With the new year comes a decision for many credit card enthusiasts, as to which cards will retain spots in their wallet.
I personally like to do a little inventory to determine how much value and use I have gotten from each of my cards, since many of them have annual fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve has been the travel rewards card that I have had in my wallet the longest. But with Amex Platinum continuing to add more benefits and more Centurion lounges, and with the launch of the Capital One Venture X, I decided to take a more granular look at my usage and the value I got back last year from my CSR.
At a $550 annual fee, I decided to really crunch the numbers, and one benefit in particular stood out to me as something that no other card offers – and it’s a benefit that I use weekly and get a ton of value out of… Instacart.
It surprised me when I realized that my favorite and most used benefit on one of the top travel rewards cards was a grocery delivery service. And it’s one of the main reasons why I have decided to renew my Chase Sapphire Reserve in 2023.
Why I love Instacart+
I signed up for the one-year free Instacart+ membership (which costs $99 per year) with my Chase Sapphire Reserve when the benefit launched back in June 2022. I live in a smaller city in Florida where Walmart+, Amazon Fresh and Shipt are not really options for me. On the other hand, Instacart+ offers delivery and pickup for me at a variety of retailers in my town: Publix, Fresh Market, Aldi, Sprouts, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Petco and many more.
So far, I have placed 35 Instacart orders, I have saved 50 hours of shopping at stores (according to my Instacart stats year-end-review recap), and I have saved $120 in fees.
I personally was one of those people who loved going to the grocery store. I enjoyed strolling the aisles for the best deals, picking out the freshest produce, chit chatting with friends I ran into, etc. But I have to say, you can’t put a price tag on convenience and on saving time – especially in this day and age! – and Instacart+ has saved me so much time and hassle over the past 6 months.
The app experience is easy and seamless, delivery and pickup have always been a breeze, and I have never had an issue with the quality of the fresh produce, meat, bakery items or cheese that I have ordered.
There is nothing better than having neatly packaged, fresh groceries delivered right to your door, or pulling into a pickup spot and having your car quickly loaded up for you. It sure beats running around the store to grab what you need, waiting in lines, loading the car yourself, and then making your way home.
I am clearly a big Instacart fangirl, and I love all of the perks that come with this CSR benefit. Instacart+ membership includes the following: Unlimited free delivery on orders $35+, 5% back on pickup orders, a free family account and more.
To make my Instacart+ membership work that much harder for me, I typically pick up my order to get the 5% back. While having your groceries delivered is super convenient, saving 5% on my order and not having to tip the delivery driver makes this my go-to option.
I simply schedule my order for pickup within the timeframe that I know that I will be running errands near where the store is. Then I pull up, get my car loaded for me, and off I go. I have been in and out with my order in as little as 3 minutes, but it has never taken me longer than 10 minutes.
Chase Cards That Offer Instacart Perks
Not only does Chase offer complimentary Instacart+ memberships (worth $99 per year) for numerous cardholders, but they’re now also offering Instacart statement credits on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on which card you have:
- Cardholders receive 1 year of complimentary Instacart+ (must be activated by July 31, 2024).
- $15 in monthly statement credits (through July 2024).
Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- Cardholders receive 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (must be activated by July 31, 2024).
- $15 in quarterly statement credits (through July 2024).
Chase Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Student card
- Cardholders receive 3 months of complimentary Instacart+ (must be activated by July 31, 2024).
- $10 in quarterly statement credits (through July 2024).
To enroll for Instacart+, eligible Chase cardholders simply need to sign up via the promotional link by July 31, 2024. If you already have an Instacart+ membership, you can still enroll at the promotional link, and then enter your Sapphire or Freedom account number to link your Instacart account to your Chase card and receive the above benefits.
You can’t put a price on ease and convenience in this day and age, and Chase’s Instacart benefit has become my favorite and most used benefit out of all of my credit cards! Plus, it’s always nice when card issuers add unique perks like this, without taking anything else away.
If you haven’t already signed up for Chase’s free Instacart+ membership, then give it a try, as you’re also missing out on monthly/quarterly Instacart statement credits that can help you offset your annual fee. Check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
Respectfully, I don’t find Instacart valuable at all. To the contrary, Instacart always has full retail prices even when the products are on sale and/or even with additional store coupons if buying in store. None of these discounts ever get offered by Instacart. Does Instacart give convenience? Yes. Does Instacart offer best prices? Absolutely not. Convenience is not free and does come with a price. With Instacart, it comes with hefty prices which do add up fast and invalidate the convenience. I admit I am very price conscious/sensitive over getting convenience.
That’s too bad that Instacart doesn’t offer in store discounts in their app for the stores you want to purchase from. For me, I place all of my Instacart orders at Publix, and all of the weekly specials, buy one get one frees, etc. are accounted for in the app. I agree that if you can’t get the same deals in the app versus in store that this would very much change my tone of this post, but for me, that has not been the case as I still have access to the same deals as in-store shoppers.
As someone who can put a price on convenience, I need to see the math. I suspect the real value is as a topic for a throwaway blog post.
Everyone values different things, and to me, paying a smidge more for my groceries is balanced out with the convenience of the service. Plus, since I generally pickup my order and save 5% on my order, to me it all cancels out, and I come out the winner without having to waste and hour or more in the store multiple times per week.
Of course anyone can believe what they want, & everyone should always do research & good reviews to verify everything. My verification & experiences say to avoid Instacart & anything chase related. Discovered after 7& 15 years @instacart & Chase the very horrible customer service. But to each is own,& decide for yourself.
I haven’t had any issues with Instacart customer service, but like every service out there, nothing is perfect and sometimes things don’t go to plan. Overall, I have been really happy with my experience over the past 6 months and don’t have anything negative to say about it so far!
Instacart is offered for a limited time to new signups only. Why would it be a reason to renew the card?
The Instacart benefit is not only for new cardholders that sign up, but for all Sapphire and Freedom cardholders. You just need to sign up and opt in to the offer. In terms of why I renewed my card, my annual fee hit in December, and since I still have my free Instacart+ membership through June, I decided it was a major factor for me to renew. Also, it’s not uncommon for offers like the Instacart benefit to be extended beyond the date originally communicated, so I am hoping Chase will keep the free Instacart+ as a perk for Sapphire Reserve cardholders. Only time will tell and we’ll see what they decide to do!
Why can’t more people in life be positive and optimistic like CeCi
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