- Visa said in a press release Monday that its providing its cardholders with special offers from three partners, including a limited-time free membership with the delivery service company Shipt; a limited-time free membership with online course provider Skillshare and early access to tickets and free tickets from music merchant Sofar Sounds.
- The new Visa offer through Target-owned Shipt builds on that delivery enterprise's latest efforts to bolster its membership ranks and connect with users as the company vies with Instacart, Amazon and other major e-commerce firms for online shoppers. In its own separate release, Shipt said the offer will "provide free Shipt membership to the millions of Visa consumer credit cardholders¹ in the U.S. that enroll."
- “These new benefit providers enhance our refreshed credit benefits portfolio to deliver special access for Visa consumer credit cardholders," Visa's Head of Product for North America, Brian Cole, said in the card company's release announcing the offers.
By teaming up with Visa, the largest U.S. card company with a reach to roughly half of U.S. households, Shipt is gearing up to boost its membership across the country.
With the partnership, all Visa cardholders in the U.S. can now create a Shipt account and enroll for free delivery on orders over $35, according the companies' press releases. Visa Infinite cardholders can get up to three years of free Shipt membership, while Visa Signature ones can get it free up to three months and then nine months of membership at 50% off. All other cardholders can get one month of free membership, followed by 50% off for three months.
Normally, the Shipt Everyday membership costs $99 per year and provides free delivery on orders over $35, with a $7 delivery fee on orders under $35. Shipt also offers delivery passes, which cost $10 each, and discounts on pass packs of three for $27 and five for $40.
The majority of Visa’s cardholders fall into the category of being eligible for a free Shipt membership for three months, Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso said in an interview. The partnership stemmed from Visa reaching out to Shipt, she noted, and comes at a time when retailers and e-commerce firms are ramping up for the holiday season. Shipt, which already skews heavily toward membership, will be watching for engagement and stickiness among Visa cardholders, Caruso said.
In the competitive card arena, which also includes Mastercard, Discover Financial and American Express, Visa and the rivals are always seeking to extend new benefits that might lure new customers and keep a tighter hold on existing ones. Offering customers discounted memberships, like the Shipt services or Skillshare courses, or giving them an exclusive deal, like access to the Sofar Sounds pre-sale tickets, gives it an edge, or at least keeps it competitive, in the card marketplace.
Locking arms with a big name like Visa is an even bigger boon for the smaller, lesser known companies. The Visa partnership is Shipt's latest push to add new customers and convert them to members. This summer, Shipt launched the Preferred Shopper tool to let members designate their top personal shoppers to handle future orders.
Shipt has helped power triple-digit growth for parent company Target during the pandemic, but its expansion with other retailers has often been overshadowed by Instacart and now fast-growing upstarts like DoorDash and Uber. Caruso said Shipt is focused on creating a diverse selection of retailers for users in markets across the country.