Kroger Adds Wireless to Frequent Shopper Rewards

The Kroger Co. is rolling out what it says is a first-of-its-kind loyalty program that rewards frequent shoppers with free wireless service using its proprietary branded wireless phone service, i-wireless. The “Free Minutes” rewards program enables customers to earn free airtime on their i-wireless phones when they purchase groceries in more than 2,200 Kroger-owned stores nationwide.

In a market seeing a rapid shift in demand toward unlimited price plans, the program “is a unique loyalty initiative that enables shoppers to obtain market-leading pricing and potentially eliminate their wireless phone bill altogether,” noted i-wireless officials. Unlimited Talk and Unlimited Talk and Text plans start at just $40 and $50 each, respectively, when customers register for the Free Minutes program, but i-wireless subscribers can also earn an additional $1 discount toward their next monthly service fee for every $100 spent in-store on qualifying purchases.

“The Free Minutes rewards program empowers customers to directly influence the amount they spend each month on their wireless service — the more they shop at Kroger, the more they’ll save on their wireless bill,” said Paul McAleese, i-wireless CEO. “For loyal Kroger shoppers, Free Minutes enables i-wireless to deliver the best value in the marketplace today, making it an incredibly attractive option for the millions of shoppers [who] visit a Kroger store on a weekly basis.”

i-wireless customers who subscribe to a monthly rate plan or a pay-as-you-go plan will receive 20 free minutes of airtime for every $100 they spend in-store. Customers are notified via text message of their reward in an immediate fashion, often receiving the message by the time they reach the parking lot following their shopping transaction. Free Minutes rewards can only be redeemed on a Kroger i-wireless phone and may carry forward from month to month, consistent with the program rules of their selected rate plan. i-wireless users can register for the Free Minutes program by linking their shopper’s card, rewards card number or alternate ID to their i-wireless phone number at the point of activation, online or by calling i-wireless Customer Care.
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