Shoppers often qualify for “free” shipping by spending a minimum amount of money on an order or buying a membership like Amazon Prime. But free shipping is also a credit card perk.
So, with the right credit card in your wallet, you may qualify for truly free shipping regardless of how little you spend on an order.
Following are three types of credit cards that come with this benefit. To learn more about them or find the best card for you, check out Money Talks News’ credit card tool.
Just remember that the credit card benefit of free shipping isn’t really free if you carry a balance over from one month to the next, thereby incurring interest. That’s why Money Talks News generally advises that folks who carry a balance choose a credit card with the lowest interest rate for which they can qualify.
On the other hand, folks who pay off their balances in full each month should take advantage of the many credit card perks available these days. Here are three cards that offer free shipping:
1. Most American Express credit cards
Most American Express cards now come with a free ShopRunner membership. This membership, normally $79 per year, entitles you to unlimited free two-day shipping at many online retailers — not to mention free return shipping and member-only deals.
“There is no catch. To get your complimentary ShopRunner membership courtesy of American Express, go to www.shoprunner.com/americanexpress and enroll an eligible American Express Card. You never have to pay the $79 fee and you get to enjoy free 2-day shipping on thousands of brands.”
The many AmEx cards that come with a free ShopRunner membership include cash-back cards, rewards points cards and travel cards. If you’re looking for an AmEx card with no annual fee and the ShopRunner benefit, check out:
- Amex EveryDay Credit Card
- Blue from American Express
- Blue Cash Everyday Card
- Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- Cash Magnet Card
- Hilton Honors Card
You can compare different American Express cards in our Solutions Center.
2. World and World Elite Mastercard credit cards
The World and World Elite Mastercard cards — which are travel cards — also offer their cardholders a free ShopRunner membership.
These cards are offered by a variety of financial institutions. Just to name a few, they include the:
- Bank of America World Mastercard
- HSBC Premier World Mastercard
- Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard
- Vantage World Mastercard
3. Certain retailers’ credit cards
Some credit cards offered in partnership with a retailer offer the perk of free shipping on all or most purchases from the retailer — provided that you pay for your order with the applicable retailer credit card.
Retailer cards that offer this perk include the:
- AEO Connected Visa Credit Card: Free standard shipping for American Eagle Outfitters-branded and Aerie-branded items. Exclusions include gift cards.
- Bloomingdale’s American Express Card: Free standard shipping. Exclusions include gift cards, furniture and mattresses.
- L.L. Bean Mastercard: Free nonexpress shipping and free return shipping. Exclusions include oversized freight delivery.
- Target Mastercard (one of Target’s REDcard credit cards): Free standard shipping on most items and free two-day shipping on thousands of eligible items.
- Williams Sonoma Visa Credit Card: Free standard shipping on eligible items.
Retail credit cards are not for everyone. Among other downsides, they tend to carry higher interest rates than other credit cards. If you shop at a particular retailer often, though, it may be worthwhile to open an account there. Check out “Should You Get a Store Credit Card? It’s Tempting” for an in-depth look at the pros and cons of retail cards.
Have you ever taken advantage of free shipping that you received as a credit card benefit? Share your experience by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.