The Best Food Delivery Services and Their Fees

A food delivery driver taking a thermal bag from a restaurant worker
Norma Mortenson

Quick food delivery is one of the greatest innovations of the 21st century. Thanks to the dozens of delivery apps out there, anyone with a smartphone can have a fresh, delicious meal at their door in under an hour. Even groceries can be ordered through apps now! But not all delivery services are created equal. Each offers different perks, deals, and bonuses that can make a major difference.

To maximize your savings, convenience, and satisfaction when getting groceries or ordering in, here are the food delivery services that offer the best bang for your buck (plus a few of our other favorite saving services)!

1. Shipt

Shipt is an easy-to-use grocery delivery app, but unique from its competitors is the fact that it’s membership-only. Membership costs $99 annually, with no free option. It may sound steep, but even with its annual fee Shipt can save you money on groceries. The platform offers free delivery on all orders over $35, meaning the only extra fee you pay is your membership cost and a driver tip.

Shipt also features daily and weekly deals that change constantly, so you can usually find good value on the app. Shipt is perfect for families who can take full advantage of the wide range of deals, and parents willing to trade some cash for massive convenience.

In addition, you can expect to have your questions answered whenever you need support via their site, email, phone, or online chat as they highly value customer service.

2. Postmates 

While it’s primarily a restaurant delivery service, Postmates also offers a wide variety of grocery and household goods. Whereas apps like GrubHub and DoorDash have set restaurants you can order from, Postmates will deliver almost anything from anywhere. Even your dry cleaning. Usually, delivery fees on Postmates cost around $5, higher than other platforms, but the vast selection can make the cost worth it.

You can also sign up for Postmates Unlimited, which offers free delivery and special deals to members for $9.99 per month. Postmates is more convenient than its competitors, offering a -one-stop-shop for your delivery need. It’s perfect if you want all your delivery orders to go through one app, and can tolerate the fees. Postmates does offer a 7 free trial for new users, so you can get a sense of its usefulness before you commit to paying.

3. GrubHub

GrubHub, which also owns the delivery service Seamless, is another major player in the field. Through its main brand and subsidiary platforms, Grubhub accounts for 18 percent of the delivery market.

GrubHub offers tons of deals and discounts through the platform. While the offers are particular to the restaurants in your area, you’re sure to find plenty of waived fees or cut costs. Many offers on GrubHub only apply to your first order from a particular restaurant, so it’s a good platform to use to try places nearby. One of the biggest knocks on GrubHub, though, is that the platform will occasionally hide service fees, small order fees, or delivery fees until the checkout page.

GrubHub also offers a paid service, GrubHub+. The subscription service comes at $9.99 per month and offers free delivery on all orders, plus exclusive deals like discounts and free items.

4. DoorDash 

Most food delivery services work pretty similarly: you pick a restaurant, fill your cart, and checkout. DoorDash is no exception, and it’s super easy to use. There are plenty of restaurants around the country on DoorDash, and after placing an order you can track its progress through the app.

DoorDash offers users free delivery on their first order, as well as unlimited free delivery if they sign up for DashPass. DashPass costs $12 per month and is great for people who order out frequently since you can save $3-$4 per order on delivery.

The biggest knock on DoorDash is customer service. DoorDash drivers don’t work for the company or the restaurant as they’re contractors, which can sometimes lead to communication issues between the user, driver, and restaurant. However, the service is largely reliable and offers a nice intro offer. DoorDash is the industry leader, bringing in about 45 percent of all restaurant orders placed on delivery apps.

5. Instacart

While the coronavirus pandemic helped expand the mobile takeout market, it completely blew up the grocery delivery industry. Instacart has been around since 2012, but this year has created higher demand than ever for the service. From March to April, Instacart saw its user base jump from 200,000 to around 350,000, and the company has grown since.

Instacart lets you choose from local grocery stores and fill your cart from the comfort of home. You can check off your entire shopping list, place your order through the app, and set a two-hour delivery window. When your Instacart shopper is at the store, they can message you through the app to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Instacart is partnered with major brands, including Albertsons, Aldi, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Publix, Sam’s Club, and Wegmans. In addition to the cost of your groceries, you’ll need to pay a $3.99 delivery fee and a 5 percent service fee, plus a tip for your driver. Depending on your circumstance, the trade-off of cost for convenience can make a lot of sense!

6. UberEats

UberEats is very similar to GrubHub in style and user interface, but the platforms have a few key differences. Uber Eats offers faster delivery than most competitors since the platform can utilize Uber’s existing fleet of drivers. You can also track every order step-by-step, the same way you can track an Uber driver coming to pick you up.

Uber Eats’ premium service is called Eats Pass and costs $9.99 monthly. Not only does Eats Pass come with free delivery (like most subscription delivery services), but it also gives users 5 percent off any order over $15. The cashback feature really makes Eats Pass enticing for anyone who orders frequently, as you’d need to spend $200 per month to make your money back.

Bonus Ways to Save

To really maximize your savings when ordering from a food delivery service, there are some other apps you should be using too. Coupled with the cashback and discounts offered by some services, these services can seriously help you stack up the savings.

Every delivery service will attach your receipt to the order, and Fetch Rewards can turn those receipts into cash. Either scan your paper receipt or link your email for Fetch to pull from and Fetch will reward you with points that you can exchange for money. As an extra boost, grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

For extra cashback on your takeout and grocery orders, link your credit card with Drop, a free app that tracks your spending and offers you gift card rewards. You can earn rewards by playing games or answering surveys within the Drop app, but using it to track your purchases means way more free gift cards. Drop rewards spending on most delivery platforms too, including Instacart, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grubhub!

Read More: Fetch Rewards Review: Gift Cards for Groceries