Unhappy man looking at red card.

How to DoorDash Without a Red Card


DoorDash is an excellent way to take hold of the reigns in your life and guide it in a more independent direction. While it may not be the end all be all of the jobs, it’s a wonderful opportunity to work without a boss, especially if it’s the first time. Speaking of first times, you don’t start out with a Red Card.

DoorDashing without a Red Card is just a matter of going out and taking your first order while you await your DoorDash package, which will include a Red Card and a hot carry bag. In fact, you can DoorDash for two full weeks without a Red Card at all.

DoorDashing without a Red Card does limit you somewhat but not to the degree of which you can’t DoorDash at all. When you sign up as a Dasher, you will have to wait a small amount of time to receive your Dashing Package, which includes several of the items that you will need to Dash with, including the Red Card.

Table of Contents

What is a DoorDash Red Card?

A DoorDash Red Card is a card that is issued to new Dashers. The card is used to make purchases, such as food delivery items that the customers order. A Red Card arrives as a part of your Door Dasher “Activation Kit,” which comes after a brief orientation. 

The Red Card is the heart and soul of what you do as a Dasher. Every time a customer places an order, the Red Card is loaded with the money due for the order’s cost. The card is used as payment. It is essentially a credit card for the DoorDasher to use on behalf of the customers. 

It’s no more difficult to use than a standard debit or credit card. It’s not always used, however, as the Red Card’s usefulness is entirely predicated on how the customer places their order through DoorDash. There are a few things that the Red Card is not used for, however. 

  • You cannot receive payments with the Red Card
  • Driver tips are not a part of the Red Card, either
  • No form of compensation that goes to use for your services has anything to do with the Red Card.
  • The Red Card cannot be used for orders in which the Dasher app doesn’t specify its use
  • Cannot be used as a debit transaction
  • It doesn’t require a receipt

However, there are several things for which it can be used, which makes the Red Card such an invaluable tool in your DoorDashing business. 

  • DoorDash Cars are loaded by DoorDash in the exact amount that the customer pays for the food and delivery
  • It is used as a credit card; no PIN # is required
  • Prepaid orders only
  • For use when the app specifically states, “Pay With Red Card”
  • DoorDash Red Cards are tools of convenience

How Do You Activate Your Red Card?

Once you receive your Red Card in the mail, you will have to get it activated, and you can do so through either the iOS Doordash app or the DoorDash app for Android users.

Activating Your Red Card Through iOS

  • Open the Dasher app on your iOS device
  • Select the link that asks you whether or not DoorDash gave you a card
  • Enter the card’s number
  • Input the last four digits of the card number
  • Accept

Activating Your Red Card Through an Android Device

  • Open the drop-down menu at the top of the Dasher app
  • Select the Red Card in the dropdown menu
  • Enter your Red Card number
  • Enter the last four digits
  • Accept

That’s it. When you’ve activated your DoorDash card, everything else is synced up for you, and when you DoorDash, you will receive two types of orders: Payment with a Red Card and Payment without a Red Card.

Payments with Red Cards don’t change anything at all, except that you will no longer just pick up the food to be delivered, but you will also pay with the Red Card when the situation calls for it. 

The biggest benefit of having your Red Card for the first time is that your delivery opportunities will grow exponentially. Before receiving your Red Card, you are limited to customers that pay without going through the part of DoorDash’s system that will require delivery drivers to use Red Cards.

Now that you have a Red Card, you will have full access to all customer delivery opportunities within your local area. 

Can You Continue DoorDashing if You Lose Your Red Card?

At the beginning of your DoorDashing experience, you will have a two-week window where Door Dash covers the costs of ordering and delivering food until the customer’s payment comes through. However, DoorDash will now place funds on your card for each order once you get your Red Car. 

If you lose your Red Card, you will go back to the way things were before you received it, with your customer base reduced and only taking orders that do not require a Red Card. Fortunately, Door Dash will send you a new Red Card, and you will just have to wait until it arrives before you begin taking Red Card orders again. 

If you lose your Red Card, you should immediately report it lost or stolen:

iOS Lost Red Card

  • Open the Dasher app on your iOS device
  • Select “Account” 
  • Select “Lost Your Red Card?”
  • Remove your current Red Card from your account when prompted
  • Confirm that your  Red Card is lost

Android Lost Red Card

  • Open the Door Dasher Driver app
  • Open the menu
  • Select “Account”
  • Select your “Red Card”
  • Select “Mark as Lost”

You don’t want to Dash without your Red Card for too long since it limits your customer base. You should apply for a new replacement card as soon as possible. You can go to the DoorDash Store in the app to take care of this.

Select the Dasher Gear category and locate your region. You will want to open up your region before selecting your Red Card because they are tied to the areas in which they are used. As with your “activation kit,” you will also select shipping preferences. Add the Red Card to your cart and order it when you’re ready.

What if the Red Card is Declined?

This happens from time to time, and even though it may seem stressful in the chaos of the moment, it’s nothing to get too upset about. The first thing that you should do is confirm that this was indeed a Red Card order.

You’ll also want to ensure that they are swiping the Red Card as a credit card rather than a debit. Worst case scenario, you will have to report the card as not working by going into the app and selecting “Red Card Denied.”

The app will provide you with instructions for what to do next if this becomes an issue.

All Things Considered

It’s not hard to Dash without a Red Card, and you really don’t need to do much of anything while you wait for yours to arrive. You simply accept orders, pick up, and deliver food, albeit with a smaller customer base, until your Red Card finally arrives with your activation kit.

Want to learn more about Dashing?, here are some more DoorDash tips and tricks.