Instacart is a go-to gig app for many to make extra money. It offers many people flexibility and freedom to make those extra bucks they need or a full living in many cases.
If you are looking to do Instacart for your immediate cash needs you might want to know when does Instacart pays shoppers. Or you are just curious before starting the gig and want to know whether you will be paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly?
Whatever the case for your curiosity, the answer is straightforward. Full-service shoppers get paid by Instacart every week (Wednesday to be more specific for the earnings made the previous week i.e. Monday to Sunday). However, shoppers also have the option to cash out their earnings instantly after the batch completion by paying a fee of $0.50 per transaction. On the other hand, in-store shoppers are paid usually as regular employees on a weekly basis.
That is the simple answer, but, if you want to know more about Instacart’s pay structure and other things involved in the Instacart cashout, keep reading for more information.
What is the Instacart Payout Structure
When it comes to paying its shoppers, Instacart uses a special formula.
This formula looks at a bunch of things like how many groceries you’re picking up, how far you’ve got to drive, and how many people need deliveries in that area.
They even look at your location or state. Sometimes, Instacart gives extra cash bonuses for doing more deliveries or hitting targets.
Before you say ‘yes’ to a shopping trip, you’ll get to see what you could earn. After you’re done, you can check out a detailed list of your earnings.
So When Does Instacart Pay
Instacart pays its shoppers weekly. This means that the money you make from completing batches, whether it’s one grocery order or several grouped together, from Monday to Sunday is tallied up and sent to you via direct deposit next Wednesday.
If you finish 10 batches in one week, let’s say from Monday to Sunday, and you earn $200 from those orders, get $50 from customer tips, and an extra $20 from bonuses Instacart throws in, you’ll get $270 in total.
Instacart will process this payment by next Wednesday, and it can take from a few hours to a couple of days to land in your account depending on your bank, so by Friday, you can typically expect to have that money available.
Instacart Instant Cashout
Now, if you’re in a pinch and need that money sooner, Instacart has got you covered with something called Instacart Instant Cash Out.
This lets you get your earnings straight to your debit card anytime you want, as long as you’ve made at least $5. It’s handy, but each transfer will cost you $0.50.
Note: You also need at least 5 deliveries to be eligible for Instant Cashout.
Setting up how you get paid is pretty straightforward.
You go into the Instacart app, tap on a few menus to get to your payment methods, and add whatever works best for you, be it a debit or credit card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal.
There are step-by-step instructions in the app to guide you through it.
For Instant Cash Out, it’s a similar process, but you’ll be adding your debit card info specifically for this feature.
When Are Tips Paid?
Customers can tip through the app or in cash. The starting suggestion is 5% of their bill, but they can give more.
They can even increase the tip up to three days after you’ve delivered their groceries. And the good news – you get to keep all the tips you earn.
However, you don’t have to wait three days to cash out your tips.
Instacart now allows customers to decrease the tip up to 2 hours from the completion of the order. After that, the full batch payment is available for instant cashout.
If they decide to tip more later, that will be available in the next billing cycle.
Should You Use Weekly Pay or Instant Cashout?
When it comes down to it, choosing between waiting for the weekly payment or using Instant Cash Out is a personal choice.
Weekly payments are fee-free and predictable, but they can take a bit of time and you’re stuck with the payment schedule. Instant Cash Out is all about getting your money on your terms, quickly, but those little fees can add up.
It seems like the choice between the two really hinges on your individual needs. If you’re not in a rush and like your money to come in on a regular schedule, the weekly payments are your best bet.
But if you’re strapped for cash and need that money pronto, Instant Cash Out can be a real lifesaver, even if it means sacrificing a few cents for convenience.
What Other Shoppers Say
Some fellow Instacart shoppers shared their experiences:
“I use weekly payments because I like to budget my income and expenses on a weekly basis. I don’t mind waiting a few days for the money to show up in my account. Also don’t want to pay extra fees for something I don’t really need.” – says one Reddit user who seems to like the reliability of the weekly pay cycle.
Another Reddit user pitches in, “I use Instant Cash Out because I have bills to pay and sometimes I run out of cash before the end of the week. It’s very convenient to be able to get my money whenever I want. The fee is not a big deal for me, it’s worth the peace of mind.”
And there’s flexibility too, as one Quora user points out, “I use both options depending on the situation. Sometimes I use Instant Cash Out if I have an unexpected expense or I want to treat myself to something nice. Other times I use weekly payments if I don’t have any urgent needs and I want to save some money on fees.”
So, when it comes to when Instacart pays shoppers and more, you’ve got options, and the best choice really depends on your personal financial situation and preferences.
How Much You Make With Instacart
How much can you make with Instacart? Instacart says you should expect around $15 to $20 per hour, but this can go up or down based on how busy it is and how much you get in tips. If you’re an in-store shopper, you get a regular hourly wage, so it’s easier to guess what you’ll earn – just multiply your hourly pay by the hours you work.
Salary review websites suggest that in-store shoppers get an hourly rate between $10.50 and $16. These shoppers set up their work shifts based on when they’re free, up to 29 hours a week. So, an in-store shopper’s weekly earnings can range from $304.50 to $464, averaging around $377.
As a full-service shopper your take-home pay hinges on a bunch of stuff: the order’s size, how far you’re driving, the customer’s tip, and bonuses for working at peak times or dishing out top-notch service.
Instacart base pay is between $7 to $10 for each order, but this can dip lower for smaller, simpler orders.
Tips from customers can sweeten the deal. You see the tip before you take on an order, and you keep all of it. On average, tips are about 15%. Then there’s the peak boost during the supermarket rush hours or when the weather’s foul, which adds a bit more to your base pay.
According to some estimates, full-service shoppers’ income can range from $280 ($14/hour) and $515 ($25.75/hour) per week if you work 20 hours.
So, what’s the hourly rate? It’s a mixed bag. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, your earnings swing based on where you are, your experience, and a sprinkle of good fortune. The real test is to jump in and track your earnings and outgoings yourself.
A few shoppers in good-earning locations even make $1000 a week with smart strategies like this one.
Tips are generally a major part of the shopper’s income and can make this gig worth it or not so much. As a shopper put in his views, “My earnings really vary, but tips can really boost my income!”
Picking between being a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper ultimately depends on personal preferences, it’s all about what you fancy. Full-service shoppers shop and deliver groceries and are paid per order, with all the flexibility of being your own boss. In-store shoppers work in one store with prescheduled hours, don’t deliver, and get paid hourly with some employee benefits.
Extra Reading: How Long Is Instacart Waitlist?
How to Make More Money With Instacart
As a full-service Instacart shopper, you’re not promised minimum wage since you’re an independent contractor.
That means you’ve got to be savvy about what you’re earning versus your costs. The upside? You can be your own boss, pick the jobs you want, and potentially earn more than minimum wage if you play your cards right.
To ramp up your earnings, focusing on tips is key. Good communication with customers, being quick and accurate, and professional service can help you earn more.
A friendly message, updates on their shopping, and a thank you can go a long way. Plus, nailing the order details and being speedy but careful will surely help in getting those extra dollars in tips.
As this shopper suggests, “Communication is everything! A quick update about replacement and a smile can lead to great tips.”
Choose the Best Times to Shop
If you’re an Instacart shopper looking to make more money, understanding when Instacart pays and how to pick the right times and places to shop is key.
You see, when you shop matters a lot. Busy times like mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays mean more people are ordering groceries.
This is when Instacart might give you extra money for each order, called peak boosts, which can be anywhere from $2 to $12 or more.
Before you decide when to work, check the app to see when and where it’s busiest. Here’s my two cents: You should think about where you’re shopping. Places with lots of stores and customers close by can cut down on your driving time and up your chances of getting more orders.
Instacart’s app shows hotspots – areas with many available batches. If you’re smart, you’ll hang around these areas within your assigned zone.
Choose Your Orders Wisely
Now, not all batches are created equal. Instacart gives you all the details – the store, items, distance, time, and pay – before you accept a job.
Look for orders that pay well for the time you’ll spend, don’t have too many items, and aren’t too far away. Good tips are a bonus. But don’t reject too many batches; it could hurt your chances of getting the best ones later.
As this user commented, “I find it best to be choosy with batches. Quality over quantity for sure.”
Extra Reading: How to Do Instacart Demo Orders?
Provide Great Service
Providing top-notch customer service can also lead to more tips and better ratings, which means more money.
Be friendly, communicate well, and follow the customer’s instructions. If they have special requests, like how ripe they want their bananas, pay attention.
If you need to replace something that’s out of stock, get their okay first or make a good guess if they don’t answer. “I always make sure to communicate with the customer, especially if I need to replace an item. They appreciate it and often tip more,” says one shopper.
Going above and beyond can wow customers. Maybe pick the freshest produce or neatly pack their items.
A kind gesture like a thank note or a little extra help can make a big difference. After delivery, thank them again, and don’t be shy to ask for a tip or a good rating.
Keep An Eye On Your Costs
Don’t forget about your costs, like gas and car upkeep. Plan your routes to save on gas, and keep your vehicle in good shape to avoid pricey repairs.
Speaking of taxes, as an independent contractor, you’re in charge of paying your own.
Instacart doesn’t take taxes out of your payment. Keep a record of what you earn and spend on the job. This includes miles driven, car expenses, and a portion of your phone bill if you use it for work. When tax time comes, these records will be a lifesaver.
Using these Instacart tips like choosing the right times, places, and batches, providing excellent service, and managing your expenses well, you can make sure that the paycheque is as big as it can be. And good tax habits are part of being a savvy Instacart shopper.
Extra Reading: Best Driving Apps to Make Money!
Final Words About Getting Paid By Instacart
To wrap it up, Instacart pays its shoppers weekly via direct deposit, but if you can’t wait, there’s also Instant Cashout.
And as always, beyond the pay, it’s those tips, bonuses, and special offers that can really make your wallet happy. If you’re all about making smart choices, being on your toes, and dazzling customers, then your Instacart side hustle could really pay off.
Ready to turn shopping into your next money move? Signing up with Instacart is a breeze. Fill out that form, clear the background check, grab your Instacart card and some insulated bags, and you’re off to the races!
Instacart offers the freedom to work on your terms and get paid when you want, so sign up now.
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Sumeet is a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠ (CFEI®) and founder of MoneyFromSideHustle. He is an experienced side hustler who replaced his full-time income with side hustles. His work has been quoted on major finance websites like CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, GOBankingRates, MSN, Nasdaq, AOL, and more. He has helped thousands of people find side hustles and is here to help you find your extra source of income. More about him.