Basic commuter challenges are a great way to tap into a spirit of fun competition and camaraderie. Adding in prizes and rewards are the next step toward encouraging even more participation. Here are several tips and ideas for how you can incorporate reward elements into your next challenge:

Rewarding Winners

Offering prizes to top finishers in various categories of your challenge is a great way to get certain users and groups excited, especially if they feel they have a chance at winning.

When it’s most effective

Giving out big rewards for winners can generate a lot of buzz and interest in your challenge, particularly if you know you have many users who could compete for your top prizes, or if you are using teams or network leaderboards.

For example, if you’re running a public challenge your local media might be more likely to find it newsworthy if you’re offering big prizes for top-finishing teams, or employers might be more interested in encouraging employees to participate if they know they’ll receive good press and benefits.

By using individual, team, and network leaderboards users will be able to track who is winning and how close they are to claiming a top spot by the end of the challenge.

Another variation on this technique is offering smaller rewards to individuals, networks, or teams that are in the lead at predetermined times mid-challenge, such as after the first week or at the mid-point of the challenge period.


Individual Challenges

  • 1st place – $200 gift card
  • 2nd place – $100 gift card
  • 3rd place- $50 gift card

Team Challenges

  • 1st place team – $50 gift card to each member (e.g. allow teams with a max of 5 users, $250 total)
  • 2nd place team – $25 gift card to each member ($125 total for a 5-member team)
  • 3rd place team – $10 gift card to each member ($60 total for 5 members)

You can also offer swag like “smart commute champions” t-shirts, water bottles, etc. to your winning teams.

Network / Employer Challenges

Employers love public recognition, so be sure to advertise that winners will be announced via press release and social media promotions!

  • 1st place network – Catered taco bar party w/ music & free chair massages, challenge-branded swag
  • 2nd place network – Free pizza lunch, challenge-branded swag
  • 3rd place network – Challenge-branded swag, bragging rights, and good press

How to do this with RideAmigos

The reporting tools for challenges make it easy for you to view all your challenge’s participants, teams, and networks and sort them by different criteria.

Site Administrators and Network Managers: Manage > Challenges

Within these reports you can click the blue refresh link on the top right (“Updated X minutes/days ago”) to get the very latest standings for your challenge. Since standard leaderboards have some refresh delay, this is the way to see your most accurate results. This can be particularly useful if you’re rewarding leaders mid-challenge.

A note on teams: be sure to add the Captain Name and Captain Email fields to your report to determine the contact person for a particular team.

Once you’ve sorted your reports and determined the winners you can contact them for prize distribution.

If you make use of RideAmigos CommuteRewards we can also assist you with sending out digital gift card rewards to challenge winners. Just contact our support staff by submitting a ticket and we’ll be happy to help.

Rewarding Participants

Rewarding winners is great, but you’re sure to have a lot of users who know they probably don’t have a shot at being a top finisher. Creating reward strategies to entice these users to participate is a great way to boost overall engagement and get more people excited about taking part.

When it’s most effective

If you’re running a big challenge, chances are you’re already planning to do a lot of marketing to get the word out about your program. Pairing the competitive aspect of a challenge with rewards and prizes for general participants is a great way to get people logging their smart commute trips and familiar with using your platform. If you have other year-round programs like carpool matching or ongoing rewards, this is a great way to expose new users to those, too.

These kinds of challenge rewards are most effective in two main scenarios:

  • Random winners
  • Progress-based rewards


Random Winners

  • Draw 10 random t-shirt winners from all users who logged at least one trip during the first week of the challenge
  • Give $10 gift cards to random users who logged at least 10 trips during the challenge
  • Offer free breakfast to one random 5-member team that has logged at least one trip each

Progress-based rewards

  • Give away local coupon books to users who log at least 5 trips during the challenge
  • Offer t-shirts to all users who log at least 30 trips during the challenge
  • Let users earn points during your challenge which can be redeemed for raffle tickets for a $200 drawing, or toward gift cards or challenge swag

How to do this with RideAmigos

For all random-winner prizes, the easiest way to select these winners is using the various challenge reports.

Site Administrators and Network Managers: Manage > Challenges

Random winners for minimum number of trips

Select the user, network, or team report for your challenge.

Next, add the minimum number of trips to qualify for the prize to the trips column and select Greater Than or Equal To and click Filter.

Once the report is displaying the filtered user list, export to Excel (or your favorite spreadsheet tool) and use a random number generator to generate line numbers to select as winners.

Random winners for from a specific date range

From the user, network, or team report click Change next to “with all trip logs (not filtered)” beneath the report title. Select the date range for which you want to count eligible trips.

Next, select the columns for the criteria you want to use to select eligible users. (e.g. trips, distance) and filter accordingly (e.g. one or more trips.)

Once the report is displaying the filtered user list, export to Excel (or your favorite spreadsheet tool) and use a random number generator to generate line numbers to select as winners.

Confirming team participation

When  selecting team winners for a prize where all team members must have logged trips, first follow the general instructions above. Then, as you select potential winners you can re-check their eligibility by clicking Members and making sure all members have met any minimum participation qualifications of your reward.

Incentive rewards

Incorporating rewards for X number of trips completed, X distance logged, etc. is extremely easy using RideAmigos incentive tools. Just set up an incentive with the same network eligibility criteria as your challenge and the reward levels you want to provide. From there you can easily track users’ progress and redemptions via your incentive’s report.

Point-based rewards

If you want to let challenge participants select from a variety of rewards based on their progress, the best tool for the job is a point program. RideAmigos point programs allow you to offer a variety of rewards that users can earn points toward. For example, you can set up a point program with options for users to redeem raffle tickets for 10 points a piece, or save up their points for higher-value items, such as 100 points for a gift card or t-shirt.

Automated gift card rewards

CommuteRewards by RideAmigos allows you to offer users a catalog of 100+ online gift card retailers, with easy fulfillment on demand. You can use CommuteRewards of any amount ($5, $10, $25, more) on any incentive or point program. If you’re not already a CommuteRewards customer, contact support or your account manager to learn more.