Food delivery services like Grubhub are more convenient than ever. Delivery times have shortened, more restaurants are available, and promotions are abundant.
However, users still pay a significant premium for use of the service. Fees are everywhere and include menu item upcharges, service fees, driver tips, and delivery fees.
Grubhub Plus, a premium subscription service, lessens the weight by removing the dreaded delivery fee and providing users with a host of perks.
But is Grubhub Plus really worth the monthly fee? The short answer is that it depends on how much you use the service, but there’s more to it than that. We’ve run the numbers, and this guide will help you determine if Grubhub Plus is a money saver or just another money sink.
What is GrubHub Plus?
Otherwise known as Grubhub+ (or simply GH+), Grubhub Plus is an optional monthly subscription, priced at $9.99 per month, that unlocks the following perks:
- Free unlimited delivery on orders of $12 or more
- Free unlimited delivery on Grubhub Goods purchases ($12+). Grubhub Goods is Grubhub’s branded convenience store offering, in partnership with 7-Eleven.
- A free meal each month
- Exclusive perks
- Access to Elite Care customer support
- Donation match to No Kid Hungry
- Cancel anytime
GrubHub+’s advertising is somewhat vague, so we decided to dig a bit deeper to find out what some of these benefits actually entail.
For one, the monthly free meal isn’t exactly just that. Instead, Grubhub+ subscribers receive a $10 credit each month for pickup orders. The credit expires 30 days after being issued, meaning you can’t roll it over to the next month.
Exclusive perks run the gamut from discounts on pickup or delivery orders to deals on select concerts and other events. We even received a three-month free trial for Peacock Premium through GrubHub Plus, a $15 value.
The donation match to No Kid Hungry is a nice perk, especially in these trying times. Even without a Grubhub+ membership, users have the option to round up their order to the nearest dollar and donate the change to No Kid Hungry. With a subscription, Grubhub will match the donations, providing twice the meals for needy children.
From the detective’s desk: Grubhub is known to experiment with different Grubhub+ benefits, so the above list is subject to change. However, free unlimited delivery and Elite Care customer service are staples of the service.
GH orders containing alcohol are not eligible for Grubhub+ perks.
GrubHub Plus eligible restaurants
Grubhub is partnered with an astounding 320,000+ restaurants in the U.S. and offers its services in more than 4,000 cities. Not all of these restaurants are Grubhub+ eligible, but the vast majority are.
We took a sample of over 1,500 restaurants, spread across a dozen small and large cities, and found that over 90.3% participated in Grubhub Plus. The percentages skewed lower in smaller cities and cities located on the West Coast, dipping as low as 72%, but averaging around 85%. They ran as high as 99% in major cities like New York City and heavily populated suburbs along the Eastern Seaboard.
It’s safe to say that in time, nearly every Grubhub partner will be a Grubhub+ eligible restaurant.
To check how many restaurants accept Grubhub Plus in your area, take the following steps:
- Open Grubhub, either on desktop or via the Android- or iOS-powered mobile app.
- Enter your zip code in the search bar
- Click “Search Nearby” (desktop only)
- Click on the “Grubhub+” filter from the left-hand sidebar on desktop, or near the top of the screen on mobile
- (Optional) Use the visual food icons to sort by the type of cuisine that you enjoy
You can also search for individual restaurants. Just look for the small GH+ icon, located under the name of the restaurant.
Will Grubhub Plus save you cash on Grubhub orders?
Grubhub states that Grubhub Plus users will save an average of about $4 per order. Based on our data, that figure appears to be fairly accurate, but perhaps a bit overstated.
At $4 savings, you’ll have to use Grubhub 2.5 times per month to recoup your GH+ fee. If only it were that simple…
Unfortunately, averages are just that, and determining how much you as a unique individual will save will require some digging. Here are some guidelines to help you get started.
Delivery fee savings using Grubhub Plus
The primary means of saving money with Grubuhb Plus is through the unlimited free delivery perk.
Delivery fees vary widely on Grubhub, by both restaurants and by city. Here’s a peek at some delivery fee data we collected for several different small and larger cities.
Grubhub delivery fees
|San Francisco, CA||$2.54||$11.00||$0||$2.49|
The majority of restaurants charge between $1.49 – $3.99, with a few outliers charging as little as nothing and as much as $7 – $11. The average delivery fee across our entire sample set was $2.40.
Grubhub+ free meal
Grubhub+ users receive $10 off on pickup orders each month. Initially, this perk appears to cover the entire subscription fee by itself, but not so fast.
According to its website, Grubhub charges restaurants a 5 – 20% marketing commission on each order, along with a 10% delivery fee, and a small credit card/fraud monitoring processing fee. Yikes.
To compensate for this, restaurants that utilize Grubhub tend to jack up their prices. We mention this because you can avoid these upcharges on pickup orders by ordering directly through the restaurant.
Assuming a 15% upcharge and a $50 pickup order, you’ll pay $7.50 more for your order using Grubhub rather than calling direct. After factoring in the $10 savings from Grubhub+, the free meal perk only saves you $2.50.
If the order was $100, you’ll pay $15 more and receive $10 back. Even with the free meal perk, you’d be better off ordering direct. That doesn’t sound like a “free meal” to us.
From the detective’s desk: The free meal perk is best reserved for smaller pickup orders. On an order of $20 with a 15% upcharge, you’ll pay $23 minus $10 = $13, a savings of $7 over ordering directly through the restaurant.
Overall, we find this perk to be a little out of place. The main selling point of Grubhub is convenience, so why ask users to go out of their way to enjoy a Grubhub+ perk?
The perk would gain some value if the $10 didn’t expire each month, but unfortunately, it cannot be rolled over.
Exclusive perks with Grubhub Plus
Grubhub perks are extra discounts. They may be for general use, for specific restaurants, or for events.
It’s important to note that most discounts for specific restaurants are open to the public. You do not need a Grubhub Plus membership. Just navigate to the “Perks” section of the app to find them.
Some restaurants also offer loyalty perks, where you’ll receive a credit on your next order after spending a certain amount. It’s usually a $10 credit on $100 spent. These are also public offerings.
So what perks are exclusive to Grubhub Plus? They vary. Back in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, it was common to receive $7 off on $10+ pickup orders. By 2021, the perks changed to discounts on streaming services, concerts, and other events.
However, we also receive an occasional $7 discount on our next order of $15+, but it doesn’t appear to be tied to our Grubhub+ membership. It’s more of a kickback for our loyalty.
Unfortunately, Grubhub+ does not cover service fees and small order fees. The $2 small order fee is easy to avoid, as you only have to spend $10 to bypass it. Service fees run from 5.25% – 10%+ but never exceed $9.00. They can’t be avoided.
Not all restaurants charge service fees. In fact, many don’t, but it would have been nice if a Grubhub+ membership reduced or eliminated them. DoorDash’s premium service, DashPass, does this. Service fees are knocked down from 13-15% down to 5%.
The bottom line: Is Grubhub Plus worth it?
In order to determine if Grubhub Plus is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many times per month will I use Grubhub?
- How much do my favorite restaurants charge for delivery?
- Am I willing to do at least one pickup order (preferably a small one) per month?
- Do any of the exclusive perks appeal to me?
Assuming an average delivery fee of $2.50, Grubhub+ will be worth it if you place at least four delivery orders per month.
Of course, if your favorite restaurants charge higher or lower delivery fees, that changes the equation. Divide $10 by the avg. delivery fee that your go-to restaurants charge, and that’ll tell you how many monthly orders you’ll need to make to break even.
If you already find yourself picking up the occasional small order or are interested in Grubhub’s exclusive perks, then Grubhub+ becomes even more worth it.
A personal case study
Around us, our favorite restaurants charge an average of about $3 per delivery. We figured this out by adding up the delivery fees of all our favs and dividing that figure by the number of restaurants
During a typical month, we order out four times, which works out to $12 in monthly delivery fees.
We also pick up lunch here and there. This costs about $30 through Grubhub, but would only be $25 if we ordered direct. The $10 free meal perk saves us $5.
Our total monthly savings using Grubhub+ is therefore $17. Grubhub+ costs $9.99, so we save $7 per month.
Of course, we actually save the full $17 because we don’t pay for our Grubhub Plus membership — and you might not have to either.
How to get GrubHub Plus for free?
There is more than one way to score a Grubhub Plus membership for free. You’ll definitely want to look into these options if you’re a fan of food delivery.
Free Grubhub+ membership through Amazon Prime
In July 2022, Grubhub announced a partnership with none other than Amazon. Now, all Prime members are eligible to receive a one-year Grubhub+ membership trial, absolutely free.
If you’re already a Prime member and use food delivery services, then there’s really no reason not to take advantage of this offer. However, there are a few caveats worth noting.
First, after the trial expires, you will be charged $9.99 per month unless you cancel Grubhub+.
Secondly, if you already have an existing Grubhub+ member you aren’t eligible for this offer. There is one notable exception, and that’s if you signed up for the free Grubhub+ Student membership through Prime Student. In this case, you can redeem the Grubhub+ offer once the free Student trial expires.
An Amazon Prime membership currently costs $14.99 per month, or $139 if you commit to an annual membership.
For perspective, a Grubhub+ membership costs $120 per year or 86.2% of a Prime Membership. In other words, the value of Grubhub+ nearly pays for an annual Prime membership on its own.
Of course, you’ll also earn other exclusive Prime perks like free two-day delivery, access to Prime Video, Prime Member benefits at Whole Foods, and of course, access to Amazon’s annual mega-sale, Prime Day.
Free Grubhub+ membership through Lyft Pink
In October 2020, rideshare service Lyft partnered with Grubhub. Now, Lyft members that subscribe to the company’s premium service Lyft Pink, will receive a Grubhub+ membership absolutely free.
They can also choose to receive a Seamless+ membership instead. Seamless is Grubhub’s sister site, and its layout and services are almost identical.
Lyft Pink benefits start at $9.99 per month or $99 per year. Ironically, the monthly fee is the same as Grubhub+, meaning you’ll truly get two premium subscriptions for the price of one.
To activate Grubhub Plus through Lyft Pink:
- Go to the Lyft app, and tap on the hamburger menu in the upper left-hand corner
- Tap “Free Grubhub+ membership”
- Activate the benefit.
- You’ll need to enter your email address and an activation code.
- Then open the Grubhub app (on either desktop or mobile) and activate Grubhub+
In case you’re curious, Lyft Pink benefits also include:
- 15% off rideshares
- Unlimited bike rides
- 3 free scooter rides per month
- 3 free guest passes to share
- Vehicle upgrades
- Priority support, and more.
What’s more, is that Chase is partnered with Lyft to provide users with even more benefits. Chase Sapphire members receive the best perks, with Reserve members earning 10x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft purchases. Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, and Ink Plus cardholders receive 5x points.
Note: Chase Sapphire Reserve used to offer a complimentary one-year Lyft Pink subscription as part of its welcome package, but that benefit expired on March 31, 2022.
Chase’s cash back cards, including Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash earn 5% total cash back on Lyft.
Free Grubhub+ membership through Amazon Prime Student
Amazon Prime Student does well by college students, offering them a host of benefits for a reasonable cost ($7.49 per month or $69 per year).
Included in the package is Grubhub+ Student, a special offshoot of Grubhub+ specifically for college kids. The membership includes all the perks that Grubhub+ members have come to expect, as well as a special benefit, where members receive 10% Grubhub+ Cash on off-campus pickup orders.
Grubhub+ free trial
Grubhub members can enjoy a 30-day Grubhub+ free trial. To receive the freebie, you will have to provide your credit or debit card information. If you do not cancel the service before the trial period ends, you’ll be charged $9.99 on a recurring monthly basis.
Luckily, you can cancel at any time before the trial ends, and still receive 30 days worth of Grubhub+ benefits.
The one big downside is that the Free Meal perk is not included in the trial. Shouldn’t trial members receive the full Grubhub+ experience and not a watered-down version?
Grubhub Plus FAQ
How to cancel Grubhub Plus?
Grubhub Plus can be canceled at any time, and you’ll still retain benefits for the duration of the current billing cycle. After that, you won’t be charged again.
To cancel the service, go to “Account” which is located on the bottom menu on mobile, and in the upper right corner of the screen on desktop. Then, go to the “Grubhub+” submenu, and click on “Cancel subscription” located at the bottom of the screen.
Note, that if you have Grubhub+ through Lyft Pink you will not be able to cancel your subscription unless you first contact Lyft customer support. There’s no real reason to do this because the benefit is free.
However, if you cancel Lyft Pink, or your trial period through Chase Sapphire ends, your GrubHub+ benefits will also terminate at the end of the current cycle.
What is a small order fee on Grubhub?
Most, but not all, Grubhub restaurants charge a $2 fee for orders under $10. There is no way around this besides ensuring that your subtotal is $10+.
What is the average delivery fee on Grubhub?
It ranges from $0 to as high as $10+. The average delivery fee varies widely by restaurant and location, so be sure to do your research before using Grubhub.
The average delivery fee nationwide is about $2.50. By enlisting with Grubhub+, you’ll never pay a delivery fee at a GH+ eligible restaurant. Alcohol purchases are not eligible for Grubhub Plus benefits.
How much does Grubhub+ cost?
Grubhub+ costs $9.99 per month, charged monthly. There is no annual plan. There are, however, several ways to receive Grubhub Plus benefits for free. Lyft Pink members receive GH+ at no charge, as do Amazon Prime Student members.
Grubhub+ offers everyone a free 30-day trial, but the Free Meal perk is not included.