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Supermarket Rewards: Are They Worth It?

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Pauline Hatch      

Coles Rewards

50,000 Flybuys bonus points + 0% p.a. on balance transfer for 12 mos

No BT fee. Earn Flybuy points. No foreign fees.

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Just how much value can you get from supermarket rewards programs? How do they stack up against frequent flyer programs? Taking a deep dive into Coles’ Flybuys and Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards, we’ll investigate exactly how each program works, whether it offers value, and what tradeoffs you may have to make as a member. We’ll also compare them side by side with some of the best traditional rewards credit cards.

Want to maximise your earn? We’ll cover that too, as we dip into the various ways you can boost your points earning potential within the world of supermarket rewards.

Coles’ Flybuys

Owned and operated by Coles, Flybuys is one of Australia’s biggest and best-known loyalty programs. 

Free to join, the Flybuys program allows members to earn points on their spending at Flybuys partner retailers and service providers, such as Coles and Kmart. From there, members can choose to convert their accumulated points into cashback at the checkout, shop the Flybuys Store for gift cards and merchandise, or redeem their points for travel through Flybuys travel or via a Velocity Points conversion.

How to Apply

To become a member of Flybuys, you must be aged 16 years or over and have a current Australian residential address. Membership is free – all you need to do to apply is register your details online. Alternatively, you can complete the Flybuys application form or contact the Flybuys Service Centre.

After you have successfully registered your info, you will receive a Flybuys membership number and a Flybuys card. While you can just use the card to earn and redeem points, it’s recommended you download the app as well, as this is where you can access bonus points offers to boost your points earn.

Earning Points

To earn points within the Flybuys program, simply scan your Flybuys card or enter your Flybuys info when spending at partner retailers and service providers. Each partner has its own earn rate, with bonus offers that pop up from time to time. To stay up-to-date with partner earn rates and offers, keep a close eye on the Flybuys site or your Flybuys app.

Here are the current Flybuys partners, their earn rates and offers.

  • Bunnings Warehouse. Collect 1 point per $1 when shopping in-store and online at Bunnings Warehouse.
  • Catch. Shopping on Catch.com.au, you can earn 1 point per $2. Flybuys members with an active OnePass subscription can collect 1 standard point per $2 spent plus 1 bonus point per $2 spent. 
  • Citi. If you apply for a Citi Rewards credit card by 25 Oct 2023 and then spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval, you will receive 75,000 Flybuys bonus points. This equates to $375 in Flybuys dollars at the checkout.
  • Coles. When you shop at Coles supermarkets, you can earn 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Coles Credit Cards. By applying for a Coles credit card, you can boost your Flybuys earn as you spend day-to-day. More on Coles credit cards later. 
  • Coles Insurance. Staying within the Coles family, you can earn points on your premiums with Coles Insurance. 
  • Coles Personal Loans. If you apply for a Coles personal loan, you can earn 1 extra point per $1 spent at Coles, up to a total of 1,000 extra points per month.
  • G’day Parks. When you stay at over 300 G’day Parks across Australia, you can earn 2 points per $1 on your booking. You can also collect 2,000 bonus points when you sign up to G’day Rewards plus, when you link your G’day Rewards account to Flybuys, you can earn 5 points every time you book online or via G’day Parks app.
  • First Choice Liquor Market. As you stock up on your favourite tipple, you can earn 1 point per $1 at First Choice Liquor Market.
  • Flybuys travel. When you buy flights, accommodation, cruises or any other type of travel with Flybuys travel, you can earn 1 point per $1 on your booking.
  • HCF: When you join HCF health insurance and make your 1st payment by 30 Sep 2023 you get a chance to win a $10,000 Flybuys Travel voucher or other minor prizes. Plus, if you stay for 10 months, you could receive up to 130,000 points. New HCF members only. T&Cs apply.

 

Annual premium Total points Flybuys dollars
$6,000+ 130,000 points $650
$5,000 – $5,999 100,000 points $500
$4,000 – $4,999 80,000 points $400
$3,000 – $3,999 60,000 points $300
$2,000 – $2,999 48,000 points $240
$1,000 – $1,999 24,000 points $120
Less than $999 14,000 points $70

 

  • Kleenheat. By linking your Flybuys membership number to your Kleenheat account, you can earn 1 point per $1 spent on natural gas.
  • Kmart. When you shop at Kmart, you can pick up 1 point on each $1 you spend.
  • Liquorland. When you shop at Liquorland, you can pick up 1 point on each $1 you spend.
  • mycar. For every $1 you spend on car tyres and servicing at mycar, you will earn 1 point. 
  • NAB. If you earn NAB Rewards on your NAB credit card, you have the option to transfer your NAB Rewards points to Flybuys points at the following rate.

    NAB Rewards
    Platinum cardholders
    1 NAB Rewards Points 1 Flybuys points
    NAB Rewards
    Signature cardholders
    1 NAB Rewards Points 1 Flybuys points
    NAB Rewards
    Business Signature cardholders
    1 NAB Rewards Points 1 Flybuys points

     

    • Officeworks. Shop in-store and online at Officeworks to collect 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
    • Optus. When you sign up for certain plans with Optus, you can collect bonus Flybuys points: up to 40,000 points with Optus Home Internet; up to 60,000 points with Optus data plan; up to 75,000 points with Optus mobile. T&Cs apply.
    • Shell Coles Express. When you swipe your Flybuys card at Shell Coles Express, you can earn 1 point per $2 spent on fuel and shop purchases. Every time you spend $30 in a single transaction and present your Flybuys card at Coles, you can receive a digital fuel offer of 4c off per litre at the pumps and you have the option to switch your preference to collect 8 points per litre instead. T&Cs apply.
    • Target. When you shop at Target, you can pick up 1 point on each $1 you spend. 
    • Velocity Frequent Flyer. With Velocity as a Flybuys partner, you have the option to convert Velocity Points to Flybuys points (conversion ratio 2 Flybuys points: 1 Velocity Point). Link up and start transferring your Flybuys points to Velocity for a chance to 100,000 Flybuys points + 100,000 Velocity Points. You get 1 entry every time you manually transfer 1,000 Flybuys points or receive 4 entries for every 1,000 Flybuys points auto-transferred to 500 Velocity points. Offer ends 31 Aug 2023. T&Cs apply.

    Note: All partners, earn rates and bonuses correct at time of writing.

    Flybuys Credit Cards

    Right, time to get into those Coles credit cards. Coles currently offers three credits, each of which allows cardholders to boost their Flybuys points earn. Here’s how they work and what they have to offer.

    Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

    With the Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard, you can earn 1 Flybuys point per $2 on all eligible spending, while paying no annual fee.

    When it comes to rewards cards, getting value from the points you earn is all-important. Paying no annual fee on your card makes value much easier to come by, as you don’t have to worry about spending a certain amount to break even on the rewards you earn.

    As a new cardholder, you can also take advantage of this card’s welcome bonus offer of 30,000 Flybuys bonus points which is equivalent to $150 Flybuys Dollars. All you need to do is spend $3,000 within 90 days of card approval.

    Example

    Sophie spends $12,000 on her card each year. Half of that is spent in Coles. Her card spend on its own would give her 6,000 Flybuys points. Plus she would earn 6,000 points on her Coles shop as she double dips as a Flybuys member.

    Overall, she would earn 12,000 Flybuys points, which she could redeem at the checkout for $60.

    While this doesn’t sound like a huge win, Sophie isn’t paying an annual fee on her card, so she still gets to enjoy something back on her card spending – plus she gets $150 to spend at the checkout from her intro bonus.

     

    Coles Rewards Credit Card

    The Coles Rewards Mastercard can make your everyday more exciting. The first $3,000 in eligible purchases made with the Coles Rewards Mastercard earns you 2 flybuys points for every $1 spent. Plus, enjoy 50,000 Flybuys bonus points (worth $250 Flybuys Dollars) and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months if you apply by 31 October 2023. Cardholders can also save on foreign exchange fees with its $0 foreign transaction fee feature on purchases when shopping online or overseas.

    Coles Low Rate Mastercard

    Coles Low Rate Mastercard focuses more on low rates than points. As such, it only offers an earn rate of 1 point for every $2 spent at Coles Supermarkets.

    Currently, it has 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months, a low variable rate of 12.99% p.a. on purchases, plus an annual fee of $58.

    While this card could help you save on interest if you occasionally carry a balance, it’s not going to provide a huge boost to your Flybuys earn. 

    Extras
    Coles Rewards Mastercard holders pay no foreign currency conversion fees on purchases when travelling overseas or shopping online with international retailers.

    Platinum cardholders can benefit from complimentary insurances and a concierge service.

    Redeeming Points
    In terms of points redemptions, Flybuys keeps it pretty simple. You have four options when redeeming your points.

    • Flybuys Dollars. Convert your points to Flybuys dollars (2,000 points = $10 Flybuys dollars) and spend them in-store at participating Flybuys partners.
    • Book travel. You can redeem points for travel by converting your points to the Velocity program, or by booking flights, hotels, packages, car hire, cruises and more at Flybuys travel.
    • Shop the Rewards Store. You can redeem points in the Flybuys Store, with more than 1,000 rewards to choose from, including tech, toys and homewares. Flybuys often offers special deals on certain rewards within its Store, for example, it may offer double value points on boxes of wine or travel essentials.
    • Boost your Velocity Balance. Link your Flybuys and Velocity accounts and transfer 1,000 Flybuys points to earn an astounding 500 Velocity Points. You can also opt to turn on Auto Transfer and have your Flybuys points automatically transferred into Velocity Points.

     

    Example

    Briana has accumulated 44,000 Flybuys points and is trying to decide how to spend them.

    • At the checkout, she could get $220 back on her shop at Coles.
    • Booking flights via Flybuys travel, she could book a one-way Virgin flight from Melbourne to Adelaide worth $171, for 34,200 points.
    • In the Flybuys Store, she could get $200 in Coles gift cards for 40,000 points. 
    • Also in the Flybuys Store, she could pick up Skullcandy Push Active wireless earbuds for 34,948 points, which we found with an RRP of $179.95.

    As an alternative option, Briana could convert her 44,000 Flybuys points to 22,000 Velocity Points. However, this would significantly reduce the value of her points.

    • Shopping the Velocity Store, she could redeem 19,111 Velocity Points for a $100 David Jones gift card. 
    • Flying Virgin Melbourne to Adelaide one-way, she could redeem 16,200 Velocity Points for flights worth $150.99.

    Need to Know Info

    Anything else you need to know about Flybuys?

    According to the Flybuys terms and conditions, for the most part, Flybuys points don’t expire. This means you can continue to earn points until you have enough to get the reward that suits you.

    However, it’s worth pointing out there are two instances where Flybuys points may expire. Points do not expire unless:

    • You have not registered with Flybuys, in which case they will automatically expire in three months. This may apply to you if you receive bonus points as part of an offer, but fail to register as a Flybuys member.
    • You do not earn or redeem any points on your account for a period of 12 consecutive months. Then your points, and any Flybuys dollars, will automatically expire. Flybuys may also terminate your membership and close your account.


    Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards

    Going head-to-head with the Flybuys program, Everyday Rewards is offered by Coles’ main competitor, Woolworths. Working in much the same way as Flybuys, Everyday Rewards allows members to earn points on their spending within the Woolworths Group and with certain partners, which they can then redeem at the checkout or convert to Qantas Points.

    How to Apply
    To become an Everyday Rewards member, you need to be aged 18 or over and have a current Australian residential address. If you are under the age of 18, you will need the consent of your parent or guardian to join.

    Joining is free and there are no fees to continue as a member. To join, you can either complete the application process online, download the Everyday Rewards app, call the Everyday Rewards Contact Centre, or consent to become a member as part of an application for a Woolworths branded insurance, telecommunications or financial services product.

    Earning Points
    Once you’ve joined, you can start earning points. Everyday Rewards offers a standard earn rate of 1 point per $1 spent at Woolworths and all partners within the program. These include:

    • Woolworths Supermarkets and Woolworths Metro (including spending at woolworths.com.au and via the Woolworths App) 
    • BWS (including spending at bws.com.au and via BWS on tAPP)
    • BIG W and bigw.com.au
    • Participating Ampol locations (which may be branded Caltex or Ampol as Ampol transitions to its own branding)
    • Ampol Woolworths Metro
    • Caltex app
    • Ampol app
    • Participating Caltex Woolworths/EG Australia
    • www.superpharmacy.com.au
    • www.petculture.com.au
    • www.healthylife.com.au

    The program also notes that other stores or businesses may offer points earning and bonuses as part of ongoing promotions, which are advertised accordingly.

    Like Flybuys, Everyday Rewards allows members to fast-track their points earning with ‘boosters’. These are offered to each member individually via email and the Everyday Rewards app, and may include offers that allow members to earn up to 10 points per $1.

    It’s also worth noting that you cannot earn points on certain types of spending, such as gift cards, tobacco and lottery products. For the full list, check the program’s terms.

    Aside from earning points at the above partners, you can also collect points with Bupa on eligible health insurance policies, and with Origin Energy on the Origin Everyday Rewards plan.

    Everyday Rewards Credit Cards

    According to the Woolworths Money site, it is not accepting applications for new credit cards right now, presumably because of COVID.

     “In light of the current situation, we will be temporarily pausing new card applications.”

    While there is no indication regarding when applications will resume, we’ll take this opportunity to have a quick look at the range of cards typically offered as Woolies rewards earners in case applications open up sooner rather than later.

    Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

    The Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card has a standard annual fee of $49. It offers the following uncapped earn rate:

    • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on all purchases of Woolworths brand products.
    • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on purchases at Woolworths Supermarkets and BIG W.
    • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.

    Like Coles credit cards, this Woolies card allows you to double dip on points, so you can pay with your card to earn your card’s standard earn rate, to then pick up 1 point per $1 on all other eligible spending at program partners.

    In terms of points redemptions, for every 4,000 points you earn on your card spending, you will receive a $20 Woolworths Shopping Card. This is an automatic redemption, tallied up and sent out every four months. You can use Shopping Cards in Woolworths Supermarkets and BIG W.

    Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card

    Alongside the Everyday Rewards earning card, Woolworths offers its Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card. This card has a standard annual fee of $169 and provides the following earn rate:

    • Earn 1 Qantas Point for every $1 spent at Woolworths and Woolworths Group Stores, in store and online.
    • Earn 0.5 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
    • Earn additional Qantas points on other selected Qantas products and services.

    Points on this card are directed automatically to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, where you can redeem them as normal within the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

    Extras
    With a Woolworths Credit Card in your wallet, you can also take advantage of a range of other benefits and discounts. These include:

    • 10% off your grocery shop once a month
    • Up to 10% off Woolworths Insurance
    • Exclusive benefits in dining and accommodation
    • 24/7 Concierge Service 

    Redeeming Points
    Time to redeem those Everyday Rewards points? You have three options available to you.

    • You can opt in to Bank for Christmas. This essentially banks all your points, so that you can’t redeem them until December. At that point, you can redeem them at the checkout, as per the option above.
    • You can convert 2,000 Everyday Rewards points to 1,000 Qantas Points.

    ☝ Need to Know Info

    Let’s get into some small print. According to the Everyday Rewards terms and conditions, here’s some of the more important need-to-know info.

    • You cannot have more than $4,500 Everyday Rewards dollars in your account.
    • Your Everyday Rewards points will expire if you have less than 2,000 points in your account and don’t scan your Everyday Rewards card for 18 months or more.
    • If you have at least $10 Everyday Rewards dollars in your account, it will expire after 12 months if you don’t redeem it within that time.

    Tradeoffs to Consider

    Before you join a loyalty program, whether that’s Flybuys, Everyday Rewards, or any one of the numerous other programs out there, there are certain factors you may want to consider. While it may seem nice to get something back on spending you need to do anyway, there are tradeoffs you are making as a loyal member.

    • One of the most important factors to consider is privacy. Every time you swipe your loyalty card, the owner of that loyalty program receives a heap of information about you. From how much you spend to what brands you buy, that data is incredibly valuable, even if you don’t consider it to be.
    • Another factor to consider is the cost of your loyalty to one particular brand. If you only shop at one supermarket, you could be losing out on lower prices, special deals and better promotions at other stores, meaning you spend more to get less back in return.
    • Lastly, there is value. While joining Flybuys and Everyday Rewards is free, the value you will get on your everyday shop is relatively small. With that being said, there are ways to boost your earn, such as using a co-branded credit card or taking advantage of points boosting promotions.

     

    Kogan

    While it may not be a supermarket rewards card, the Kogan Money Black Card could be worth looking into if you spend regularly at Kogan. Let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer.

    • You will receive $50 credit after using the card to make an eligible purchase in the first 30 days.
    • You will receive $350 credit after spending $1,500 on the card in the first 90 days from approval.
    • You will pay no annual fee.
    • You will earn 2 rewards points per $1 on eligible purchases at Kogan.com and 1 reward point per $1 on all eligible spending elsewhere, uncapped. 
    • You can redeem your points for eligible purchases at Kogan.com using Pay with Points, where 100 points = $1 of credit.
    • You will also receive complimentary Kogan Membership (valued at $99 per year), which offers free shipping on thousands of products, express shipping upgrades, and exclusive specials at Kogan.com.

     

    Example

    Sara wants to upgrade her lounge room. From Kogan, she buys a TV for $1000, a TV unit for $250, a lounge set for $2,000, a rug for $150 and some decorative items for $200. Coming to a total of $3,600, this gives her 7,200 points.

    Throughout the rest of the year, Sara spends a further $1,500 at Kogan and $5,000 elsewhere. This gives her 8,000 points.

    Paying out no annual fees, Sara receives $400 in bonus credit in the first year, plus 15,200 points, which equates to $152 in credit. 

    However, with no big purchases to make the following year, Sara only receives 8,000 points, or $80 in credit on her $6,500 spend. As she has no annual fee to pay – and she enjoys the various perks offered as a Kogan Member – she decides to keep the card anyway, as it’s still giving her something back on her spending.

    Tips! How to Maximise Supermarket RewardsBack to supermarket rewards. Considering the fact that joining both Flybuys and Everyday Rewards is free, anything you get in return is a bonus – and all you need to do to benefit is swipe your card at the checkout. As long as you’re happy with the data your loyalty program collects in return for this transaction, the main thing you will need to consider is how you can maximise your points earn. Here are some tips to help you boost your points earning to get the most value from your program.

    • Download the app. With your loyalty program’s app on your phone, your ‘card’ will always be on hand to scan at the checkout. Your app is also the gateway to all your personalised points boosters. These boosters provide the best way to maximise your points earn, so make good use of them.
    • Stay on top of your program. Partners, earn rates and offers will change over time, so stay on top of those changes to make the most of your spending. Sign up for email alerts or a newsletter subscription to stay up-to-date on the latest program updates.
    • Apply for a co-branded credit card. While Woolies cards are off the table for now, you could boost your Flybuys points earn as a Coles shopper with the right Coles credit card. Keep an eye out for intro offers, as they provide even more value.
    • Add a family member. You may be able to add a family member to your loyalty program and/or co-branded credit card. Their additional spend should boost your points earn overall.
    • Play the system. Consider joining Flybuys and Everyday Rewards. Then, if you switch supermarkets frequently, you may find you get better points boosters to entice you back to each store. By doing this, you can also be sure to get the best deals wherever they’re on offer instore, saving you money in the long run. 

    Photo source: Getty Images
    Pauline

    Pauline Hatch

    Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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