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Instacart Mastercard review: A great fit for grocery delivery — if you can stomach service fees

It could offer great value if you’re already a big Instacart user, but it may fall flat if you just want grocery rewards.

 /  14 min
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Snapshot

4.1

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This card could be a great choice for fans of grocery delivery who value convenience. But price markups and additional service fees could take a large chunk out of your rewards earnings.

Image of Instacart Mastercard®

Instacart Mastercard®

  • Rewards value
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

$100 Instacart Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

$0

Annual fee

20.24% - 28.99% Variable

Regular APR

Instacart Mastercard overview

Fans of grocery delivery services may find a lot to love about the Instacart Mastercard®. Instacart’s first credit card has no annual fee and earns 5 percent cash back on Instacart purchases you make with eligible retail brands on Instacart.com and the Instacart app. That should cover your groceries and many other everyday purchases, including purchases from eligible superstores and wholesale clubs — categories in which many of the best cash back cards fall short.

The card also offers elevated cash back rewards beyond Instacart, including on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, at gas stations and restaurants, as well as on select streaming services. When you add in a nice welcome offer, flexible redemption options, and a generous amount of consumer protections and additional benefits, this could be a great standalone card that covers the needs of many at-home-shopping fans looking for food delivery perks.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 5 percent cash back on Instacart.com and Instacart app purchases with retail brands partnered with Instacart and on Chase Travel℠ purchases 
    • 2 percent cash back at gas stations, restaurants and on select streaming services 
    • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • One year free Instacart+ for new cardholders and a $100 Instacart credit. Terms apply.

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: None
    • Foreign transaction fee: None 
    • Regular APR: 20.24 percent to 28.99 percent variable

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Travel and shopping protections
    • World Elite benefits

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

Instacard Mastercard pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    This card’s cash back rate for Instacart purchases is higher than some cards’ cash back rates for in-store purchases.

  • Checkmark

    Its generous welcome offer includes Instacart credit and a year of free Instacart+ membership.

  • Checkmark

    Instacart partners with popular food and non-food retailers with which cardholders can earn rewards on the Instacart app.

Cons

  • It doesn’t earn boosted rewards for regular grocery purchases outside of Instacart orders, which limits the card’s flexibility.

  • The Instacart app charges fees depending on what you buy, how much it weighs and where you buy it from.

  • Other cards offer Instacart perks and credits, which can overshadow the Instacart Mastercard.

Why you might want the Instacart Mastercard

The Instacart Mastercard may be a niche credit card, but it offers an interesting array of benefits for Instacart fans. Here are the highlights. 

Rewards rate: Great rewards on an uncommon category 

The Chase Instacart Mastercard’s standout feature is its 5 percent cash back rate on Instacart app and Instacart.com purchases, 5 percent back for travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 2 percent cash back for restaurants, select streaming services and gas stations, and 1 percent for all other purchases.

The rate on Instacart.com purchases holds up well compared to the rate you’ll find on some of the best cash back cards for groceries, including the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Prime Visa. But the major difference: the Instacart card could be more rewarding because it earns 5 percent cash back not only at U.S. supermarkets, but also at hundreds of popular retail stores. Even though Instacart is known for online grocery shopping and delivery, it partners with plenty of popular retail chains and wholesale clubs. With these options, people should be able to take advantage of 5 percent cash back at around 700 national, regional, and local retail brands.

Welcome offer: No purchase necessary 

Chase and Instacart are offering new cardholders a free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit with no spending requirement. You just need to be approved and open a card account. This could be an ideal way to try Instacart+ free for a year if you’re curious about the service.

Instacart+ normally costs $99.99 annually or $9.99 monthly, so cardholders are looking at $200 in combined value from the complimentary membership and the $100 credit. That might sound quite low, but its actually quite generous: it’s on par with the welcome offers found on several of the best no-annual-fee cards. You also don’t have to spend anything to earn it, unlike other rewards card bonuses that typically require you to spend $500 or more to earn a sign-up bonus.

Cardholder perks: Solid travel protections for a rewards card 

The Chase Instacart card comes with an impressive list of travel and purchase protections like travel accident insurance and emergency assistant services, baggage delay insurance, purchase protection, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance, extended warranty protection and no foreign transaction fees. It’s a rare treat to find so many protections in one no-annual-fee card (and one that isn’t strictly a travel card). These benefits bring a lot of value to your Instacart Mastercard, especially the travel insurance perks if you plan to use the card for travel purchases in the Chase Travel portal and bring it abroad with you.

The Instacart card also comes with a number of perks from Mastercard’s top-of-the-line World Elite benefits. This includes complimentary 24/7 concierge services, access to Mastercard Priceless® Experiences and exclusive offers from well-known brands for ride-sharing and online shopping.

Why you might want a different rewards card

While the Instacart Mastercard can earn an impressive rewards rate on eligible Instacart and travel purchases, it won’t necessarily the go-to grocery rewards card for all cardholders. 

Rates and fees: Watch out for Instacart fees

Even though the Instacart card just has standard credit card fees, Instacart app shoppers have plenty of service and membership fees to watch out for. After the free first-year offer, Instacart+ members will have to pay $99 per year or $9.99 per month for the premium service or cancel and downgrade to a standard Instacart account.

But if you use Instacart more than two times per month, Instacart+ may be worth the service charges and delivery fees. Instacart charges non-Instacart+ members a $3.99 delivery fee ($10 order minimum for delivery) for all orders along with a 5 percent service charge. But with Instacart+, you eliminate the delivery fee for orders over $35 and get a lower service fee of 1.9 percent. With free deliveries and the reduced service fee, users with Instacart+ can offset the cost of membership with cash back rewards in about 13 deliveries that have a total purchase amount of roughly $1,620.

But those aren’t the only fees you need to keep in mind. In addition to service fees, Instacart also has situational fees based on what you buy including:

  • Heavy fee
  • Long distance service fees
  • Alcohol service fees
  • Priority fees
  • Pickup fees (from certain retailers)

These fees could add up quickly. Even with the generous cash back rewards, shoppers who aren’t careful could end up paying a lot more with the Instacart card than they would in-store.

We tried it: Here's what our experts say

For Bankrate writer Ryan Flanigan, the extra cost of ordering groceries via Instacart is worth it for the time it saves him. Still, he thinks this card could be a big help in offsetting Instacart’s markup.

I’ve used Instacart almost exclusively since the pandemic and after having a child. While Instacart does mark up prices a bit, the convenience and time savings are immensely valuable to me. This card would help offset a lot of the extra cost, and Instacart covers such a wide range of stores that you can get excellent savings almost anywhere.

— Ryan Flanigan, Writer, Credit Cards

 

How the Instacart Mastercard compares to other rewards cards

The Instacart Mastercard comes with a solid cash back rate and brings a ton of value to an already convenient service. However, the card is best used with an Instacart+ membership if you want to truly maximize your cash back rewards. Shoppers who already use Instacart and plan to continue can definitely benefit from this card whether you’re an Instacart+ member or not, but if you’re on the fence, here’s how it stacks up against some competitors.

Image of Instacart Mastercard®

Instacart Mastercard®

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$100 Instacart Credit
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Intro offer

Earn $250
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 6%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Prime Visa

Prime Visa

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best cards to pair with the Instacart Mastercard

With the card’s lack of annual fee and focused reward categories, the Instacart Mastercard stands to benefit from another no annual fee card that can help fill in the reward gaps in categories it doesn’t already cover.  

Who is the Instacart Mastercard right for?

The Instacart Mastercard is a good addition to your card lineup if you’re one of a few types of consumers.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Instacart Mastercard worth it?

For cardholders who plan to continually subscribe to Instacart+ and make all of their purchases in the app or online with the service, the Instacart Mastercard can certainly be worth it. This is especially the case if you take advantage of the additional 5 percent credit back for pick up orders and only place orders over $35. Plus, the added convenience of having groceries delivered to your door cuts down on time spent running errands and the amount of gas you’ll use each year.

If you’re not interested in paying for Instacart+ or want to get the best value for your purchases, you’ll likely want to skip this card because there are cards that can be more rewarding after you consider Instacart’s many potential fees for the service. Considering the average cardholder who isn’t an Instacart+ member will be paying a lot of fees in the app even when using the Chase Instacart card, a general cash back or rewards card can be a better choice

The information about the Instacart Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

How we rated this card

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We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Steve Dashiell
Editor, Credit cards
Steven Dashiell is an editor for Bankrate and CreditCards.com with expertise in rewards credit cards, financial literacy, and helping consumers build and maintain their credit.
Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

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