Instacart has truly disrupted the food industry, with millions of Americans embracing the no-contact grocery delivery service. Costco operates warehouse-style stores with products sold in bulk for cheaper prices than some of its competitors.
So, what happens when Costco and Instacart join forces? Here is what you need to know about Costco Instacart delivery!
What Is Costco Instacart Delivery In 2023?
Costco Instacart delivery is the partnership between major retailer Costco and the grocery delivery service, Instacart. Costco calls the service CostcoGrocery, powered by Instacart. The two companies began working together in 2017 and have since expanded to many markets in the U.S in 2023. Costco Instacart is separate from Costco.com accounts.
To learn more about how Instacart works with Costco, whether you can use Instacart for curbside pick-up at Costo, and even if Costco is more expensive on Instacart, keep reading!
How Does Instacart Work with Costco?
Using Instacart with Costco is easy and convenient, which starts with downloading the Instacart app or accessing the website, www.Instacart.com.
From there, if you’re a new user, you will have to create an account. At this point, you can choose to be a regular member or you can become an Express member.
Express members pay a monthly fee of $10 and then get unlimited free delivery.
Since delivery can cost as much as $8, the membership starts to pay for itself after two shopping trips.
If you have used Instacart before, make sure the correct address is shown at the top so that the app can locate stores near you.
Costco should appear in the sections listed below; one entitled “Bulk Stores” tends to have Costco listed underneath.
Select Costco and you will be taken to the retailer’s storefront, with a menu bar spanning the bottom part of the app.
Adding Items to Your Cart:
Before you begin shopping, if you’re a Costco member, you’ll need to enter your membership information to get access to better pricing.
On the Costco main menu, you should see text that reads “Save with Costco Membership.”
Click on that and it will take you to your Loyalty Cards. You should see the Costco logo and the option to add a Loyalty Card.
Navigate back to the Costco main menu when you’re done.
The main part of the screen is taken up with the search bar, at the top, and below it, some popular categories, like Fresh Vegetables or Fresh Fruit.
You can scroll through those or select “Aisles” from the bottom menu.
This option is preferable for first-timers because you can see each department, shop that section, and then come back to the Aisles menu and go onto the next.
As always, you can access your cart from anywhere by clicking on the white and green cart icon in the upper right corner.
Particularly at stores like Costco, checking the cart often is an effective way to keep your price total down (if you’re shopping on a budget, that is).
Once you have finished shopping, navigate to your cart, and you’ll need to have some acceptable form of payment on file.
The app will walk you through the steps of choosing your delivery date/time and confirming your payment method. You’ll also have to choose a tip for the shopper/driver.
Hit “Place Order” and the app will push your order through to the store.
Costco Shopping and Delivery:
Ahead of your delivery time, Instacart will send you a notification that someone has started shopping.
Instacart will send notifications when something is out of stock, when your shopper has replaced an item, etc.
You don’t have to babysit your phone, but it’s helpful if you can follow along and respond to your shopper’s queries. You can chat in real time with your shopper right in the app.
Once the shopper has finished up, you will receive notifications with an estimated delivery time, that the driver is on their way, and that the driver has arrived and is dropping off your order.
In some states, you can have alcohol delivered; your Instacart shopper can also bring your Rx to your door, but you will have to be present to show ID.
How Do You Use Costco Instacart Curbside Pickup?
At the beginning of 2021, Costco debuted a curbside pickup option to a limited market in New Mexico.
Unless you live in this area, curbside pickup is not available to Costco Instacart shoppers around the U.S. and may not be for a while.
Certainly, Costco isn’t crazy about the option, as a representative said it “adds an additional expense to our low-cost business model…”
As well, while many people choose pick-up because it’s cheaper (sometimes free, if you hit a certain total threshold in your cart), Costco will tack on an extra $10 to your order
Why Is Costco More Expensive on Instacart?
If you noticed more expensive prices on Costco Instacart delivery versus in-store, you weren’t imagining things.
The CostcoGrocery FAQ page even states, “Item pricing is higher than your local warehouse in order to cover the service and delivery fees charged by Instacart.”
When you shop Costco Instacart, you are paying extra for the convenience of not having to leave your living room.
Can You Shop at Costco Without a Membership with Instacart?
You can shop at Costco through Instacart, even if you don’t have a membership.
However, you will pay higher prices on the warehouse’s inventory than you would if you were a Costco member.
Does Costco Offer Same-Day Delivery on Instacart?
Not only does Costco offer same-day delivery, but you can also schedule your delivery for days ahead.
Sometimes, when the volume of orders is high, you might see that your only option is for delivery the following day.
How Much Do You Tip Costco Instacart?
Costco Instacart shows you different tip amounts as suggestions, like what a 10 percent tip looks like based on your order, or what a 25 percent tip would be.
Frankly, if you can’t afford to tip your driver, Instacart probably isn’t the service for you.
A five percent tip is the barest minimum for these hard-working members of the gig economy, but anything 10 percent and up truly shows your appreciation.
If you can afford an even more generous tip (you can choose “Custom tip”), do it!
Does Costco Instacart Accept EBT?
You cannot use your SNAP/EBT benefits to shop Costco Instacart delivery.
While SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a.k.a. food stamps) can be used in warehouses, they are not eligible for online purchases at Costco Instacart.
Does Costco Instacart Deliver Alcohol?
Costco Instacart delivers more than just food; in 11 states, Costco Instacart delivers alcohol.
Those states include the following:
- North Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
In order to have alcohol delivered, the person with the name on the account must be present to show the delivery person their state-issued photo ID.
How Do You Use a Costco Shop Card with Instacart?
You cannot use your Costco Shop card with Instacart. Unfortunately, Costco Shop cards are only eligible for in-store or www.Costco.com purchases.
Is Costco Instacart Worth It?
At The Kitchn, the author of this piece found that shopping Costco Instacart delivery was worth it for her family.
I personally think it’s a great option if you have a large family and a tight schedule.
It’s also great for people with disposable income or the ability to work it into their budget.
It can definitely be more expensive than shopping in-warehouse, but if you value convenience, it’s worth trying.
To know more, you can also read our posts on things to know before buying a Costco membership, things to know before buying Costco platters, and does Costco deliver.
Costco Instacart delivery is a convenient service for busy people, and you don’t even have to be a Costco member to shop through Instacart.
You will pay a higher price than Costco (and Instacart Express) members, but even those two groups pay more than in-store.