What is Instacart Express Membership? Benefits, Costs, and Whether It's Worth it

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How to Get Unlimited Free Delivery with Instacart Express

instacart express

Instacart is a 24/7 grocery delivery service allowing household and grocery delivery shopping from local retailers including, Aldi, Publix, Safeway and Cotsco. The same-day delivery app is expanding the list of services it offers.

Instacart offers benefits allowing membership subscribers to waive the $7.99 delivery fee.

If you order recurring grocery delivery, the benefits of getting free instacart delivery might well outweigh the cost.

To help you decide if an Instacart Express subscription is a good deal for you, we have broken down the costs of using Instacart and the basics of what Instacart Express actually offers.

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1. What is Instacart Express

If before the choice was between the small local dealer or Cotsco, today the digital world has evolved and consumers can choose to buy online, from their desktop or mobile. It is like having keys to all supermarkets!

Delivery services like Instacart make it easy to get groceries during the pandemic or when you are at home sick with Covid.

In addition, with the proliferation of new payment methods, by choosing online shopping the customer can decide how to pay. But what is Instacart Express?

Express is a sort of membership subscription service that is about to make grocery delivery even more affordable. The purchase and use of the renewable express delivery is also subject to the terms and conditions of use.

To be clear, the Instacart subscription is similar to an Amazon Prime subscription and Postmates Unlimited. It allows frequent Instacart users to pay a monthly fee by saving money. Basically, you get all the advantages of online shopping and save on online grocery shopping.

You buy groceries with the Instacart app while full service shoppers shop and deliver your order. In addition, you get some benefits from Instacart unlimited including:

  • $0 delivery fees on orders of $35 or more (delivery fee is typically $3.99-$7.99 for non-Express)
  • Reduced service fees (typically 5% for non-Express)
  • Your orders are price protected. With flat-rate pricing without surges, surprises or busy pricing fees during peak delivery hours will not occur. No matter how surged prices are in your area, you will only ever see the standard, lower price.
  • $0 pickup fee (learn more about Instacart Pickup)
  • Shop at a variety of local stores with free delivery on the entire order.
  • Buy from Costco without having a Costco membership

2. How Do Fees Work On Instacart?

The first and most important step is to understand the cost of using Instacart. So, why does instacart charge more than total?

When you place an order with the grocery delivery app, the fees you pay help cover delivery costs.

The grocery delivery service rolled out a new and clear fees structure. Instacart fees for every order delivered may include the following fees:

Delivery Fee

The delivery fees vary for each grocery store based on your location, the size of your order, the delivery time you choose and availability of delivery people. You'll always know the delivery fee before paying the order.

So, how much is Instacart delivery fee?

The delivery fee starts at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35.

Service Fee

Instacart charges a service fee that varies depending on the market. It is calculated as a percentage of the order subtotal, not including alcohol. The service fee helps cover a variety of costs, including customer support,background check, marketing, and payment processing.

The service fee begins at 5% for non-Express customers, while Instacart Express members pay a reduced service fee starting as low as 1.9%. In any case, you'll be able to view the service fees in your area at checkout.

Bottle Deposit and Bag Fees

State legislatures have considered a number of measures to reduce the prevalence of plastic bags at grocery stores and other businesses. To discourage disposable bag usage, some states introduced the bag fee.

You will pay an additional Instacart Bag fee in the States where this fee is imposed.

In addition, to encourage recycling and complement existing curbside recycling programs and to reduce energy and material usage for containers, some states may apply a bottle deposit fee on specified beverages with qualified containers and volume. A deposit fee may range from $0.05 to $0.15 per container depending on factors such as volume, container, and beverage. The deposit is generally refundable.

Small order fee

Unlike some online food delivery apps, where there are no small order fees, there is a minimum order amount on Instacart of $10.

Heavy Fee

Instacart, very similarly to UPS and FedEx, raises fees on heavy packages and orders like cases of beverages and pet food. The fee is a percentage of your subtotal order and applied if the total combined estimated weight of these items is above 50 lbs.

The heavy fee begins at 5% but can be higher for heavier orders.

You can easily review the fee before the check out and remove the heavy elements.

Shoppers are notified about the heavy order before the pick up, and the “heavy pay” is included in the driver pay .

💡 Pro Tips: When you join Instacart and create an account, you'll be eligible for free delivery on your first order.

3. Is Instacart Membership Worth It?

You can find a lot of reviews of Instacart in the Instacart reddit for couriers and customers. I’m really attracted to gig-economy startups. So, take your time to read through this review. I’ve been using the grocery shopping service occasionally to order my groceries and get them delivered.

Here's what I learned, and what you need to know before ordering from Instacart and getting groceries without leaving your house.

Are prices on Instacart more expensive?

Would you like to know if the stores inflate their prices on the platform? The delivery app encourages stores to keep prices consistent. However, every partner store chooses the price of their items. Some partners hike the prices of the items ordered for delivery. So, is Instacart a good deal?

Instacart costs $7.99 for one-hour delivery or $5.99 for two-hour or more delivery (you can select one-hour time windows), though the price can increase at particularly busy times.

The prices for the same order may vary depending on the time, day and availability of drivers. Sometimes there are price discrepancies on the app and they overcharged me on multiple occasions.

In addition, they add a “service fee” on top of their delivery fees, which increases the total price.

The subscription will not not give you more delivery windows or earlier time slots than other customers. However, you will have a faster delivery and can get your express order to your door in 1 hour. It would make paying that service fee more acceptable because you would no longer pay delivery fees.

The subscription is definitely worth it because it entitles you to free Instacart deliveries everywhere, which works out really great for frequent customers that love having other people do chores for them.

Indeed, Instacart Express members get free delivery on all orders over $35. Even during surge periods. In addition, you can cancel your membership any time.

Related Article: Instacart Headquarters Address

instacart express cost

4. Instacart Express Pricing

In all cities where Instacart is available, you can make online grocery shopping from Publix and Safeway and get them delivered via Instacart! But all of these delivery fees can add up, especially if you’re not using referral credits . The solution? Instacart Premium membership. But how much is Instacart Express?

The express delivery has two options. Basically, you can choose from a monthly or annual membership.

If you choose a monthly membership, your Instacart membership fee will be $9.99/month and will auto-renew every month on your membership billing date. If you choose an annual membership, your membership fee will be $99.99/year and will auto-renew every year on your membership billing date, unless you choose to cancel it.

However, you can manage your membership renewal by logging in to your account directly from the app.

💡 Pro Tips: You cannot use food stamps benefits to pay for the membership

5. How to Get Free Grocery Delivery With An Express Account

If it is available in your city, you'll see it as an option in the menu of the Instacart app. Once subscribed, view your subscription details at any time by going to Instacart Express in the app’s menu.

  • Open the app
  • Tap on view account
  • Select Instacart Express on the menu. A purchase screen appears with an outline of the program's benefits
  • Tap on ‘Join Express’
instacart express membership
instacart express membership

6. How Can I Get A Free Trial Of Express Delivery

Instacart offers a free 14-day trial for users who have not previously tried Express.

In order to start your free trial period, you will need to provide a payment method. Once your trial is over, you will be automatically enrolled in your chosen membership plan and the payment method you signed up with will be charged. If you do not wish to continue the membership, make sure you cancel it before the billing date. Your membership will auto-renew on your membership billing date until you cancel.

Can I use Instacart without a membership?

Instacart is not a membership-based grocery marketplace like Shipt. This means that you can use it without paying the annual fee.

7. Instacart Express Promo Code

Are you looking for an instacart membership promo code? We found better than this. Costco is currently offering a special deal on subscriptions.

Instead of paying an Instacart annual fee of $99, if you are a Costco member you can buy eGift Card for the subscription. Express Membership does not auto-renew for $78.99.

You will save 20% of the annual fee.

Instacart recently made a partnership with Grubhub. Grubhub diners who sign up for an Express membership will get 2 months of Instacart Express for free, plus $10 off their first Instacart order of $35 or more.

8. Chase Instacart

Chase and Instacart teamed up for a new partnership benefiting select credit cardholders. Those eligible could receive a complimentary Free instacart membership for 1 year (~$99 value).

Chase credit cards eligible for a complimentary membership include:

  • Chase Freedom cards
  • Chase Sapphire cards
  • The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card
  • Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card
  • J.P. Morgan Reserve Card
  • All Disney Visa cards
  • And more

You will also get a 10 off their next order of $35 or more as a Chase Instacart benefit.

9. How to Cancel the Instacart Membership?

You can cancel your Instacart subscription at any time by using the grocery store delivery app or website. To avoid having your bank account charged for the next subscription period, you must cancel at least 1 day before the next-scheduled subscription renewal date (e.g. if renewal date is January 10, you must cancel by 11:59:59pm PT on January 9). After canceling your membership, benefits will be valid through the end of the current billing period.

Mobile app users can follow our step by step tutorial to stop the $99 Instacart subscription.

  • Open your Instacart app
  • Tap the account icon at the top left of the screen
  • Go to "Instacart Express"
  • Tap "End Subscription"
  • Confirm on the next page by taping "End Subscription"

If you want to stop using Instacart services, we suggest you consult our guide on how to delete your Instacart account .

Related Article: How To Cancel Shipt Free Trial, Membership, Orders

How To Save Money On Groceries With Instacart

Can you save money on your cart on instacart ? In addition to the membership subscription, we want to finish our article by providing our readers with effective ways to save on grocery delivery by using Instacart.

  • Check all the coupons and in-store discounts available on the platform. Once you choose a store, the digital coupons are listed on the tab “coupons” and automatically apply to your order.
  • Link your ibotta account with Instacart and earn cash back on your purchasing on Instacart. Start earning cash shopping. Give Ibotta a try
  • Choose your delivery window wisely by avoiding the peak hours
  • On your first order the delivery fee is $0. This is a marketing promotion to encourage new customer acquisition by offering free grocery delivery.

Instacart Express: How Does it Work and How Much is the Subscription

If you want to learn more about Instacart Express you are at the right place. Here is a complete review of the cost of the Instacart membership. The Instacart subscription can help you save money on multiple deals and options from the app.

Other Meal Subscription Services You May Like

If you are looking for ways to avoid busy grocery stores right now, here is our list of meal subscription service you may like:

Get Your Instacart Free Delivery Now!

I think Instacart is smart and valuable — every bit as valuable as Uber, Airbnb, or one of the dozens of other food delivery services that now exist. The app is easy to use and Instacart’s service is user-oriented, and it’s pretty easy to make sure you’re getting what you actually want.

You do not need to sign up for a membership to get groceries delivered to your door. However with the Instacart express cost of $99, you will save a good deal of cash. Ultimately, you can cancel your membership any time you want. Create your Instacart account and get the free delivery on your first order. Finally, do not forget to take a look at our complete comparison Shipt vs Instacart.

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