A Prime Mover

On Wednesday, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase announced they have partnered to introduce a new Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which will be the first card to target members of Amazon Prime.  For all credit card issuers not named Chase, it is a sad day.  There is no more valuable partner for a credit card issuer than Amazon because Amazon Prime has a massive user base and these users spend more often than nonmembers.

Amazon Prime had 49.5 million members in the US alone as of Q3 2016, according to Cowen & Co. estimates. Amazon Prime members accounted for 57% of all Amazon purchases in October 2016, compared with 49% last year. Moreover, 83% of Prime members made a purchase in that period, compared with just 49% of non-Prime members.

Amazon Prime represents the future of loyalty programs – a subscription-based program with very rich benefits.  Here’s the list:

  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits. 
  • FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes. 
  • Prime Now: Get FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores.  
  • Restaurant Delivery: Get FREE one-hour delivery from popular restaurants with Prime Now. 
  • FREE Release-Date Delivery: FREE Release-Date Delivery on eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S. 
  • Prime Video: unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 
  • Prime Music: unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 
  • Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault. 
  • Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. 
  • Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon’s own line of everyday essentials.
  • Amazon Dash for Prime: Never run out of your favorite products with Amazon Dash Button. 
  • Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com. 
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: access to members in the U.S. 
  • Prime Reading: You can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android. 
  • Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. 
  • Audible Channels for Prime: Get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Audible Channels includes unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists handcrafted for every interest. You’ll also receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks, a collection of streaming audiobooks including best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics and more. Just download the free Audible app and sign in with your Amazon account to start listening.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members can get discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans and there are annual plans available exclusively to Prime members. 
  • Video Add-On Subscriptions: Members can purchase Video Add-on Subscriptions to premium content providers. 
  • Deals and Discounts, Compliments of Amazon Family: These include 20% off diapers through Subscribe & Save and 15% off eligible products from your baby registry. 
  • Twitch Prime: Members get exclusive discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases. Twitch.tv users who link their Amazon Prime account get ad-free viewing on Twitch, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, and exclusive access to free game content. 

 

Progressive retailers and financial institutions have begun to view Amazon as an asset rather than competition, because partnering and associating with Amazon significantly widens a brand’s potential audience, thanks to Amazon’s global reputation and customer base.

The future promises to be challenging for financial institutions that use products such as credit cards to re-enforce their brand as retailers emulate Amazon’s value proposition and utilize online technology that allow consumers to store card information on their website for convenience.  With card credentials stored with retailers, consumers can avoid deciding which card they use for purchases at that retailer – the default card will win.  Much to the chagrin of the financial institutions whose cards are left in their customer’s wallets.

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