Instacart Mastercard detailed review – The Points Guy

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Instacart Mastercard overview

The Instacart Mastercard earns highly on more than just Instacart purchases and provides more benefits than typical for a card without an annual fee. However, its bonus categories require making purchases in specific ways that may not appeal to everyone. These restrictions are unlikely to convince those not already loyal to Instacart to get the card. Card rating*: ⭐⭐½

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The popularity of grocery and meal delivery services has exploded over the past few years. Following this trend, the Instacart Mastercard launched in July 2022 as the first credit card for grocery delivery fans, offering a complimentary year of Instacart+ membership (providing reduced fees and credits on pickup orders).

However, the card provides elevated earning rates beyond Instacart purchases and provides more benefits than no-annual-fee cards typically offer. That said, it’s not ideal for everyone, given the limitations of Instacart and the earning opportunities on other credit cards.

Is it the right card for you? Let’s take a detailed look at the Instacart Mastercard to find out.

Instacart Mastercard welcome offer

New applicants for the Instacart Mastercard can receive a complimentary year of Instacart+ membership and a $100 Instacart credit upon account approval. There is no spending requirement to unlock this bonus offer.

The offer terms say that the $100 credit should be applied to your Instacart account immediately upon approval for the Instacart Mastercard; however, the terms also state that it could take up to 10 days to receive the credit. Additionally, you cannot receive this bonus if you have earned a bonus on this card in the past 24 months — which shouldn’t be an issue for anyone yet, given that this is a relatively new card.

The $100 account credit from the welcome offer can be applied to any Instacart purchase but cannot be used toward taxes, tips, gift cards, prescriptions, delivery fees or other service fees.

Instacart+ costs $99 per year or $9.99 per month. Thus, a complimentary one-year membership and a $100 account credit make this bonus worth $199.

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Given that Chase issues this card, it’s likely subject to the 5/24 rule and other Chase-specific credit card application rules.

THE POINTS GUY

Earning cash back on the Instacart Mastercard

With the Instacart Mastercard, you’ll earn rewards points that you can use as cash back — worth 1 cent apiece. These earnings are sometimes referred to as points, Instacart points or cash-back rewards — all of these terms mean the same thing.

Cardholders earn 5% cash back on Instacart.com and Instacart mobile app purchases, including membership and subscription charges. You’ll also earn 5% back on Chase travel reservations made by calling 833-458-0526 or the number on the back of your card — frustratingly, you can’t make these reservations online and earn the bonus cash back.

You’ll also earn 2% back at gas stations and on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services) and select streaming services. And you’ll earn 1% back on other purchases.

Rewards points and cash back don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming cash back on the Instacart Mastercard

While you might assume that you could use your earnings to pay for Instacart purchases, that feature isn’t available yet. Instead, for now, you can redeem your earnings for the following, most providing 1 cent apiece in value:

There are no minimum redemption amounts, though redemption values can vary depending on how you use your rewards. Pay attention to these to ensure you obtain solid value.

Related: 3 reasons why you want a cash-back credit card in your wallet

Instacart Mastercard benefits

The most obvious perk is receiving a year of complimentary Instacart+ membership. Instacart+ typically costs $9.99 per month or $99 annually, and your Instacart+ membership (if you don’t already have one) will be activated automatically upon account approval.

Benefits of Instacart+ membership include free delivery on orders of $35 or more, lower service fees and earning 5% back on pickup orders.

MCLITTLE STOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK

You should note that enrollment in Instacart+ will renew automatically after your complimentary year, charging the credit card in your Instacart account. If you don’t want to continue your Instacart+ membership past the free year, make sure to cancel your membership.

The Instacart Mastercard is a World Elite Mastercard; this provides additional benefits like 24/7 concierge services and Mastercard Priceless experiences.

You’ll also enjoy these perks:

  • Bagagge delay insurance: Provides reimbursement of up to $100 per day for up to three days after delays of six hours or more.
  • Extended warranty protection: Adds an extra year to manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases made in the last 120 days against damage or theft for up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Provides up to $3,000 of reimbursement per passenger for checked and carry-on luggage.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Coordinates services on your behalf, though you’ll pay for these.
  • Travel accident insurance: Provides up to $500,000 of coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.
  • Roadside assistance: Provides dispatch services on a pay-per-use basis.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Provides coverage on rental cars when you pay for the entire rental with your car; coverage is secondary within the U.S. but primary elsewhere.
  • Access to Chase Offers.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Related: The 8 most valuable World Elite Mastercard benefits

Which cards compete with the Instacart Mastercard?

The Instacart Mastercard is unique as the first credit card from a grocery delivery brand. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any competition:

  • If you want similar benefits but different earning categories: The Chase Freedom Flex also has no annual fee and also earns 5% back on Chase travel purchases. You’ll earn 5% back in rotating quarterly categories; 3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services; 3% back at drugstores; and 1% back on other purchases. You’ll enjoy similar World Elite Mastercard benefits and can turn your cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points. For more information, check out our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex.
  • If you want similar perks but with Amazon instead: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods orders for those with a Prime membership, and this includes grocery deliveries from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods. You’ll also earn 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, get 1% back on other purchases and won’t pay an annual fee for the card. Prime Card members also can receive 10% back on select Amazon promotional items. For more information, check out our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card.
  • If you want higher earning rates at supermarkets: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns an unmatched 6% back at U.S. supermarkets — though only on $6,000 of these purchases annually. You’ll also earn 6% back on U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on other purchases. You’ll also enjoy credits for the Disney Bundle and Equinox+, plus a $0 introductory annual fee (then $95; see rates and fees). For more information, check out our full review of the Blue Cash Preferred card.
  • If you want valuable rewards on online grocery purchases: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 6% return on online grocery purchases in the form of points, based on TPG’s valuations. It also earns a 6% return on streaming and dining purchases and a 10% return on Lyft rides and Chase travel purchases. You’ll also get six months of complimentary Instacart+ and up to $10 in monthly Gopuff order credits. The card has a $95 annual fee. For more information, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For additional options, check out our full list of the best grocery credit cards and best Chase credit cards.

Related: Which cards should you use for online grocery delivery services?

CAROL YEPES/GETTY IMAGES

Is the Instacart Mastercard worth it?

If you are a devoted Instacart fan, this card likely makes sense. However, you can get a complimentary Instacart+ membership through other credit cards. Complimentary memberships range from three months to a year, depending on what card you have. It may not make sense to apply for the Instacart Mastercard unless you have no other path to a complimentary Instacart+ membership and will use it regularly.

Instacart also isn’t available everywhere in the U.S. Make sure you research delivery options in your area before applying.

Related: New perk: Eligible Chase cardholders can get up to $15 in Instacart statement credits

Bottom line

The Instacart Mastercard has a quality array of benefits for Instacart fans and those who want a card without an annual fee. Its earning categories extend beyond grocery delivery but may not sway those who aren’t already loyal to the brand.

If you’re ordering with Instacart, remember that you can earn additional rewards and discounts when shopping with Instacart. First, link your Delta SkyMiles and Instacart accounts to earn 1 Delta SkyMile per dollar on Instacart purchases. Then, click through the Rakuten shopping portal to earn 1%-2% cash back (or 1-2 American Express Membership Rewards points) on your shopping trips. Finally, use an Instacart promo code to save money at checkout.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.

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