Instacart Mastercard Review – Earn 5% Back on Grocery Delivery


The Instacart Mastercard is a cash-back credit card with a twist. It earns 5% back on eligible Instacart app and spending, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn.

Plus, the Instacart Mastercard offers a fantastic sign-up bonus worth about $200 in your first year as a card holder. 

If you regularly order grocery delivery or pickup orders from Instacart shoppers, this card clearly deserves a closer look. And if you’re a fan of another grocery delivery app, maybe it’ll convince you to make the switch to Instacart. Either way, read on to learn more about what to expect from the Instacart Mastercard and determine whether it’s right for you. 

How the Instacart Mastercard Stacks Up

The Instacart Mastercard is the only co-branded credit card that’s directly associated with a grocery delivery service. However, it’s not totally unique. Several other Chase credit cards offer special perks for DoorDash users, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

Instacart Mastercard Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
Grocery Delivery Benefits One free year of Instacart+ At least 12 months of free DoorDash DashPass
Sign-Up Bonus Sign up and get approved to instantly earn a $100 Instacart credit plus 1 free year of Instacart+ Spend at least $4,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months to earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth up to $900 when redeemed for airfare, hotels, and other travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Rewards Rate 5% cash back on Instacart and purchases; 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Travel Center; 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and on select streaming services; 1% cash back on everything else Unlimited 3x points on most travel and dining purchases; 5x to 10x points on eligible Chase Travel purchases; 1x point on all other eligible purchases
Annual Fee $0 $550

Key Features of the Instacart Mastercard

The Instacart Mastercard has a strong sign-up bonus, comes with Instacart’s premium membership, and has a generous cash-back program that’s not all about grocery shopping. These are its most important features and benefits.

Sign-Up Bonus

When you sign up for this card and get approved, you’ll instantly earn a $100 Instacart credit to your Instacart account. Plus, you’ll get a free year of Instacart+, currently valued at $99 per year.

Just be aware that Instacart+ membership automatically renews after your first year at the then-current price. You can cancel at any time before your renewal date.

Benefits of Instacart+ Membership

Instacart+ membership has some clear financial benefits for frequent Instacart users:

  • $0 delivery fees on orders of $35 or more — fees typically start at $3.99 for non-Instacart+ orders
  • Reduced service fees on all Instacart orders

If you’ve included multiple retailers in a single Instacart order, you’ll need to hit the $35 order minimum for each one. For example, if you have three different retailers on an order, you’ll need to spend at least $35 with each — or no less than $105 total — to earn free delivery on the order.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

The Instacart Mastercard has a generous cash-back rewards program:

  • 5% cash back on eligible Instacart purchases, including Instacart app and orders
  • 5% cash back on eligible Chase Travel purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and more
  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and with select streaming services
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn in any of these categories. Your points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

You can redeem your accumulated rewards for statement credits, gift cards, and other cash equivalents. You can redeem in any amount as soon as you have a rewards balance.

Additional Benefits

The Instacart Mastercard has some notable World Elite Mastercard benefits:

  • Complimentary rental car insurance, known as an auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Complimentary travel insurance protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and travel accident insurance
  • Emergency assistance services, including roadside assistance
  • Extended warranties on eligible purchases

Important Fees

The Instacart Mastercard doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. However, your Instacart+ membership auto-renews each year at $99 per year — subject to change in the future — unless you cancel.

Credit Required

The Instacart Mastercard requires good credit or better. If you have a limited credit history or significant issues in your credit file, you may not qualify.

Advantages of the Instacart Mastercard

The Instacart Mastercard is a great fit for frequent Instacart users looking for predictable cash back on grocery delivery purchases. It has some other notable benefits as well, including up to 5% cash back on non-Instacart purchases and broad 2% cash-back categories.

  • Strong Sign-Up Bonus. The Instacart Mastercard has a strong two-part sign-up bonus: a $100 Instacart credit and a free year of Instacart+, an approximate value of $200 during your first year.
  • Earn Up to 5% Cash Back on Eligible Purchases. The Instacart Mastercard earns 5% cash back on purchases made at and through the Instacart app. It also earns 5% cash back on eligible Chase Travel purchases, including flights, hotels, and rental cars.
  • Broad 2% Cash-Back Categories. The Instacart Mastercard earns 2% cash back in three popular spending categories: restaurants, gas stations, and select streaming services. That’s more than many no-annual-fee cards can say.
  • No Annual Fee. The Instacart Mastercard doesn’t charge an annual fee, although the Instacart+ membership that’s complimentary during the first year reverts to paid status afterward.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee. This card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees for purchases denominated in foreign currencies. This is true whether you make foreign currency purchases overseas or online from a non-U.S. merchant.

Disadvantages of the Instacart Mastercard

The Instacart Mastercard does have some downsides, including a de facto annual fee when Instacart+ membership auto-renews and mediocre baseline cash back.

  • Instacart+ Membership Auto-Renews After the First Year. Instacart+ membership auto-renews after the first year, resulting in a de facto annual fee of $99. You can cancel your membership at any time, but you’ll then have to pay Instacart delivery fees and service fees.
  • Just 1% Cash Back on Most Purchases. This card’s baseline cash-back rate is mediocre: just 1% on most purchases. If you want a true everyday spending card, look for a flat-rate alternative like the Citi Double Cash Card, which earns 2% cash back when you pay your statement in full each month.
  • No Introductory APR Promotion. The Instacart Mastercard doesn’t have a 0% APR introductory promotion. If you’re looking for a card with a great deal on balance transfers or early purchases, this isn’t it.

Final Word

The Instacart Mastercard is an ideal companion for anyone who prefers ordering groceries for delivery to shopping for themselves at the store. Its 5% cash-back haul on eligible Instacart purchases certainly makes it worth your while, as does the complimentary Instacart+ membership during the first year.

The Instacart Mastercard isn’t perfect though. With a low baseline cash-back rate and a de facto annual fee if you don’t cancel Instacart+ after the first year, it’s only for true Instacart enthusiasts. If that doesn’t sound like you, consider another cash-back or travel rewards credit card.

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