UPDATED! The Amazon Prime Discount at Whole Foods Is Rolling Out Now! This Is How It Works.
For all of us who have ever cracked a "Whole Paycheck" joke, shopping at Whole Foods just became a lot more affordable.
Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods last August, we've known that a discount program for Prime members was in the works. Amazon slashed some prices immediately for everyone, but the Prime discount took a bit longer to set up. Here's everything you need to know now that it's finally rolling out.
Where and when will the Whole Foods discount be available?
Amazon has begun slowly rolling out the Prime discount at Whole Foods and Whole Foods 365 locations nationwide. As of June 11, 2018, the discount has been rolled out to the following states:
- Missouri (Kansas City only)
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
“We’re excited that Prime savings will be available at nearly half of our Whole Foods Market stores this week, giving more Prime members access to great deals just in time for summer,” said A.C. Gallo, President and Chief Operating Officer at Whole Foods Market in a statement dated June 11, 2018. “Based on the positive customer feedback and successes we’ve seen over the past month, we’re accelerating our timeline to expand these savings to all of our U.S. stores.”
How big is the discount?
It depends. Members get a flat 10% off items already on sale, but other offers will probably vary broadly. The bottom line here is it's not going to be anything like a flat percentage off your final bill. In fact, it's really just bringing Whole Foods a step closer to the way less bougie grocery stores already run sales through their loyalty programs.
What items are discounted?
Some of the earliest reported discounts were $10 off per pound of halibut steaks (wild-caught and sustainably-sourced, of course) and $2 off per pound of organic strawberries, as well as deals on sparkling water and granola bars. We can't help but notice that the savings on the halibut alone could be enough to make up for Prime's recent $20 price hike in a single grocery trip.
While shopping in-store, look for items that are flagged for discounts. There are two types of discounts to look for.
The first discount gets Amazon Prime members an extra 10% off sale items marked with yellow sale signs.
The second discount is special pricing exclusively for Prime subscribers. These items otherwise would not be on sale, but your membership gives you access.
Both of these member discounts were leaked in late March, so it's nice to see them confirmed and actually rolling out now.
What isn't included?
Alcohol is specifically excluded from the extra 10% off sale discount, but there's nothing we've seen that excludes alcohol from Prime-only special offers. So it's possible that we may see some boozy members-only deals.
How to get the discount.
Functionally, the discount works much like the grocery store loyalty programs you're already familiar with, though instead of a plastic key fob, you'll download a Prime Code via the Whole Foods app for the cashier to scan at checkout.
If that sounds like too much trouble, you can also give the cashier your phone number – just be sure it's connected to your Prime account.
So far as we can tell, there's nothing stopping a Prime member from sharing their phone number with non-members to use at checkout. However, it seems likely that Amazon is technologically on the ball enough to be on the lookout for any abuse.
It's also worth noting that non-members can give the Prime discount a try on their own with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.
Additional grocery perks and benefits for Prime members.
Amazon Prime members in select cities are also eligible for free, 2-hour delivery from Whole Foods via Prime Now.
A tip to save even more...
Since February, members have been able to pay with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa to get 5% back at Whole Foods. No surprise, our personal finance editor, Mark Jackson, recommends it as the best credit card for shopping on Amazon. Or you can go with one of your favorite credit cards for grocery shopping to maximize your savings.