Mastercard, Instacart Announce New Partnership

Cardholders can access two months of free delivery from Instacart.

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Need to Know

  • Mastercard cardholders who are not currently Instacart Express members can now sign up and receive a two-month membership for free.
  • Instacart Express costs $99 per month and enables free delivery on grocery orders costing more than $35.
  • In order to access the free membership, Mastercard cardholders must set their Mastercard as the default paying option.
  • The new partnership is taking advantage of unprecedented growth in online grocery orders.

Analysis

Instacart, the online grocery-delivery company, has partnered with Mastercard to offer free Instacart Express memberships to eligible cardholders.

Instacart Express, which costs $99 per month, gives members free delivery on grocery orders costing more than $35. In order to access a free membership, Mastercard cardholders must not currently have an Instacart Express membership and must set their Mastercard as their default payment option. The complimentary Express membership will last two months.

Mastercard is choosing a strong, strategic partner in Instacart: online grocery shopping has seen a significant spike in usage since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with online grocery sales accounting for 10.2% of total grocery sales in the US since the start of the pandemic, compared to 4.3% before. According to a Mercatus survey, 43% of consumers reported shopping for groceries online in the past six months, compared to 24% in 2018.

“One thing is certain — consumers will continue to seek out digitally-driven experiences regardless of what the future holds,” Jess Turner, EVP of North America products & innovation at Mastercard, said in a press release announcing the partnership. “We are using our technology and partnerships to make sure our products can power both value and convenience in their everyday lives as well as the priceless possibilities that lay ahead of us.” 

The Mastercard-Instacart team-up is the second significant online grocery partnership in recent months. In July, Uber announced that it would be launching grocery delivery with Cornershop, a major Instacart competitor, in Canada, with the service planned to roll out in the U.S. in the coming months.

Mastercard has made several announcements lately that demonstrate its commitment to serving a consumer base whose spending and budgeting priorities have shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the company revealed a partnership with Splitit, the buy now, pay later startup, which will enable Mastercard cardholders to access a wider variety of financing options. The company has also expanded its Click to Pay online checkout options, as more consumers turn to e-commerce due to the pandemic.

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