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Can I Use a Prepaid Card on Instacart?

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Can I Use Prepaid Cards on Instacart

Can I Use Prepaid Cards to Buy Groceries on Instacart?


Yes, you can use a prepaid card with Instacart. Make sure you have a few dollars on your available balance when first adding your prepaid card to Instacart. Instacart will deduct a few cents from your card to ensure transactions can take place. The cents deducted is placed on hold and will be returned to your prepaid card account at a later time.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to view screenshots of our Serve prepaid card attached to our Instacart account, a receipt of our transaction and proof of delivery or continue reading to find out how Instacart works.


What is Instacart?

Founded by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo on June 2012,  Instacart is a grocery delivery and pick-up service. Instacart allow consumers to purchase groceries, household items, fast food and more from supermarkets and retail stores and have those items dropped off directly to the consumer's door.

How Instacart Work For Shoppers

How Does Instacart Work?
Instacart website and mobile application is incredibly simple to use. Here's a step-by-step guide how Instacart works for shoppers (not for Instacart drivers).

1. Visit Instacart official website at www.instacart.com or download their mobile app (Android or IOS).

2. Enter your current address into the pop up for. Instacart will check your address to see if your area is eligible for delivery. Once it has been confirmed that delivery is available for your area proceed to the next step.

3. Create an account (or log in if you already have an existing account). We created our account by logging into Google because it was super fast and took no time at all to setup.

4. Add payment method to your account. This is where you will be adding your prepaid card to Instacart. Click on your username. a drop-down menu should appear with many options. Click on "Your Account". once you've done that click on "Payment Methods". If you are on a desktop the option will be located on the left menu. Add your prepaid card information and that is it. You should be all set! Navigate back to the home page and proceed to the next step.

5. Choose a store that you want to shop. Instacart allow you to choose from a list of local retailers from grocery chains such as Giant, Save-a-lot, Key Foods and Food Lion, to other retail stores such as Family Dollar, CVS, Price Rite and Target. Although Instacart is primarily a grocery delivery service, the company also allow users to get other non-food items delivered to their door such as alcohol, pharmacy, pet and specialty items. Its important to remember that the store list shown to you is based on your location.

6. Shop for the items you are searching for. Unlike walking into a supermarket you can comfortably take your slow time choosing the groceries you want to purchase, think about the quantities you may need, view nutrition information and compare the price to other stores online with a quick Google search. The con of online grocery shopping is you never really get the extensive list of products that are currently online, imported online. Once you've added all of the desired items to your shopping cart proceed to checkout and place your order.

7. Choose your Delivery time. Instacart allow users to choose the day and time they wish to have their groceries delivered. The time varies from store to store but on average users can receive their order from 6am in the morning  until 8pm at night.

8. Deciding the tip you give your Instacart driver is optional. By default Instacart chooses a 5% tip based on the total order amount. This option should be on the same page as the window where you choose your delivery time.

9. Place your order. Your prepaid card will be selected as the payment method. Please make sure you have $15-20 above your total order amount on your prepaid card balance. Instacart puts a hold on your prepaid card to make sure you have enough to pay for your order and to cover the cost for a slightly more expensive items (that you choose as a replacement in case your selected item is out of stock). For example our Total amount due was $50, however, Instacart tells you that a $65 hold will be placed on your card. Depending on unavailable items or replacements you may end up paying more than your total amount (not by much) or less.The remaining hold amount will be returned to your prepaid card.

*Note: If you have $100 on your available balance and Instacart stated they will place a $75 on your prepaid card, don't be alarm if your entire balance is taken. The excess funds will be returned to you. However, to avoid this from happening leave only $15 - $20 more than your total order amount on the card and transfer the rest to your savings account.

We Were Able to Use Our Serve Prepaid Card on Instacart (Proof)

Below is a series of screenshots with explanations that will prove you can use your prepaid card with Instacart. However, if you have searched for the answer "Can i use a prepaid card on Instacart?" you'll notice many people stating you cannot. In fact we previously attempted to use the same exact Serve prepaid card and we was not able to successfully complete the transaction. The current 2020 pandemic may have a role as to why Instacart start allowing users to pay for their groceries using a prepaid card. Below is a screenshot of our Serve card transaction activity which shows Instacart has placed the entire $74.75 on our available balance on hold. As we mentioned at the beginning of this post when first adding your prepaid card Instacart will place a few cents on hold to ensure you card can be debited. The -$0.12 cents is the amount placed on hold on our Serve card.

Prepaid card on InstacartOur Instacart Order Was Placed

We ordered a few items from Save-A-Lot supermarket, which is by far one of the best grocery stores to buy from if you are looking to save money and are on a budget.

Save-a-Lot groceriesInitially we were charged $50 (give or take a few cents). As our Instacart courier was shopping one item had to be replaced for a cheaper brand and another item was currently out of stock, so we weren't charged for that. The total amount we ended up paying was $43.49. The $30+ that was placed on hold was released after a day which was great because Instacart tells you it will take between 3-7 business days for the funds to arrive back on your prepaid card account. The screenshot below shows what we were actually charged.

Instacart Checkout

Proof of Instacart Delivery

Instacart courier Willie was prompt and quick. We've ordered the groceries for same day delivery and felt satisfied with the service. Throughout the entire process Instacart support sent us text messages and emails to inform us where our delivery was at. we received our delivery and was very satisfied. So satisfied that we used our prepaid card again on Instacart for a larger delivery.

Proof of Instacart Delivery

 Voila! Our Order Has Arrived

Being from NYC many residents adapt to eating at restaurants, fast food or takeouts. This is an alternative to takeout. We try to eat fairly healthy and quick. The canned chicken is a great source of protein and little to no fat. Same with the tuna and everything pairs great with rice (this rice takes 90 seconds). So in conclusion yes, you can use a prepaid card on Instacart as we have just provided proof and explained the checkout process and everything you need to know. Good luck!

Instacart delivery