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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.

 /  13 min
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Bankrate rating
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®
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Rewards rate

1% - 5%

Annual fee

Intro offer


Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

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 made with eligible retail brands on 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 the Chase Travel Center portal, 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.

If you’re not a fan of Instacart and the convenience it and other delivery services provide, this card may not be the best fit. There are a number of rewards cards that offer better rewards on groceries, gas, restaurants and streaming services, and some even include Instacart as part of their grocery category.

Plus, when you factor in the range of potential Instacart fees and the fact that retailers may charge higher prices on Instacart, this card could be a poor fit for people on a budget and rewards maximizers looking for the best value.

What are the pros and cons?


  • Checkmark

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

  • Checkmark

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

  • Checkmark

    Instacart is partnered with popular food and non-food retailers like Best Buy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart and many more.


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

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

  • Other cards earn higher cash back rates on groceries.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on and Instacart app purchases with retail brands partnered with Instacart and Chase Travel Center purchases; 2 percent cash back at gas stations, restaurants and on select streaming services; 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: One year free Instacart+ for new cardholders and a $100 Instacart credit. Terms apply.
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 20.24 percent to 28.99 percent variable

Current welcome offer

Chase and Instacart are offering new cardholders a free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit. There is no spending requirement to receive this launch offer. You just need to be approved and open a card account.

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’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.

This could be an ideal way to try Instacart+ free for a year if you’re curious about the service.

Rewards rate

The Chase Instacart Mastercard’s standout feature is its 5 percent cash back rate on Instacart app and purchases. This rate 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.

These cards offer boosted cash back rates in some of the same bonus categories as the Instacart Mastercard, but 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.

You’ll also earn 5 percent cash back for purchases made using the Chase Travel Center, a rate comparable to the 5X points you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for purchases using the Ultimate Rewards Portal. The card also comes with 2 percent cash back for purchases in the categories of dining at restaurants, select streaming services and gas stations and 1 percent for all other purchases.

How you earn

The Chase Instacart Mastercard will earn a percentage of what you spend back as cash back and the rate is based on what you purchase. You’ll earn the card’s highest cash back rate for purchases made using Instacart or through the Chase Travel Center.

Although Instacart is probably most closely associated with online grocery shopping, it’s also partnered with popular retail chains and wholesale clubs that sell food, merchandise, home essentials and more. Some of the best credit cards for groceries commonly don’t extend those rates at superstores with varied inventories like Walmart, Target and Costco.

For the best cash back rates at these retailers you’ll often need to have the store’s co-branded card. The Chase Instacart Mastercard, however, earns 5 percent back on purchases made through Instacart at these locations along with about 700 other national, regional and local retail brands. This makes it one of the most flexible cash back cards available if you make purchases through Instacart.

The card’s cash back rates on gas and dining aren’t especially impressive, but earning rewards in all of these everyday categories with a single card is a great benefit. Plus, Instacart purchases can include items in spending categories that don’t commonly earn 5 percent cash back on any card, including:

  • Electronics and sporting goods
  • Household essentials and furniture
  • Office and pet supplies
  • Groceries
  • Alcohol and beverage stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Convenience stores
  • Health and personal care

The full list of eligible retailers includes national retailers as well as local and regional stores. Indeed, it’s among the most expansive list of eligible retailers you can find in a year-round bonus cash back category. Although you’ll need to make your purchases using Instacart (which means paying extra fees), this card’s 5 percent cash back rate may make it worth it if you already use the service or want to earn cash back for purchases that wouldn’t earn rewards if you shopped in-store with a different card.

How to redeem

Cardholders can redeem their credit card rewards for gift cards, travel through the Chase Travel Center, as a direct deposit or statement credit or to pay for all or part of an Instacart order. No minimum rewards balance is required to redeem points for direct deposits, statement credits or Instacart orders.

These are solid cash back redemption options, especially if you plan to really lean into the Instacart experience with this card. Without any minimums for redemptions, cardholders will be able to access their cash back at a moment’s notice if and when they need it or to further mitigate the cost of their Instacart order.

How much are the rewards worth?

The best way to use your points will be for direct deposits, statement credits, to cover in-app purchases or for travel. Your cash back is awarded as points that carry a value of $0.01 per point when redeemed these ways.

This is on par with the redemption value of other cash back cards, but there are redemption options that could make your points worth less than 1 cent each. For instance, if you use points for purchases through third-party retailers directly, Chase states they might be worth less than if you redeemed for cash or travel.

Other cardholder perks

On top of the rewards and welcome offer, cardholders can take advantage of a number of additional perks like Mastercard World Elite benefits and a host of travel perks that add to this card’s versatility.

Instacart+ membership

This service is included free for the first year but will cost $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually after, and you’ll definitely want to sign-up if you want to maximize what your Instacart card can do for you. Not only can Instacart+ pay for itself with its unlimited free delivery perk (priced normally at $3.99), but it also includes exclusive offers, lower service fees and the potential to share your benefits with family members. If you order Instacart purchases to be delivered just once a week as a non-member, you’re looking at spending roughly $208 per year in delivery fees. Instacart+ eliminates that cost as long as you spend over $35 each delivery.

This membership also includes a 5 percent credit back on Instacart pickup orders from participating retailers (excludes alcohol, prescription drugs and any item over $150). Although some retailers charge pickup fees, you’ll avoid the service fee altogether and can opt to shop only at retailers that don’t charge pickup fees.

Travel and shopping protections

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. 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 Center and bring it abroad with you.

World Elite Mastercard benefits

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.

Rates and fees

The Instacart Mastercard doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees and carries a variable APR rate of 20.24 percent to 28.99 percent, which is pretty standard for a cash back credit card.

The card doesn’t offer an introductory APR, but should you decide to transfer a balance anyway, there’s a balance transfer fee of 5 percent or $5 (whichever is greater), which is higher than the fee you’ll find on many balance transfer credit cards. If you’re looking to save money by transferring debt to a card that doesn’t charge interest for a limited amount of time, you’ll save more money using a credit card that has an intro APR offer on balance transfers and only charges a 3 percent balance transfer fee.

This card also comes with a penalty APR of 29.99 percent variable. If you make one or more late payments, you’ll get stuck with this penalty APR, and Chase states that this penalty rate could stay in effect indefinitely. This could make it harder to pay off debt, especially compared to credit cards that don’t charge a penalty APR.

Additionally, Chase offers an installment plan option through My Chase PlanSM  where you can split up payment into equal amounts in a set time for a purchase over $100 with no interest. Instead, you pay a fixed monthly finance charge, 1.72% of the purchase amount. 

Instacart fees

On top of common credit card fees, there are also a number of Instacart 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.

If you use Instacart more than two times per month, you may want to take advantage of the perks found with Instacart+. 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 roughly 13 deliveries that have a total purchase amount of roughly $1,620.

If you’re not a frequent Instacart user and want the most cash back possible, the Instacart card may not provide the best value. Instacart does not control the pricing of items you purchase on the Instacart platform and notes that prices may be different than in-store prices. So shoppers may be dealing with price mark-ups on some or all of the items they purchase.

In addition to these 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.

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. Those 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®
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

$100 Instacart Credit

Rewards rate

1% - 5%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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

Rewards rate

1% - 6%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Image of Prime Visa
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Amazon's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

Get a $100 (or more) Amazon Gift Card

Rewards rate

1% - 5%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

Instacart Mastercard vs. the Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express

Compared with the Blue Cash Preferred card, the Instacart Mastercard earns slightly less for U.S. supermarket purchases, but Instacart’s varied retail offerings can enable a general spender to earn more cash back in areas where the Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t, like for electronics, at wholesale clubs, on office supplies and purchases made at pharmacies. The chart below uses average consumer spending for key categories and compares the Instacart Mastercard with and without an Instacart+ membership and the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express. This chart does not account for welcome offers or launch offers available on either cards, but compares the ongoing value of both cards after the first year.

Category Instacart Mastercard Instacart Mastercard with Instacart+ Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
U.S. supermarkets $4,942 x 0.05 = $241.70 back $4,942 x 0.05 = $241.70 back $4,942 x 0.06 = $296.52 back
Personal care $646 x 0.05 = $32.30 back $646 x 0.05 = $32.30 back $646 x 0.01 = $6.46 back
Dining $2,375 x 0.02 = $47.50 back $2,375 x 0.02 = $47.50 back $2,375 x 0.01 = $23.75 back
U.S. gas stations $1,568 x 0.02 = $31.36 back $1,568 x 0.02 = $31.36 back $1,568 x 0.03 = $47.04 back
Household furnishing / electronics retailers $2,346 x 0.05 = $117.30 back $2,346 x 0.05 = $117.30 back $2,346 x 0.01 = $23.46 back
Cash back $470.16 $470.16 $397.23
Annual fees / membership charges $207.48 in delivery charges*, $593.85 in service charges** $0 delivery charges on orders over $35; $99 annual membership fee; $225.66 in service charges** $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Total -$331.17 $145.50 $302.23

As you see, the Blue Cash Preferred more than doubles the amount of cash back you can earn after accounting for fees and membership charges, but that’s thanks to its higher earning potential on purchases made at U.S.supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. If you spend less in these areas and more at retailers not covered by the Blue Cash Preferred card, you’d rake in more cash back with the Instacart Mastercard. Plus, if you value your time more than you do cash back, then you might prefer the Instacart Mastercard with Instacart+ because it will save you trips to the store each week while also putting cash back into your pocket. Not only will this give you more flexibility throughout the day, but it may also curb how much you spend on gas.

*Assumes delivery once per week for 52 weeks at $3.99/delivery.

**Service charges on average start at 5 percent for non-Instacart+ members and 1.9 percent for members and don’t include alcohol service charges, heavy fees, priority fees or long-distance fees.

Instacart Mastercard vs. Prime Visa card

Another card from Chase, the Prime Visa card, is an obvious competitor to the Instacart Mastercard because it comes with a comparable 5 percent back on purchases made on It also comes with 2 percent cash back on gas stations and dining at restaurants, as well as 5 percent back at Whole Foods Market locations. However, deciding between these two cards will come down to your preferences around shopping rather than how they stack up against one another with cash back and perks.

While Amazon and Instacart are different services, a lot of the types of products sold at the 700 retail locations partnered with Instacart might be found on Amazon. Plus, those who shop at Whole Foods will earn 5 percent back at the grocery chain that Instacart members won’t. Whole Foods shoppers and Amazon customers might want to pass on the Instacart card, but it’s worth pointing out that if you’re an Amazon Prime member you’re spending roughly $139 each year for free 1- or 2-day shipping and the benefit of holding the Prime Visa card. In some areas, certain retailers on Instacart may be quicker than Amazon if you pay the Priority Fee and opt for delivery windows that can be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. If you need your purchases quickly, Instacart could be the way to go; if you don’t mind a short wait and want to hand pick your produce from Whole Foods, then the Prime Visa card is the right route.

Best cards to pair with this card

If you want to avoid annual fees, a great card to pair with the Chase Instacart Mastercard could be a custom category cash back card like the Citi Custom Cash® Card. This card earns 5 percent cash back in your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to $500 in purchases, then 1 percent back). This would be a great way to earn a high cash back rate in a category that doesn’t earn as much with the Instacart Card. For example, if you’d like to earn more than 2 percent cash back at gas stations, you’d use the Citi Custom Cash card to earn 5 percent cash back. Or use the Custom Cash Card to earn 5 percent back in categories not covered by the Instacart card, like select transit, fitness club memberships and live entertainment.

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. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great choice, but you could also earn more at U.S. supermarkets with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express if you shop in-store. 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.

Additionally, if you like to hand pick your produce from the store and physically inspect items you’re purchasing, then Instacart’s service might not be the best choice for you and you’ll want to avoid the Instacart Mastercard. Although it earns generously in the Chase Travel Center, has a few travel benefits and earns boosted rates for gas, dining and streaming services, other cards can be more rewarding for these categories.


Frequently asked questions

Written by
Brendan Dyer
Associate Editor, Credit Cards

Brendan Dyer holds a Master of Fine Arts in Journalism from Western Connecticut State University and worked previously as a content editor for Regional News Network, a hyper-local TV news station contracted by Verizon FiOS1 News. As a national service volunteer, Brendan exercised a passion for helping underserved communities and demographics through direct, community service. He constantly seeks to apply his expertise as a journalist to the field of personal finance with the goal of helping people navigate the complexities of the credit card industry.

Edited by Editor, Personal Finance

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.