Does Instacart Accept Cash? (All You Need to Know)

Instacart has made it easier for millions of households across North America to get groceries and get back hours of their lives.

And paying for groceries using the app is a breeze, too – Instacart accepts many different forms of payment, from credit and debit cards to third-party payment methods. But does Instacart accept cash? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

Does Instacart Accept Cash In [currentyear]?

Instacart doesn’t accept cash payments for groceries, fees, or Express memberships in [currentyear]. However, customers can give their shoppers cash tips if they wish. Instead, Instacart accepts most major credit and debit cards and some forms of third-party digital payment, as well as EBT SNAP through some retailers.

To learn more about how you can pay for your groceries on Instacart, all the different types of payment methods Instacart accepts, if you can make prepaid credit cards work on Instacart and much more, check out all the info below!

What Methods of Payment Does Instacart Accept?

An Instacart representative says on the company website:

“We accept many forms of payment – all major US and Canada credit and debit cards, EBT cards at participating stores in select states, China UnionPay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal.”

The site also specifically points out that Instacart does not accept cash, nor does it accept retailer-specific gift cards.

However, Instacart does have its own gift cards that you can purchase, both online and in many different stores.

If you find that you only have cash at hand, but you need groceries delivered to your home, you could consider asking a friend with an Instacart account.

They can have the groceries delivered to your address, and you can work out between you paying them back with cash.

How Do You Pay for Groceries on Instacart?

To pay for groceries on Instacart, you must add your payment method to the app.

For credit and debit cards, you do this by entering the card information, including the expiration date and security code.

For PayPal, you connect your account to Instacart through the Instacart app.

For EBT SNAP benefits, you can enter your card information, including your full name and card number.

The first two can be done through Account Settings>Payment methods, which you can locate if you press on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner.

The last, EBT SNAP, can be found on the Account settings main page, at the very end of the list.

To use Apple or Google Pay, you don’t actually have to add anything in the Payments method area.

Instead, if you have cards loaded onto Apple or Google Pay, the app will detect them automatically at check-out.

You simply select whichever one you want to use, and you’re set.

Do Prepaid Cards Work on Instacart?

Do Prepaid Cards Work on Instacart?

If you only have cash on hand, but you want to order groceries for delivery with Instacart, you might be wondering if you can use a prepaid Visa or Mastercard and the like.

While some sources (incorrectly) state that you can, the vast majority of first-hand anecdotes indicate that it’s not possible.

The reason seems to be related to the fact that there is a chance with every order that the final total could be more than the amount given at check-out.

While a prepaid credit card might cover the total amount that was estimated at check-out, if the final total ends up being more, then Instacart is out of money.

Unfortunately, Instacart’s own company gift cards are not suitable as a cash work-around either.

In order to use a gift card on Instacart, you must have another payment method on file with the app, in case the final total exceeds what’s on the gift card.

Can You Use EBT on Instacart?

EBT SNAP benefits are usable on Instacart with SNAP-eligible food items, through specific retailers.

Unfortunately, not all retailers accept EBT SNAP (even if they do in stores), and individual chains may or may not accept SNAP based on what state you live in.

Grocers Aldi and Publix are the two chains that tend to accept SNAP in every state where Instacart is available.

For the full list of grocers and in what states they accept EBT SNAP, check out this helpful page.

Also, remember that you will need another form of payment on file, because EBT SNAP does not cover delivery or service fees, and you cannot use those funds for a tip, either.

Does Instacart Let You Pay with PayPal?

You can pay with PayPal on Instacart now!

Making it easier for sellers and creators who use PayPal for their business, Instacart now allows you to connect your PayPal account to the app.

You can do this through Account settings>Payment methods, and then choose PayPal as your method of payment at check-out.

Can You Use Gift Cards on Instacart?

Unfortunately, if you received a nice Aldi or Target gift card for your birthday, you cannot use it to make purchases on Instacart.

If you’d like to be gifted a card in a way that allows you to get your self-picked gift delivered, ask friends and family members to start getting you Instacart gift cards.

They can send them digitally online (you’ll get the “card,” and can add the number to your account for instant funds), or pick up physical gift cards at many different stores.

However, note that if you don’t want to use it right away, you’ll have to save it.

Once you have entered the card number and applied it to your account, Instacart automatically draws from it first until the balance runs out.

Still, gift cards are a preferable alternative to cash, since cash is completely unusable on Instacart.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on Instacart shop-only orders, Instacart scam, and Instacart pay stub.


Instacart does not accept cash, and unfortunately, there aren’t really any workarounds for that if you don’t have a bank account or credit card to add on.

However, Instacart does accept most American and Canadian debit/credit cards, as well as some third-party payment options, like PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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