Amazon uses cash back benefits to entice Prime members to Whole Foods

Amazon uses cash back benefits to entice Prime members to Whole Foods

Non-Prime members will get only 3 percent back on Whole Foods purchases under the new plan, which is the same as the 3 percent back those cardmembers get on purchases already.

When Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $14 billion a year ago, it promised that the Prime shipping and entertainment membership program would become the loyalty program of Whole Foods, too. This week's announcement marks another big step, and likely not the last. And the company made several moves to consolidate its leadership model over the course of the past year.

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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. The e-commerce titan has been cutting prices and even began selling its Echo smart speaker device in Whole Foods stores.

It has also faced challenges. Workers say a new inventory management system called order-to-shelf, or OTS, has led to food shortages within the outlets. The card was not Amazon's first entry into the payments space, though others before it had focused on purchases, and not shopping offline.

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Amazon has found another way to leverage its acquisition of Whole Foods Market by giving the grocery store's customers an incentive to become members of its Prime program.

Some other credit cards - such as the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card - give as much as 6 percent back for grocery store purchases. The company would not say why. But that one, in particular, comes with a $95 annual fee.

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