Last Updated on 2024-01-15

3 Ways Shipt Helps Pay For Gas Costs [Updated for 2024]

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

author image

Catherine Meyers

5 years of experience working across Shipt and Instacart

author image

James Tuliano

4 years of experience working across Shipt and DoorDash

author image

Patricia Jones

Experience working across both Shipt and Instacart

author image

Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect recent changes. Any reader should consult with a legal or tax professional to obtain advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

Shipt doesn’t pay for the gas costs you incur while working as a Shipt Shopper or Driver. There is no direct Shipt gas reimbursement.

As a self-employed independent contractor working for Shipt, those are considered business expenses, and you’re expected to foot the bill yourself (you can use them as write-offs when tax season comes around though). 

But Shipt does have a rewards program that can help ease the burden of gas costs. With the Shipt Summit Seeker Program, the highest-performing Shipt Shoppers can receive up to $1.00/gallon cash back for two fill ups every 60-day period, and up to $0.25/gallon cash back after that by using Upside. Shipt also offers savings through its partnership with GasBuddy.

What about other expenses? Does Shipt pay mileage?

Shipt doesn’t directly compensate for any of the operating expenses that Shipt Shoppers and Drivers incur. That includes mileage costs, like vehicle depreciation, wear and tear, gas, and repairs.

Shipt does, however, offer an elite membership with CarAdvise that gives you 50% off oil changes at participating auto shops for a period of time. 

Even though there’s no direct reimbursement, Shipt does attempt to adjust the base pay for each order to account for those expenses. For example, an order that requires you to drive 5 miles should theoretically offer more money than an order that requires you to drive 10 miles, thus covering the increased mileage cost associated with the latter order. 

If you live in California, the situation is a bit different — the cost of mileage is directly baked into the base pay. Catherine Meyers, who has been doing Shipt for two years, says, “California shoppers get an entirely different adjustment called the Guaranteed Earnings Adjustment. The base pay, excluding tip, needs to meet 120% of the local minimum wage plus 30 cents for each mile you drive for the order.”

But if you’re not in California, you can’t rely on Shipt to accurately calculate and adjust for the associated costs. 

As a Shipt Shopper or Driver, you should develop a cost-benefit analysis strategy that helps you decide which orders are worth accepting and which orders you should pass on. James Tuliano, who has been doing Shipt since 2020, says, “you can see exactly how far you would have to drive for each delivery before you accept it as a Shopper. So if you see an order that is 20 miles away that only has a base pay of $15, then you probably won't make much profit.”

So, the answer to whether Shipt pays mileage is: sort of. Shipt doesn’t really pay mileage costs, but if it didn’t account for mileage costs at all, no one would be able to make an income working for Shipt — everyone would just be constantly losing money. In order for Shipt Shoppers and Drivers to be able to earn an income, Shipt must factor in those expenses at some level, even if that process isn’t very reliable.

The good news is that, even without a direct mileage reimbursement from Shipt, you can write off your mileage costs as a business expense when filing your taxes, which gives you a tax break. This is too complex to go into here, so check out our post on Shipt taxes for more information on how that works. 

Is Shipt still worth it despite rising gas prices?

There’s no clear answer to this: it all depends on what you consider “worth it.” In the simplest sense, yes: there are lots of Shipt Shoppers and Drivers who are still earning money even though gas prices are higher than they used to be — not everyone who works for Shipt is in the red. 

That said, a lot depends on your individual circumstances and income expectations. For example, if you drive a gas-guzzling luxury SUV and don’t have a good order selection strategy, it’s more likely that Shipt won’t be worth it for you. Similarly, if you only consider a job worth it if it pays $400/hour, then you’re also likely to be disappointed. 

Shipt Shoppers often report making around $20/hour in profit, so it’s entirely up to your personal preferences as to whether that’s worth it or not. 

Can I use my Shipt Card to pay for gas?

No, definitely not. Your Shipt card can only be used to pay for customer orders when authorized. For example, if a customer orders $100 worth of groceries at the local supermarket, you should use your Shipt card to pay for them. 

The Shipt card serves as a way for Shipt to transfer a customer’s money to you so that you can shop for them — that way, you don’t have to tap into your own bank account to cover the costs of an order and then ask for a reimbursement from Shipt. That would be a much more complicated system, and would be a real pain for Shoppers (no one wants to spend lots of their own money and then wait around for a reimbursement). 

Gas for your car, however, is not something that your customer orders, and you can’t use the Shipt card to cover that. Doing so could land you in really hot water: not only would you likely have your account deactivated, but you could be charged with credit card fraud — you’d essentially be using Shipt’s credit card to make purchases that the company didn’t authorize. 

James notes that it probably wouldn’t work anyway: “they have your Shipt card configured to automatically decline if it is not being used during an expected shop for an expected amount.”

Shipt reward and discount programs help you save on gas

Although Shipt doesn’t pay for gas, it does have reward programs and partnerships with Upside and GasBuddy that help reduce the burden of rising gas prices. 

Shipt Summit Seeker Program

Shipt launched the Summit Seeker Program in 2023, which offers performance-based rewards to Shipt Shoppers. The program divides Shoppers into three different tiers: Wayfinder, Trailblazer, and Summit Star (ordered from lowest to highest). 

If you reach the Summit Star tier, you’re entitled to up to $1 cash back per gallon for two fill-ups within each 60-day period as well as a $50 Shipt credit that you can use for your own personal orders (i.e., orders that you place as a customer on the Shipt app).

Here are the criteria you need to meet for each of the three tiers:


  • 4.7 customer rating
  • 90% on-time delivery 
  • 90% reliability
  • At least 10 completed orders


  • 4.8 customer rating
  • 95% on-time delivery
  • 94% reliability
  • At least 20 completed orders

Summit Star:

  • 4.9 customer rating
  • 98% on-time delivery
  • 100% reliability
  • At least 30 completed orders

To qualify for the highest rewards, you’ll need to meet even more stringent criteria. The program cycles every 60 days, so Shoppers will be evaluated and have the opportunity to qualify approximately every two months. 

Patricia Jones, a Shipt Shopper, says, “you can earn better perks by achieving your performance goals every quarter to help offset some costs associated with working by using the discounts provided.”

Keep in mind that only Shipt Shoppers qualify for this program. Shipt Drivers cannot participate.


Upside is a gas savings app that offers up to $0.25/gallon cash back on gas purchases. As a Shipt Shopper, you’ll get even better rewards on your first purchases: you’ll get at least $0.35/gallon cash back on your first two fill-ups. 


Shipt also partners with GasBuddy, another gas savings app. GasBuddy offers $0.02/gallon cash back at 95% of US gas stations, and also offers up to $0.25/gallon cash back during promotions. 

Rewards aren’t the same for Shoppers and Drivers

There are two different gigs available at Shipt: you can be a Shopper or a Driver or both (Shoppers can apply to become Drivers, but Drivers can’t apply to become Shoppers). Shoppers accept grocery orders from individual customers, shop for the items, and deliver them to the customers. Drivers deliver large quantities of packages to multiple customers on a predetermined route, much like a postal worker or UPS driver. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to gas rewards programs, Drivers get the short end of the stick: the Shipt Summit Seeker program is only available to Shipt Shoppers, not Drivers. Upside and GasBuddy, however, are available to both Shoppers and Drivers. 

A note to multi-appers (those who are doing more than one gig at a time, like Shipt and Instacart): if two gigs are offering the same perks, signing up for that perk under one app usually disqualifies you from signing up for the same perk under another app. For example, if you sign up for Upside through Shipt, you can’t later sign up for Upside using Instacart’s promotion. So, make sure you sign up using the promotion that gives you the best deal. 

Get started

Can you see yourself as a Shipt Shopper or Driver? Apply now to a position near you.

Keep Learning...