: Earn by Time or Earn per Offer?

Both are great options, providing you the choice in how you earn. With Earn per Offer, you have more flexibility and can earn per offer completed. In Earn by Time, you can enjoy more consistency in your earnings and are paid a guaranteed active hourly rate while actively engaged in deliveries. You can always switch between Earn per Offer and Earn by Time mode and choose how you want to earn. 

Earn by Time gives you a reliable and consistent way to earn and gives you the opportunity to learn the ropes of dashing with the comfort of knowing that you are being paid a guaranteed active hourly rate. 

Still have more questions? Find more information about Earn by Time mode here

Ready to get started dashing? Sign up to become a Dasher today.