ShopRunner is a membership program that offers express shipping and other benefits for a subscription fee of $8.95 per month, or $79 per year. That’s less than the price of Amazon Prime, which is where it seems they’re trying to compete.
Anyway, American Express is one of the investors in ShopRunner, and as part of the partnership, Amex cardholders were originally eligible for a free year of membership. That benefit has been extended to be more or less “permanent,” and when a reader emailed me today asking about the change in the language I realized I’d never blogged about it.
Eligible American Express card members should include any active accounts issued by American Express. Prepaid cards and those issued by other banks that just use the American Express network for merchant processing are not eligible.
To enroll, go to https://www.shoprunner.com/enroll/americanexpress:
Creating an account is easy, or if you have an existing ShopRunner membership you can just sign in.
From there, enter your Amex card number to verify eligibility. I would recommend saving your card for quick checkout, as that seems to help when shopping through a portal, which I’ll explain in a bit:
The site should then confirm your free ShopRunner membership:
The ShopRunner benefits are primarily the free 2-Day shipping and free return shipping, in my opinion. I don’t do much shopping in general, so can’t really speak to the value of the member-only deals being offered, but those might be worth checking out as well.
I do, however, order an unfortunate amount of Domino’s.
ShopRunner seems to work by storing a cookie in the browser (mmm, pizza and cookies), so when you click through to the retailer site it should proactively offer the complimentary shipping:
Double-Dipping with shopping portals
As I’ve mentioned before, my approach to maximizing online shopping is pretty simple. If I can earn extra miles by clicking through a shopping portal I absolutely will, but I’m not going to chase down every Amex Sync promotion unless it’s a really lucrative offer.
However, I have noticed that the Ultimate Rewards Mall seems to “play nicely” with ShopRunner, and have been able to use the free shipping benefit while earning Ultimate Rewards points from a few retailers. Again, I haven’t tested this extensively, so YMMV, but I’ve had luck with:
- Neiman Marcus
Enrolling in the Benefit. To get the free ShopRunner membership benefit compliments of American Express (the “benefit”), you must go to www.shoprunner.com/americanexpress and verify your eligibility for the benefit with an eligible Card account number and then completing the sign up for a ShopRunner membership account (“ShopRunner account”).
You may also be able to enroll in this benefit through access provided to ShopRunner at participating online stores or through an email provided by American Express if it has determined that you have an eligible Card.
An “eligible Card” means an American Express U.S. Consumer or Small Business credit or charge Card that is not cancelled and that is issued to you by a U.S. banking subsidiary of American Express. Prepaid cards and products, American Express Corporate Cards and American Express-branded cards or account numbers issued by other financial institutions are not eligible.
ShopRunner will verify with American Express the eligibility of your credit or charge card account number for the benefit.
Maintaining the Benefit. To maintain this benefit on your ShopRunner account, you must maintain an eligible Card. The benefit may be cancelled on your ShopRunner account if you do not have an eligible Card. You can maintain only one benefit per eligible Card.
During your enrollment in the benefit, ShopRunner and American Express will verify your benefit eligibility.
Treatment of Existing ShopRunner Memberships. If you enroll in the benefit and sign up with an existing ShopRunner account, ShopRunner will cancel the term of your existing ShopRunner account.
If you paid a fee for any unused portion of the cancelled term of membership, ShopRunner will provide you with a pro rata refund for that portion in accordance with ShopRunner’s refund policy. The refund will be processed within 2-4 weeks after enrollment and will be issued to the payment method you used to pay the fee.
If a portion of the cancelled term of membership was promotional or free, the free period will be cancelled by ShopRunner and forfeited by you. If you currently have a free or promotional membership on your ShopRunner account, you should consider whether to enroll in the benefit at this time.
General Terms. An eligible Card can be used to verify eligibility for only one benefit enrollment. American Express may receive and use your personal data from ShopRunner, which may include personally identifiable information and credit card information, to determine eligibility and further develop features and services related to the benefit. American Express may send you emails regarding your enrollment in this benefit. Any information American Express collects from you or from ShopRunner shall be governed by the American Express Online Privacy Statement ( https://www.americanexpress.com/privacy ). American Express may change, modify, cancel, revoke, or terminate this benefit at any time.
You can review these Terms and Conditions at any time by visiting https://www.shoprunner.com/terms/amex/ .
Is anyone else using ShopRunner? Where have you found it to be most useful?
(Tip of the hat to Steve)
Does AmEx still send a notice to the IRS about this perk? I remember reading about this pitfall a year or two back, when I had a chance for a "free" membership. I figured I wouldn't use it enough to outweigh the extra tax burden. I have a couple AmEx cards that are eligible, so I'm willing to give it a shot this time around if they've stopped that taxable income nonsense.
I think I signed up when it became originally available. Do most shopping via Amazon (Prime is incredibly valuable if you use it for streaming) but have used ShopRunner for Newegg... and yes, Dominos :)
@Matt The Costco Amex does work with ShopRunner. I have my card enrolled and have used the free shipping for Dominos, Newegg and Drugstore.com
I joined last year when they offered a free year to amazon prime members. I've only used a few times and I have had good experiences. Twice, the shipping was actually next same and not 2 day, though I suppose that may have been because of the items location. I would never pay for it, but it's a nice service.
Ha, I only use this for dominos too!
How long is the complimentary shoprunner membership? As long as I hold the associated credit card?
Anyone know if the Costco Amex works with this?
I got it for free with my SPGbiz card. No, I don't have to use that particular card to get the free shipping. I use it for Domino's, Drugstore.com. Great benefit.
@Jack/Geoff: Correct!!! You need the Amex to enroll on ShopRunner but than you can use any credit card to make an online purchase. When you get to the checkout you click on ShopRunner and log in to the account you created and your shipping is free for 2nd day delivery.
If I read this write-up correctly one only needs to HAVE an eligible AMEX but not have to USE it exclusively, correct?
So you need an Amex card for enrolling in the free membership but do you have to use that card for purchase? I'm assuming Ben used his Chase card for the UR mall purchase.
I've had shop runner for a few years and just the savings on dominos would be worth paying for it.
Nice write up btw
I signed up for it months ago when I got the invite from Amex Platinum and I have used it exclusively for Domino's delivery.
I found out about this offer from my Amex Platinum couple months ago and I enrolled my card on it and have been using a lot. It saved me a good chunk of money and lots of time since I ordered fairly heavy items that would cost me a lot to get delivered in 2 days. This is another "small" detail that makes my Amex Platinum $450/year membership well worth it.