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When Does Instacart Pay Shoppers? (Complete 2023 Guide)

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As the gig economy continues to expand, jobs like Instacart are becoming more and more popular. These side hustles allow you to work on your own schedule. Plus, you don’t even need any experience to get started.

As with most side hustles, you can determine how much you make depending on how often you work. It’s important to look up information about your side hustle, including terms, payment schedules, and other regulations for workers.

Instacart, for instance, has a different payment schedule from other jobs like DoorDash or Uber Eats. If you’re considering becoming an Instacart shopper or already one, and you’re wondering when does Instacart pay shoppers, then this guide is for you.

This post is a complete guide to Instacart payments, including what you should expect regarding payment.

As you’re probably aware, Instacart shoppers earn money by shopping and or delivering groceries to customers within their area. This is a pretty decent way to make a little extra cash, so let’s get into the details of how it works.

When Does Instacart Pay You?

Instacart pays its shoppers weekly via direct deposit for all the batches completed the prior week (Monday to Sunday). If you don’t have your direct deposit set up, you’re mailed a check for the amount. The payments are processed on Wednesday, and sometimes it will take a while for your money to reflect in your account.

The payment period for Instacart shoppers is between Monday and Sunday at midnight. Whatever amount you earn within that time will be sent to you on Wednesday. 

Sometimes Instacart will pay you earlier based on the processing speed, but your funds will typically reflect in your account on Wednesday.

If you need to access your earnings instantly, Instacart has the Instant Cash Out option, where you get paid immediately after completing a job. You can sign up for this option by providing your debit card information to Instacart.

The Instant Cash Out option is great when you’re in a bind and need cash quickly. Instacart processes your earnings at a fee of $0.50, and you get your money without waiting for the whole week. 

You can access the feature as often as you want. There are no limits.

When Does Instacart Pay Weekly?

Instacart makes payments weekly every Wednesday for all the orders completed between Monday and Sunday of the previous week. You can expect to receive the payment via direct deposit in your bank account.

All Instacart weekly payments are processed on Wednesdays. However, you can instantly cash out your earnings using the Instant Cash Out feature. 

Instacart requires all shoppers to add their bank account information and set up their payment schedule in the app to make the process smooth.

Instacart will send you an email to let you know that your payment has been sent, and it may take anywhere from one to three business days for it to reflect on your end. Several factors may cause delays, but you can always contact Instacart support for queries.

What Time on Wednesday Does Instacart Pay?

Instacart releases payments on Wednesday, but the time it reflects in your account will depend on several factors. If you’ve arranged to receive your money via direct deposit, the amount typically arrives in your account on Wednesday morning.

Another factor that determines when you receive your money is your region. In some regions, you may receive your money on Thursday or Friday. 

If you’ve arranged to be paid by check, it’s mailed out on Wednesdays. This method is slower, and sometimes, when the postal service is backed up, the payment will delay.

Extra Reading: How Long Does the Instacart Waitlist Take?

How Much Do Instacart Shoppers Make in a Week?

As with most gig economy apps, several factors impact how much you can make with Instacart in a week. Based on information from trusted salary review sites like PayScale, Indeed, and Glassdoor, Instacart shoppers make roughly $17 to $20 per hour.

As an Instacart Full Service shopper, you’re an independent contractor, not an employee, so there’s no base pay or hourly wage. In-store Instacart shoppers earn a fixed hourly wage. 

For a full-service Instacart shopper, the amount you make depends on factors like the mileage you travel for the orders, how long it takes to complete the orders, and tips and bonuses you may receive.

The earning potential for Instacart shoppers is typically higher when there’s high customer demand. As such, shopping during the weekend and peak hours means more money. For full-service shoppers, you get to earn tips on top of the batch pay.

Another Instacart trick to make good money is to take large orders. Working large batches makes it easy to make between $20 and $25 per hour plus tips. 

Additionally, improving customer service by communicating frequently with the customer and using insulated bags for temperature-sensitive items will increase the chances of getting a good tip.

As a full-service shopper and independent contractor, you get to make your own schedule. This flexibility makes Instacart one of the most popular gig economy apps. You can look for orders in your area by setting your app to notify you whenever orders are available.

Factors like your rating and delivery time will affect the types of orders you see, affecting the amount of money you’ll make. Shoppers with higher customer ratings get priority access to good batches, so you should improve your ratings.

While Instacart is a relatively high-paying gig, it’s advisable to check other driving apps like Uber Eats or DoorDash and compare. The app with the larger market share in your area might have the highest earning potential.

How Much Does Instacart Pay Per Delivery?

Instacart has a complex pay structure, where the amount you earn as a shopper depends on many factors. On average, Instacart shoppers make at least $10 for each full-service batch delivery. This amount tends to vary, so the average pay per delivery is between $15 and $20.

Other factors considered in determining the amount to be paid include base pay, pay per item, heavy order pay, pay per mileage, customer tip, and more. As such, there is a large fluctuation in Instacart payouts.

How Much Does Instacart Pay Per Hour?

The average Instacart shopper earns roughly $8 per hour as an independent contractor and approximately $17 per hour as an in-store shopper. However, there are Instacart tips and tricks that can help you make over $25 per hour.

The factors that impact how much you make include:

  • The batch size
  • The number of items in the order
  • The time of day when the order is placed
  • The size of the items in the batch

As such, you may earn more per hour if you’re shopping for a large order during peak hours. There are also tips and bonuses you earn for maintaining a 5-star rating.

When Does Instacart Pay Tips?

Instacart shoppers receive their tips every Wednesday alongside the regular payment for the batches completed the prior week. As a shopper, you get to keep all your tips. Instacart breaks down all your earnings and tips in the earning tab in the Instacart Shopper app.

While Instacart recommends at least a 5% tip, it’s up to the customer, so you may earn more or less depending on the quality of your service. 

Additionally, Instacart customers can adjust their tip amounts within 24 hours, so your amount may change if the client adjusts their tip.

When Does Instacart Pay Promotions?

Instacart runs three types of earning promotions: Guaranteed earnings, a referral bonus, and a bonus for batch completion. These promotions are found under the earnings tab in the Instacart shopper app. Instacart also sends you text messages and emails about upcoming promotions.

Since these bonuses and promotions vary, the amount of time it takes for them to reflect also varies. In some cases, you will have promotion earnings show up within 24 hours. 

Instacart gives you all the necessary information on the promotions page under the earnings tab.

When Does Instacart Pay Direct Deposit?

Instacart payments are processed every week and sent via direct deposit. Instacart typically processes payments once a week on Wednesdays. 

Depending on your preferred method, your earnings may arrive on Wednesday morning or later if you prefer a mailed check.

Once your payment has been dispatched, Instacart sends you an email to notify you that the payment has been sent. 

While the procedure itself is quick, there could be factors that cause delays. If you have a problem, you can always contact Instacart support for assistance.

Does Instacart Pay for Gas?

No, Instacart doesn’t pay for gas. One of the challenges Instacart shoppers and other driving app workers face is the rising cost of gas. 

For most gig app drivers, you work as an independent contractor, which means you are solely responsible for any work-related expenses.

All expenses related to your vehicle are your responsibility. This means you pay for the following:

  • Gas
  • Car insurance
  • Car maintenance

It’s not all downside, though, as you can write off these expenses when filing your taxes. It’s important to keep track of your expenses to have an easier time come tax season. It’s also possible to write off the miles you cover when making deliveries.

To reduce your workload when filing your taxes, consult a tax professional or use tax prep software to make your work easier. 

Ensure you maintain accurate records of your mileage and an updated record of all your business-related expenses.

Does Instacart Deduct Taxes?

No. Instacart does not deduct taxes from Instacart shoppers because you’re an independent contractor. As such, it’s up to you to keep track and report your income during tax season. You should ensure you have a record of your income, expenses, and even tips.

Mileage-tracking apps like Hurdlr can help make your work easier. If you make over $600 per tax year, Instacart sends you a 1099-MISC tax form, which is the standard form for contract workers. 

You’re not required to send the form in with your taxes, but it serves as a guide to help you determine how much to report as your income.

You’ll most likely have to pay taxes quarterly. Failure to do so may mean paying the IRS a late penalty. You can avoid this by setting an amount aside regularly for tax purposes.

How Do Instacart Payments Work?

There’s a lot that goes into determining Instacart Shopper pay. Below, we take a look at how Instacart Shoppers make and what factors influence the amount:

Shopper Type

The first major factor that determines how much you make as an Instacart shopper is your role. 

Instacart has two job types: full-service and in-store Instacart shoppers. As a full-service shopper, you must complete the entire order, from shopping for the items to delivering them to the customer.

On the other hand, in-store shoppers are stationed in partner stores, ready to shop and bag everything a customer orders and have the items ready for pick-up. 

In-store shoppers have to choose hourly shifts, so their schedule is less flexible than that of full-service shoppers.

Region

Instacart payments also vary depending on your city or region. Full-service shoppers have the potential to make more from customer tips.

Working as an Instacart shopper in a city with a high population means high demand and your earning potential is higher than that of Instacart shoppers in rural areas.

Batch Incentive

This is the base amount you’re entitled to, depending on the customer’s ordered items. This amount is typically higher when there are heavy items on the shopping list.

Current Demand

Like most driving apps that pay, Instacart has pricing incentives during peak hours. When there’s a high demand, you can make significantly more than your normal base pay.

Distance

Instacart calculates a small mileage reimbursement into your pay. This amount varies from city to city.

Instacart Bonuses

Instacart has bonuses to reward the best shoppers. Bonuses like the Quality Bonus and Peak Boost are incentives to help retain good workers on the platform. 

The Quality Bonus is a $3 bonus given to Instacart shoppers who maintain a 5-star rating from customers.

The Peak Boost is an additional payout given to drivers who drive when there’s high demand.

Tipping

As an Instacart shopper, you get to keep 100% of your tips. Aside from the incentives and bonuses, customer tips are a large percentage of additional earnings.

Highest-Paying Instacart Alternatives

Instacart is a decent side hustle and an effective way to earn extra bucks in your free time. Still, you can try out different gig economy apps to find the best fit. 

Additionally, there are no rules against using multiple apps simultaneously to maximize your earnings.

Here are some jobs like Instacart that you can try:

  • Uber Eats: This is Uber’s food delivery service and is available almost globally. The service is on-demand. You can sign up in whichever city you’re in. As an Uber Eats driver, your job is to deliver fast food and restaurant meals to customers in your area.
  • DoorDash: One of the most popular side gig apps, DoorDash is a food and grocery delivery app you can sign up for. Even if you don’t have a vehicle, you can use a bike or scooter to make DoorDash deliveries.
  • GrubHub: This is another popular food delivery gig that partners with local restaurants in dozens of cities across the U.S. It’s a pretty flexible side hustle with an earning potential of between $10 and $15 per hour.
  • Amazon Flex: you can also sign up to work as an Amazon Flex driver, where you work in scheduled blocks, delivering Amazon packages in your area.
  • GoShare: You can make good money helping people move on Goshare. The platform connects people who need help moving with available drivers in their area. The amount you make depends on the type of vehicle you have.
  • TaskRabbit: This is a large gig marketplace that connects people who need help with tasks like moving, cleaning, yard work, furniture assembly, and more with Taskers available.
  • Bellhop: Another moving help platform. Bellhop is a great app you can use to connect with people who need help with local and long-distance moves.

Final Thoughts

Instacart schedules its payments for Wednesdays every week. If you’re a shopper who has set up direct deposit, you’ll see the amount in your account within the same day. 

Depending on your region, the amount may take up to 48 hours to reflect.

Most Instacart shoppers get paid weekly, but sometimes situations arise when you need the cash sooner. In such instances, you can access your money using the Instant Cash Out option. This feature is great for emergencies where money is needed fast. 

Want other side hustles to make money? Check out:

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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