For many people, Instacart needs no introduction. But for those who are new to the platform, Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that uses personal shoppers who pick up items from local stores and deliver them to Instacart users for a delivery fee.
Similar to other grocery delivery apps like Postmates, full-service shoppers will go to customers’ favorite stores, like Costco, Petco, and Whole Foods, pick up their order items, and deliver them right to their door.
Driving for a grocery delivery service like Instacart is lucrative, and can quickly become a big chunk of your monthly income. But as an independent contractor, there are always opportunities to perfect your skills and find other sources of income beyond just grocery shopping.
Busting your tail running back and forth between countless grocery stores delivering orders to customers all around town is great and all, but what if you could supplement your income without adding more deliveries?
One of the best ways to earn extra cash on top of all of your delivery orders is referring new drivers to Instacart. By referring new drivers to the Instacart platform, you can add hundreds of dollars to every paycheck.
In this article, we want to tell you about the Instacart shopper referral code and show you how can share it with others to make extra cash.
What Are Instacart Shopper Referral Codes?
Instacart shopper referral codes are unique codes that drivers can share with new drivers to earn extra money. Unlike Instacart coupon codes or promo codes that will give you money off your first order or free delivery, driver referral codes are meant to lure in new drivers with a monetary reward.
By sharing your driver referral code, both you and your friend can receive a bonus if he or she completes a certain amount of deliveries over the course of one month.
This means that in order for either of you to get paid, the person you referred must complete a certain amount of deliveries in order for you both to be eligible for the bonus.
You can’t simply share your code, have your friend sign up to shop with Instacart, and then you both get paid. Since Instacart wants drivers that are going to stick around and deliver on a consistent basis, they make it a little harder than that.
So how much extra money can you be adding to your paycheck?
How Much Are the Referral Codes Worth?
Depending on which city you work in, the referral bonus and the number of batches (the term Instacart uses for deliveries) needed to reach your goal will vary.
For example, in regions where there are many orders, which would make it quite easy to reach your monthly batch goal, the requirement will likely be higher.
Take a look at these two referral bonus screenshots below.
Let’s lay out the differences of each referral bonus. Here are the details:
- $400 Referral Bonus: Referral must complete 50 batches in 30 days
- $750 Referral Bonus: Referral must complete 30 batches in 30 days
As you can tell, not only do the referral bonus amounts vary by $350, the requirements to meet their goals are also quite different. The second batch requirement is almost two times higher than the first.
Seeing that these are quite hefty bonuses, there must be a catch, or at least some further restrictions.
Referral Code Fine Print
There are obviously some rules and restrictions regarding the referral bonuses. Specifically, referral drivers must complete their deliveries in a certain time period and the referring drivers must be in good standing with Instacart.
Once you send your referral code to a friend, they’ll have 45 days to complete their first delivery. If they don’t complete a delivery in that timeframe, then the code is invalid and neither of you will receive a bonus.
After they complete their first delivery, the specified time frame begins. That means that if the stipulations are to complete 40 deliveries in 30 days, the 30-day countdown starts from the moment they make their first delivery.
So when do you get paid for your referral? You’ll get paid once your referral completed the required number of batches in the specified time frame. One week after they complete their goal, you’ll receive your bonus in your paycheck.
If you want to see how much your bonus was, you can locate the amount in “Earnings” within the “Referral History” option.
Before you go making extra cash referring people, we need to make sure you’re eligible to even share your referral code. In order to share a referral code and get paid, you need to put in at least 40 hours of delivery service with Instacart.
You must also be an active shopper, but what that actually means is a little murky. We’re assuming as long as you keep up with Instacart and are delivering at least one day a week, you’ll be fine.
Lastly, you need to be a driver who’s in good standing. This means that you can’t be skipping shifts all the time, you have a high shopper rating, and you have few complaints or issues.
Challenges of Instacart Driver Referral Codes
While getting free money on top of all your order payments sounds great, many new drivers have a difficult time meeting the requirements of the referral discounts.
Many drivers say that Instacart sets the bar way too high for drivers. In Instacart forums, drivers describe it as dangling a carrot in front of you but you’re never able to meet the high standards they set.
For example, in many areas, it’s difficult to hit a high number of batches per month because there just aren’t that many orders in general. Even experienced drivers will say that it took them months to be able to complete the number of batches that new drivers are now required to complete.
To top it off, in order to receive orders, drivers must be able to clock in enough hours. This means they must be on top of their shift scheduling and lock in as many shifts as possible. For new drivers, this may be a challenge since more experienced and active shoppers may receive scheduling priority in some cases.
So how could one brand-new driver who is learning the ropes hit such high numbers? It sounds like new drivers will have to be determined and disciplined in order to hit these goals.
But let’s set that all aside for now. We aren’t trying to steer you away from sharing your code. Let’s get into showing you how you can share your code with a friend.
How to Share Your Shopper Referral Code
Now that you know the essentials about the shopper referral codes, let’s show you how you can hop on the Instacart shopper app, refer a friend, and start making some money.
Sharing your referral code with a friend is super simple and takes literally seconds to do.
(Haven’t signed up to drive yet? Sign up here!)
First, you need to open your Instacart shopper app and tap the menu icon in the top left corner.
From there you’ll see the entire menu with several options. What you’re looking for is the menu item that says “Make $400.”
In the example shown below, the referral code is worth $400. If the referral code was worth $750, then it would say “Make $750.” You get the idea!
Next, you’ll be brought to a page that says “Get up to $400 for referring your friends.”
At the bottom, you’ll see your actual referral code typed out which you can manually copy. The other option is to simply click the “Copy code” button which will do the same exact thing.
Below that, there are also a few other ways you can share your referral link by tapping the “Share with…” button. This includes emailing, texting, or messaging your code to your friend.
It doesn’t matter how you send your code, just make sure you get it over as soon as possible so you can get paid!
How to Apply a Shopper Referral Code
To apply the shopper referral code, new drivers must provide the code at the very beginning of the sign-up process.
To begin the sign-up process, applicants must either head to Instacart.com and tap on the “Become a Shopper” button at the bottom of the page or just head directly to the sign-up page here.
Next, you’ll see the sign-up form that includes all of your basic information like name, email, phone number, and zip code.
The last option you’ll see is “Referral Code.” This is where you paste the code that the current driver sent to you. And that’s it, you’re all set.
It’s important to know that you can’t add the referral code after you have already completed the sign-up process. It’s vital that you remember to plug it in at the very beginning.
If you began the sign-up process but haven’t fully completed it yet, you can still contact customer support to enter the code. This requires that you restart the entire sign-up process so you can type in the code at the very start.
To reach out for assistance you can head to our complete list of Instacart customer support contacts.
Also, remember that all referral requirements must be met for all parties to receive the referral bonus.
If you’re a new driver and just getting started, head over to our Definitive Guide to Instacart to find out information like driver requirements and background check details.
Up Your Game
Instacart delivery is a great side hustle that will help pay the bills. If you’re an experienced driver, you might as well step it up and start referring as many other drivers as possible.
You may already be making a decent paycheck by completing delivery orders, but couldn’t you always use a little extra cash?
So what are you waiting for? Don’t leave money on the table.