Instacart Peak Boost (What Is It + How It Works)

It is incredible how much some Instacart shoppers manage to rake in each week, with some of the luckiest people in areas with high cost-of-living and plentiful batches.

Instacart knows that many of their shoppers rely on batches to supplement their income or, in some cases, provide their sole source of pay. So they introduced the peak boost pay.

What is the peak boost on Instacart? And how can it help shoppers earn more in the same amount of time? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Peak Boost On Instacart In 2024?

Peak boost pay on Instacart was introduced in 2018 during a restructuring of their pay scale and it occurs during high-need hours. Shoppers who operate during peak boost times will receive additional pay on top of regular batch pay during specific hours and in specific locations. Peak boost pay may vary from city to city.

To learn more about when peak times for Instacart tend to occur, how you can access those peak boost batches, if shoppers like peak boosts and even if there is a limit to how much additional you can earn for a peak boost batch, keep reading!

What Is Instacart Peak Boost For?

In an article for Medium, outlining Instacart’s newest pay scale and restructuring, the author writes, “…shoppers may be offered additional pay during hours when the need…is high.”

Peak boost is basically incentive for shoppers to shop the batches, and it’s also extra compensation for shopping batches when grocery stores are at their most aggravating.

Ever shopped a Walmart on a Sunday afternoon? Did you manage to get out without bumping into anyone or having someone run into you?

I never have. It’s crazy in there when it’s crowded, with those big carts.

Instacart knows that customers are paying to avoid just that scenario at all their local grocery stores. And they’re rewarding shoppers for doing it for the customers.

From my research, it also appears that when no one is taking a certain batch, Instacart may give it Peak Boost Status in order to hook a shopper into taking it.

So in that case, you might see a peak boost batch that doesn’t really make any sense.

When Is Peak Time For Instacart?

According to This Online World, while peak hours can vary across the country, most markets will see the busiest times occur:

  • On weekdays, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The thinking is that people with the disposable income to afford Instacart are working 9-5s.

When they finish up, rather than make an aggravating stop in a busy supermarket after a long day, they’ll head home and order groceries for delivery.

  • On weekends, at any time. In my personal opinion, anywhere from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or so both days tend to see the biggest crowds at grocery stores.

Now, getting shifts during those times is another story. Keep going for details on that and some tips.

How Do You Get Instacart Peak Boost?

How Do You Get Instacart Peak Boost?

Instacart actually allows you to see the hours they have designated as peak boost pay times the week before, when you’re picking your shifts.

So obviously snagging those shifts is the way to gain access to the batches that will pay more.

How do you do that? For starters, you can’t have any disciplinary action taken against you for poor service, as with reliability incidents.

But even more than that, try to get the best possible rating. Of course, this is good on its own, but it could also net you early access to shifts.

All the articles out there about bumping up your rating – read them, absorb them and act on them.

Having a superior rating isn’t the only way to gain access to peak boosts, though.

Some shoppers are certified to deliver alcohol and prescriptions. These batches come with peak boost pay, because there are fewer shoppers who can take them.

Is Instacart Peak Boost Good?

Instacart peak boost sounds like a win/win, right?

Instacart shoppers who have been in the trenches have mixed feelings about them, though.

Some love the extra pay and think it’s awesome getting $27 for a five-item batch.

But others see it as a way for Instacart to further exploit their workers.

One commenter on this Reddit thread remarked, “It’s when the batch is so sh***y that Instacart adds peak boost because no one wants to pick it up.”

u/yoda55799 chimed in, “…some batches would be available for 1-2 hours and IC would up the pay by $2 every 30-60 minutes [if] it stayed available.”

It makes me wonder if Instacart adds peak boost pay to some orders that aren’t getting picked up because the tip is so poor.

Is There A Limit To Instacart Peak Boosts?

If you’re interested in grabbing peak boost batches, expect to earn no more than $12 extra on any single dorder.

That, according to DollarSprout, is the max boost, though it’s not necessarily the norm.

Peak boosts can range anywhere from $2 to $12, and the shopper DollarSprout talked to sees an average bonus of $8 per order.

If you notice a batch with peak boost pay under $12 and no one seems to be taking it, consider waiting it out a bit and seeing if Instacart ups it.

If you want to know more, you can also read our posts on Instacart bots, Instacart batch grabber, some interesting Instacart statistics, and is Instacart nationwide.


Instacart peak boost pay is a way for the company to incentivize shoppers to take batches during the busiest shopping times.

But it can also apply to batches with a limited number of shoppers eligible to accept, like alcohol and prescription deliveries.

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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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