Amazon Prime credit card holders will receive 5% back on Whole Foods purchases, on top of 5% cash back on Amazon purchases.

What happened

  • Shoppers who hold an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card will now receive 5% back on their purchases at Whole Foods—non-Prime members who pay with an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card at the grocery chain will receive 3% back. This is the first addition to Amazon’s cash back program, which previously offered 5% back on Amazon.com purchases—one of the most aggressive cash back offers in the industry.

Why it matters

  • This is a serious new extension of cash back offers that the two Amazon credit cards already allow on Amazon.com, and the first that exists offline. It is also yet another benefit to Whole Foods shoppers who happen to be Prime members. The cash back program at Whole Foods not only further enhances Amazon’s acquisition of the grocery retailer, but will convert more Whole Foods shoppers to Amazon Prime membership—just think of how many consumers already spend most of their money on Amazon and food.
  • This is yet another iteration of Amazon’s unique loyalty program—predicated on changing consumer behavior and defaulting purchases to Amazon, thereby further reducing friction. As with Prime, there are no barriers to signing up for the credit card, such as the typical annual fee—it just incentivizes customers to buy more from Amazon and Whole Foods.  
  • Amazon has a unique ability to turn standalone businesses into frictionless lead generators for the company’s main retail business. The credit card program is a collaboration with Visa, an external institution—further proof of the viability of Amazon’s horizontal business model. The company can make money off of what its customers buy from Amazon and Whole Foods, rather than the credit card itself.