Instacart Review: How You Can Make $20 Per Hour in Your Spare Time

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When John Miller signed up for Instacart, he had no idea how lucrative the work would be.

“An Instacart shopper can earn up to $1,500 a week,” he said. “And you can set your own schedule.”

If you’re looking for a well-paying side gig, delivering groceries as an Instacart worker can be a great option. The work is easy, and the pay can be excellent.

Instacart review

Instacart is the perfect solution for those looking to earn extra cash outside of their full-time jobs. If you’re interested in signing up, this Instacart review has everything you need to know about the job.

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service. Users place orders for food and household essentials, and an Instacart shopper handpicks the items before delivering them to the customer’s door.

For busy individuals who are short on time, using a grocery delivery service can help them get healthy, nutritious foods or snacks without spending hours at the store. It’s also a convenient option for those with disabilities, limited mobility, or who don’t own a car.

The service is available in 34 states and hundreds of metro areas and neighborhoods. As demand grows and the company continues to succeed, the company plans to expand to all 50 states.

What the Instacart shopper experience is like

Though wages vary, Instacart shoppers can make as much as $20 an hour and choose how many hours they want to work each week. For Miller, who’s based out of Illinois, that means he can work longer shifts just a few days a week and still make a good income.

If you’re a driver or shopper with Instacart, there’s no limit to the number of hours you can work each week. (Though other roles impose a 29-hour workweek limit.)

If you worked just 15 hours a week, taking orders on nights and weekends when you aren’t at your full-time job, you could make up to $300 a week. That extra $1,200 a month can go a long way in helping boost your savings fund or pay down debt faster.

If you decided to make this gig a full-time job, you could earn much more. You could make $800 a week if you worked a typical 40-hour workweek, giving you have an annual income of $38,400. If you needed extra money to cover an unexpected expense, you could work a few extra hours to increase your income even more.

Instacart shoppers can receive in-app or cash tips. And unlike Shipt, one of Instacart’s leading competitors, the company offers a wage guarantee.

“The tipping option goes hand-in-hand with how an Instacart shopper gets paid,” said Miller. “And Instacart offers an hourly guarantee. This guarantee means that if a shopper is available for their selected hours, there is a minimum amount that the worker will receive. This is especially lucrative on the slow days.”

How to accept Instacart jobs and get paid

Unlike Shipt, where shoppers can accept orders hours or even days ahead of schedule, Instacart workers have a much shorter window. Instacart workers can choose their desired shifts, but they won’t receive orders until their shift starts. There can sometimes be fierce competition for orders.

“One begins this job by going on the Instacart shopper app and check-marking every available hour one wants to work throughout the entire work week,” explained Miller. “A new or part-time shopper has access to future jobs starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. You better hurry, because those orders are often grabbed within five minutes.”

As a long-time shopper who picks up plenty of hours, Miller is part of a group who has early access to orders, which gives them an earnings advantage.

“When you work enough hours, you get ‘early access,’” he says. “This means the shopper can grab hours earlier in the week. Early access shoppers get access at 9 a.m. on Sundays.”

Once you have claimed your time slots, walk or drive to the delivery zone when your shift starts.

“If I’m on a shift with Instacart, I often park in a centralized lot because I live about 1,000 feet from the delivery zone,” said Miller. “Once a shopper accepts an order with Instacart, they have 30 minutes to start shopping. Because I shop at the same store almost exclusively, I know where most items are and am quite speedy with picking up the order.”

That speed really helps improve Miller’s earnings.

“Shoppers should stay in a zone with the most business and where they know the store,” he said. “It’s all about speed. The faster you complete an order, the faster you can move on to the next.”

Instacart shoppers are issued a special credit card to pay for groceries at the store, and their earnings are based on a commission of the total order cost. The more orders you complete, the more you get paid.

Shoppers are paid weekly via direct deposit.

How to become an Instacart shopper

Most Instacart shoppers are independent contractors. To qualify for a role, you must be 21 or older (18 or older in Boston) and be able to lift at least 30 pounds. You must be eligible for employment within the U.S. and have a recent smartphone.

There are four positions you can choose from: shopper, cashier, driver, and driver-shopper.

If you are a base shopper or cashier, you do not need a vehicle. However, you can only work a maximum of 29 hours a week, and the positions pay less than the other roles. Drivers or driver-shoppers can work an unlimited number of hours.

Miller says the process to apply for Instacart jobs is quick and straightforward.

“The application process was simple and expedient,” he says. “[I went through a] background check, tutorial, and a quick meet-and-greet to get the shopper’s lanyard and T-shirt. I was hired and working within a week.”

To get started, visit the Instacart “Become a Shopper” page. The application process takes about five minutes to complete.

Instacart jobs

Image credit: Instacart

The site will ask you to enter your information, including your zip code and cellphone number. From there, you will be prompted to confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements. Then, it will ask you if you have access to a vehicle and have more than two years of driving experience.

Once your application is approved, you are asked to schedule an in-person meeting with a company representative at a local grocery store. You’ll learn how Instacart works and how to use the app to select orders. After your in-person session, Instacart will perform a background check.

Next steps for your side gig

The biggest perk of Instacart is the ability to control how much you work and what you earn; you can log in and select hours that fit your schedule when you need the cash.

In most cases, you can begin shopping and earning money within one week. This Instacart review can help you navigate the application process so that you can get started quickly.

If you want to become an Instacart shopper, check out the Instacart site.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 6.66%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.99% – 5.64%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.98% – 8.55%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 10/15/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.98% APR to 8.55% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.