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When Does Instacart Pay Me? (In Detail)

By Ferdi Vol
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If you don’t like the typical nine to five jobs or want to make more money on the side, Instacart is one of the best options for you. But when it comes to earning money, several questions may outline your mind. One of the questions that users frequently search for is “When does Instacart pay me?” and you’ll find the answer right here.

By default, Instacart pays their employees on a weekly basis every Wednesday. You can choose either direct bank deposit or checks to receive your payments. But if you use their Instant cashout feature then you can withdraw your earnings anytime within 30 minutes.

But there are several other things potential Instacart employees might want to know about, like the pay structure, how long it may take for the deposit to reach your account, how much they pay, and many more. All of which I’ve discussed in this article. So, continue reading till the end to get the full picture.

When Does Instacart Pay Me?

Instacart uses a direct deposit, and they use Stripe for their payment service, which is online. From March 2019, Instacart uses a feature that’s specific to the brand’s name, Instant Cashout. So, you’ll receive your payment instantly, without waiting for the whole week.

Instacart also pays weekly. Typically, it’s on Wednesday, and you’d get paid for the previous week’s Monday through Sunday. It means that you’d need to work from Monday to Sunday, where you’d be compensated for that week by next Wednesday morning. If you don’t want direct deposits, you can also choose to receive checks from them.

How Long Does It Take for Instacart Payment to Reach You?

The time depends on how long your bank needs to process your payment. You’ll need to have a direct deposit to recover your funds. If you don’t have any deposit system, Instacart will mail you a check. Full-service and in-store shoppers get their pay weekly. But with the Instant Cashout feature, Instacart pays its employees automatically and immediately.

However, this is a limited feature for full-service shoppers. If you become one, you can use that feature if you need money right away. You’ll access the money through the Instacart application that will have a link with a debit card. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a small fee of $0.50 for every transaction you make.

How Much Does Instacart Pay?

Shoppers on Instacart make money mainly by shopping. Sometimes they’ll also deliver grocery items to other customers. Full-service shoppers work as independent contractors who shop and deliver groceries. In-store shoppers work part-time without making any deliveries.

In-store shoppers get a fixed and hourly rate depending on the location of the store. Full-service shoppers get their money based on the orders they take. For every order and delivery individually, you’ll receive about a minimum of $5. But for full-service shoppers, you’ll get about $7 to $10.

Most of the time, you might be making $15 to $17 with tips per order. You'll also be getting some tips, and Instacart recommends that it be 5%, typically. Customers generally tip more than five percent, and employees can keep all of their tips.

However, some level of mystery surrounds exactly how much Instacart employees make. It’s pretty challenging to get the exact figure from the independent contractors. As the employees choose their work hours, it complicates putting a number on the hourly wage figure.

Besides, several factors also affect the salaries of Instacart shoppers. The store location, how many hours you’ve worked, driving distance, operating times, and many other factors play specific roles in their earnings.

How much you make from Instacart also depends on the effort you're putting in your gig of interest and your goals. As the gig economy grows, employees expect flexibility in choosing their work hours and transparency with the payment.

Unfortunately, you might not get a transparent work environment at Instacart. But even if you have underestimated, you will get the minimum wage, if not the average figure. If you’re super-efficient, you can even make $45 per hour.

What is the Instacart Pay Structure?

Several factors come into play if we dive deeper into the pay structure of Instacart. The pay structure and schedule of Instacart are very complex. They pay their shoppers an average “batch” of $15 to $20 per delivery. Sometimes, shoppers may get $30 to $40, which is double batches.

In general, the shoppers will at least make $10 per delivery (full-service) plus the tips. You can complete this section after thirty minutes when another batch frees up. Other batches may get you more than $10, but that depends widely on the customers. While paying, Instacart will consider the following aspects:

  • Order size
  • The time when the customer placed the order
  • Items in per order
  • Item size per order
  • Heavy pay order
  • Pay per mileage
  • Customer tips

So, you’ll get more if customers want a cart filled with items at peak hours. If the store has less buzz, you might get less. Besides, you’ll also get bonuses if customers give you 5-star ratings. It might not seem like you’ll be making a lot, but you’ll get other benefits like choosing your schedule and work hours.

But sometimes, customers notice that Instacart up a higher price on items at a few stores. They don’t always charge more, but as they’re partnered with some other stores, Instacart might charge more on stores they aren’t partnered with. If you go to a preferred store, you’ll see regular prices for items.

Does Instacart Cover Mileage?

Not always. Instacart says they do cover mileage. But in the paychecks, it's not a separate item, so it is difficult to be sure. You won't get anything for traveling to the store to start your shopping. But being a driver, you're working independently on a contract. So, you'll be in charge of all the expenses you make as an employee.

You’ll also be in charge of the specific aspects of having a car like gas, auto insurance, insurance, and maintenance. But the upside comes when you file your taxes, where you can write most of these expenses to be business-related. Besides, you can also include the miles you have to make during deliveries while filing your taxes.

But I can’t offer you professional advice, so you'll want to ask your accountant or refer to the tax preparation software about what you can write off exactly. Besides, I also recommend keeping the business-related mileage and transportation expense records. 

How Much Can You Make Per Day with Instacart?

On average per day, you can make somewhere between $11.50 to $14.50 every hour. This figure can vary significantly as the job will not go in the same direction every time. The state drivers can earn $25 per hour. So they can make $100 every day with just four orders. And if you get lucky and receive five to eight orders, you can make up to $200 that day.

But to be realistic, if you’re working with Instacart, you should expect at least $11 to 15 per order without the tips. On a regular day, this wage can be $55. But with tips, it’ll undoubtedly be more.

Do Instacart Drivers Make More Than Shoppers?

As I’ve clarified before, Instacart divides its employees into two: the in-store shoppers and the full-service shoppers. In-store shoppers only shop and pack the orders. The customers will come and pick their orders at a specific time.

The full-service shoppers, on the other hand, shop and deliver the items to the customers. Instacart isn’t limited to grocery shopping and delivery. That’s why I’m referring to them as drivers and in-store shoppers as shoppers.

As drivers also shop for the customers, they have a base rate of $13 per hour. You’ll also get some tips from the customers, and you get to keep 100 percent of it, which is a new addition to the pay structure.

Though Instacart recommends tipping at least 5%, customers generally tip more than that for excellent service. As many of the employees’ earnings come from tips, customers have become more aware of their contribution and tip generously.

In-store shoppers are only limited to the partner stores that Instacart has and work exclusively there. As they don’t handle deliveries, they can’t get tips as they aren’t interfacing with the customers directly. As they’re part-time employees, they’ll be entitled to wages above the minimum with no incentives or bonuses.

How Do Instacart Shoppers Pay for the Customer’s Groceries?

This question is one of the most frequently asked questions as well. The shopper uses a debit or credit card that the company provides them to pay for the customer’s groceries. When you sign the contract and become an employee, you’ll get a specific card that will let you pay for the order quickly.

So, you won’t ever have to worry about paying for some else’s grocery with your hard-earned money. The card that you’ll get from Instacart is a controlled PEX one, which you can only use during your work hours.

For every shift and each order, you receive, the card will preload automatically with the customer’s funds. Then, you can use these funds to buy the groceries. The best part is, you’ll only be packing the groceries and swiping the card when you’re at the checkout.

With the online shopping industry booming for business and delivery gigs rising to popularity by the day, Instacart seems to be thriving on current trends. It’s an excellent way to make money and have incredible services from the customer’s end.

So, if you’re considering Instacart and wondered, “When does Instacart pay me,” I hope you have gained a little insight from my little guide. If you know what compensation you should expect from Instacart, you’ll have a better work experience besides being a good employee and understand what you’ve signed up for.

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The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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