Fact Checked

Amazon Prime credit card now offering 5 percent cash back at Whole Foods

A young woman buys vegetables at supermarket.Image: A young woman buys vegetables at supermarket.

In a Nutshell

Amazon Prime members will now earn 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Since acquiring Whole Foods in summer 2017, the online giant has rolled out exclusive benefits for Prime members.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

Credit Karma’s editors and writers want to help you stay on top of credit card news. The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. Heads up: Credit card terms are subject to change, and the terms outlined below may not be current after the date of publication.

Eligible Amazon Prime members will now earn 5 percent back when they shop at Whole Foods using their Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Cardholders who don’t belong to Amazon’s $99 annual Prime membership service will earn 3 percent back on Whole Foods purchases made with their Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, the company announced Tuesday.

Both cards will continue to offer elevated rewards on Amazon.com purchases (5 and 3 percent, respectively), plus 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1 percent back on all other purchases.

What does this really mean?

Since acquiring Whole Foods last summer for around $13.4 billion, Amazon has quickly left its mark on the upscale grocery chain. In recent months, the online giant slashed prices on dozens of Whole Foods items and debuted exclusive discounts for Amazon customers.

This latest move builds on Amazon’s promise to bring “special savings and in-store benefits” to Prime members as the company continues to integrate Whole Foods into its flagship membership program.

Why should you care?

This new benefit could mean significantly higher rewards earnings for cardholders, but that depends on your spending habits and whether Whole Foods is where you buy most of your groceries. Let’s take a closer look at how much the average consumer could earn with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American consumer spent $7,203 on food in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. Of that total, $4,049 went toward food at home (i.e. groceries) and $3,154 went to food away from home (i.e., restaurants and dining out).

Although your spending may vary significantly from those average figures, we can still use them to illustrate how much you’d stand to earn on food spending as a Prime member with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card:

Prime member with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Annual Spend Rewards Rate Cash Back
Whole Foods $4,049 5 percent $202.45
Restaurants $3,154 2 percent $63.08
Total rewards $265.53


Keep in mind that the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is only available with an eligible Prime membership, which currently costs $99 annually.

If you don’t take advantage of other Prime benefits, such as free two-day shipping and access to Prime Video, you might be better off with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. This card is available to non-Prime members with no annual fee.

Here’s what your food spending and rewards might look like with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card:

Non-Prime member with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

 Annual Spend Rewards Rate  Cash Back
Whole Foods  $4,049  3 percent  $121.47
Restaurants  $3,154  2 percent  $63.08
Total rewards  $184.55

Do more rewards translate to more money in your pocket?

Keep in mind, Whole Foods tends to be more expensive than the average grocery store.

Shopping studies have found that Whole Foods prices may be as much as 20 percent higher than prices at Trader Joe’s, though that figure is subject to change depending on where you live and how aggressively Amazon continues to slash prices.

So, even with 5 percent back, shopping at Whole Foods might prove more expensive than shopping at other grocery stores.

What can you do?

If you’re on the fence about applying for an Amazon credit card, this latest perk for Whole Foods shoppers might be enough to convince you it’s time.

But you may want to wait a bit longer to see what else Amazon has in the bag when it comes to Whole Foods.

For example, Amazon is now experimenting with a free two-hour grocery delivery service for Prime members who order from Whole Foods stores in Dallas; Cincinnati; Austin, Texas; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. If the service expands to your area, that might give you even more reason to consider signing up for a Prime membership and applying for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.