Any credit card perk that can save you $79 a year while offering unlimited free shipping is quite a good benefit. In this case, the free shipping is provided by ShopRunner which normally charges a subscription price of $79 a year for unlimited shipping and, as of the spring of 2017, the perk is offered by MasterCard to all of its cardholders.
What is ShopRunner?
For those of you who like the idea of getting free two-day shipping through an Amazon Prime membership, you will probably also like a free ShopRunner membership. Like Amazon Prime members, ShopRunner members receive free two-day shipping on eligible products. The difference is ShopRunner members can receive free shipping from more than 150 participating stores such as Staples, Eddie Bauer, Niemen Marcus, Auto Zone, and 1-800 Flowers.
When shopping online with a participating merchant you can choose ShopRunner as your shipping method. The merchant still ships the product, but ShopRunner covers the cost. ShopRunner will even cover return shipping costs.
How Do Mastercard Customers Sign-Up for ShopRunner?
To sign up for ShopRunner as a MasterCard cardholder you can go to the MasterCard website card benefits page and click on “Free Shipping.” You will be directed to the registration landing page for ShopRunner. With just your name, email address, and MasterCard account number, you will be registered for ShopRunner free shipping.
As an aside, if you don’t have a MasterCard account and have no intention of ever getting one, you can sign up for ShopRunner on its website and pay the $79 subscription fee, though it does offer a free 30-day trial.
What to Know When Using ShopRunner
ShopRunner has its own shopping portal, similar to Amazon but not nearly as expansive in terms of products. You can shop there and receive free shipping or you can shop online at any of ShopRunner’s participating merchants. You will know if a particular product is eligible for free shipping because you will see the ShopRunner logo on the page.
Like Amazon Prime, not all products are eligible for free two-day shipping. You will also need to be aware of any minimum shipping requirements for participating merchants. Some, like Eddie Bauer, have a $25 minimum purchase requirement. After purchasing the product, you are provided with a tracking number by ShopRunner which promises to deliver it within two full business days.
ShopRunner members are also eligible for Express Checkout, which streamlines the purchase process down to two clicks. Once you provide your credit card and shipping information to ShopRunner, it will make Express Checkout available on most purchases.
Making Mastercard Even More Valuable
At this point ShopRunner doesn’t really compare to the $99 Amazon Prime membership in terms of overall benefits. For paying customers there is still more value with Amazon Prime. But if you can get ShopRunner for free, and you happen to shop at any of the 150+ participating merchants, there is no better value. When coupled with its free identity theft service and extensive travel benefits, it makes choosing MasterCard a much easier decision.
Note: American Express also offers ShopRunner as a free perk to its cardholders.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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