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Instacart+: Get Free Deliveries When You Subscribe

Instacart+, formerly Instacart Express, allows you to save money on grocery delivery. Learn more about this membership and find out how much you can save by subscribing.

Key Information

Unlimited Deliveries

Free delivery on orders over $35, making grocery shopping convenient and cost-effective.

Multiple Store Orders

No extra fees for buying from different stores in one order, saving time and extra charges.

Lower Service Fees

Enjoy reduced service fees between 1.9% to 5%, adding to your overall savings.

Peak Hour Access

Waived fees during busy hours, ensuring cost savings even when ordering during peak times.

What Is Instacart+?

Instacart Express (formerly called Instacart Express) is a subscription-based membership that offers enhanced benefits and cost savings for frequent users of the Instacart grocery delivery service. This membership is designed to make regular grocery shopping more affordable and convenient.

a screenshot of an Instacart+ ad within an Instacart account

The key features of Instacart+ include:

  • Subscription Fee: Users pay either a monthly or annual fee to maintain their membership.
  • Free Delivery: Members enjoy unlimited free deliveries on orders of $35 or more.
  • Combined Store Orders: There are no additional delivery fees for orders that include items from multiple stores.
  • Reduced Service Fees: Service fees for + members are less than 5%, which is a significant reduction from the standard rate.
  • Waived Busy Pricing: Additional fees typically charged during peak delivery hours are waived for members.

By subscribing to Instacart+, members can save a minimum of $3.99 on delivery fees per order, which adds up significantly over time.

The service is comparable to other subscription models like Uber One, DashPass, or Amazon Prime Now but is particularly tailored for grocery delivery, making it a practical choice for families and individuals who frequently shop for groceries online.

Additional Savings with Instacart+

Beyond the core benefits, Instacart+ also provides:

  • Savings Across Various Fees: Members benefit from more than just delivery fee waivers. Service fees are also substantially lower, and special rates apply to priority delivery and even certain alcohol delivery orders, depending on the location.
  • Incentives for Pickup Orders: If you choose to pick up your groceries, Instacart+ offers a unique perk of a 5% credit back on your purchase, rewarding you for the added convenience.

With these offerings, Instacart+ distinguishes itself as an economical choice for those who regularly shop for groceries online, aligning well with other market subscription services but with a clear focus on grocery delivery.

What Is the Difference Between Instacart and Instacart+?

The difference between Instacart and Instacart+ lies mainly in cost savings and delivery benefits:

  1. Subscription Fees: Instacart+ requires a paid monthly or annual subscription, while the basic Instacart service is free to use.
  2. Delivery Fees: Instacart charges a delivery fee of $3.99 for orders over $35, but Instacart+ members get free delivery for orders of this amount with no limit on the number of deliveries.
  3. Service Fees: The service fees for daily operations and insurance are lower for Instacart+ members compared to regular Instacart users.
  4. Priority Delivery: For orders under $35 but over $10, Instacart+ members avoid priority fees for one-hour delivery. Without the subscription, users pay $2 to $4 for this service, although delivery fees still apply for orders under $35 regardless of membership.

How Instacart+ Works

Signing up for Instacart+ is simple and easy.

As soon as you become an Instacart+ member, your membership benefits will be automatically applied to every order you place. After you’ve selected your items, the discounts will appear on the checkout page.

I am an Instacart+ member, so as you can see from the screenshot of my recent order below, I saved money just by being a member:

Screenshot of an Instacart order checkout screen with Instacart+ savings automatically applied

My ALDI order would normally come with $4.00 in service fees, but because of my membership, I saved $1.51.

Unlike some other subscription services, Instacart+ doesn’t restrict your shopping to certain products or stores.

You have the freedom to shop across a variety of local stores, from big names like Costco and CVS to supermarkets like Safeway and Publix, all without incurring additional fees.

This means if you can’t find your favorite cereal at Kroger, you can seamlessly switch to Aldi’s selection via Instacart and add it to your order.

In addition, the convenience of Instacart+ extends to shopping from multiple stores in one go, with the added advantage of same-day delivery, which is a standard with Instacart.

The payment process remains unchanged; the order total is simply charged to the credit card you’ve saved on your profile, ensuring a consistent and hassle-free shopping experience.

Related: save even more on your first order by using an Instacart promo code

How Much Does Instacart Cost?

Instacart+ has two subscription plans: $9.99 per month or $99 annually, which works out to about $8.25 per month. Service fees range from 1.9% to 5% of your order’s cost, compared to the standard 5% to 10%.

Free Trials and Discounts

A 14-day free trial is available, with automatic billing afterward unless canceled.

Previous offers included free memberships for certain credit card holders and discounts for first orders, which may be reintroduced later.

Currently, free membership is possible through an Instacart+ gift card. Regular Instacart gift cards are not applicable for the member service.

Pro Tip

Costco members can apply a $20 discount on the annual rate.

Membership Management

Subscriptions renew automatically, but you can cancel anytime through the app’s “Account” section. Canceling a membership allows you to use the service until the current period (month or year) ends without further charges.

You won’t be charged any more membership fees unless you decide to turn your renewals back on. However, when you delete Instacart accounts, you’ll lose access to your data, so keep that in mind before making your final decision.

Is Instacart Express Worth It?

Yes, Instacart Express is worth it for those who frequently use Instacart for their grocery deliveries. By subscribing to Instacart Express, the savings on delivery and service fees can quickly offset the cost of the membership.

For regular users, the benefits are clear: with savings averaging $7 per order from free delivery and lowered service fees, the membership pays for itself if you order more than twice a month. For weekly shoppers or those who leverage the free priority delivery, the value only increases.

When compared to other premium services like Amazon Fresh, which is approximately $140 annually with an Amazon Prime subscription, Instacart Express stands out as a more affordable option for many consumers seeking convenience without the extra cost.

Pros of Instacart Express

You can get unlimited free delivery on orders over $35.

You can save even more with reduced service fees.

Getting priority delivery on some orders is convenient.

If you do Instacart pickup orders, you can save even more with the 5% credit back perk.

You can save $20 on an annual membership with a promo code if you’re a Costco member.

Cons of Instacart Express

You’re paying a recurring monthly or yearly fee.

If you cancel your membership, Instacart won’t renew it at the end of the billing cycle, but you won’t get a refund for the remainder of the month or year.

Eligibility and Availability of Instacart+

Instacart+ membership is accessible to anyone with an existing Instacart account. Payment for the upgrade can be made with any major credit card, including American Express, or with an Instacart+ gift card.

Instacart+ is available wherever Instacart operates, which encompasses over 5,500 cities across North America, covering approximately 85% of American households.

However, it’s important to note that not every store or chain is partnered with Instacart. While many large retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Costco are available, some smaller chains may not participate in the Instacart platform.

How to Sign Up for Instacart+

If all the Instacart+ benefits we described appeal to you, even with the cost, you can start your sign-up process as a new user by following these steps:

1. Log into your Instacart account

2. Head to https://www.instacart.com/store/account/instacart-plus and enter your zip code. Then, tap “Start 14-day free trial.”

screenshot showing how to sign up for Instacart Plus

3. Agree to the terms and conditions, add your preferred credit card, and tap “Sign up for Instacart Express.”

confirmation of successfully signing up for instacart plus

Once you’ve successfully joined, you can start filling your cart (reach $35 for free delivery) and get savings on your first order.

If you’re a current Instacart user, simply start the process on our third step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Box of fresh produce

For more information about the subscription program, read these frequently asked questions:

Do I still need to tip my Instacart Shopper if I’m an Instacart Express member?

Absolutely. While tipping is never required by the company, the same Instacart tipping etiquette is usually expected regardless of what type of membership you have. Your delivery person’s pay doesn’t increase for your order just because you’re an Instacart Express member.

Can you stop your membership at any time?

Yes, you can cancel your membership at any time by visiting the Your Express Membership section of the Instacart menu on the site or app.

However, your membership will end with the current billing cycle.

Can I still take advantage of other Instacart offers on top of my Instacart Express benefits?

Absolutely. Even when you’re an Express member, you’re still free to use Instacart referral codes and coupons, as well as purchase any grocery items that are on sale on any store page.

Will I get priority service if I join Instacart Express?

Joining Instacart Express will not get you priority service over your fellow customers.
This means the fastest turnaround that you’re guaranteed is still a one-hour delivery, and Instacart Shoppers will not be given any incentives to take your orders first.
The subscription program is mainly built to increase your monetary savings. You will not get priority service when calling the Instacart phone number for support either.

Alternative: Instacart Express vs. Shipt Membership

screnshot of the shipt homepage

If you’ve done your research on grocery delivery services in the past, you’ve probably come across Shipt, a Target-owned brand that is one of Instacart’s biggest competitors.

Unlike Instacart, Shipt has always been a membership-based service.

Instacart Express actually looks a lot like what Shipt has to offer. So how do they stack up?

Shipt and Instacart’s annual memberships both cost $99, but for customers who want to join with a monthly membership, you’ll actually save quite a bit with Instacart.

While Instacart Express costs $9.99 per month, Shipt costs $14.99 per month.

Another similarity is that both memberships will get you unlimited free delivery (including one-hour deliveries) for orders $35 or higher.

If your order falls under $35, you’ll have to pay a flat $7 delivery fee on Shipt or a $3.99-$7.99 delivery fee on Instacart.

Shipt does provide the benefit of no additional small order fees, while Instacart Express members still need to pay a $1.99 fee if their order falls under their store’s minimum.

What really makes Instacart Express take the lead is the fact that it partners with far more grocery stores than Shipt — which means you have many more options for every single order.

Unless you’re a customer who could benefit from the 24/7 availability of Shipt personal shoppers (versus Instacart’s 9 a.m. to midnight hours), Instacart Express definitely tends to be a better deal.

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