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Instacart Express: What Are the Benefits and Is It Worth It?

If you’re an avid Instacart user looking to save money, Instacart Express is a great option. With Instacart Express, you can save money on each order and become eligible for exclusive promotions and offers.

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart Express is a subscription-based membership program that costs $9.99 a month or $99 a year.
  • Instacart Express members get free delivery on orders over $35, reduced service fees, and member-exclusive promotions.
  • Instacart Express is worth it if you place at least two orders a month over $35.

Keep reading to learn more about Instacart Express, how it works, how much it costs, and how to sign up.

What Is Instacart Express?

Instacart Express is a subscription-based membership option for customers. With Instacart Express, you can get free delivery on orders over $35, reduced service fees, and become eligible for additional promotions and benefits.

ProsCons
Flat annual cost or monthly membership feeRequires monthly or annual commitment
Free delivery for orders over $35 (normally starting at $3.99 for non-members)Requires $35 order minimum
Reduced service feesService fees still apply
Average savings $7 per order 
Member exclusive promotions, including 5% credit on eligible pickup orders 
Instacart Express Pros and Cons

You can subscribe to Instacart Express on a monthly or annual basis.

If you subscribe on an annual basis, you’ll pay $99 per year. If you subscribe on a monthly basis, you’ll pay $9.99 per month.

The biggest benefit of Instacart Express is that it offers free delivery for all orders over $35.

If you didn’t have the membership, you would have to pay at least $3.99 for each delivery order.

Another benefit of Instacart Express is that some service fees are reduced.

Combined with the free delivery benefit, the average Instacart Express member saves about $7 per order.

Instacart Express subscribers are also eligible for several exclusive promotions, allowing them to save money on other goods and services, including Grubhub, Chase credit cards, Mastercard credit cards, Costco memberships, and Delta SkyMiles.

Finally, Instacart Express also has a credit back benefit.

Subscribers receive 5% credit back on eligible pickup orders from participating retailers, which will apply automatically to your next Instacart order.

There are some potential drawbacks to Instacart Express, though.

First, it does require an annual or monthly commitment, and if you often place orders that total under $35, you won’t receive the biggest benefit, which is the waived delivery fee.

Also, although Instacart Express reduces service fees, you will still have to pay a service fee, albeit a smaller one.

Instacart is available in many cities and towns throughout the United States.

To check if Instacart delivers to you, you can search your zip code on their locations page.

The stores that Instacart delivers from will vary by area, but common stores include ALDI, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Publix, Sam’s Club, Sprouts, and Wegmans.

What Are the Instacart Express Benefits?

The benefits of Instacart Express include free delivery for orders over $35, reduced service fees, an automatic 5% credit back benefit for eligible pickup orders, and eligibility for other exclusive promotions.

The biggest benefit of Instacart Express is free delivery for orders over $35. However, if you place an order that totals under $35, it will still be subject to delivery fees.

If you have a membership, you will also pay reduced service fees compared to non-Express members.

Instacart Express members may pay reduced alcohol service fees and not pay priority fees for convenience orders over $10.

Members also get an automatic 5% credit back on eligible pickup orders from participating retailers. This credit will automatically apply to your next Instacart order.

Lastly, Instacart offers Express members exclusive promotions from other partnering retailers and services.

These promotions change from month to month but may include companies like GrubHub, Chase, Mastercard, Costco, and Delta Airlines.

How Much Does Instacart Express Cost?

If you subscribe to Instacart Express on a monthly basis, you will pay $9.99 per month. However, if you subscribe on an annual basis, you will pay $99 per year. In addition, you can get a free trial of Instacart Express for 14 days before subscribing.

Instacart Express allows monthly and annual subscriptions.

The monthly subscription costs $9.99 per month and renews on the same day each month.

The annual subscription is less expensive, costing $99 per year, and it renews on the same day each year.

Instacart Express does auto-renew, but you can turn auto-renew off in the settings section of your account on the Instacart website or app.

If you want to cancel your membership, you can do so in the Instacart account settings.

If you cancel your membership within the first 15 days of your paid membership, you will receive a refund of the full membership fee you paid.

However, this only applies if you have not placed any orders using your membership during those first 15 days.

If you have placed an Instacart Express order but then decide to cancel your membership, your membership fees will not be refunded.

If you want to try Instacart Express before committing to a membership, you can get a 14-day free trial.

You’ll have two weeks to reap the benefits of the service without paying any fees, so you can decide if membership is worth it to you!

After the 14 days end, you will be charged the price of an annual membership.

So, if you’re in the middle of your free trial and realize that it is not for you, be sure to cancel before the 14 days are up.

Can You Buy Instacart Express Membership Through Costco?

Costco members can buy an annual Instacart Express membership for only $79. Costco members are also eligible for a 2-month free trial before their annual subscription begins, so they have plenty of time to see if Instacart Express is right for them.

Instacart and Costco have partnered to offer a reduced annual membership price and extended free trial for Costco members.

You must already be an active Costco member for this promotion to apply.

If you are not already an Instacart Express subscriber, you can get a 2-month free trial of Instacart Express through your Costco membership.

This gives you even more time to test out the membership and figure out if the service is worth it to you.

If you want to become an Instacart Express subscriber, you can get a discounted annual membership price of $79 per year, compared to $99 per year for non-Costco members.

You’ll also save 20% when buying from Costco’s website, as well as up to 5% off same-day delivery orders placed on sameday.costco.com.

You can check out our article to learn more about how Costco same-day delivery works with Instacart.

If you are already an Instacart Express subscriber and a Costco member, you can still apply this promotion to your Instacart Express subscription after it renews.

So, this year, you’ll still pay $99 per year. However, once your annual subscription renews, you will only pay $79.

If your Costco membership expires during the duration of your 2-month free trial or year-long Instacart Express promotional subscription, you will be charged $99 instead of $79.

How to Sign Up for Instacart Express

You can sign up for Instacart Express on the Instacart website or app. If you already have an account, you can pay using a linked credit card. If not, you will need to make sure that Instacart is available in your area first.

Here are the steps to sign up for Instacart Express on the Instacart website.

Step 1. Click this link to go directly to the Instacart Express signup page. If you’re not already logged onto your existing Instacart account, you’ll be asked to enter your zip code to ensure Instacart is available in your area.

Step 2. Once you’ve entered your zip code, click the ‘Join Instacart Express’ button.

Step 3. Enter your credit card information. Or, if you already have an Instacart account, you can link a credit card already on your account. Then, click the ‘Activate membership’ button.

Step 4. Once you’ve started your Instacart Express membership, you can place an order, as usual. Remember that you need to hit a $35 minimum threshold to receive free delivery with Instacart Express.

Can You Cancel Instacart Express?

If you decide that an Instacart Express membership is no longer worth it for you, you can cancel it at any time on the Instacart website or app. However, there are some limitations that may prevent you from getting a full refund.

If you participated in a free trial of Instacart Express and decided that you don’t want to pay for a subscription, you should cancel your free trial before your credit card gets charged for your first month or year.

To cancel your Instacart Express free trial, log onto your Instacart account on the website or app.

Click the three horizontal lines in the top left corner of the webpage or app. Then, select ‘Your Express Membership.’

At the bottom right corner of the screen, select ‘Cancel membership.’

You’ll have to confirm that you want to cancel your membership a few times before the membership is actually canceled.

If you want to cancel your paid subscription to Instacart Express, the cancellation process works the same way. However, whether you receive a refund will vary.

You will receive a full refund of Instacart Express membership fees if you are within the first 15 days of your membership and have not used it to place any orders.

This means that if it has been more than 15 days since you subscribed, you will not receive a refund.

If it has been less than 15 days, but you have already used your Instacart Express account to place an order, you also will not receive a refund.

However, even if you are ineligible for an Instacart Express refund, you can still get free deliveries on orders over $35 through the remaining duration of your billing period.

Do You Tip With Instacart Express?

Instacart Express subscription fees do not cover tips, so you should still tip if you are an Instacart Express member. The general rule of thumb is to tip 15-20%, especially if you received exemplary service.

The monthly or annual subscription fee you pay for Instacart Express does not go towards paying or tipping Instacart shoppers.

Furthermore, Instacart shoppers are independent contractors and heavily rely on tips as a crucial part of their income.

This means that even if you are an Instacart Express subscriber, your shopper does not receive any extra pay or benefits because of your subscription.

To support your local Instacart shoppers and thank them for their service, please continue to tip, even after subscribing to Instacart Express.

Generally, we recommend tipping 15 to 20% on each delivery order on Instacart, especially if your shopper provides excellent service.

Is Instacart Express Worth It?

Instacart Express membership is worth it if you place at least two orders a month over $35. In that case, savings from the waived delivery fees and reduced service fees will be higher than the membership cost, making it worth it.

Without Instacart Express, you will have to pay at least $3.99 in delivery fees, as well as service fees starting at 5% of your order total.

According to Instacart, the average Instacart Express member saves about $7 per order.

If you make two orders totaling over $35 per month, you’ll save about $14 per month.

This means that even with a $9.99 monthly Instacart Express subscription, you’ll still save around $4 per month.

If you purchase a $99 annual Instacart Express subscription, you’ll still save about $5.75 per month.

Of course, if you make more than two orders over $35 per month, you’ll save even more!

If you’re a Costco member and are eligible for the $79 annual subscription promotion, you can save even more money using Instacart Express.

If you place two orders per month, you’ll still save about $7.40 per month, even after paying subscription fees.

However, if you only use Instacart sporadically or rarely place orders that total over $35, you probably will not save any money with Instacart Express membership.

Keep in mind that Instacart Express subscribers do not have priority over regular Instacart users, nor do their orders get delivered faster than regular users.

Instacart Express is designed mainly to help save money for people who place frequent orders using Instacart.

In addition to the exclusive savings that Instacart Express provides, you can still take advantage of regular Instacart savings and coupons, allowing you to maximize your savings.

Conclusion

Instacart Express is a money-saving subscription service for frequent Instacart users. The best perk is free delivery on all Instacart orders over $35. If you often place multiple Instacart orders per month, you can save quite a bit on delivery fees.

Instacart Express allows you to subscribe monthly or annually, giving you some flexibility. You can also get a 14-day free trial of Instacart Express to test if the service is right for you.

If you’re looking for more tips about Instacart, check out these articles below.

Related Articles:

How to Contact Instacart Customer Service (By Phone, Chat, and More)

How Do Instacart Replacements and Special Requests Work?

Instacart Gift Cards: Where to Buy and How to Use Them

Can You Order From Multiple Stores on Instacart? (Yes, Here’s How)

How to Get a Refund on Instacart (Including Express Membership)

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Last Updated: March 31, 2022

About the Author

Eril Eti is the founder of Shopfood.com. He has over a decade of experience in the consumer goods industry. He launched many successful products for major brands sold at retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more.

He loves food and sharing his experience with others. Outside of work, you can find him at a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.

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