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Is Instacart Plus Worth It? I Used The Service To Find Out

Learn everything you need to know about Instacart Plus including its benefits, costs, and how to make the most out of your membership.

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart+ offers unlimited free delivery for orders over $35.
  • Subscribers get reduced service fees on their grocery orders.
  • Membership includes exclusive deals and discounts at various stores.
  • Family Account feature allows sharing benefits with household members.

What is Instacart+?

Instacart+, also known as “Instacart Plus”, is a new membership program offered by the grocery delivery and pick-up service, Instacart.

This program is specifically designed to target frequent users who rely on Instacart to buy groceries by saving them both time and money on deliveries.

The service doesn’t only cover groceries, but it also allows you to order from a variety of stores. For example, you can also shop for prepared meals, pet supplies, prescriptions, and even electronics while enjoying Instacart+ benefits.

The list of advantages that the app brings to the table is quite expansive. However, the most prominent ones are reduced service fees and free delivery on orders over a certain amount.

The subscription-based service also qualifies you for a variety of exclusive benefits and perks. These include various discounts, credit-backs, and much more.

One thing you should know here is that Instacart+ isn’t the first time Instacart introduced a subscription-based service.

In fact, the premium service was launched in June 2022 as a revamped version of its predecessor, Instacart Express.

The service retains several benefits, such as free deliveries and chances to save on grocery shopping.

However, it introduced family shopping features like Family Accounts and Family Carts as a part of the service.

Key Offerings of Instacart+

Instacart advantages cover a wide range of aspects.

They can help you save money and time while also providing you with special discounts and exclusive deals.

Here’s a closer look at the key features that Instacart+ offers:

1. Unlimited Free Deliveries

This is a major advantage for frequent Instacart users.  The subscription service waives delivery fees on Instacart orders.

However, for an order to be eligible it needs to exceed a minimum order value, which is typically $35 in most locations.

Delivery fees can add up quickly, so having access to this feature can be an excellent way to save money.

This is especially true if you make larger and more frequent orders, as it can offset the initial investment.

2. Reduced Service Fees

The best thing about Instacart+ is that it also heavily reduces service fees. These are extra fees that the platform charges on deliveries to cover various operating costs.

Like delivery fees, the service fee varies by location and depends on the items you have in the cart. This means it can add up significantly if you make plenty of Instacart orders per week.

While the exact percentage of reduction isn’t publicly disclosed by the platform, it’s usually a significant portion of the total order value compared to what a non-member is charged for the same order.

3. Exclusive Deals and Discounts

Instacart+ provides additional chances for savings other than reducing or cutting fees.

Premium members can also receive occasional sales, discounts, and coupons from various Instacart partners.

These advantages are typically only available to Instacart+ members but they’re always subject to change.

For example, has a partnership with Delta Airlines to provide mileage bonuses for app users.

You can check the latest offers, deals, and promotions on Instacart’s official website, which includes top brands like Costco, Sprouts, Safeway, PetCo, Best Buy, and many more.

The terms and conditions for some deals might vary. That’s why it’s advisable to check Instacart’s latest information for confirmation and details on these benefits.

4. Family Account

While many of the previous features were a part of Instacart Express, this one is exclusive to Instacart+.

The Family Account feature allows you to extend membership benefits to family members without paying extra money.

It also includes new functionality features like shared shopping lists.

This feature allows different family members to collaborate while creating shopping lists to make sure that all the household’s needs are fulfilled.

5. Additional Features

Although Instacart+ doesn’t offer priority access to its premium members, it still offers additional perks to make the subscription more lucrative:

  • Peacock Subscription: Instacart+ users can also enjoy a free subscription to the streaming service Peacock, saving up to $59.99 per year in value.
  • Bank-related perks: Instacart+ offers a 5% credit back on qualifying pick-up orders made through Chase cards. Chase cardholders may also enjoy free Instacart+ subscriptions.

How Much Does Instacart+ Cost?

Instacart+ offers two membership options to choose from, which should depend on how much you use the platform and your personal preferences.

The monthly membership is the simplest plan, which costs you around $9.99 per month.

On the other hand, the annual membership comes at a fee of around $99 per year, which translates to roughly $8.25 per month.

Both membership options have the same level of access to features and perks from Instacart+.

The only difference here is that the annual plan is a larger initial investment but saves you even more money in the long run.

Considering the savings in delivery and service fees, this means that the subscription practically pays for itself within 1 to 2 months of using the app consistently.

Free Trials and Cancellations

Instacart also offers occasional free trial periods for Instacart+, which are typically around 14 days.

This allows you to give the service a quick try and see if the membership benefits suit your needs before committing financially.

Canceling your Instacart+ membership is also a straightforward process through your account settings.

Besides canceling any time, you can also get a refund for your subscription if you cancel within the first 5 days of your new billing cycle.

How Instacart+ Compares to Other Delivery Subscriptions

Before committing to Instacart+, you might be wondering how it performs when compared to the competition, so here’s a quick comparison to give you the full picture.

While Instacart+ costs $9.99 and 99$ for the monthly and annual subscriptions respectively, the following platform’s prices may vary:

  • Shipt: costs a similar $99 annually, but doesn’t have a monthly subscription model.
  • Amazon Fresh: This one relies on the Prime membership, so it costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month
  • Walmart+:  costs around $12.95 per month or $98 per year

In terms of price, Instacart+ is fairly close to most competitors. This similarity also extends to the minimum order amount, which is around $35 for most services.

That being said, Instacart+ has a relatively wider reach and better partnerships than other grocery delivery services.

Both Instacart+ and Amazon Fresh come with a free subscription to streaming services. However, Prime Video comes at a higher cost than Peacock through this method.

This comparison shows that Instacart+ offers a remarkably competitive package as a whole, both in terms of money saving and the perks it offers.

Is Instacart+ Worth It? A Thoughtful Analysis

Instacart+ can be a valuable tool for anyone who spends considerably on groceries and orders deliveries frequently through the Instacart app.

It’s also a great choice for families with different needs and interests. The Family Account feature can extend the functionality of the premium service to the whole family.

Yet, there are several factors to consider while assessing whether Instacart+ is worth it for you, such as:

  • Average Monthly Grocery Expenses: If you spend a significant amount on groceries each month (around $300 or more), the potential savings on delivery fees with Instacart+ can easily offset the initial investment.
  • Frequency of Grocery Deliveries: Frequent users benefit the most from Instacart+. If you order groceries every one or two weeks, Instacart+ can save you a lot of money in delivery and service fees.

Besides saving money, Instacart+ is remarkably convenient for families that don’t have enough time to do their grocery shopping directly at the store.

In that case, the extra savings by ordering them online can be more efficient than hiring a personal shopper to do the job for them, all while picking the items they prefer the most.

In conclusion, Instacart+ is a great choice, but it’s not for everyone.

Families that appreciate the convenience of online shopping or use Instacart continuously can find the subscription well worth the money.

This is because it can offer substantial savings in addition to convenience.

On the other hand, you should consider other options if you don’t frequently order groceries through the app. This is also true if you live in an area with limited Instacart coverage.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Instacart+ Membership

If you’re interested in becoming an Instacart+ member, here are some additional tips to help you maximize the benefits of your subscription:

  • Combine orders to make sure that you always exceed the minimum purchase threshold and save more in delivery fees
  • Make use of the Family Account feature. This can help you create larger orders, which removes the delivery fees. This also makes your order more attractive to Instacart Shoppers, so you’ll get your order accepted much quicker.
  • If you already have a Peacock subscription, you should cancel it, as you already get it for free with Instacart+
  • Utilize the 5% credit back if you’re a Chase bank cardholder. You can do this by picking up your orders when you’re near the store
  • Remember to always check the new exclusive deals and offers by Instacart, as they’re constantly adding new promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Instacart Charging Me $99?

Instacart will charge you $99 if you subscribe to the annual plan of its premium service Instacart+.

Luckily, if you’ve been charged the amount within 5 days, you can cancel the subscription and get a full refund of the amount. Here’s an official guide on how to cancel.

Is it Cheaper to Order From Instacart?

Unlike regular online shopping, ordering groceries online will typically cost you a little more than if you go to the store and purchase them yourself.

This is because, besides the cost of the items, you’ll also pay for additional fees. These include delivery fees, service fees, and potential upscaled prices on the app by some vendors.

Final Thoughts

Instacart+ is an excellent choice for anyone who uses the Instacart app frequently.

The subscription service offers free delivery for large orders in addition to extra perks and advantages that quickly pay for itself if you’re a frequent shopper.

However, the money-saving potential of the app heavily depends on how frequently you make orders through the app.

You should also note that the exclusive deals and convenience that come with cheaper deliveries can also add to the value of the app

Ultimately, you should weigh the costs against your grocery habits to see if Instacart+ can be a good pick for your needs.

Luckily, you can also use the free trial and cancel-anytime policy to judge the service more accurately.

Current Version
May 9, 2024
Written By Brett Helling
Update Details This post has been completely re-written from scratch. The old post has been removed and replaced to better address accuracy and quality.

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