The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Instacart Mastercard® Review: Is It the Best Card For Groceries?

Instacart Credit Card Review

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

The appearance of an Instacart credit card was inevitable, given the wild popularity of North America’s largest online grocery service. Millions of shoppers turned to Instacart and similar companies during the pandemic to avoid possible infection while keeping the kitchen stocked. Instacart customers can remotely buy and take delivery of 500 million products from 40,000 stores in more than 5,500 cities.

Your humble writer enjoyed making Instacart purchases during the worst days of the pandemic and vividly remembers messaging with the personal shopper via the Instacart app. I was impressed by her attention to detail, helping me choose an alternative brand of pickles when my beloved favorite was out of stock. 

This review sets out to see whether the new Instacart Mastercard® is as good as its namesake. Spoiler alert — it is. It’s one of the best credit cards with no annual fee on the market today.

A Full Featured Card For More Than Groceries

What surprises many credit card fans is the versatility of the new Instacart Mastercard®. Sure, it offers valuable perks to Instacart customers, but it does so much else, whether you want a longer warranty on your new washing machine or a weekend in Las Vegas

Instacart Mastercard® Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Get a free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit automatically upon approval. Membership auto-renews. Terms apply.
  • Earn 5% cash back on Instacart app and Instacart.com purchases
  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Travel Center, including flights, hotels and more
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and on select streaming services
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual card fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% – 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Considering how much you get from the no-annual-fee Instacart card, you may want it even if you seldom order grocery deliveries. 

Instacart Mastercard® Benefits

The card’s World Elite Mastercard benefits begin with a signup bonus that provides you with a year of Instacart membership and a cash credit when the credit card issuer approves your application. 

Check out all these additional benefits, all of them free:

  • World Elite Concierge: You get a 24/7 concierge service that acts as a personal assistant. The concierge can help you reserve the perfect table or locate hard-to-find items, among other services.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: This lengthens a US manufacturer’s warranty period by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • Purchase Protection: You receive coverage on your new purchases for a specific period following the date of purchase against damage or theft up to the claim and account limits.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: This reimburses you for a set period for essential purchases, such as toiletries and clothing, for baggage delays longer than six hours by a passenger carrier. Daily reimbursement limits apply.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If you or an immediate family member checks or carries on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, this benefit covers you up to a set amount per passenger.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: If you run into a problem away from home, call the Chase Travel Center Benefits Administrator for legal and medical referrals or other travel and emergency assistance.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: You receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to a set limit when you pay for your air, bus, train, or cruise trip with your card.
  • Roadside Assistance: If you have a roadside emergency, you can call the Benefit Administrator to dispatch the help you need. 
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. You receive coverage for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad. In the US, coverage is secondary to your personal auto insurance.

In addition, the card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. You’d expect these benefits from a fancy travel credit card, not a free Mastercard primarily purposed for grocery deliveries. Of course, you receive World Elite Mastercard benefits in addition to those from Chase.

Reward Redemptions

You can redeem your reward points in several ways:

  • Cash back: You can redeem any number of points for a statement credit or a direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account at a US financial institution. You receive $1 cash back for 100 points.
  • Gift cards: You can use your points to pay for gift card purchases, some possibly at a discount. The availability of gift card redemptions may change over time. 
  • Travel purchases: Use points to book your next flight, hotel, car rental, or other travel accommodations through the issuer’s travel agency. You can pay the additional cost with your card if you don’t have enough points to book travel.
  • Pay with Points: This payment method lets you use your cash back rewards to pay for your everyday purchases in the Instacart app or on Instacart.com. Several Chase cards offer this payment method.

Points do not expire while the credit card account remains open and in good standing. Minimum amounts may apply for some redemptions.

Credit Requirements

You must have good credit to qualify for the Instacart Mastercard®. In the FICO system, this translates to a minimum score of 670.

FICO Score Range

Other factors may affect your eligibility, including previous problems with the credit card issuer or exceeding the limit on the number of approved credit cards you own.

Comparing the Instacart Mastercard® to Other Grocery Reward Cards

Instacart is popular, but consumers who don’t use the service also shop for groceries. Even if you are an Instacart member, the card doesn’t provide bonus rewards for your in-person shopping — only Instacart purchases earn the high cash back rate on groceries.

The following cards compete well with the Instacart Mastercard®: 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $400 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • $120 Equinox Credit – Use your Blue Cash Preferred Card to pay for Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com and receive $10 in monthly statement credits. Enrollment required.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% – 25.49% Variable
$95
Excellent Credit

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card provides the best cash back rewards for groceries. But the card limits the annual amount you can spend on groceries and still earn the generous reward rate. Grocery purchases from superstores, convenience stores, warehouse clubs, and meal-kit delivery services do not qualify for the top cash back rate.

You also enjoy excellent rewards for streaming services and gas purchases. Cardowners can redeem their cash back for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise with no minimum redemption amount. 

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% – 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
16.99% – 26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

If you like to keep things simple, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card for all your shopping. It offers flat-rate cash back on everyday spending with no categories, caps, or annual fees to worry about.

You can redeem your ThankYou Points for cash via a check, statement credit, or direct deposit. Additionally, you can use your points for shopping, gift cards, and travel purchases.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 5% cash back at Aamzon.com and Whole Foods market
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases
  • Exclusively for customers with an eligible Prime membership
  • Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval
  • See your rewards balance during checkout at Amazon.com and easily use rewards to pay for all or part of your purchase — no minimum rewards balance to redeem rewards
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.24% – 22.24%
$0 (Prime Membership Required)
Good/Excellent

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is an excellent choice if you regularly shop on Amazon.com and at Whole Foods supermarkets. The card has no annual fee, but owners must be Amazon Prime members. 

New cardmembers receive an Amazon gift card. You can earn up to 20% back or more on select products with Prime Card Bonus. If you prefer, you can choose a 0% APR for six to 18 months on purchases of $50 or more instead of cash back rewards.

Who Issues the Instacart Mastercard®?

Chase Bank issues the co-branded Instacart card. Chase is the largest credit card company, outpacing American Express, Capital One, and the other leading market players. 

The credit card company issues several significant cards, including:

If you own a Chase card, your points take the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards that you can use at the Chase Travel Center to book flights, hotels, cruises, and rental cars. Unlike points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Instacart Mastercard’s points do not gain extra value when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website.

What Credit Limit Can I Get From the Instacart Mastercard®?

We surmise that the credit limit on the Instacart Mastercard® is similar to that of the Chase Freedom cards, but data is limited. Forum reports indicate that it is quite possible to rack up to a $10,000 credit limit on a Chase Freedom.

Spending limits depend on your creditworthiness. You can expect a higher credit line if your FICO score is in the excellent or very good categories

Your credit score may also gradually increase if you pay your bill when due and keep your credit utilization ratio (i.e., credit spent divided by total credit available) below 30%.

Is the Instacart Credit Card a Good Card?

We’ve waxed poetic about the perks of the Instacart Credit Card. But no card is perfect, and we’d love to see some changes:

  • Reduce the interest charges: The card’s APRs for purchases and balance transfers span more than 8 percentage points, from below to above average. If you miss a payment, the card may impose a penalty APR. The cash advance APR is high. You can avoid the purchase APR by paying your bill in full each month.
  • Reduce some fees: We applaud the $0 annual fee, returned check charge, and foreign transaction fee. But the transaction fee for cash advances is relatively high, less so for balance transfers. You can sign up for the My Chase Plan and pay a fixed finance rate instead of monthly interest, determined at plan creation and remaining the same until you pay the plan in full. The monthly fee is equal to an average APR, and the charges for late and returned payments are typical.
  • Reduced service fee for Instacart: New cardmembers receive free Instacart membership only for the first year. We’d like seasoned cardowners to receive a reduced service fee as well because Instacart costs can add up quickly. You may pay extra based on where you shop and the amount and weight of your purchases. If you use Instacart more than twice per month, you may save money by choosing Instacart Express (recently renamed Instacart+). The premium service eliminates the delivery fee on orders that exceed $35 and reduces the regular service fee. With Instacart+, approximately a dozen deliveries may save you enough money to offset the Instacart charges.
  • Provide an intro APR: Many cards for good or excellent credit provide an intro APR of 0% to new cardmembers for purchases and/or balance transfers. The waived fee period commonly extends to 12 months or longer on many competitive cards. 
  • Increase rewards: The card’s top reward rate applies to Instacart purchases, but we’d prefer to see the rate extend to all grocery purchases. Travelers who do not want to book travel through Chase will not earn the high travel rewards rate from the Instacart Mastercard®. This limitation may upset consumers who wish to book travel, motivating some to use another credit card that doesn’t restrict their travel arrangements.

We don’t consider any of these items showstoppers. You can avoid interest and late fees by always paying your entire balance before the end of the 21-day grace period following the newest statement date. 

Instacart Mastercard®: Turn Everyday Shopping Into Everyday Rewards

If you regularly use Instacart for your grocery shopping, the Instacart card is a no-brainer. It costs nothing to obtain and provides many goodies unrelated to deliveries. We like how the card delivers many travel-related benefits and purchase protections.

Instacart Mastercard® Review

Consumers love the Chase credit card lineup. Chase is famous for some of the best credit card offers, and this Chase card is no exception.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.