Amazon is adding perks for its legion of thousands of crowdsourced delivery drivers through the Flex program, creating a rewards program that includes things like a cash-back debit card and the ability to earn access to more desirable routes and slots.
“Whether you want to make your earnings go further or gain even more control over your schedule, delivering packages with Amazon Flex is now more rewarding than ever,” the company said on a page detailing the Amazon Flex Rewards program.
It’s a way for Amazon to incentivize gig drivers who often deliver for multiple services like Uber, Lyft, Shipt, Postmates and others, to grab more of its jobs during the busiest time of year.
It also helps drivers win coveted delivery blocks. Many now use bots to game the system instead of continually refreshing the Flex app, due to high competition, and some have even resorted to hanging their phones in trees to trick the app.
Uber and Lyft already offer cash back programs and instant access to their earnings, according to CNBC, the latter a perk that Amazon doesn’t offer out of the gate. Amazon Flex, launched in 2015, operates in 50 U.S. cities.
The program includes the ability to get a Visa debit card with up to 6% cash back on fuel purchases, based on delivery points earned, 2% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The cards are linked to a no-fee online bank account from Green Dot.
A “preferred scheduling” feature gives drivers in the rewards program an advantage in the shift or block selection process. At a certain level they can get customized reserved offers based on preference for delivery stations, days of the week and times of day. The reward of preferred assignments increases as more points are accrued.
Last week, California voters approved a measure that partially undid last year’s controversial AB5 that required companies like Uber, Lyft and many others to reclassify gig workers as employees. The new law, Proposition 22, adds delivery drivers to the categories of workers previously exempted from AB5, including truck drivers.