Many new customers to the Instacart app may experience some sticker shock when it comes to the pricing structure, with delivery and service fees, as well as upcharges.
However, Instacart Express can help offset some of those costs. So, what is Instacart Express? Here is what you need to know!
What Is Instacart Express In 2023?
Instacart Express is an add-on service for a monthly or annual fee that gives customers access to free delivery and pick-up, reduced service fees, and other perks and discounts in 2023. Customers paying monthly may cancel at any time, without penalty. Adding Instacart Express is easy to do in the app or on the Instacart website.
To learn more about the difference between regular Instacart and Instacart Express, how much it costs, if Express is faster, and even if you can get it for free, keep reading for the details below!
What Is the Difference Between Instacart and Instacart Express?
When you create an account for Instacart, you do so for free, while paying for delivery and fees.
However, Instacart created its own subscription program, Instacart Express, which nixes delivery fees, reduces service fees, and gives customers access to exclusive perks.
With Instacart, on peak days and hours, such as weekend afternoons, delivery prices can cost as much as $8 extra per order.
However, if you’re an Instacart Express member, you don’t pay any delivery fees, no matter what they may have been raised to, on orders $35 or higher.
Express members also don’t pay the $1.99 pick-up fee; again, they pay nothing on the order of $10 or more (though sometimes individual retailers make the minimum $35).
Regular Instacart account holders also miss out on awesome perks and discounts.
Starting in the Fall of 2021, Instacart began running a promotion where Express members received five percent back for every pick-up order.
Even if you only go grocery shopping once a week, that adds up.
As well, you don’t have to use the cashback on your next order.
You could defer it and let it accumulate- even until you saved enough to pay for an entire grocery order.
How Does Instacart Express Work?
Instacart Express makes for a quick and easy sign up.
To sign up, press on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the app, which will open your account menu.
If you have to, scroll down to Your Express Membership and select that. At the screen that pops up, you will choose how you want to pay- monthly or annually.
You can pay in installments each month, at $10 per month. As well, you can save $20 and buy an entire year’s worth of Express for $99.
You can choose which payment method you want the money to be taken from and submit your “order.”
It’s that simple and your Express membership begins immediately.
However, if you want to cancel, select Your Express Membership, scroll down to the very bottom of the page, and click on “Cancel membership.”
Note that you’ll have to give a reason for canceling your Express membership before you finally end it, but after you press “Cancel” one last time, you’re done.
New Express members get 15 days after initially signing up to decide if they want to cancel and get their money back.
The only catch is that they cannot have actually used the membership during that time period.
Also, cancellations go into effect at the end of the billing cycle.
So, if you cancel right after payment, you can still use the benefits until the next billing cycle.
Is Instacart Express Faster?
Instacart Express is not generally faster on regular grocery orders, and even Express members have to pay extra for Priority delivery.
However, Express members do get free Priority delivery when they order through the Convenience Hub.
The Convenience Hub is for smaller orders from select retailers – the types of items you’d pick up in a convenience store or at your local CVS.
While all members get free delivery using this hub, Express members get bumped up to 30 minute-or-faster delivery for free.
How Much Is Instacart Express Monthly?
Instacart Express costs $10 monthly, so paying in 12 installments costs $120.
However, if you want to save $20 overall, you can purchase an annual membership for $99.
You decide which payment method you want to use, and monthly members can change the payment method for the next billing cycle at any time.
How Can You Get Free Instacart Express?
Instacart wants you to try its Express membership and get hooked, so don’t be surprised if Instacart targets you with coupon codes for a free trial.
Some Chase credit cards and Mastercards offer deals when you open a new credit line with them, including a free Express membership.
Instacart also allows people to give Express memberships to others, so ask a family member for a three-month or 12-month membership for Christmas or for a birthday!
Technically, you can share your Instacart Express account and add a new address, but you should only do this with people you can really trust.
An easier way to share your Express benefits, without giving someone else your login info, is to create a shared shopping cart.
You can add your friend or family member to the card, have them shop for what they need and then you, the Express member, can check out and receive the benefits.
Is Instacart Express Worth It?
Instacart Express is worthwhile for the households that use Instacart regularly for their grocery shopping.
Casual users (less than once a week) might find it doesn’t merit the monthly fee.
However, for those who rely on Instacart for most grocery shopping needs, it really can save you money and time.
If you’re not sure, perhaps try it for one month. Pick the monthly installment plan and then cancel (it’s so easy to do) if it doesn’t suit your household’s needs.
Instacart Express is a subscription plan that gives customers free delivery and reduced fees, plus discounts and perks, for $10 per month or $99 annually.
While it doesn’t suit every household and budget, the only way to find out if it fits yours is to try it. Take advantage of Instacart’s many Express promotions and trial periods.