How Instacart Shoppers Pay For Groceries: Process Involved & How Profit Is Made

Are you housebound or have a long list of groceries and no time to hit the store? You can now shop online via the Instacart app and wait for shoppers to process payment and delivery. But how will these shoppers pay? 

When you place an order on the Instacart app, a shopper is assigned. He or she is responsible for selecting all the items or groceries on your list and preparing them for pick up or delivery. 

In most cases, Instacart shoppers do not pay for groceries or online orders after selection. However, they use the Instacart shopper (credit or debit) card when they do. 

Moving forward, you will find out how Instacart shoppers pay for groceries and how they make profits. 

Do Instacart Shoppers Pay for Groceries? 


To answer this question, you need to know the types of shoppers on Instacart. The store has two types of shoppers; full-service shoppers and in-store shoppers. 

Only a full-service Instacart shopper can pay and deliver your grocery orders. These shoppers are usually stationed around your locations, like Uber drivers. 

On the other hand, in-store shoppers only put grocery orders together and arrange them for pick-up or delivery. They will not pay for it or deliver it to you personally. 

How Do Instacart Shoppers Pay For Groceries? 

Now that you are aware that only full-service Instacart shoppers can pay for grocery deliveries let’s review how the process works: 

  1. Instacart shoppers pay for groceries via a special card called the Instacart shopper card. This card is preloaded and functions like any other credit or debit card. 
  2. It allows full-service shoppers to buy items from the store on behalf of customers. However, this card works exclusively for groceries ordered via the Instacart shopper app. 
  3. Lastly, shoppers cannot use the card elsewhere aside from the store they will be picking up the groceries. 

How Do Instacart Shoppers Make Profit? 

When you order via Instacart’s shopper app service, full-service shoppers within that location will get a notification or a pop-up. 

This notification usually contains your order, how much they will be making if they accept the request, and a proposed tip (which is optional). They have to decide fast. 

Whoever accepts the order, will shop for your items, pay for them using the Instacart shopper card, and deliver them to you. At the end of the delivery, their profit and tip (if there is any) will be credited to their wallet. 


How long does Instacart delivery take?

Delivery may take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the service area. 

Can you pick up your Instacart order?

Yes, park in one designated pickup spot and wait for the shopper to bring your groceries. However, some stores may require you to pick up your order inside. 

Do Instacart customers get free delivery?

Instacart offers unlimited free grocery delivery on orders above $35 and other exclusive benefits to customers on Instacart Plus (+).

Does Instacart provide shoppers with bags?

Instarcart offers shoppers 4 thermal bags discounted from their first earnings after signing up. However, you can choose not to receive these bags. 

How Do Shoppers Get an Instacart Payment Card?

Full-service shoppers get their Instacart card via mail or in person. 

In a Nutshell 

Not every Instacart shopper can pay for groceries. Only full-service shoppers pay for groceries with their preloaded Instacart card. 

This card works exclusively for grocery shopping and a select store. After completing a delivery, Instacart credits the shopper the promised amount. 

Unlike the traditional use of shoppers, this shopping mode is faster and does not require you to be in the store. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to find out if Walmart or Instacart accepts EBT cards for grocery purchases

Thanks for reading.