Instacart may be one of the most lucrative grocery delivery services around, but without a solid driver base, it wouldn’t be able to continue its journey to the top.
To keep up with its own growth, the company depends on an ever-expanding team of Instacart Shoppers to make each delivery a success.
As an incentive for drivers to recruit their friends and family members, Instacart referral codes are always available for current Shoppers to share, so they can make money faster.
The Instacart Full-Service Shopper role can be a great opportunity to make every day a bit different, especially if you’re tired of being cooped up in a car for hours. Unlike rideshare apps and food delivery gigs, this independent contractor role allows you to spend as much time grocery shopping in local stores as you do driving around the city.
However, choosing a gig isn’t always as simple as picking the job you prefer. You need something that pays well.
In this Instacart referral code guide, we’ll show you why the company’s referral program is ideal for any driver who wants to earn big bonuses as much as possible.
- How Instacart Referrals Work
- Where to Get an Active Instacart Referral Code
- How to Apply Instacart Referral Codes
- Making Money With Your Instacart Referral Code
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Instacart Referrals Work
The Instacart referral program is uniquely designed to benefit current drivers more than anyone else. While most gig economy platforms usually compensate both users, this grocery delivery service frequently offers a substantial bonus to successful referrers, often without giving any bonuses to the new Shopper.
More commonly, you’ll see current Instacart delivery drivers recruiting friends and offering to split their bonus earnings as a gesture of goodwill.
When you use a friend’s Instacart referral code — or if someone uses yours — the referred person must complete a simple set of requirements for the referrer’s bonus payout to occur. This involves finishing a set amount of Instacart deliveries, known as “batches,” within a certain number of days.
The exact requirements will vary by your exact city. For example, a new driver may be required to finish 30 batches in 30 days for the current driver to get up to $1,000 in bonus money.
While some Instacart users report that local requirements can be hard to complete when demand is low, you have nothing to lose from sharing your referral code. Even if the person you refer doesn’t fulfill the requirements, they’ll still get the standard pay and tips they earn from the deliveries they do complete.
Where to Get an Active Instacart Referral Code
The best way to get an Instacart referral code is by asking friends and family members for their code. As previously mentioned, new applicants aren’t always guaranteed any bonuses, but many current drivers are more than willing to give you a cut of their earnings. After all, the new drivers are the ones doing the bulk of the work, while referrers are just getting free money.
If you don’t personally know an Instacart Shopper, you can also browse this helpful Reddit thread for a list of active codes, including some users who are offering a cut of their earnings. If you take this route, make sure to be cautious about what personal information you’re giving your referrer when they offer to send money to you.
Of course, if you’re planning to sign up regardless of bonus earnings, you can always just do a Google search for Instacart referral codes to ensure someone gets extra money, even if it doesn’t benefit you.
Here are a few referral codes and links we found just by browsing search results:
- DHSOTS411A1 or this referral link
- RAPHAELW831AE or this referral link
- EREBMANN841E4 or this referral link
If you want to earn extra money for yourself, without relying on a referrer to share their earnings with you, there are many cash back platforms that will actually pay you to sign up as an Instacart driver with their links.
How to Apply Instacart Referral Codes
Applying an Instacart referral code is part of the driver application process. When you’re ready to sign up, there are two routes you can take to ensure you’re successfully helping your referrer earn:
- Head to the Shopper sign-up page at shoppers.instacart.com. Then, fill in the form with your first name, last name, phone number, ZIP code, and chosen referral code before tapping “Continue.”
- Head to the Shopper sign-up page by tapping your selected referral link. Your Instacart referral code should automatically be filled into the final box if it’s still active. Fill in the rest of the form and tap “Continue.”
Once you’ve completed either of these steps, just follow all the prompts to download the app and complete the Instacart Shopper sign-up process. This will involve providing more personal information and approving a required background check.
Unlike some gig economy apps, Instacart does not allow you to apply referral codes after you complete the sign-up process, so it’s extremely important that you use your desired code on the initial registration page.
If you have any issues applying the code, reach out to Instacart customer service and they should be able to help you work through the issue you’re facing.
Making Money With Your Instacart Referral Code
Once you’re an active Shopper on the Instacart platform, you will be able to continuously earn from bonuses. You will have the chance to get big referral bonuses — which are essentially free cash payouts — just for inviting Full-Service Shoppers who complete their local requirements.
Instacart has been known to offer as much as $1,000 per successful referral. Though the exact value of your referral bonus offer can vary by market, based on the local demand for drivers, you can typically expect to earn at least $100 each time.
How to Qualify for Referral Bonuses
Before you have the opportunity to use your personal Instacart referral code or link to earn more, you must log at least 40 hours on the platform. Though this means brand new drivers cannot qualify for bonuses, this also prevents anyone from signing up with the sole intention of earning money from referrals.
In order to continue earning from referrals over time, you must maintain your status as an active Full-Service Shopper. This is defined as logging a minimum of 40 hours on the Instacart Shopper app in the most recent six-month period. You must also be in good standing with the company, so any ongoing issues may disqualify you from earning referral bonuses.
Your bonus payment will only be released once the person you refer completes their local batch requirements within the designated time frame.
Where to Find Your Instacart Referral Code
It’s easy to get to your Instacart referral code. Once you’ve opened your Instacart Shopper app, simply tap the menu icon on the top left corner and select the “Referrals” or “Earn (Bonus Amount)” tab, depending on which version of the app you have.
Once you’re on this tab, you’ll be able to copy your referral link to manually share with friends. You’ll also have the option to select friends you want to share with directly from the app.
Before you blast your Instacart referral code or link throughout the internet, be aware that the company has a clear policy against publicly shared invite codes. Though many drivers do share their codes on public platforms like Reddit and Twitter, Instacart has the right to withhold your referral bonus if it finds that you’re breaking this policy.
Sharing Instacart referral codes with people you know on private social media pages, text messages, direct messages, and other private channels shouldn’t be a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding how Instacart referrals work can help you maximize your earnings right from the start of your gig. Read our answers to frequently asked questions to learn more about making money with Instacart referral codes:
1. Can I make money with Instacart referral codes if I am an Instacart In-Store Shopper?
In-Store Shoppers cannot take advantage of referral links or codes to earn more. The driver referral program is exclusively designed for Full-Service Shoppers to recruit other Full-Service Shoppers.
This is largely because people who perform the in-store gig are part-time employees with Instacart, so they earn with a more traditional pay structure that doesn’t involve any bonuses.
You cannot make money by recruiting In-Store Shoppers either, even if you are a Full-Service Shopper. Because the in-store role limits workers to shopping in their assigned stores (with no driving involved), they wouldn’t be able to meet batch requirements for you to get your bonus anyway.
2. Can I earn money by referring new customers, instead of Instacart drivers?
No. Instacart Shopper referral codes will only work for referring other drivers.
If you are a member on the Instacart app, you can find your personal Instacart promo code to share with first-time customers there. However, instead of getting a cash bonus, you’ll usually get Instacart credits for free delivery or discounted groceries. The person you refer will just also get money off their first order.
3. Do I get discounts on Instacart for becoming an Instacart Shopper?
Instacart currently does not offer Shoppers any discounts on its grocery delivery service. If you choose to become a customer, you can expect to pay the same delivery fees, service fees, and grocery prices as everyone else.
Make Bonuses a Part of Your Ongoing Earnings
The Instacart referral program is unique in that it focuses on offering huge bonuses to current drivers, just for recruiting people to complete a set amount of deliveries. This is an ongoing opportunity for active Instacart Shoppers, so you can continue earning as much as $1,000 per successful referral over time.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.