UBER Singapore BOOST incentive (Uber Part Three)

UBER has changed their incentive scheme from hourly guaranteed fare to Boost incentive. What is the difference? Can we earn more with this new incentive? What are the things to look out for?

This post helps to clear some doubt and help new drivers understand how the new incentive works. I decided to create this post after feedback from friends not knowing how to better make use of this incentive.

UBER Singapore BOOST Incentive

So what is Boost? It was a new incentive by UBER starting 3 Oct 16 to replace the previous hourly guaranteed fare. So is it really better?

How does BOOST incentive works?

As the name suggest, the incentive is supposed to boost your earnings. That means for every trip that you pick up within the boost zone, your fare would be at least the given boost rate. If the Surge is higher than the boost, then the higher rate would be taken into account. The example given by UBER website has a huge figure which may not show the figures accurately. Thus we will be using more realistic boost and surge figure in our comparison.

Calculation of Earnings

Example 1. Boost with no surge

If the base fare is $10. The boost is 1.3x and no surge. You will be earning the following

Fare : $10.00

Uber Fee : -$2.00

Boost : $3.00

Total earning : $11.00


Example 2. Boost higher than Surge

If the base fare is $10.00. The boost is 1.3x and surge is 1.2x. You will be earning the following

Fare : $12.00 (inclusive of 1.2x surge)

Uber Fee : -$2.40

Boost : $1.20 (1.3x – 1.2x = 0.1x)

Total earnings : $10.80


Example 3. Surge equal to Boost

If the base fare is $10.00. The boost is 1.3x and surge is 1.3x. You will be earning the following

Fare: $13.00 (including of 1.3x surge)

Uber Fee : $2.60

Boost : $0 (Boost of equal or lower value with surge)

Total earning : $10.40


Example 4. Surge Higher than Boost

If the base fare is $10.00. The boost is 1.3x and surge is 1.4x. You will be earning the following

Fare: $14.00 (including of 1.4x surge)

Uber Fee : $2.80

Boost : $0 (Boost of equal or lower value with surge)

Total earning : $11.20


Comparison Summary

With a base fare of $10. And after all the subtraction of Uber Fee, it seems that having Boost without Surge will be more profitable than if there is a Surge of similar or lower value. With a Higher Surge value, you will earn more even without considering Boost.

Things to take note of with Boost Incentive

Boost incentive is exempted from Uber Fee. So if you happen to see the following, please do your calculation and request UBER support to double check if there is any error.

Usually with boost, It will show the boost value after the Uber Fee.

Correct Boost Calculation

However if you see the boost value before the Uber Fee, it would mean that the Boost may has been included in the fare for Uber Fee deduction.


Example on Wrong calculation (Above Picture)

Fare : $17.65. There is a boost of 1.3x and no surge.

Boost : $5.29

Uber Fee : -$4.59 (inaccurate. $4.59 is 20% of $22.95)

Fare earning : $18.35

What the calculation suppose to be

Fare : $17.65. There is a boost of 1.3x and no surge.

Uber Fee : -$3.53 (20% of $17.65)

Boost : $5.29

Fare earning : $19.41

Calculation error : $1.06


The customer service usually will use standard replies and say the fare would include the current surge value and that is why the figure is as shown. As long as you are sure there is no surge going on and the fare only includes boost and it is being calculated in Uber Fee, get them to double check again. Or if you wish to donate to UBER, you can just ignore and let them earn a little extra.


Whats the difference between the Boost and Hourly Guaranteed?

The difference between Boost and Hourly Guaranteed as shown by UBER as follow


As UBER has shown, the Boost incentive seems much better than Hourly Guaranteed in every way. However is that really the case? To gain something, we have to use something else to exchange. Nothing is free in the world, except air for now.

Previously, drivers need to drive approximately 5 trips for every 3 hours of peak period in order to get the incentive. The incentive could be up to $30-$36 per hour during the peak period. So most drivers would just drive 5 trips and be online for 3 hours to obtain the maximum benefit, saving on petrol and energy.

However, with the new Boost, it rewards the hardworking drivers that just pick up every passenger and bring them to their destination as every trip would be given incentive. Thus, the more you drive, the more you earn from the incentive. However there is usually a limit to how many trips you can take during a 3 hour block. Usually I would only be able to fetch 5-6 customers in 3 hours, which is similar to the requirement for Hourly Guaranteed Incentive.

Boost and Hourly Guaranteed Incentive earning comparison

I will be comparing 2 days where I go online during the peak period in the morning from 7am to 10am and in the evening from 5pm to 8pm. It may not be accurate as it depends on the job you able to get but it can be a rough guide if you got nothing to compare with.


Hourly Guaranteed Example (12 Trips in 6 hours)

8 UberX trip 4 UberPool. More than the minimum requirement of 5 trips for 3 hours, doing 6 trips every 3 hour.

Earnings without toll : $155.64.

Promotion on hourly guaranteed of $35.42.

Incentive to earnings ration : $35.42 / $155.64 = 22.75% (this ratio will be may higher if I just stick to driving 5 trips every 3 hours as UBER will pay me more when I earn less)


Able to do more trips within 6 hours (possibly due to lesser drivers)

Hourly guaranteed incentive earn similar to Uber Fee deducted.



Boost Example (11 Trips in 6 hours 23 mins)

8UberX and 3 UberPool

Boost Earning without toll : $140.91

Boost + Surge : $24.90 + $3.19 = $28.09

Incentive to earning ration : $28.09 / $140.91 = 19.93%


Spend more time to do lesser trips (possibly due to more drivers online)

Boost and Surge earnings less than Uber Fee deducted


Conclusion on Boost and HG earnings comparison

With the increase popularity of Uber with both the drivers and passengers, there is a large number of drivers on the road during peak period, resulting in longer hours of drive to meet the same quota or earnings.

The new Boost Incentive doesn’t seem to be a better incentive scheme for the drivers with a lower incentive to earnings ratio. It is however, a much fairer scheme for UBER to pay out to the drivers as only those who drive will earn the incentive.

So is UBER reducing their incentive to the drivers and benefiting from it? Wait. There is still another incentive call the CASH KING that we need to compare.


What is CASH KING?

Cash King is an incentive that gives drivers extra cash to the drivers after achieving a certain amount of trips. So what is the difference between the previous Cash King with HG and the Cash King with Boost?

The rates used below are past rates and may differ in future. For reference only.

Cash King with HG

  1. Allows you to spread the requirement over the whole week.
  2. Total number of trips is calculated by per week basis. Incentive is given based on the total number of trips for the week
  3. Lower cash rewards.
    • 50 trips will earn you $70
    • If you only drive 50 trips, each trip is top up by $1.40.
  4. No counter to monitor real time requirement

Cash King with Boost

  1. 2 different Requirements from Mon to Thurs and Fri to Sun.
  2. Trips calculated by block. Monday to Thursday has its own set of requirement as compared to Friday to Sunday.
  3. Higher cash rewards.
    • Mon to Thur – 45 trips will earn you $130
    • Each trip will be top up by $2.88
  4. Counter to monitor real time requirement (you can see your progress and how many more trips you need to make)

Final Conclusion

When we compare HG with Boost, HG seems to be a better incentive for drivers. But when we compare the Cash King incentive for the 2 different period, the Cash King with Boost seems to allow drivers to earn more money.

There are both good and bad in the different incentives. However, in my opinion, the Boost with Cash King incentive given is still competitive as long as you are willing to drive more trips. If you wish to drive the minimum, I am sorry to tell you that HG should not be coming back any time soon as it makes more sense for UBER to pay the drivers according to their effort. But who knows, maybe UBER may change the incentive scheme to something else and drivers have to adapt once again. We got to adapt constantly to changes as change is the only constant.

Drivers who enjoy reading this post, you can also refer to my previous post for UBER on being a UBER driver in Singapore and how much can you earn as a UBER driver in Singapore. Passengers can read my post on how to save when taking UBER.

For those who wish to sign up as a UBER driver, you can always use my referral code 8hxsv to sign up and I will provide some rebates. You can email me for more details.

Uber driver who wish to be part of a Private Hire chat group can also email me. I will use chat group to share more tips with private hire drivers, especially those who allow me to be their referral.

Thank you for reading

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