ShopRunner Review [2021]: Incredible Savings for Frequent Online Shoppers

ShopRunner provides free 2-day shipping and free returns with participating retailers, but you have to become a member.
Last updated Jun 3, 2021 | By Christy Rakoczy
ShopRunner Review

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Do you love online shopping? If so, one easy way to save on your shopping and make your dollars go farther is by joining ShopRunner.

While it normally costs money to join ShopRunner, it might be worth the cost if you frequently buy at ShopRunner partners. That's because ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping on orders as well as free return shipping. So if you don't want to have to pay to receive items quickly or to send back unwanted items, a ShopRunner membership may perfect for you.

And you can score ShopRunner for free if you just know how.

Read on to find out what ShopRunner is, how membership works, and how you can score a free membership just by having certain credit cards. Scroll down to see what the best credit cards for ShopRunner are.

In this article

What is ShopRunner?

ShopRunner is a membership program that was founded in 2010 and is now used by an estimated three million consumers annually. And while the company's B- rating from the Better Business Bureau may be a cause for concern, it has had just two consumer complaints closed in the past year.

It costs $79 annually to join ShopRunner, unless you get a free membership as a cardholder perk with your credit card. When you're a ShopRunner member, you can shop with a long list of 100+ online retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other well-known brands.

You'll get free two-day shipping on purchases and free returns at partner retailers simply by checking out using the ShopRunner link on the retailer's website. You can also use ShopRunner's District App, which is a mobile marketplace that allows you to add items from multiple partner retailers and check out only once while taking advantage of free shipping.

How does ShopRunner Work?

To use ShopRunner, you must first become a member. You can sign up for a free trial membership by providing your email as well as optional details about where you shop, what you shop for, and your age.

ShopRunner Review

If you want to continue using ShopRunner beyond the first month, you'll have to become a paying member. Once you’re a member, your membership will renew automatically after the first year unless you decide to cancel it.

When you choose to become a member, ShopRunner also allows you to check if you own a participating credit card that can help you score a free membership. Just choose "check to see if I'm eligible."

ShopRunner Review

You'll be taken to a link where you can activate your benefit if your American Express card is a small business or consumer card. Yahoo and PayPal members can also activate membership benefits.

ShopRunner Review

After becoming a ShopRunner member, you can shop with participating retailers directly through the ShopRunner website or by downloading the District app.

On each retail partner's website, you'll want to look out for the ShopRunner logo. You'll see it on items that are eligible for free shipping or as an option that comes up at checkout. ShopRunner Review

To access ShopRunner perks, you'll need to select ShopRunner checkout, sign into your ShopRunner account, and confirm your shipping information and payment details.

Specific policies vary by retailer, but many have minimum order requirements to qualify for free two-day shipping. Read each retailer's terms carefully so you'll know what to expect. Also pay attention to return policies, as you'll need to make sure you return items within the retailer's allowable window of time to take advantage of ShopRunner's free returns.

The best credit cards to use with ShopRunner

If you want to take advantage of the savings ShopRunner offers, here are a few great rewards cards you can use. These credit card offers not only come with free ShopRunner membership but they also have other perks as well, such as the chance to earn rewards for spending.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard comes with a free ShopRunner membership and a whole lot of other perks for frequent travelers. Key features of this card include:

  • The chance to earn 2X miles at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and unlimited 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first first 3 months
  • A $125 discount on American Airlines flights after you spend $20,000 or more on purchases during one year as a cardmember and after you renew your card the following year
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • A free checked bag for you and up to four companions on American Airlines flights
  • 25% savings on eligible American Airlines food and beverage purchases

Free checked bags & more

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Intro Offer

50,000 miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 50,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles at gas stations, restaurants, and on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee after first year
  • Best for frequent American Airlines travelers
Card Details
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and unlimited 1X miles on all other purchases

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card comes with a $0 (See rates and fees) annual fee. It's ideal for frequent shoppers, not just because it comes with a free ShopRunner membership (enrollment required) but also because you can get bonus cash back at select department stores. Some key card features include:

  • The chance to earn 20% cash back at Amazon.com during the first six months (up to $150), 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • A $0 annual fee
  • A 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable) (See rates and fees), allowing the flexibility to carry a balance during that introductory period or pay off your card in full monthly
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance when you rent a vehicle

A Simple Cashback Card for Day-to-Day

Intro Offer

$100 statement credit

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 20% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn $100 cash back after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • No travel rewards
  • Grocery rewards are capped
  • Rewards dollars can’t be used toward the minimum payment due
Card Details
  • Earn $100 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months; plus, earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back
  • 20% cash back at Amazon.com during the first six months (up to $150), 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)
  • Terms apply

American Express® Green Card

The American Express Green Card is good for both shoppers and frequent travelers, thanks to ShopRunner access (enrollment required) as well as credits for travel-related purchases. Key features to know about for the Green Card include:

  • The chance to earn 3X points on eligible travel and transit purchases, and at restaurants worldwide; and 1X points on all other purchases
  • A generous welcome offer: Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
  • A $100 credit when you sign up for CLEAR, which helps you to clear security more quickly at select stadiums and airports
  • A $100 LoungeBuddy credit if you purchase LoungeBuddy access

Powerful Benefits with a Low Annual Fee

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

Intro Offer

45,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$150

Rewards Rate

Up to 3X points per dollar

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
  • 3X points on eligible travel and transit purchases, and at restaurants worldwide
  • Up to $100 credit for CLEAR
  • Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • $150 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Limited lounge access
  • No balance transfers
Card Details
  • Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
  • 3X points on eligible travel and transit purchases, and at restaurants worldwide; and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Terms apply

FAQs about ShopRunner

Is there a fee to use ShopRunner?

There is a $79 annual fee to join ShopRunner, unless you have a partner credit card or account with a free membership perk.

What stores use ShopRunner?

More than 100 stores use ShopRunner, including Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, IT Cosmetics, Jared, and many more. You can find a full list of participating stores on the ShopRunner website.

How do I get ShopRunner for free?

You can get ShopRunner for free by signing up for an eligible credit card that provides membership as a perk. Yahoo and PayPal members can also get free ShopRunner membership. You will need to sign in to your account to activate the ShopRunner membership benefit.

Does ShopRunner charge during the free trial?

ShopRunner does not charge during the free trial. You will need to pay a membership fee if you wish to continue using ShopRunner once the one month trial is over.

The final word on ShopRunner

If you're trying to figure out how to save money, then signing up for ShopRunner might be a no-brainer — especially if you can get a free membership through your credit card issuer or via PayPal or Yahoo.

If you need to pay the $79 annual membership fee, make sure you'll shop frequently enough at participating partner retailers to make the fee worth it. Also, check each retailer's shipping policies to find out if you'll meet minimum order requirements and take advantage of the free two-day shipping ShopRunner offers.

If you shop online often, you may decide paying the fee is worth it — or you can sign up for a credit card that provides a free ShopRunner membership as a perk. These cards have other advantages too, so applying for one may be the best way to maximize your savings on your online purchases. 

Saving money, taking advantage of the right financial products, and using budgeting apps could be the first steps toward getting a handle on how to manage your money.

A Simple Cashback Card for Day-to-Day

Intro Offer

$100 statement credit

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 20% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn $100 cash back after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • No travel rewards
  • Grocery rewards are capped
  • Rewards dollars can’t be used toward the minimum payment due
Card Details
  • Earn $100 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months; plus, earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back
  • 20% cash back at Amazon.com during the first six months (up to $150), 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)
  • Terms apply

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.