How much can you really save with Shipt and Amex?

Those of us who live in an area served by Shipt (a grocery delivery service) may be attracted to a widely available Amex Offer: Spend $100 or more, get $50 back. On the surface it appears that it’s possible to get up to 50% off groceries this way.

I have the offer available on quite a few Amex cards. Between my wife and me, and a bunch of authorized user cards, we have 11 Amex cards with this offer. And by using the multi-tab trick I can easily add the offer to multiple cards that are registered to a single online account. So, it appears that until November 1 I can order up to $1100 worth of groceries and get $550 back as long as I order $100 at a time, and change my credit card each time. That’s an incredible deal if true.

Gotcha #1: Membership Required

In order to order from Shipt, you must be a member. Standard membership fees are either $99 per year (with a free 2 week trial) or $14 per month.

Save with coupons or specials. Here are some options I know of:

  • Use a promo code like $25FREENOW or SAVE25 to get $15 off your first order and $10 off your second.
  • Get $10 off your first order by using a friend’s referral link (here’s my referral link). If you do, both you and your friend will get $10 in free groceries.

It may be possible to do both of the above (but I haven’t tested it). You can use a friend’s referral link and also add a promo code. I’m not at all sure they’ll stack though!

Alternatively, keep an eye out for other deals. In order to test out this service, I hopped on a one day half off deal that I wrote about last week.

The best option may be to do the 15 day free trial. Then if you still have Amex Offers left to use after the free trial, change to the monthly plan and pay just one month. That should get you quite close to the Amex Offer’s expiration date.

Gotcha #2: Higher Prices

In my area, Meijer is the only grocery store that Shipt supports. I visited my closest Meijer store and compared prices between the Shipt app and real life for 16 different items. In most cases, the Shipt app prices were 15% to 16% higher. A couple of items had lower markups: Meijer milk had just a 10% markup.  On the other hand, a 12 pack of Bell’s Oberon beer cost 22% more via the app.

Gotcha #3: Optional Tip

After your items are delivered, you are asked to rate your shopper and then asked for an optional tip.

Of course, you don’t have to tip, but the pressure is on once they present that screen. Strangely, the screen says that tipping is only available until October 13th, so maybe this will become a non-issue.  As readers have pointed out, where it says “Tipping Available Until October 13th” means that I have a month in which to give a tip for this order.

There is an advantage to the tip screen. In order to get your $50 back from Amex Offers, you have to spend a total of $100 or more with Shipt. If you end up coming in a little bit under, you can add tip to make up the difference. In this example, my order that came to $92, so I added an $8 tip in order to get to $100 so that my Amex Offer would be activated.

Theoretical Best Discount: 42%

Let’s say you sign up for the 15 day free trial so that membership cost becomes irrelevant. In that case, you can maximize the Amex Offer by buying exactly $100 worth of groceries and tipping $0 (note: I’m not advocating that, this is just a theoretical exercise). That way, you’ll get $50 back from your $100 spend.

If all of the items in your cart were marked by 15.5% by Shipt, then that means the in-store price for the same items would have been $100 / 1.155 = $86.58. So, by perfectly maximizing the Amex Offer, you would get $86.58 worth of groceries for $50. That’s a 42% discount.

Realistic Discount: 34%

It’s not easy to charge exactly $100 in groceries. Let’s arbitrarily say that you’re likely to go $5 over. And let’s add in a $5 tip. And let’s go with the same assumption of an average 15.5% markup.

In this case, you would be getting $91 worth of groceries ($105 / 1.155) for $60 ($110 – $50). That’s a 34% discount.

Is it worth it?

34% off groceries is still a terrific deal.

I’ll review my consumer experience with Shipt in a separate post. So far, it has been very good. If you need groceries or almost anything else available at a Shipt supported grocery store (note: gift cards are not an option — I tried), I do think it is worth signing up for the Amex Offer and giving Shipt a try. If you have the deal available on multiple Amex cards that are registered to the same online account, make sure to view the offer on each card in a separate browser tab before loading the offer to each card (otherwise the offer will disappear from the other cards). More here: Complete Guide to Amex Offers.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. I do millions of dollars a year in business with meijer shipt is making all its money on the markup, corporate and I chatted about it Oh and the reason you only have til October to tip, did you place the order September 13th?

  2. I did multiple tabs trick on AMEX offers lately. Doesn’t seem to work no more. For example, I have 4 Amex CC. Offer XYZ is available on all 4 cards I save to all 4 cards. I use the offer on card 1. I get my credit on card 1 but then the offers on the other 3 cards disappear even though I saved them. Anyone else experiencing this?

    Thanks

  3. You’re lucky though if you can buy beer with Shipt. They also partner with Meijer in my area and beer is not an option. Must be a state law or something in WI.

    • I imagine that they hope there are a lot of people who are not price sensitive who prefer not to drive to the grocery store, or who do not have a car. Also, it’s not at all obvious that they markup prices, so some may see it as a cheap way to get groceries delivered.

  4. Note: If you check for their presence in your location and your location is not covered, they automatically save your email address and inform you that they will let you know when shipt will operate in your location. There is NO option to choose if you would like to be notified or not nor a message letting you know that by clicking the button, you’re subjected to the notification.

  5. Pretty sure the tipping screen saying available until October 13 is for your specific order. It sounds like you have 30 days to opt into tipping on your order, not that they’re getting rid of tipping on Oct 13.

  6. Two of those items were on sale, it would be interesting to do the same comparison next week when the Organic Spring Mix and Bounty are not on sale. Will Shipt then increase the price to $5.69 + 15% and $18.49 + %15 or at that point have a better deal than the store?

  7. Tipping window is supposed to be unlimited now so I’m unsure why it says that.

    Are you sure the tip was added to a single transaction? I’m very curious about this. My understanding was that tips are generally processed separately. This may just be an AMEX thing.

    Shipt prices will often track the store sale and do go up after the sale ends. If you order a day ahead on the day the sale ends Shipt still honors the price. There are exceptional values at times.

    Typical customers are people without transportation, elderly, moms with kids, busy with work…and people who hate going to the store.

  8. DP: $25FREENOW promo did not work for me after adding $100+ in groceries and proceeding to the payment screen.. Is my second Shipt account at same CC address, but not sure the dup checker looks at/retains billing address after initial account setup. Perhaps this promo now expired.

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