CVS Instacart (How It Works, Prescriptions + Other Related FAQs)

Instacart has made grocery shopping more convenient for many American households. But what about convenience and drug stores?

CVS is the largest chain of drug stores in the U.S., with almost 10,000 stores across the nation. Chances are good, there’s a CVS in your town or nearby.

Does CVS work with Instacart to bring their surprisingly comprehensive inventory, plus trusted pharmacy services, to customers’ doors? Here is what you need to know!

Does CVS Work With Instacart In 2022?

CVS is a longtime partner with Instacart, the most popular U.S. grocery delivery service. Through Instacart’s Convenience Hub, some customers can get their CVS orders in as little as half an hour, for free. Additionally, CVS is one of the retailers that now offers 24/7 Instacart delivery in some markets.

To get more in-depth on how CVS Instacart works, if it’s more expensive than shopping in-store, if you can access CVS delivery 24/7 and even if you can use CVS coupons, keep reading for all the related FAQs!

How Does CVS Instacart Work?

CVS Instacart is making it easier to get the drug store staples you need, when you need them.

Consider how customers might pop into a convenience or drug store to save time, versus the long haul when trying to reach the beauty aisles in a Walmart.

You know the selection is more limited overall, but you also know they have what you need and you can get in and out much faster.

In this same way, CVS Instacart aims to make the delivery experience quicker and more convenient than grocery shopping with Aldi or Publix.

How do they do this?

CVS forms part of Instacart’s Convenience Hub, a collection of retailers (including other drug stores and convenience stores, like 7-Eleven) with faster delivery times on smaller orders.

There is also a smaller order minimum of $10, and the Convenience Hub recommends a max order amount of $35.

Delivery tends to be less expensive than on full grocery orders, at $2.99 (versus $3.99).

You might have heard of Instacart Express, the app’s membership feature.

Instacart Express members not only get free delivery, as per usual, they also get a free upgrade to Priority delivery.

That could mean delivery times in as little as 30 minutes – or even less, if you’re nearby a participating CVS.

Another important note about CVS Instacart: in 2021, CVS became one of the partnering retailers with Instacart to offer 24/7 delivery.

If you have a 24-hour CVS nearby, check Instacart to see if they offer delivery overnight.

You can do this by navigating to the CVS Instacart storefront, pressing on “Everyday store prices” and then clicking over to “Delivery times.”

Even if you don’t live in an area that supports 24/7 Instacart delivery, CVS still offers late-night delivery in many areas.

In my own personal small city, the cut off is 11 p.m. which is much later than the 7 or 8 p.m. of most grocery stores.

You can still earn ExtraCare rewards by inputting your membership number on Instacart; I’ll cover how to do that further down.

Finally, while CVS is the place many people go to have their prescriptions filled, Instacart is not, unfortunately, authorized to deliver them with this retailer.

Is CVS Instacart More Expensive?

Is CVS Instacart More Expensive?

CVS is actually one of the few retailers on Instacart that does not upcharge on their inventory, relative to the local in-store prices.

That means that the prices you’ll pay on CVS goods on Instacart are about the same as if you went into the store to shop.

You can find confirmation of this fact via their Instacart storefront, by clicking or pressing on “Everyday store prices.”

There it reads “CVS Pharmacy sets the price of items on the Instacart marketplace. Item prices for this retailer reflect the average in-store prices in your area.”

However, CVS doesn’t run all the same sales on Instacart that they do in stores, and some sales require the use of a CVS ExtraCare card.

CVS Instacart also offers online-specific coupons that can be clipped digitally and added to your cart.

While prices are about the same on CVS’s inventory, it does cost more to use CVS Instacart.

That’s because of delivery fees, service fees (which even Express members pay, albeit reduced) and shopper tip.

Delivery fees start at just $2.99 per order, with the typical five percent service fee.

And Instacart recommends at least a $2 tip for your shopper, though I think $5 is a much better standard, even for these smaller convenience orders.

Can Instacart Pick Up Prescriptions From CVS?

Instacart is not currently authorized to delivery prescriptions from CVS.

Instead, CVS holds a contract with the Target-owned Shipt delivery service.

Instacart does offer prescription delivery through Costco and Rite Aid.

How Do You Add A CVS Card To Instacart?

Earning that money back and getting the ExtraCare coupons/deals is a must when shopping with CVS, and adding your ExtraCare card to Instacart is easy.

First of all, when you navigate over to the CVS Instacart storefront on a web browser, the page prompts you to enter the card number.

You can also enter it by pressing on “Earn with CVS ExtraCare” on the CVS storefront, right under the logo.

Finally, it’s available by pressing the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the app or site, scrolling down to Account Settings and pressing “Loyalty cards.”

There you will see a list of all the available retailers with loyalty programs, CVS among them. Press “Add” and you can input your number.

Is CVS Instacart 24/7?

In limited markets, CVS is indeed one of the retailers that currently offers 24/7 delivery through Instacart.

Twenty-four hour delivery became available starting in September 2021, with fellow drug stores Rite Aid and Walgreens joining the ranks.

New parents, imagine baby waking you in the middle of the night, and you look at their changing station, only to see you’re out of diapers.

Rather than going through all the stress and mayhem of figuring out how to get to the drug store at 2 a.m., you can order them through CVS Instacart.

Now, this is available in very limited markets currently, but if you do live near a 24-hour CVS, it’s worth checking to see if 24/7 delivery could be your reality.

Can You Use CVS Coupons On Instacart?

There is no way to input physical coupons on CVS’s Instacart storefront, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access deals.

CVS does often run digital coupons on their Instacart store, which you can click on, and they’ll be added to your cart at checkout.

They also run brand-specific deals, like spend $25 on Kraft items and receive $5 off.

And many of the deals you find in store are also listed on Instacart, though not necessarily all of them, all of the time.

So if you are an avid couponer, unfortunately, you will have to visit your CVS, rather than ordering through Instacart, to apply them to your order.

To know more, you can also see our posts on Walgreens Instacart, Sam’s Club Instacart, and Walmart Instacart.

Conclusion

CVS is a stalwart partner of Instacart, having recognized early on the benefit of maximum convenience to its customers.

With its super-quick delivery in the Convenience Hub (especially for Express members) and 24/7 delivery in some markets, CVS continues to prove why it’s the #1 drug store chain in the U.S.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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