Get a free 1-year membership to ShopRunner

Normally that same membership would run you $79. In theory this is for American Express cardholders only, but for the moment, anyone can sign up.

ShopRunner

Talk about good timing!

From now through Dec. 31, you can get a free 1-year membership to ShopRunner -- the service that affords, among other things, free 2-day shipping from dozens of big-name stores. (Use offer code runner when filling out the registration form.) That may come in awfully handy for you last-minute gift shoppers.

Before I go any further, and to help prevent another SiriusXM Internet Radio-style debacle , I must point out that this offer is ostensibly for American Express Platinum Card members only. Consequently, it could disappear at any time, and it's even possible that ShopRunner will revoke the freebie for anyone who turns out not to have an Amex.

That said, I signed up without any problem, and it appears my membership is valid -- at least for the time being. Again, this offer is technically not for you, but for the moment it's definitely available to you (if you're a new ShopRunner member, that is). If something changes, well, please think twice before you blame me, American Express, or ShopRunner. (But especially me.)

For those unfamiliar with it, ShopRunner upgrades you to free 2-day shipping at stores ranging from American Eagle to MacMall to Newegg to Toys R Us. And there's no minimum purchase, either, so you can get that fast, free shipping even if you spend only a couple bucks.

ShopRunner also entitles you to free return shipping, a huge plus if you've ordered something big and heavy (like, say, a TV or speaker system) and decided you don't like it. (Restocking fees may apply, though, so the return itself may not be "free.").

Finally, the service offers various members-only deals, like "10 percent off your order" here and "save $15 on $75 or more" there. These aren't exactly earth-shattering, though, nor are they even the best discounts you can find. For example, ShopRunner offers 20 percent off your order at Fathead, but a little Googling reveals a coupon code for 25 percent off -- one anybody can claim.

Still, the big draw here is the shipping upgrades. And would you believe a year of ShopRunner normally costs $79? It would be a cold day in Bermuda before I'd pay that much for this service. But free? Yeah, I'll take it for free.

 

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