While some retailers have a membership program fee or a minimum price requirement for free shipping, others are offering free shipping with no minimum purchase for their free loyalty programs.

J. Crew Group Inc., No. 53 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, has added free shipping with no purchase threshold to its free loyalty program. Previously, the apparel retailer granted perks only to J. Crew credit cardholders.

J. Crew Rewards allows its members to earn one point for every dollar spent at U.S. J. Crew, J. Crew Factory or J. Crew Mercantile stores, or at JCrew.com and JCrewFactory.com. For every 200 points accumulated, or $200 spent, a customer earns a $5 reward to redeem on future purchases.

J. Crew’s loyalty program and access to free shipping is free for a consumer to sign up. The retailer still offers a J. Crew credit card for shoppers who want even more rewards and perks such as early access to select items, complimentary apparel alterations and a $10 reward for every $200 spent on the card.

In a similar fashion, Macy’s Inc. (No. 6) in May opened its Star Rewards program—previously only offered to those with a Macy’s credit card—to all consumers, regardless of how they pay for their products. The Bronze Member level allows consumers to earn points, and with every 1,000 points accumulated, they receive a $10 Star Money reward. However, its free shipping perk with no minimum purchase is still only available for Macy’s cardholders.

Some retailers have a price threshold for rewards and free shipping, such as Amazon.com Inc.’s (No. 1) $119 Prime membership, which grants free shipping with no minimum purchase. Meanwhile, Walmart Inc. (No. 3) offers free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more, but there’s no need to sign up for a loyalty program.

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Similar to J. Crew, six other retailers in Internet Retailer’s 2018 Top 1000 offer free shipping through a free loyalty program without any fees or cardholder status required:

  • Columbia Sportswear Co., No. 158, offers free ground shipping on every order with a free membership in its Greater Rewards loyalty program. Consumers accumulate 10 points for every $1 spent and receive a $5 reward for every 1,000 points, or $100 spent.

  • Dell Inc., No. 4, offers free expedited delivery with a free membership in the Dell Advantage Rewards loyalty program.
  • Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., No. 295,  gives free shipping to its KORSVIP members, even at its lowest “Studio” member tier, which is free to join. Consumers move up the tiers of KORSVIP perks after they accumulate a certain amount of points, and shoppers receive 10 points for every $1 spent with the apparel retailer.
  • Christopher & Banks Corp., No. 415, offers free shipping with no minimum purchase for its free Friendship Rewards program. Shoppers receive 10 points for every $1 spent and $10 to spend after accumulating 2,500 points.
  • The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., No. 109, offers free shipping with no minimum in its Perfect Fit rewards program. Members also receive a $50 reward for every $500 spent.
  • Musician’s Friend Inc., No. 56, offers free shipping with its Backstage Pass rewards program membership, which is free to sign up. Shoppers receive 8 points for every $1 spent to be redeemed on future purchases.

“Loyalty programs have moved beyond only providing discounts to now offering exclusive experiences and access,” says Mary Lou Barney, vice president of client success at consumer insights platform Fuel Cycle. “Retailers are turning this transactional relationship into a two-way conversation that benefits both the store and the shopper.”

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