Is the Mastercard from Instacart worthwhile?
Many credit card issuers are now providing rewards targeted at recession-prone industries including groceries, dining, travel, and fuel due to recent changes in our economy. The Chase Instacart Mastercard is the newest entry on the scene.
Is the high percentage of cash back this card offers on Instacart purchases truly worth it? To assist you in deciding whether the card merits a place in your wallet, we’ll look at some of its most important features and advantages.
If you frequently use Instacart, whether out of convenience or out of concern for your safety given the coronavirus pandemic, you should probably think about applying for the Instacart Mastercard®.
This card offers 5% cash back on Instacart app and Instacart.com purchases, 2% cash back in restaurants, gas stations, and on a few select streaming services, 1% cash back on all other transactions, and 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Center. Additionally, it immediately grants new cardholders a $100 Instacart credit and a free year of Instacart+ upon acceptance.
The free year of membership that comes with the Instacart Mastercard® will apply if you already have Instacart+ following the membership that you have paid for.
The following are just a few advantages of having an Instacart+ subscription:
- Orders of $35 or more qualify for free delivery.
- 5% off of pickup orders (excluding alcohol)
- decreased service fees
- Share your rewards and do your shopping with family (when available)
- Partner offers from companies like Chase and Delta
After the free year is over, you’ll need to pay the usual price of $9.99 per month or $99 per year (which works out to $8.25 per month) to keep your Instacart+ subscription.
Additionally, although Instacart is primarily known as a grocery delivery service, the platform also features other retailers. You might be able to shop at places like Sephora and Lowe’s, for instance.
You should be aware of the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule as Chase is the company that issues the Instacart credit card. In a nutshell, if you apply for a Chase credit card and have opened five or more credit cards (from any issuer) in the last 24 months, you should anticipate having your application declined.
Rewards for Instacart Mastercard Credit Cards
You can earn 5% cash back with the Instacart Mastercard® on purchases made through the app and website, as well as on travel booked through the Chase Travel Center. You can also earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and on a few select streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
A $100 Instacart credit and a free year of Instacart+ are also available to new cardholders who are approved.
The benefits you earn with the Instacart Mastercard® are simple to redeem through Chase. There is no minimum redemption amount for either of the two ways to receive cash back: as a statement credit to reduce your card balance or as a direct deposit to a bank account.
Additionally, you have the choice of using the Chase Travel Center to redeem rewards for travel.
Although it wasn’t possible to utilize rewards to pay in full or in part for Instacart orders right away when the Instacart Mastercard® launched, Chase announced that by the autumn of 2022, cardholders would be able to do so. There won’t be a minimum redemption requirement.
The baseline income and spending averages across all categories are calculated by Forbes Advisor using data from various government sources. We base spending on the household income in the 70th percentile, which is $107,908 per year.
We’ll look at how much cash back this household could receive from utilizing the Instacart Mastercard.
According to Forbes Advisor, $32,072 in annual costs can be justifiably put on a credit card. Out of that sum, $6,322 is typically spent on groceries annually. If the purchase is made through Instacart and receives 5% cash back, $316.10 will be made. It’s important to note that the Instacart Mastercard does not have a spending cap on the 5% cash-back rate on Instacart purchases—or any of its cash-back categories, for that matter. This contrasts with certain well-known supermarket rewards cards, after which your earning percentage declines.
We also compute an annual travel expenditure of $3,762. If all of your trip arrangements are made through the Chase gateway and you receive 5% cash back, you would receive $188.10 back on those expenditures.
Let’s now account for a projected $3,849 in gas expenditures, $4,511 in meal expenses, and $722 in streaming fees. That expenditure would result in earnings of $76.08, $90.22, and $14.44 at 2% cash back, respectively.
The remaining expenses that can legitimately be put on a credit card are $12,906. 1% back would net you $129.06. With this card, you could earn a total of $814.90 in cash back year.
Is the Mastercard from Instacart worthwhile?
As always, deciding whether or not this card is worthwhile depends on how you want to use it and how much time and money you personally want to save. In the spending scenario that follows, we’ll see how the rewards compare against credit cards with a comparable rewards structure in typical spending areas.
- Wells Fargo AutographSM Card: 3X points on dining out, traveling, filling up at a petrol station, using the bus, and purchasing popular streaming services; 1X points on other transactions
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 31, 2025); 2X points on other travel; 1X points on all other purchases; 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs).
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card Up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year in each of the following categories: U.S. supermarkets, U.S. petrol stations, and U.S. online retail transactions: 3 percent cash back (after which, 1 percent); 1 percent back on all other expenditures.
Despite the fact that this is a simplified illustration, you can still see how little the value you’ll receive from the Instacart Mastercard and membership compared to other cards differs. The 1.9 percent service charge that you must pay for your Instacart orders reduces part of the benefits you are earning with your Instacart card.
The value you receive from the card decreases even further after the first year because you won’t receive a welcome bonus or a free Instacart+ membership. However, we think that consumers utilize Instacart for reasons other than cost-saving, such as time-saving. We find it difficult to put a figure on the time saved in our case, but you might be able to do so for yourself.
You might be a fan of Instacart despite the additional costs if only for the time savings. If so, getting the Instacart Mastercard would provide you a little discount and cash back on a service you would use even if there were no rewards.
Who ought to be granted an Instacart Mastercard?
According on the study above, this card might not be the game-changing cash back credit card you had in mind, particularly if you were hoping to save a ton of money on groceries and delivery services. We believe that those who already use Instacart and wouldn’t mind a few extra little incentives to keep using it would reap the greatest benefits. Therefore, because there is no annual fee to carry this card, we believe it can’t hurt to try it if saving time and a little bit of money is your thing.