How to Become a Yelp Elite

Yelp Elite users get respect and invites to influencer events

Membership in the Yelp Elite Squad is an exclusive status given to certain users of the Yelp website and apps. Being upgraded to a Yelp Elite Squad member is free, but it requires a sustained level of account activity and a history of high-quality business reviews and photos.

A Yelp Elite member using offline maps on a smartphone while traveling internationally.
KlausVedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

The usernames of Yelp Elite Squad members are marked with an Elite badge icon across the entire Yelp platform. There's no monetary benefit to being a Yelp Elite Squad member. Still, members receive invitations to special Yelp Elite events and promotional activities.

Yelp Elite Squad Requirements

While Yelp Elite status is open to all users, some requirements apply:

  • You must be of legal drinking age in your home country.
  • You must use your real name on your Yelp profile.
  • A real photo of yourself must be uploaded on your Yelp profile page.
  • You need to write frequent and regular reviews.
  • You can't work for a Yelp competitor.
  • Your reviews must be more than a sentence long and contain thoughtful feedback.
  • Any photos you upload for businesses on Yelp need to be high quality.
  • You participate on Yelp by voting up other people's reviews and sending them compliments.

If you own a business that's listed on Yelp or have a Yelp Business account, you aren't eligible to join the Yelp Elite Squad.

How to Gain Yelp Elite Status

Becoming a member of the Yelp Elite Squad is straightforward and requires minimal effort after the requirements have been met.

When your Yelp account reaches a certain level of activity and quality, nominate yourself by filling in the application form on the Yelp Elite web page.

Filing in the form takes only a minute or so. You'll need to enter the URL of your Yelp profile page, the city or region where you want to serve as a Yelp Elite, and a brief pitch as to why you think you deserve the promotion.

To find your Yelp user profile URL, log in to the Yelp website on a web browser, tap your profile photo in the upper -right corner, and tap your name. After your profile loads, copy the address in the browser's address bar. This is your URL.

You are notified of your Yelp Elite application status by email. It can take anywhere from a few days to more than a week to hear back.

Yelp Elite Squad Badges

Upon becoming a member of the Yelp Elite Squad, a special icon is placed next to your username on every screen of the Yelp apps and website.

Yelp users who have been Yelp Elite member for more than five years gain the Gold Elite Badge in place of the regular icon. Yelp Elite members who maintain their status for more than ten years receive the Black Elite Badge.

The badges serve no function beyond labeling Yelp Elite user accounts and serving as a form of gamification to encourage the Squad members to continue with the program.

Elite Squad Status Renewal

Elite membership expires at the end of every calendar year unless it is revoked sooner for a violation. Squad members renominate themselves to their Community Managers in early December. If there isn't a Yelp Community Manager in the member's area, the Elite Council reviews Elites for continued membership.