How Much Does Instacart Pay?

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Instacart is a grocery delivery service allowing users to order from local stores through a website or app.
  • Part-time workers and independent contractors fulfill orders, earning around $17 per hour or $5-$10 per delivery.
  • Earnings depend on factors like incentives, order size, distance, and customer tips, with weekly payments for shoppers.

Instacart is a service that focuses on grocery delivery. It can save you the trouble of going to the shop as it hires personal shoppers who will do all the shopping on your behalf, after which your products will be delivered to your house.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking of joining Instacart too, but as a shopper rather than a service subscriber. This may come with a question, though: how much does Instacart pay?

Let’s see how things are going for people who work for Instacart and what you can expect as a shopper.

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is a grocery shopping and delivery service that lets subscribers use a website or mobile application to shop at the local grocery stores. In order to let users get their products easily and quickly, the service partners with various stores.

It’s a service meant to make people’s lives easier – especially for individuals who work a lot and don’t have time to do their shopping, people who have too many chores to take care of, and so on.

Part-time workers and independent contractors are the ones taking care of the orders and the transportation. Workers love Instacart as it is a way to get some flexible income. So, if you need some extra cash, working for Instacart might be a good option for you.

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Get Paid?

With Instacart, you have to go shopping on behalf of customers and then transport their groceries to their homes. You can work as a freelancer or part-time employee, depending on your preferences. Then, based on your type of employment, you can also be paid per delivery or hourly.

Most of the time, workers are paid either about $17 per hour including the tips given by customers, or between $5 and $10 per delivery.

You can work as:

An in-Store Shopper

In-store shoppers are part-time Instacart employees, and they have to work at least 15-20 hours weekly. This includes Mondays or Sundays as well. They do not perform deliveries – all they take care of is the in-store shopping aspect.

Working as a part-time employee gives you access to a few benefits, such as 401(k) plan savings.

A Full-Service Instacart Shopper

Full-service shoppers are considered independent contractors, and they can work whenever they think it’s best for them.

This position is available at all times during the operating hours of Instacart, and people working as full-service shoppers will have to do both the shopping and delivery of groceries.

How Much Can Instacart Shoppers Earn?

Instacart shoppers get a minimum payment per completed order. The minimum amount for delivery-only orders is $5, while the sum for full-service orders varies from $7 to $10.

Instacart shoppers can get their pay every week if they have made a minimum of $5. Depending on the type of employment and whether the worker is paid per hour or per delivery, one can cash out a maximum of $3,000 daily.

How Does Instacart Calculate Pay?

Instacart looks at a few factors when calculating the pay of their shoppers. Some of these factors include:

  • The incentives that are available during the delivery time
  • The number of products for their orders
  • How far the store and the delivery address of the customer are from each other
  • Tips that the shopper gets from customers

Although these factors are always taken into consideration, there are constant changes to the algorithm. As a result, it’s unsure how exactly Instacart makes the calculations surrounding the shoppers’ payments.

When Do Instacart Shoppers Get Paid?

Instacart shoppers will get paid every week. This applies to both full-service and in-store shoppers.

To receive payments more quickly, a full-service shopper can use a feature called Instant Cashout. It allows them to transfer their balance to their debit card immediately, making sure they use their money as soon as possible. This feature becomes available once the shopper has five batches completed.

Factors that Determine Shopper Earnings

Your earnings as a shopper will be determined by three important factors:

Minimum Batch Payment

For every completed order or “batch”, a shopper receives a minimum amount of money. In the past, this used to be $3. However, the amount got increased later to payments of $7 to $10 per batch. As mentioned before, orders for full service will be between $7-$10, whereas in-store ones will be $5.

You should also bear in mind that the minimum batch amount will not include tips. So, you can get even more money when working as a shopper.

Instacart Bonuses

The best shoppers can also enjoy some nice rewards. They get bonuses that are known as Quality Bonus and Peak Boost.

Quality Bonuses are offered to shoppers that get the highest rating from customers, respectively 5 stars. They will grant the shopper $3.

Meanwhile, Peak Boost bonuses grant extra bonuses to people who have to drive during high-demand times.


What is great about Instacart is that it allows its shoppers to keep the tips they receive from customers. Clients are even encouraged to give workers tips after they make an order, and this allows shoppers to earn more.

Tips can be calculated automatically at checkout, which makes things easier for shoppers and customers.

How to Sign Up to Be an Instacart Shopper

So, have you decided that becoming an Instacart shopper is the best thing for you right now? The good news is that it’s easy to sign up for it. Here are the steps you will have to go through.

  1. First things first, download the Instacart application.
  2. Offer your personal information, such as your location and your name. Then, Instacart will want to do a background check but will ask for your permission first.
  3. If you want to work as an in-store shopper, you will have to attend an in-person orientation. You also have the possibility of making the selection in your application.
  4. Next, you’ll have to fill out some paperwork. If you decide to work as a full-service shopper, you will be considered an independent contractor. That being said, a W-9 tax form and a contractor agreement form will have to be completed to work as a full-service shopper. Meanwhile, if you want to work as an in-store shopper, you’ll be considered a part-time employee and will have to sign an offer letter and complete a W-4 tax form.
  5. You’ll get an Instacart payment card about 5-7 business days after you’re approved. Sometimes, employees can also go and pick up the card themselves depending on where they are located. You will pay for the orders of the customers using this card.
  6. As a worker, you will be able to set your own working hours and preferences, and even the gigs that suit you the most.
  7. Now you’re done with the sign-up process and can start making money with Instacart!

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Final Thoughts

Some people love Instacart, while others are not that pleased and look into how to cancel Instacart. But nobody loves Instacart more than the workers who earn a lot of money. Not only are shoppers paid per hour or completed orders, but they can also get bonuses and tips from customers.

So, if you’re looking for an additional job that pays well, Instacart is a great option. It’ll bring you some nice sums of money.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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