Which supermarket credit card is right for you?
Both Coles and Woolworths offer credit cards that are designed to suit different needs. Coles has six products to choose from, including rewards and low rate options, while Woolworths has two different platinum credit cards.
Some of these cards are linked directly to the Coles flybuys and Woolworths Rewards loyalty programs. Others offer additional benefits and savings, such as low ongoing interest rates, no annual fees or direct earning of frequent flyer points. This guide compares all the cards offered by Coles and Woolworths to help you decide if one of them is right for you.
Compare Coles and Woolworths credit cards
Coles credit cards
Coles offers three different types of credit cards: the Coles Rewards Mastercard, Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard and the Coles Low Rate Mastercard. Unlike many other credit card companies, Coles automatically upgrades you to the platinum option when you apply for one of these cards and are approved for a credit limit of $6,000 or more.
In addition to these features, Coles credit cards also earn flybuys points per $1 spent and can double as your flybuys membership card, including the barcode on the back that you can scan to earn and redeem flybuys points on your shopping at Coles, Target and other eligible partners.
Comparison of Coles Credit Cards
Woolworths credit cards
Woolworths has two platinum reward credit cards to choose from. The Woolworths Everyday Platinum earns between 1 and 3 points per $1, with 4,000 points equalling a $20 Woolworths Shopping Card. The Woolworths Qantas Platinum card earns 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer Point per $1 spent for the first 99,999 per statement period and 0.5 points per $1 for the remainder of that statement period.
Like Coles, Woolworths credit cards can also double as your Woolworths Rewards card, with your membership barcode included on the back. This allows you to scan your card at the checkout and earn Woolworths Rewards points or Qantas Points for your shopping at Woolworths partners, including BWS.
Comparison of Woolworths Credit Cards
Features to consider when comparing Coles and Woolworths credit cards
The value of a Coles or Woolworths credit cards really depends on your individual circumstances. So looking at the following factors based on what you want from a credit card will help you decide which one is right for you.
- Standard purchase rates. In general, Coles and Woolworths credit cards offer interest rates that are similar to most reward options. However, the Coles Low Rate and Platinum Low Rate cards offer the lowest standard purchase rate, currently 12.99% p.a. If you think you may carry a balance on your credit card, it’s important to compare standard purchase rates to find one that’s affordable for you.
- Cash advance rates. Both Woolworths credit cards have standard variable cash advance rates of 21.99% p.a. Coles credit cards, on the other hand, have a standard variable cash advance rate of 19.99% p.a. Note that cash advances attract interest from the time you make them, which means costs can quickly add up.
- Annual fees. When comparing Coles and Woolworths credit cards, note that the Coles No Annual Fee and Platinum No Annual Fee cards are the only options that don’t charge an ongoing annual fee. Ideally, the value of the card you choose should outweigh the cost of the credit card, so make sure you weigh the perks of these cards against their annual fees.
- Rewards. Coles credit cards are linked to the flybuys rewards program and earn points per $1 spent. Woolworths credit cards offer either Woolworths Shopping Cards or Qantas Points per $1 spent and can also double as a Woolworths Rewards membership card. If you're already a member of one of these programs, then that could factor into your comparison.
- Point expiry. Coles flybuys points expire after 12 months if you do not earn or redeem any in that time. Woolworths Dollars expire 18 months after you last scanned your card if your balance is worth less than $10, or 12 months after you last earned points if your balance is more than $10. Qantas Points only expire if you don’t earn or use them at least once every 18 months.
- Balance transfers. Coles and Woolworths credit cards allow you to transfer debt from an existing credit card, and may offer a low or 0% promotional rate on the balance if you request this feature when you apply. At the end of the promotional period, any remaining balance transferred to a Coles credit card reverts to the standard purchase rate. For Woolworths cards, the interest rate for balance transfers reverts to the cash advance rate at the end of the introductory period.
- Currency conversion fee. The classic and platinum Coles Rewards credit cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee. All other Coles credit cards apply a fee worth 2.5% of the transaction value. In contrast, Woolworths credit cards apply a higher fee of 3% of the transaction value.
- Late payment fee. Coles credit cards apply a $10 fee to payments made after the statement due date, while Woolworths applies a fee of $35.
- Interest-free days. Coles credit cards offer up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and Woolworths credit cards offer up to 55 days interest-free when you pay your balance in full by the statement due date.
- Platinum benefits. Coles platinum credit cards offer a personal concierge service. Both Woolworths platinum cards offer a concierge service and complimentary insurance options, including travel insurance with the Woolworths Qantas Platinum card.
Jane weighs up the Coles Platinum Rewards and the Woolworths Everyday Platinum credit cards
Jane is considering a credit card that earns rewards for a supermarket loyalty program. She has easy access to both Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in her neighbourhood. To compare the value she would get from the Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard or Woolworths Everyday Platinum Visa, she estimates her monthly spending as follows:
- Groceries: $1,000
- Fuel: $200
- Toys, clothes, etc: $250
- Entertainment: $250
- Total: $1,700 (or $20,400 per year)
Jane estimates her rewards based on the maximum points she would earn with either card as follows:
- Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard. Jane would spend her whole grocery budget at a Coles supermarket, buy her fuel at a Coles Express and spend her budget for entertainment, toys and clothes at Coles Rewards Partners such as Target and Kmart.
- Woolworths Everyday Platinum card. Jane would spend her whole grocery budget at Woolworths supermarkets, buying Woolworths brand and Woolworths Select products to maximise her rewards. She would also spend her whole $250 clothing and toy budget at Woolworths partners such as Big W or EziBuy. The other $250 she would spend at retailers that aren’t associated with Woolworths.
Based on these scenarios, Jane would get the following dollar amounts with the rewards points she’d earned from each card:
- Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard. $204 per year when redeemed with flybuys dollars.
- Woolworths Everyday Platinum card. $249 value accumulated as Woolworths Shopping Cards.
For Jane, the Woolworths Everyday Platinum card offers her better value. However, keep in mind that she is aiming to spend her entire grocery bill on Woolworths Select and Woolworths brand products in this scenario. It’s also important to note that Woolworths shopping cards are only valid for 90 days, so to get value out of the card she needs to remember to use her rewards.
It’s clear from the information above that both Coles and Woolworths credit cards offer different features, benefits and potential drawbacks. The weight you place on these features, and the value offered by each card, really depends on your current spending habits, store preference, circumstances and goals. But now that you’ve seen these cards side-by-side, you should be able to get a clearer picture of which one offers the most benefits for you.
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