DoorDash DashPass: Does It Save You Money Or Is It Better To Skip?

Among the many things that spiked during the pandemic that many are unwilling to let go of is at-home food delivery. However, the plethora of delivery service options can make it hard to know just what service to use. This can be especially difficult when/if you're deciding on a membership plan through one of these services. One of the biggest options currently on the market is the DoorDash DashPass. 

Some of the major advertised perks of the DashPass include $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees from restaurants (on orders $12+) and grocery stores (on orders $35+), 5% credit back on pickup orders, and access to exclusive items and deals. Plus, with a growing list of retail and grocery partnerships, there are even more places to utilize your DashPass. Programs like DashPass for Students and credit card partnerships have also made it easier to get a discount, trial, or even free subscription. 

It's important to know that individual retailers must agree to be DashPass eligible, and smaller cities can face a lower percentage of participating businesses. Plus, depending on distance and your average order total, you might not be saving as much as you think. Ultimately, doing some at-home research on the DashPass options in your zip code can be the best way to calculate if the DashPass is truly worth the money associated with the subscription. With that in mind, here are the potential perks of DashPass to determine if it's the right choice for you.

DashPass perks

For starters, DoorDash is available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and Germany, making it easy to continue taking advantage of your DashPass subscription even if you're traveling. DashPass also offers more commitment flexibility by offering both an annual subscription and a month-to-month subscription that allows customers to cancel their subscriptions more easily without any additional fees. With that being said, the annual plan offers a better overall deal at $8 a month (or 19.9% less than the month-to-month plan).

Perhaps the best part of the DashPass is its specific fee structure. DoorDash discounts all DashPass subscribers to a flat 5.0% service fee on orders. Considering that most DoorDash orders have anywhere from a 13-15% service charge applied, these subscriber savings can rack up quickly. Plus, when you combine these savings with your free delivery benefits (which can range from $1.99 for businesses close to your delivery address to upwards of $9 for businesses further away) you could easily be saving more than the monthly cost of your subscription on just one order. 

It's also worth mentioning that Chase customers receive free or reduced-price DashPass subscriptions. Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and J.P. Morgan Reserve card members all receive free DashPass subscriptions and monthly credits as part of their card perks, while a host of other Chase cards and Chase co-branded cards can receive free months (ranging from three to 12) of DashPass. As of 2021, select Mastercard's also provide free three-month DashPass subscriptions.

Alternative subscription services

Other popular options for food delivery subscriptions include UberOne from Uber Eats and GrubHub+ from GrubHub. Both offer similar benefits to members as the DashPass with monthly subscription prices across all three delivery services being $9.99 (neither UberOne or GrubHub+ offer an annual subscription fee option).

Uber Eats offers more restaurant options than DoorDash, boasting more than 780,000 active merchants in more than 9,000 cities across 29 countries. In the U.S. specifically, they report having over 400,000 merchants across all 50 states. For size comparison, DoorDash has claimed more than 500,000 active merchants across 25 countries. However, Uber Eats has faced stiff competition overseas and has had to pull out of multiple countries in recent months. Another important thing to consider is that UberOne offers a straight 5% off orders and has a higher minimum ($15+) compared to DashPass's flat 0.5% service fee and $12 minimum. Depending on your order and participating business, you might still be paying more in service fees with UberOne.

GrubHub, which was acquired by a Netherlands-based food delivery company in 2020, generally comes in third place in terms of market size in the U.S. GrubHub+ offers almost identical perks to customers as the DashPass, however, GrubHub+ only offers a 14-day free trial to new customers compared to DashPass's 30-day free trial. GrubHub+ has no current credit-card partnerships but Amazon Prime Members can get one year of GrubHub+ for free. GrubHub currently features 365,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 U.S. cities.