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Instacart Express: Is the Premium Membership Worth It?

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If you could cut out one chore from your long list of responsibilities every week, which one would it be?

Walking the dog? Doing your laundry? Cutting the lawn?

Every day, more and more people turn to Instacart — the online grocery delivery service — to take care of their weekly grocery shopping.

Instacart frees up your time by picking up all of your grocery items and delivering them right to your door.

The service can quickly become addicting once you realize the convenience and time saving that come along with using Instacart personal shoppers.

If you’re currently using Instacart on a regular basis — or can see yourself using the service on a weekly or bi-weekly basis — then signing up for an Instacart Express membership may be in your best interest.

In this article, we’re going to discuss Instacart Express — what it is, how much it costs, and the benefits of signing up — so you can decide if it’s worth signing up for Instacart’s premium membership.

What Is Instacart Express?

Instacart Express is Instacart’s premium membership that gives users access to additional benefits for a monthly or annual membership fee.

With Instacart Express, you can enjoy as many deliveries as you’d like for much less money.

Think of Instacart Express as the Amazon Prime of grocery delivery.

With one annual fee, you can enjoy as many deliveries as you’d like without racking up a big bill.

The premium membership is an excellent choice for those who use the delivery service on a regular basis.

The premium membership is the exact same service as the standard membership, however, you’ll receive access to a few convenient and cost-saving benefits.

Benefits of Instacart Express

Being an Instacart Express member, you receive unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35, you won’t be required to pay service and delivery fees on all orders, you can order from multiple stores at once without an additional charge, and you never have to pay for busy pricing during periods of high demand.

Instacart Express graphic

We aren’t going to lie, the delivery and service fees quickly add up when using the standard Instacart service.

With Instacart Express, you can bypass delivery fees when the order total is $35 or more and instead only pay one monthly or annual membership fee.

You will also won’t be required to pay for service fees on all orders, which is either a $2 minimum on small orders or a 5 percent charge on larger orders.

As an Instacart Express member, you can also shop from multiple local stores on the same delivery order for no extra charge.

This means that if you have a very particular list of items that can only be purchased at certain stores, you can place your order guilt-free without worrying about wasting money.

For example, if you have several specific items in bulk from Costco and also need your weekly groceries from a grocery store like Whole Foods, you can place this order without being charged multiple delivery fees.

Another perk of Instacart Express is that you never have to worry about placing orders during busy periods.

With the premium membership, you can place orders at a popular delivery time like 5:00 p.m. on a weekday and won’t be required to pay busy pricing.

By now you’re probably thinking, “Sure there are plenty of perks, but what does Instacart Express cost?”

Pricing for Instacart Express

Instacart Express price chart

Instacart Express costs $99 for an annual membership or $9.99 if you sign up for the monthly membership.

If you go the monthly route, you’ll end up paying $20 more per year compared to the $99 yearly fee.

If you’re on the fence between paying a monthly fee or taking the plunge into the annual subscription, we recommend going the monthly route until you know you’ll get your money’s worth.

If you’re an avid user of Instacart and know that you’ll use the service over the course of the year, then, by all means, pinch a few pennies and sign up for the annual membership.

Just remember that once you sign up for the annual membership, you’re locked in for the entire year.

But how can you justify spending that much money on a monthly or yearly membership and at what point is the Express membership worth it?

Is Instacart Express Worth It?

Since you’ll be facing a $99 yearly fee if you sign up for the annual membership, it’s important to realize when you’ll actually get your money’s worth.

If you place an order from Instacart once per week, you can expect to break even after using the service for four months, if not sooner.

To give you an accurate representation of the cost comparison between the standard membership and the Express membership — paid both monthly and annually — we did a quick calculation of what you would pay using each option.

Instacart Express yearly cost comparison

In the graph below, we assumed that once per week you placed the minimum delivery amount of $35 to get free delivery with Express.

With the Express membership, you aren’t required to pay delivery fees or service fees, so you can begin to see how quickly those fees add up using the standard service.

Under this assumption, you will surpass the annual membership fee of $99 four months into using the platform.

This can obviously be much sooner if you place orders that are more expensive than $35, you order during busy periods, you request orders with a small delivery window, like one-hour delivery or two-hour delivery, or the default delivery fee is higher than $3.99.

The bottom line is that if you use Instacart on a regular basis, you should definitely be thinking about signing up for Express if you want to save money throughout the year.

If you’re still trying to figure out if it’s a good idea, you can always sign up for the free 14-day trial period.

Instacart Express 14-Day Trial

If you’re on the fence about signing up for the annual Instacart Express membership, you can always give it a test ride by signing up for the free 14-day trial period.

The trial period will give you access to all of the Express benefits without spending a dime.

If you’d like to give the Express membership a try, you can head to the Express sign up page, enter your information, and begin your trial period.

If you’d like to continue using the service after the trial period, you can continue on and your credit card will be automatically charged.

If you don’t want to continue and would prefer to cancel your membership, make sure you do so before the end of the trial period.

Remember, your card will be automatically charged so it’s imperative that you don’t forget.

Also, the Instacart Express trial period is only valid once per household.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about trying it more than once under different names in the house, you won’t be allowed to since it looks at the customer’s address rather than their name.

Since Instacart Express is all about saving money on your deliveries, we figured you might want to know a few other ways you can save using Instacart.

Additional Ways to Save

Beyond Instacart Express, you can also save a few bucks here and there by taking advantage of promo codes and coupon codes.

Instacart promo codes allow you to sign up for Instacart and receive money off your first order.

This is an excellent way to score an extra $10 when ordering from Instacart for the first time.

After signing up and redeeming your $10, you can also refer other friends and receive up to $50 in free groceries.

Not bad at all.

Instacart coupon codes, on the other hand, are widely available in the Instacart app.

You’re able to browse through all of the current coupons available at your favorite stores.

You can also save and organize your own coupons that you’re planning on using.

Express Saves Cash

Instacart Express is worth the premium fee if you’re placing orders anywhere near once per week or every other week.

The money you’ll spend on delivery fees and service fees quickly add up and surpass the annual membership fee of $99.

If you live in a place like New York City or Chicago and grocery shopping is somewhat of a nightmare, we recommend turning to Instacart shoppers to bring your groceries right to your door.

You can at least give the trial Express membership a shot at no extra cost to see if the service is right for you.

2 thoughts on “Instacart Express: Is the Premium Membership Worth It?”

  1. Everyone is worried about the cost of groceries using instacart well how about the shopper who’s being offered 7 bucks to shop your order with gas being 5 bucks a gallon, taxes, car maintenance and so on. Unless you tip decently it’s unlikely your order will be shopped or it will be combined with another customer who tipped well and you will get to piggy back off of that customer.

  2. You are not completely correct about the pricing of instacart+ which is the new name of instacart express

    I had a very long text conversation with a rep from instacart.

    There is an algorithm

    But basically he said it is mostly based on the WEIGHT of the entire order

    However it usually comes out to about $7. Never exactly $7

    And I recall from speaking to instacart shoppers that they basically receive $7 for an order

    So theoretically the service charge goes to paying the shopper.

    They just won’t say that.


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