Instacart Now Has Its Own Credit Card — It’s Not Terrible
In the years that I’ve been covering personal finance, credit cards have easily become one of my favorite things to write about. Specifically, it’s always fun when a new or revamped card is announced. Good or bad, I love pouring over the details and assessing the pros/cons of a card. And while co-branded cards from services I don’t use very often might seem to be at an instant disadvantage, as someone who once fell for the (now-defunct) Uber Card back in the day, I at least like taking the time to take a look at these options when they hit the market in case there are good surprises. With that in mind let’s go through the Instacart Mastercard from Chase together and discuss what it has to offer.
Starting with the rewards, as one might expect, the card earns 5% back on Instacart orders. However, what you might not expect is that this 5% is issued as cashback. In other words, while I personally worried that the card would only earn Instacart credits, your earnings can instead be used for statement credits, deposits to your checking account, or, yes, Instacart orders. Continuing with the rewards categories, the Instacart Mastercard also earns 5% on bookings made via Chase Travel Center. Then, the card throws in some more generic spending categories as dining, gas, and select streaming service purchases will all earn 2% back. Per usual, any purchases outside of these categories will earn 1% back.
Notably, the Instacart Mastercard has no annual fee. Similarly, it also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. And, with the card being a World Elite Mastercard, it will feature the perks that come with that distinction.
Turning to the welcome bonus, Instacart and Chase are rewarding early adopters with an interesting deal. The first 10,000 customers to apply and be approved for the card before August 4th will score $200 in Instacart credit as well as a free year of Instacart+. That membership entitles customers to free delivery on orders over $35, 5% back on pickup orders, and other benefits. Typically, the service comes at a cost of $99 a year. As for those who don’t make the 10,000-person cut-off, they’ll apparently still earn $100 in Instacart credit as well as that free year of Instacart+.
So what do I think about the Instacart Mastercard? Well, for one, I will say that I’m impressed that it earns regular cashback as opposed to just Instacart credit. While we’re putting marks in the “pro” column, I do find it interesting that Chase and Instacart are offering a welcome bonus that’s not tied to any minimum spending requirement. That said, while $200 is a pretty good return for a no annual fee card and no minimum spend, keep in mind that the increased prices on Instacart will cut into that bonus a bit. Still, I see this bonus as being pretty easy to use. Similarly, 5% back on Instacart purchases is a perfect perk for this card.
As for downsides, although the presence of practical rewards categories such as dining and gas may make the card seem more well-rounded, the truth is that — with these categories only earning 2% back — they’re likely not much of a factor for anyone with more than a couple of other credit cards. The story is the same for the 5% Chase Travel Center category as this has been a feature added to many Chase cards as of late, including the Freedom, Freedom Flex, Sapphire Preferred, and more.
Weighing the pros and cons, I have to say that the Instacart Mastercard is… fine. If you’re a regular Instacart user, the 5% cashback and (up to) $200 welcome bonus could make it worth taking a flyer on. Outside of that, though, those like me who only use Instacart once in a while are unlikely to get many benefits from the card long-term.