Amazon has already rolled out price cuts for Whole Foods shoppers as a result of its acquisition of the grocery chain. It has also rolled up its Treasure Truck deals service to Whole Foods locations, and began delivering Whole Foods groceries through Prime. Now, it’s offering Prime members 5 percent back at Whole Foods when they shop using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card, too.
The company has just announced that it will, in conjunction with the grocer and Chase, extend grocery rewards to those who shop Whole Foods with this card. In addition to the 5 percent back for Prime members, non-Prime members will earn 3 percent back on Whole Foods Market purchases. Non-Prime members will also continue to earn 3 percent back on all Amazon.com purchases, and all cardholders earn 2 percent back on gas stations, restaurants and drug stores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Prime members with the card were already earning 5 percent back on Amazon.com but this is the first time the reward level has been extended to purchases off Amazon.com.
The Prime Rewards Visa card was introduced just over a year ago to encourage increased spending on Amazon’s site, and to push shoppers to sign up for Amazon’s $99 per year Prime membership. The card was not Amazon’s first entry into the payments space, though others before it had focused on Amazon.com purchases, and not shopping offline.
Other card benefits include no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees when traveling or when cross-border shopping, travel protection, 24/7 concierge service and zero fraud liability, and no cap on rewards earned, and no expiration date on those rewards.
Following the acquisition, Amazon had promised to lower prices at Whole Foods, saying that Prime members would receive special savings and other in-store benefits. It almost immediately made good on those promises with store-wide price cuts, and has offered seasonal discounts on things like Thanksgiving turkeys and Valentine’s roses.
But the integration of the two companies has not been without its challenges.
The new inventory management system Amazon insisted on has led to bare shelves, and Whole Foods employees have detailed how Amazon is crushing team morale with its new procedures. People were “crying” and quitting as a result, a report from Business Insider said.
These sorts of issues are still being worked out, and could impact store sales in ways that a new cash back card can’t address. But for those cardholders who regularly shop Whole Foods regardless, the perk will likely be welcomed.