The Amazon Credit Card Now Offers 5% Back At Whole Foods

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While I use Amazon to buy just about everything, I’ve never been terribly interested in their co-branded credit card. Specifically, up until now the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has offered the following rewards structure:

  • 5% back at amazon.com
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
  • 1% back on all other purchases

The card has no annual fee, though requires a Prime membership, which costs $99 per year. Those without a Prime membership are eligible for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, which has the same rewards structure, except it offers 3% back at amazon.com rather than 5% back.

Starting today, cardmembers also receive additional rewards on Whole Foods purchases — those with the Prime version of the card get 5% back on Whole Foods purchases, while those with the basic version of the card get 3% back on Whole Foods purchases.

This new benefit is exclusive to Whole Foods, and doesn’t include other grocery stores. It’s obviously motivated by Amazon having purchased Whole Foods last year in a nearly $14 billion deal, so Amazon is hoping that this perk will cause more people to shop at Whole Foods.

This is certainly a fairly compelling value for anyone who is a frequent Whole Foods shopper, though I’d argue it’s not the best value that’s available for Whole Foods purchases. Specifically, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 3x Membership Rewards points on the first $6,000 spent annually at US supermarkets. On top of that you receive a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle, meaning you’re earning up to 4.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. I value those points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like a return of ~7.7% on grocery store spend.

If you prefer a no annual fee card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $6,000 spent annually at US supermarkets, and you receive a 20% points bonus when you make at least 20 transactions per billing cycle, meaning you’re earning up to 2.4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. That’s the equivalent of a ~4.1% return.

Bottom line

The Amazon credit card now offering 3-5% back on Whole Foods spend is a very nice perk. It’s also brilliant from their perspective, given that they own the grocery giant. Personally I don’t spend a lot at grocery stores, but even if I did, I doubt this would be enough to get me to pick up this card, since I prefer a card like the Amex EveryDay Preferred. However, I’m sure lots of people will get value out of this.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the 5% Amazon Credit Card bonus for Whole Foods spend?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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Comments

  1. I find it interesting that you buy just about everything from Amazon, because they don’t participate in any airline shopping portals (that I am aware of). I never buy from Amazon because of that. I can find what I need elsewhere, and enjoy the bonus miles by clicking through a portal.

  2. If I buy regularly from Amazon, should I put that spend on this card? I would get 5% back per dollar spent which seems better than using any of my Chase cards?

  3. @ Michelle — There’s not a perfect strategy here, though personally I buy Amazon gift cards and earn 5x points for those purchases, so I think I come out more than 5% ahead.

  4. @ Robert D — But I can earn 5x points since you can buy Amazon gift cards, which is more than I’d earn through most portals anyway.

  5. @Robert D – You can shop on Amazon using the Jet Blue partner link (https://trueblue.jetblue.com/group/trueblue/amazon) to earn 3x points per dollar. This is stackable with smile. My routine is to start at Jet Blue, click through their link, then switch from amazon.com to smile.amazon.com (using the same browser window), and pay with a gift card. It usually takes about a month for the Jet Blue points to post.

  6. 5% back at Whole Foods just takes their prices from absolutely outrageous to slightly less outrageous, so this has no effect on me at all. I only go to Whole Foods 1 or 2 times a year.

    (Of course it doesn’t help that the only one convenient for me has the WORST parking design in the history of retail shopping.)

  7. Hi Ben or Anyone who can answer this: “But I can earn 5x points since you can buy Amazon gift cards” – What card are you using / What points are you earning 5x? Thanks.

  8. 5% at Whole Foods for paying an arm and a leg there? No thanks. I rather shop at Target / Kroger / Sprout / Walmart etc.

  9. @David D @Ryan, my Chase Ink Plus (no longer available), earns 5x points at office supplies stores which sell Amazon gc. The Ink Business Cash does too.

  10. @David D and @Ryan, you can also use a Chase Freedom to buy Amazon GC at 5x points. This quarter you can buy them where apple pay/chase pay is accepted. Some quarters you can buy them at grocery stores, other quarters at pharmacies and other quarters at Amazon directly. Through these methods, you can easily buy a few thousand dollars of Amazon GC if you have a Freedom.

  11. Wow – Now if someone could get some extreme stacking to add up to around 40% off, It would then be possible to shop at Whole Foods for the same cost as regular stores like Kroger, Publix, Giant and Food Lion!

  12. Is it possible to auto-pay a credit card bill *in real time* ?

    What I mean is, if I had the Amazon VISA and used it every day or so at Amazon, could I set that VISA account to automatically pay itself down to zero balance every day ?

    My goal here is to do our daily/weekly shopping at amazon like we always do, but not have a big monthly payment coming out every 30 days … rather, just pay it down to zero in real time, as we use it …

    Thanks.

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