From its humble beginnings as an online bookstore in 1994, Amazon.com has become an internet behemoth, vying for an ever-bigger chunk of the online world as it faces off with other internet giants like Google and Facebook.
And its Amazon Prime service, launched 12 years ago, has been a winner, promising paying subscribers free two-day shipping, movies, TV shows, ebooks, and music, among other services. But now Amazon is launching Prime Reload, a service aimed at giving you 2% back on your purchases, according to Tech Crunch.
What’s the catch? You have to use your debit card to load money into your Prime Reload account in order to get 2% of your money back.
Why is Amazon offering this? Because they hope to encourage more people to sign up for their $99-a-year service. And it keeps your money in their “bank” rather than, potentially, in your own savings account earning interest.
That’s another catch because, as Tech Crunch believes, the money sitting readily available in customer’s Reload accounts could encourage them to more freely spend their money on Amazon, making more spur-of-the-moment purchases.
Oddly enough, Amazon also requires a lot of extra information from customers who want to sign up for Reload. They’re asking you for your bank account information and your driver’s license number now on top of your debit card number.
But how do you get your 2% back? Every time you use your debit card to add more money to your Reload account, Amazon will give you 2% of that money back in the form of an online Amazon gift card. In other words, your money remains with Amazon.
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