Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Did you know you can get free 2-day shipping from dozens of online shops just by having an American Express card?
American Express cardholders get a free membership in ShopRunner, which normally costs ~$9 per month or $79 per year. Once you enroll, you’ll get unlimited free shipping and returns at participating online merchants as long as you keep an AMEX card registered with them.
ShopRunner is a shipping service for online purchases that normally requires a paid membership of ~$9 per month or $79 per year.
If you’re a ShopRunner member, you’ll get free 2-day shipping at over 80 online stores. Some of the stores
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Babies R Us
- Neiman Marcus
- Radio Shack
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Toys R Us
You get unlimited free 2-day shipping with no minimum order requirement. ShopRunner also offers free return shipping.
Emily and I do a lot of online shopping, and I like saving money, so I signed-up to check it out.
How Do American Express Cardholders Sign-Up?
1. Check If Your American Express Card Is Eligible
The terms and conditions say not all cards are eligible! It has to be a personal or small business card issued by American Express. Enter your American Express card number on the registration page to 1st find out if your card qualifies.
For example, it would not accept the Citi AAdvantage American Express card (which isn’t offered anymore). But it accepted the Gold Delta Skymiles American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cards.
2. Complete the Registration Form
Enter your name and email address, select a password, and accept the ShopRunner terms and conditions to finish signing-up.
3. Shop Through ShopRunner or Directly Through Store Websites
Once you’ve signed-up, you can shop for items directly through ShopRunner, or on individual store websites.
To qualify for free shipping, the item you select must have the ShopRunner logo next to it. Not all products are eligible for free shipping.
Let’s Go Shopping!
I looked around the jewelry section of the ShopRunner site because I want to get a nice pair of earrings for Emily. But shhhh…don’t tell her! 😉
I found a pretty pair of Swarovski crystal earrings at Reeds Jewelers.
Clicking on the earrings brought me straight to the Reed’s Jewelers page and I found the little green ShopRunner icon next to the item.
At checkout, the shipping was already listed as free, because I clicked through the ShopRunner page to the Reed’s Jewelers page. If you’re already logged in to ShopRunner, it should come up automatically.
That was pretty easy! I wish I’d known about this sooner. But then I got to thinking…
How to Earn Bonus Points *and* Get Free Shipping
I wondered if the ShopRunner free shipping still applied if you go through a shopping portal, like the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. Emily and I try to do all of our online shopping through portals to earn extra points and miles.
First, I logged out of ShopRunner. Then I signed-in to my Chase account and noticed Brooks Brothers (a ShopRunner merchant) is offering 4 extra Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend AND 15% off when you shop through the Ultimate Rewards Mall. So I clicked through and did some browsing.
I clicked on a shirt and saw the ShopRunner Free 2-Day Shipping icon near the bottom of the page.
I signed-in to ShopRunner and clicked through to checkout. The free 2-day shipping was already included.
And, I still got the 15% discount from Chase Ultimate Rewards! So I suspect I’ll get the 4 extra points per $1 spent, too. Folks on FlyerTalk report getting their extra points without any problems.
I did NOT have to use my American Express card to pay for the order. You can choose any credit card you want.
That’s because the ShopRunner terms say,
Enjoy complimentary ShopRunner membership as long as you keep an eligible American Express Card as your default card in Express Checkout at ShopRunner.
I’ll definitely be using ShopRunner to save on shipping, especially because I can still shop through portals and earn lots of extra points! That said, you may not get the bonus points all the time.
But I’ll still shop around on Amazon and other websites to make sure I’m getting the best deal.
Are There Drawbacks?
If you’re not an eligible American Express cardholder, you’ll have to pay ~$9 a month or $79 a year for ShopRunner membership.
In order to keep a free membership, your American Express card must be set as the default payment method in your ShopRunner account. If you remove it, it won’t be free anymore. But you don’t have to pay with your American Express card.
ShopRunner doesn’t physically ship your items themselves. So if there’s a problem with your shipping, you still have to contact the merchant.
Right now ShopRunner only partners with ~85 stores, but they say more will be added in the future. Not all items are eligible for free shipping, either. But since I’m not paying for the membership anyway, I’ll just take the free shipping whenever I can get it!
You can get unlimited free 2-day shipping at over 80 stores when you register your American Express card with ShopRunner.
You can still use a shopping portal and get the free shipping. And you can use any credit card you want for payment.
Not all American Express cards qualify, and not all items are eligible for free shipping. But it’s free to sign-up if you’re an (eligible) American Express card holder, so it doesn’t hurt to enter your card.