How Much Does Instacart Pay? Delivering Groceries For Cash

Instacart pay

Instacart driver pay varies by city or region, but you could make over $25 per hour. For a driver working full-time, Instacart base pay could reach close to $28,000 per year. While Instacart wages vary, it can be a lucrative entry-level job or a way to make extra money as a side hustle.

Working just 15 hours per week, you could earn an average of $840 extra per month or up to $1,500. Here’s everything you need to know about how much Instacart pays.

Pro Tip! Download the MoneyLion app to find more ways to earn extra income! We’ve also got a few more ideas on how to earn money from your smartphone and other side hustles to earn even more when you need it.

What is Instacart’s pay rate?

As a shopper, Instacart will pay you to shop for groceries and deliver them to customers’ homes in two ways. You will either be hired as a part-time employee or as a freelancer. Depending on your employment status, Instacart driver pay is either hourly or per delivery depending on your employment status.

Instacart wages depend on whether you are a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper. You can expect to be paid between $5 to $10 per grocery delivery, for an average of $17 per hour including tips.

Instacart pays weekly as long as you have made at least $5. The limit is $3,000 per day, so it is possible to earn a lot of money with Instacart. Instacart can serve as part-time and full-time income depending on how many hours you work or how many deliveries you make.

Full-service shopper

Full-service Instacart shopping is a great way to get paid to drive and earn Instacart driver pay. If you choose to be a full-service shopper, you will work as an independent contractor through Instacart shopping delivering groceries. You’ll get to work as much as you want and choose your hours. You can be a full-service shopper everywhere Instacart is available. Grocery delivery is a popular service offered by Instacart.

In-store shopper

If you’re an in-store shopper at a grocery store, you won’t need to make deliveries. You will shop in-store for groceries that customers order through the app. In-store shoppers are part-time employees of Instacart. You’ll need to work at least 15 to 20 hours per week, including Sundays and Mondays. As an employee, you will be eligible for 401(k) benefits as part of Instacart’s job payment plan. These part-time positions typically last 90 days, and they are renewable.

Instacart shopper requirements

To become an Instacart shopper, you will need to meet a handful of basic requirements. These requirements include:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old. In some states, you will have to be at least 21 to deliver alcohol.
  • Lifting groceries: You should be able to lift at least 30 pounds and as much as 50 pounds, “with or without accommodation.” Groceries can be heavy, and you’ll be lifting often, so being strong enough to carry heavy items is essential for the job.
  • Smartphone: You’ll need either an Android phone (5.0 or later) or an iPhone (iOS 9 or later) to use the Instacart app and get jobs.
  • Background check: Instacart performs a background check on all shoppers. You will typically be cleared within 10 business days, so plan ahead. Be prepared to start working within a week of completing the background check.
  • Bank account: You’ll need to have a bank account so that Instacart can pay you via direct deposit each week.
  • Driver’s license: If you plan to be a full-service shopper, you will also need a driver’s license, access to a car, and insurance.
  • Cooler or insulated bags: Full-service shoppers will need thermal bags or a cooler that can store at least four standard-sized grocery bags. Your insulated materials must be safe for food storage and free of harmful chemicals. If you don’t have any, you can buy four pre-approved insulated bags from Instacart for $25.99.

How to become an Instacart shopper

Becoming an Instacart shopper is quick and easy. You can do it in 7 simple steps:

Step 1: Download the Instacart shopper app

Again, you’ll need a smartphone for this, and then you can download the app on Android or Apple.

Step 2: Provide basic information

In the app, you will need to provide your name and location, Instacart will also request your permission to perform a background check.

Step 3: Attend an in-person orientation

You’ll only need to attend orientation in person if you plan to be an in-store shopper. You can make this selection in the app as part of the onboarding process.

Step 4: Fill out paperwork

Your Instacart pay rate will depend on the type of job you choose. Full-service shoppers are considered independent contractors. As such, you will need to fill out a W-9 tax form and contractor agreement form if you plan to be a full-service shopper.

In-store shoppers are considered part-time employees. They fill out a W-4 tax form and sign an offer letter.

Step 5: Register your payment card

Within 5-7 business days of approval, you will receive your Instacart payment card. You might also have the option to pick up the card in person depending on your location. The payment card is a pre-loaded card that you will use to pay for customers’ orders.

Step 6: Set your hours and preferences

In the app, you have the option to set your working hours and then find gigs that fit your schedule.

Step 7: Get started!

At this point, you will have everything you need to start earning a part-time or full-time income. Select your gigs on the Instacart app and start earning.

Instacart shopper pay rate

Instacart’s pay rate depends on whether you are working as an in-store shopper or as a full-service shopper. Your location will also impact Instacart wages. Full-service shoppers can earn more through customer tips. Busier shopping times and larger orders typically yield larger tips.

  • Full-service shoppers earn $7-$10+ per batch, plus tips. Instacart guarantees payments of at least $7-$10 per order.
  • In-store shoppers earn a fixed hourly wage. They can work up to 29 hours per week. Instacart guarantees payments of at least $5 per order.

The exact payment amount is generally related to order size and demand. A large, heavy order will be more highly compensated than a small order. Your earning potential increases when customer demand spikes, especially on Sundays or evenings. Consider researching customer demand for your area to optimize your earnings.

Instacart payment schedule

Instacart pays all shoppers weekly via direct deposit to a bank account.

Full-service shoppers have the option to access funds faster through “Instant Cashout.” This option immediately transfers funds to a debit card. You can start using Instant Cashout after your first five orders. After that, you can use it as often as you want, up to five times daily. You’ll just need at least $5 in earnings, with a maximum of $3,000 per day.

Expenses to consider

While Instacart requires no costs to join, you’ll want to consider associated expenses that you’ll need to deduct from your Instacart wages. As an in-store shopper, you’ll want to account for platform fees.

And for full-service shoppers, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for:

  • Insurance and gas for your car
  • Additional car maintenance from wear and tear
  • Taxes as an independent contractor (usually close to 30% in total)

While these expenses do not outweigh the benefits of Instacart pay, make sure you put money aside to cover your expenses.

Tips to increase your Instacart pay rate

To get the most out of being an Instacart shopper, you’ll want to optimize your schedule to work during times when demand is high. Other proven ways to earn more money from Instacart include:

  • Working holidays and game days. This includes New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, and Superbowl Sunday, as well as days dedicated to big local events like homecoming or prom.
  • Selecting large orders for bigger tips.
  • Deliver orders with alcohol. These orders often yield bigger tips.
  • Participating in Instacart’s referral program. Referral bonuses can bring in extra money for you. Instacart gives you a bonus for every friend you refer. Bonus amounts vary by location.

Instacart Driver Pay helps you earn more on your terms

How much does Instacart pay? Enough to add extra income or a full-time salary! Instacart is a way to start earning a flexible income in as little as two weeks. The convenience of the Instacart app lets you choose your hours, your gigs, and your preferences. You get total flexibility and reliable work. With a little setup, you can start earning when you need it, as full-time work or as a side gig. Ready to get started? 


How much can I make with Instacart?

How much you can make with Instacart depends on where you live and how much you work. In New York City, you could earn close to $25 per hour. The average for all Instacart drivers in the U.S. is between $13 and $14. Instacart shoppers also receive customer tips.

Does Instacart pay well?

Instacart usually pays more than minimum wage. Whether Instacart pays well depends on your financial needs and goals.

How much do you make an hour with Instacart?

Instacart drivers can make between $7.25 to $25.59. This rate varies by city and region. With an average salary of $13.88 per hour, Instacart drivers earn an average of $111 in an 8-hour shift. The base pay is determined based on customer orders, and additional earnings can come from customer tips.

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