Key takeaways

  • The Instacart Mastercard® is a solid cash back card for frequent Instacart shoppers
  • This card earns 5 percent cash back on all purchases through Instacart, 2 percent back in various other categories, and includes a welcome offer with a total value of $199
  • Although the card comes with no annual fee, some value is lost through other fees you may be required to pay by shopping with Instacart

As our economy continues to fight inflation, saving money and finding deals is more important than ever. Earning cash back on purchases like groceries, dining, fuel and travel can help ease the burden of higher prices. The Instacart Mastercard® aims to provide consumers with a way to do just that.

This card offers a high rate of cash back on Instacart purchases, but is it really worth what it’s offering? We’ll examine some key features and benefits of the card to help you decide if it deserves a spot in your wallet.

Instacart Mastercard® highlights

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on and Instacart app purchases with partnered retail brands; 5 percent back on Chase Travel Center purchases; 2 percent back at gas stations, restaurants and on select streaming services; 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Get a free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit automatically upon approval; membership auto-renews (Terms apply)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 20.24 percent to 28.99 percent

When is the Instacart Mastercard® worth it?

Should the Instacart Mastercard take up space in your wallet? Here are some reasons you might consider using this card.

You frequently shop with Instacart

Obviously, the main reason you should consider an Instacart Mastercard is to earn extra cash back for shopping with Instacart.

At 5 percent back, the Instacart Mastercard offers unusually high rewards for online purchases — either through or through the Instacart app. Although Instacart is known primarily as a grocery delivery service, you can also make purchases from a variety of other stores — including partnered electronics, sporting goods, pharmacy and warehouse club retailers. The full list of Instacart retailers available in your area can be found here. However, the rewards don’t stop there.

New cardmembers also receive a welcome bonus valued at $199. The bonus includes a $100 credit toward an Instacart order and a complimentary Instacart+ membership, which is normally $99 a year. After one year is up, your membership will automatically renew. Although other cash back cards offer more enticing welcome bonuses of $200, $300 or more, the fact that this is a no-annual-fee card still makes this a pretty good deal.

You want a co-branded card that earns solid rewards and benefits elsewhere

Most co-branded credit cards offer little more than the chance to earn increased rewards through purchases with a specific brand. With the Instacart Mastercard, you have the opportunity to earn some pretty solid rewards in other spending categories, as well.

In addition to earning 5 percent cash back on purchases through Instacart, this card earns 2 percent back on gas station spending, restaurants and on select streaming services. You’ll also earn 5 percent back on purchases made when using your card in the Chase Travel Center. All purchases made outside of these bonus categories still earn 1 percent back.

You’ll also get travel insurance and purchase protection benefits with your Instacart Mastercard — including travel accident insurance and emergency assistance services, baggage delay insurance, purchase protection, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance and extended warranty protection. The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it while traveling abroad.

It is unusual to find a co-branded credit card offering these types of bonus rewards and benefits — particularly one that comes without an annual fee and isn’t specifically geared to the travel industry. The amount of bonuses, perks and benefits could make the Instacart Mastercard an attractive option for you.

You want flexible options for redeeming your cash back

Another advantage of the Instacart Mastercard is the flexible nature of its rewards. Your redemption options include:

  • Gift cards
  • Travel through the Chase Travel Center
  • A direct deposit or statement credit
  • A credit for all or part of your Instacart orders

There is no minimum rewards balance required for direct deposits, statement credits or Instacart orders.

You want to enjoy Mastercard World Elite benefits

The Instacart Mastercard also comes with World Elite Mastercard benefits, such as:

  • Zero liability protection (for fraudulent transactions)
  • 24/7 concierge services
  • Free ShopRunner membership
  • Mastercard ID theft protection
  • Discounts with brands like Lyft, McAfee and Peacock
  • Access to air, car, hotel and vacation packages, along with the Mastercard luxury hotel and resorts portfolio
  • Access to in-person and digital experiences in culture, dining, sports and entertainment in destinations around the world
  • Access to Mastercard Golf®, which provides exclusive PGA Tour® experiences and golf benefits through their Golf Concierge Service

When is the Instacart Mastercard® not worth it?

The Instacart Mastercard provides solid rewards and benefits to those who will use them. With that said, there are some reasons the Instacart Mastercard may not be worth it for you.

You are not a frequent Instacart shopper

The main reason to consider an Instacart Mastercard is to earn bonus rewards for the shopping you do with Instacart. Earning 5 percent cash back on Instacart purchases can be a big plus, but not if you don’t actually shop with Instacart.

Even though the Instacart Mastercard comes without an annual fee, it may not make sense to use this co-branded card if you don’t shop there. Outside of purchases through Instacart, the card offers a solid 2 percent cash back on gas stations, restaurants, and select streaming services. However, you may be able to maximize your cash back with other cards offering the same (or better) rewards in these categories, or with cards that provide bonus rewards in categories not offered by the Instacart Mastercard.

You are fee averse

Although the Instacart Mastercard carries no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, there are other fees you should know about. During the first year you have the card, your Instacart+ membership eliminates the delivery fee (on orders over $35) and offers a discounted service fee on all orders through Instacart. However, there are other fees you may still have to pay while shopping with Instacart, including:

  • Alcohol service fee
  • Bottle deposit and bag fees
  • Heavy fee
  • Long distance service fee
  • Pickup fee (from certain retailers)
  • Priority fee
  • Taxes and other fees

Plus, you may notice that the price of some items can be higher than what you’d see if you were physically shopping in a store. Tipping your shopper, although not required, may also add to the cost of your purchases.

Should you get the Instacart Mastercard®?

As always, analyzing whether or not this card is worth it comes down to how you will use it and your personal goals for saving time and money. Below, you’ll find a spending example that breaks down how the rewards stack up against credit cards with a similar rewards schema in common spending categories:

  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: 3X points on restaurant, travel, gas station, transit, popular streaming service and phone plan purchases; 1X points on other purchases
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 31, 2025); 2X points on other travel; 1X points on all other purchases
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases in each category (then 1 percent); 1 percent back on other purchases
Spending category Annual spending Instacart Mastercard Rewards Wells Fargo Autograph Rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Amex Blue Cash Everyday Rewards
Online Grocery/supermarket spending $6,000 $300 $60 $180 $180
Dining $4,800 $96 $144 $144 $48
Gas $3,600 $72 $108 $36 $108
Travel/travel portal spending $1,000 $50 $30 $50 $10
Streaming services $1,200 $24 $36 $36 $12
Online shopping/delivery $2,400 $120 $24 $24 $72
Cellphone bill $2,400 $24 $72 $24 $24
All other spending $6,000 $60 $60 $60 $60
Welcome bonus $100 ($100 Instacart credit earned automatically) $200 (20,000 bonus points earned after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months) $600 (60,000 bonus points earned after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months) $200 ($200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months)
Annual fee/additional fees -$114* $0 -$95 $0
First-year rewards value $732 $734 $1,059 $714
Ongoing rewards value $632 $534 $459 $514
* Assumes a 1.9 percent charge on $6,000 of online grocery orders from Instacart

Although this is a simplified example, you can see how there’s not much difference in the value you’ll get from the Instacart Mastercard versus other cards. When you add in the 1.9 percent service fee on your Instacart orders, it cuts into some of the rewards you’re earning with your Instacart card.

After the first year, you won’t get a welcome bonus or free Instacart+ membership, so the value you get out of the card drops even more. That being said, we believe that consumers who use Instacart do so for more reasons than saving money — namely, saving time. Time savings is something we can’t easily quantify in our example, but that is something you may be able to attach a value to for yourself.

For the time savings alone, you might be an Instacart fan, despite the extra fees. If this is the case, then getting the Instacart Mastercard would offer a slight discount and cash back on a service you’d indulge in regardless — even without rewards.

The bottom line

Although a few of the Instacart Mastercard benefits truly excite us, after a little more analysis, we found that some of the value for this card is swept away in the potential fees you could pay from using the service regularly. Those who will benefit the most from this card are people with excellent or good credit scores who are already using Instacart — and who wouldn’t mind a few more nominal incentives to continue doing so.

If you’re strapped for time more than you’re strapped for money and would use Instacart anyway, we think this card is more like “icing on the cake.” The Instacart Mastercard simply gives you the chance to earn rewards on a service that is valuable to you anyway.