8 Jobs Like Instacart

Instacart is a popular gig economy app that allows you to shop for and deliver groceries and other products from local grocery stores. Working as an Instacart shopper has become a popular side gig for hundreds of thousands. The flexibility that Instacart provides, along with the potential for extra income, makes it a great gig economy job.

But Instacart isn't the only popular food & goods delivery app you can use to make money. Several other apps offer similar flexibility and income-earning potential.

Here are 8 food & goods delivery services like Instacart that may or may not be a better fit for you.

Best ForLearn More
spark driver logoSide hustlers with a Walmart nearbyLearn More
Shipt logoMinimum hourly earnings guaranteeLearn More
Grubhub logoThose looking for variety in their deliveriesLearn More
Favor logoTexas-based delivery driversLearn More
GoPuff logoDelivery drivers looking for more of that “job” feelLearn More
Ubereats LogoThe delivery driver that wants maximum flexibilityLearn More
DoorDash LogoDrivers near popular restaurant hubsLearn More
Amazon Flex logoDrivers who prefer schedule shift and preset pay ratesLearn More

Spark Driver

Best For: Side hustlers with a Walmart nearby

Number of Cities: 3650 | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Many available positions
➕ Attractive incentive program
➕ Bonus earnings available
➖ Not much variety–Walmart deliveries only
➖ Limited payout options

Pay Frequency: Weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Spark Driver

Spark Driver is Walmart’s version of Instacart. The app works in all 50 states and over 3,600 cities. 

With Spark Driver, you can choose whether to shop and deliver or just deliver. Earnings are based on several factors, including distance, size of the order, and more. 

Before accepting a job, you’ll be notified of how much you’ll get paid, including potential tips. However, like most delivery apps, customers can modify or remove the tip amount after a delivery.

Extra earning opportunities include lump sum earnings, tiered incentives, and per-trip incentives. See the Spark Driver website for more information. 

Spark Drivers must be 18+, have a reliable car, proof of insurance, and a clean driving record. Some states require background checks. Motorcycles or motorized bikes are not allowed. 

Spark Driver vs. Instacart

Spark encourages drivers to use a third-party digital wallet to receive earnings quickly. Instacart offers two payment options: weekly Direct Deposit or Instant Cash Out for $0.50 per cashout. 

Some reviewers state that Spark pays more than Instacart. The best way to earn more with Instacart is to work during peak hours (typically evenings and weekends).

Learn More About Spark Driver

Shipt

Best For: Minimum hourly earnings guarantee

Number of Cities: 5000+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Minimum hourly earnings guarantee
➕ Weekly or instant pay
➕ Drivers get a free Shipt membership
➖ Work time is scheduled by route (less flexibility)
➖ Less available routes than some larger delivery companies

Pay Frequency: Daily or Weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Shipt

Shipt is owned by Target, just like Spark is owned by Walmart. However, as a Shipt driver, you’ll deliver to more stores than Target.

Shipt pays you based on the time and effort required for each individual route. You can choose your routes up to two days in advance. You keep 100% of the tips you earn. Pay is weekly or instant.

To work for Shipt, you need to be 18 years of age, have access to a reliable car (no 2-door sedans), be on the car’s insurance policy, and be able to lift at least 50 pounds. You must also have a valid U.S. driver's license and mailing address. 

Shipt vs. Instacart

Shipt has a feature called Shipt earnings standard that guarantees earning at least $16 per hour. Instacart doesn’t offer this feature. 

Like Instacart, Shipt offers bonuses and other incentives that can lead to increased income. Like Instacart, you can shop and deliver or deliver orders only. 

Learn More About Shipt

Grubhub

Best For: Those looking for variety in their deliveries

Number of Cities: 4000+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Reputation for paying well
➕ Weekly or daily pay
➕ Variety of delivery types
➖ Daily pay is limited to 1X daily
➖ Schedule must be in blocks, no random on/off scheduling

Pay Frequency: Daily or Weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Grubhub

Best for: Those looking for variety in their deliveries

Looking for a great meal delivery job? Grubhub offers nationwide delivery in the United States. As a delivery driver for Grubhub, you might have orders from restaurants, liquor stores, or convenience stores.  

You can deliver using a car or bicycle in some areas. Drivers schedule blocks of time during which they work. 

As is typical with delivery jobs, you’ll be offered a predetermined pay amount and keep 100% of tips. Driver recognition rewards offer better pay and other benefits, such as priority shift scheduling. You can get paid on Thursdays via Direct Deposit or choose daily pay for a small fee. 

You must have a newer cell phone with a data plan, a valid state ID or driver’s license, and proof of insurance if you have a car. 

Instacart vs. Grubhub

While Instacart offers a more flexible schedule (you can work anytime by scheduling shifts), Grubhub has a reputation for higher pay per trip.

Conversely, Instacart allows you to cash out after each job, while Grubhub offers instant cash daily (for a small fee). 

See our article on DoorDash vs. GrubHub for more information on these two delivery driver options.

Learn More About Grubhub

Favor

Best For: Texas-based delivery drivers

Number of Cities: 400+ (Texas-only) | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Considered a top-paying delivery service
➕ Some areas offer hourly earnings guarantees
➕ Bicycle delivery available in some areas
➖ Limited availability could impact income opportunities

Pay Frequency: Instant or weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Favour

Favor offers a “personal assistant” delivery service for alcohol, dry cleaning, restaurants, groceries, and more. As a runner with Favor, you can set your own schedule.

You’ll earn a portion of the delivery fee for each completed run and keep 100% of the tips. Earn more when you schedule delivery shifts in advance. 

Favor runners get paid weekly via Direct Deposit, although they have the option for instant pay when you pay a $0.99 fee.

Instacart vs Favor

Aside from the limited delivery locations Favor offers, there are a few things in Favor’s “favor.” Scheduling shifts in advance equates to a guaranteed minimum hourly wage. Favor also allows you to deliver on a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle in some areas. 

Although Instacart offers bonus pay opportunities, there are no minimum hourly wage guarantees. Both Instacart and Favor offer a few different pay options.

Learn More About Favour

GoPuff

Best For: Delivery drivers looking for more of a “job” feel

Number of Cities: 650+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 21

➕ One central pickup location
➕ You get “Wait Pay” between deliveries
➕ 24/7 scheduling available
➖ Fewer available cities than other companies
➖ High minimum driver age of 21

Pay Frequency: Instant or weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About GoPuff

GoPuff functions like Amazon in that orders are fulfilled from a warehouse. The company offers delivery of over-the-counter meds, grocery items, alcohol and more.

As a GoPuff driver, you’ll go to the warehouse, pick up the order, and deliver it to its destination. You can sign in and out of the app to work whenever you’d like or work predesignated shifts. 

You’ll be offered a specified pay amount for each delivery and keep 100% of the tips. As a GoPuff driver, you must be at least 21 and have a smartphone with the most up-to-date operating system. The higher age requirement is likely because you could be delivering alcohol, smoking, and drug products.

As such, you'll need to ID customers when required.

You’ll also need a reliable vehicle with insurance in your name. Payday is available via direct deposit every Tuesday, with an option for instant cashout.

Instacart vs. GoPuff

The main difference between Instacart and GoPuff is that GoPuff has only one pickup location, which can be an attractive feature. GoPuff is also operational 24/7, which may result in more delivery opportunities.

Also, GoPuff offers “Wait Pay.” Wait pay is a per-minute amount earned when you sign into the app and wait for orders. 

Learn More About GoPuff

Uber Eats

Best For: The delivery driver who wants maximum flexibility

Number of Cities: 6000+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Maximum work flexibility
➕ 24/7 scheduling possible
➕ Pay for pickup, dropoff, and  per mile
➖ No minimum pay guarantee
➖ Vehicle requirements are stricter in some areas

Pay Frequency: Instant or weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Uber Eats

Uber Eats delivers restaurant meals to over 6,000 cities in 45 countries worldwide. Of the apps mentioned here, it offers the most flexibility.

You can sign up for one delivery and then head home or sign up for a shift. You can get paid by bank transfer weekly or choose instant cashout for a small fee. 

Drivers must have at least one year of licensed driving experience and a four-door car. Depending on where you live, you may also have the option of delivering by bicycle, scooter, or on foot.

Note that some areas may have stricter vehicle requirements.

Instacart vs. Uber Eats

The main difference between Instacart and Uber Eats is that Uber Eats operates 24/7, while Instacart is only available when partner stores are open. 

Uber Eats focuses on restaurant delivery, while Instacart focuses on store delivery.

Learn More About Uber Eats

DoorDash

Best For: Drivers near popular restaurant hubs

Number of Cities: 4000+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 18

➕ Flexible work hours or shifts available
➕ Reputation for good pay
➕ Wide variety of payout options
➖ Some job markets may be oversaturated 
 

Pay Frequency: Instant or weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About DoorDash

DoorDash delivers restaurant and takeout food orders rather than groceries. You get paid for deliveries with a base pay amount plus tips. 

There are also opportunities to earn promotional bonuses. For example, you could earn promotional pay for working during peak delivery hours. 

You could also earn promotional pay for delivering a certain number of orders in a row. You have the option to cash out your pay instantly. 

Drivers are required to have a valid driver’s license and insurance, a reliable car, and a U.S. Social Security number.

Instacart vs. DoorDash

One main difference between Instacart and DoorDash is that DoorDash allows you to sign in anytime to work, or to set a specific schedule to work. Check out our full DoorDash review to learn more. 

Learn More About DoorDash

Amazon Flex

Best For: Drivers who prefer scheduled shifts and preset pay rates

Number of Cities: 100+ | Tips: Yes | Min. Driver Age: 21

➕ Know what you’re earning before your shift
➕ Early delivery doesn’t affect your pay rate
➕ Flexible pay options
➖ 21+ years old age requirement for drivers

Pay Frequency: Daily, weekly

Earning Incentives: Yes

Learn More About Amazon Flex

As an Amazon Flex driver, you’ll deliver Amazon orders from Amazon warehouses to waiting customers. Your schedule is flexible based on your availability but must be scheduled in predetermined block shifts. 

You’ll earn a specified pay amount for your block of time and keep 100% of all tips. You can get paid whenever you wish, whether every day, every few days, or just one day a week. 

Because you may need to deliver alcohol or other items, Amazon Flex requires drivers to be at least 21. 

Instacart vs. Amazon Flex

While Amazon Flex tends to pay more than Instacart, drivers are subject to stricter vehicle requirements. Amazon Flex requires a mid-size or larger 4-door vehicle, so you can take multiple deliveries at a time in your car.

In addition, you must schedule your shifts in blocks instead of just signing in and out of the app as you wish. 

Learn More About Amazon Flex

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that partners with local stores to deliver customer orders. 

Apoorva Mehta founded the company in 2012 at age 26. Today, over 600,000 shoppers work for Instacart, delivering from stores in all 50 U.S. states. 

Instacart keeps its (as of September 2023) headquarters in San Francisco, California. 

Related: 32 Weekend Side Hustles to Pad Your Bank Account

How Does Instacart Work?

Instacart partners with local stores. Customers place online orders for groceries and goods through partner stores. 

Instacart shoppers are summoned to deliver–and potentially shop–for those orders. As an Instacart shopper, you’ll get paid a predetermined amount to deliver and shop for the order if you work in both roles.

As an Instacart shopper, you can earn tips and bonus income. Earnings are paid out weekly via Direct Deposit, and instant payment is available for a fee. 

Instacart shoppers, like most delivery service drivers, are considered independent contractors. That means you’ll get a 1099 for your income at the end of the year and be responsible for paying your own taxes. 

Who Can Work for Instacart?

To work for Instacart, you must be at least 18. You must also have access to a reliable car and smartphone and be legally allowed to work in the U.S. In addition, you must be able to lift at least 40 pounds unassisted. 

Learn More About Instacart

FAQs

Who is a competitor of Instacart?

Many competitors offer a similar service to Instacart, so it's important to compare delivery apps before signing up. Other popular apps include DoorDash, Uber Eats, and GrubHub.

Can I make $500 a week with Instacart?

According to The Rideshare Guy, Instacart drivers make between $15 and $25 per hour, including tips. Of course, this amount will vary depending on the market you work in and how efficiently you work. If you averaged $20 per hour, it would take 25 hours to earn $500, which could be done in one week if you have the time to commit.

Can you make a living on Instacart?

While it's possible that you could make a modest living on Instacart, it's not realistic for most. It also depends on your income expectations. For example, if you could afford to live on $25,000 or $30,000, you might be able to make a go of it if you lived in the right location and could devote full-time (or near full-time) hours to driving. However, if you need to earn significantly more, you'll want to consider a different job. For most, delivery apps such as Instacart are side hustles.

Related: 14 Best Delivery Job Apps for Making Extra Money

Final Thoughts

Delivery jobs like Instacart have become a popular side hustle for thousands of people. Key benefits include flexibility and ease of starting. Most apps allow you to choose when you want to work. You can also keep 100% of the tips you earn and potentially earn bonus pay if you work efficiently and make lots of deliveries.

However, in most cases, you must be 18 or older to qualify, and you may need a qualifying vehicle to use. Remember that there are many different apps where you can find work, so check out the ones on our list to find the best one for where you live.

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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