Some of Australia's largest retailers offer their own credit cards, many with great benefits.
Supermarkets have been offering credit cards for years. They work in the same way a regular credit card, with one fundamental difference — they aim to reward shoppers with more specific rewards, such as discounts at the checkout.
For examples, look no further than Australia's two largest supermarket giants: Coles and Woolworths. Their credit cards provide better rewards point earning rates if you shop with them or with one of their partner stores, which include petrol stations and large brand-name retailers.
What are the benefits of supermarket credit cards?
Retailers are trying to find new ways to promote customer loyalty and increase sales. No longer only providing store cards, supermarkets are partnering with banks to provide convenience as well as brand recognition to customers. When a credit card is combined with a supermarket rewards program, you get a versatile tool that's able to be used in many locations, and one that'll make your weekly shopping that bit easier.
What are the types of supermarket credit cards in the market?
There are a number of different types of supermarket credit cards available. As you can see in the table above these are comprised of cards which work in slightly different ways:
- The card might earn points which are automatically redeemed for a cashback or discount on your shopping bill at the supermarket linked to the card
- The card might earn points which can be redeemed for rewards in its own program, like Coles flybuys or American Express Membership Rewards
- The card might directly earn airline points, such as Qantas Points, or allow you to link it to your existing airline loyalty program membership
Supermarket Credit Card Comparison
Card features for the major retailers
Two of Australia's major supermarket retailers, Woolworths and Coles, are already on the credit card bandwagon. They offer a number of features which are comparable or even exceed non-supermarket credit cards. Take a look at their features below:
|Woolworths||In terms of interest rates, the Woolworths Everyday Platinum credit card is currently offering a rate of 19.99% p.a. on purchases and 21.99% p.a. on cash advances. When you pay your balance in full, you'll have 55 days without interest. Woolworths charges a waived annual fee in the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter).|
|Coles||The Coles MasterCard offers a relatively high 62 interest-free days for those who wish to pay off the balance before accruing interest. You'll be charged an annual fee of $62, while your purchases will be charged interest at a rate of 19.99% p.a. The rate for cash advances is 19.99% p.a.|
Supermarket credit card tips
- A supermarket credit card earns rewards points in many of the same ways as a regular rewards card. This means most purchases and even some bill payments are valid transactions which will net you points.
- You'll need to be a part of whatever rewards scheme applies to your card, whether that be flybuys, the Everyday Rewards scheme or whatever other program might be applicable. Sometimes these programs will make you a member automatically, but check to see whether you need to join separately and whether a joining fee will apply
- You'll usually get points for making purchases at any store, provided the transaction is eligible (more on that below), but if you make a purchase at the supermarket or partners who provide your card you may earn bonus points. See what purchases will get you bonus points so you can choose where to spend and watch your points balance increase
- One of the easiest ways of knowing how you'll earn points is to first work out what you don't earn points for. Most cards, including the Coles Rewards MasterCard and the Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card, list some transactions as being ineligible transactions — meaning you won't earn points on them.