Collect frequent flyer points with every grocery shop and earn your next reward flight faster.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your frequent flyer points, your next supermarket shop can help. While many frequent flyer credit cards let you indirectly earn frequent flyer points for shopping, you can double your earn rate if your favourite supermarket also has its own rewards program in partnership with a bank or frequent flyer program. For instance, Woolworths is partnered with Qantas and Coles is partnered with Etihad Airways.
Find out more about these two supermarket rewards programs and how they can help boost your frequent flyer balance when you’re on the ground.
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How to earn frequent flyer points at your favourite supermarket
Qantas and Woolworths
Putting aside all historical changes to avoid confusion, the current Woolworths Rewards program partnership with Qantas was launched on 31 August 2016 and has replaced what was previously the Everyday Rewards program. Forget orange-ticketed items, and forget the Woolworths dollar. Now there is no minimum spend requirement, and you can earn one point per $1 spent at all Woolworths supermarkets, BWS or Caltex Woolworths fuel outlets.
These points can be converted into Qantas Points at a rate of 2,000 Woolworths Rewards to 870 Qantas Points, which works out to be an earn rate of 0.43 Qantas Points per $1 spent. After converting, please allow up to a week for your Qantas Points to appear in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
Coles and flybuys
With Coles and the flybuys loyalty program, you also earn one point per every $1 spent at Coles supermarkets, Liquorland and Shell (Coles) petrol stations. The flybuys network, however, is more extensive than Woolworths Rewards. It allows you to earn flybuys points by spending money with a range of program partners, including Adidas, AGL Energy, Budget, Kmart, Medibank, National Australia Bank, Target, Telstra and even Etihad Airways.
When it comes to turning your flybuys points into travel rewards, there are two ways to do this:
- Etihad Guest Miles. You can transfer your flybuys points to the Etihad Guest frequent flyer program in multiples of 10,000 flybuys points to 4,000 Etihad Guest Miles. This represents an earn rate of 0.4 Etihad Guest Miles per flybuys point. Please allow up to 5 business days for your transfer to be completed.
- flybuys Travel. You can use your flybuys points to book flights, hotels, car rentals and holiday packages directly through the flybuys Travel service. At the time of writing this article, a return Sydney-Singapore flight on Qantas cost $1,172.70 or 234,600 flybuys points. You can also choose to pay with a mixture of points and cash, plus you’ll earn flybuys points on all your paid bookings through the service.
Which supermarket rewards program is right for me?
While both programs might seem equally attractive, the fact is you’ll derive more value if you pick just one of these rewards programs and commit to doing your shopping at the affiliated supermarket and with program partners. These factors will help guide your consideration when choosing between the two programs:
- Where do you currently do most of your grocery shopping? If you already regularly shop at either of these major supermarkets, signing up for the linked rewards program will allow you to earn points without changing your spending habits or preferences.
- Which airline do you prefer? Would you prefer to earn frequent flyer points for Qantas or Etihad Airways? If neither, would you consider buying tickets for your preferred airlines using flybuys points and the flybuys Travel service?
- What do you want to use your points for? Again, if you are not already a frequent flyer member, or if you prefer a different airline to Qantas and Etihad, you may want to consider the options available through flybuys Travel, as well as the various other reward redemption options on flybuys. You could also consider a rewards credit card that earns points for everyday spending and offers a wide variety of rewards.
- How much do you spend on groceries each week? Consider your average weekly spend, and how many points this could give you through Woolworths Rewards or flybuys. Then work out what this translates to in terms of frequent flyer rewards. For example, if you spend $200 a week on groceries, you could earn 200 flybuys or Woolworths Rewards points. In a year, you would earn 10,400 points. With the flybuys program, that’s enough to get 4,000 Etihad Guest Miles for 10,000 points, while with Woolworths Rewards you would be able to get 4,350 Qantas Points for 10,000 points. Both options leave you with 400 points left over for next time.
- Do you have an affiliated credit card? Your decision becomes much clearer if you already hold a Woolworths, Coles, Qantas or Etihad credit card, or if you’re looking to get one.
Using a credit card to earn frequent flyer points
If you’re still on the market for a new frequent flyer credit card that will allow you to earn points on all your everyday spending, and not just groceries, you can compare frequent flyer credit cards here. These cards could also boost your frequent flyer balance when you shop at any grocery store – regardless of whether there’s a rewards program linked to it.
Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards
If you’re more of a Virgin Australia fan, there are plenty of ways to earn Velocity points too. Virgin Money has a few of its own branded Velocity credit cards, as well as American Express and NAB. On top of that, the Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards Program has an extensive network of partners, which means that a great number of credit card brands also allow point transfers to the Velocity program.
Compare Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards
Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards
Similarly, Qantas also has a good array of direct-earn credit cards by ANZ, American Express, Citi, HSBC and NAB, where you earn Qantas Points for each $1 spent on any of these cards linked to your Qantas frequent flyer account. Indirect earn credit cards are also available, where you can transfer your card reward points to Qantas Points, albeit sometimes at a less favourable rate. For example, you can convert one Membership Rewards point from the American Express Membership Rewards program into 0.5 Qantas Point, but a CommBank Awards credit card only gives you one Qantas Point for every 2.5 Awards points.
Compare Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards
flybuys credit cards
As mentioned above, Coles issues its own brand of credit cards that offer a higher earn rate for flybuys points. You can usually earn two points per $1 spent, which means that you earn 3 points per $1 spent when you swipe your flybuys card and use your Coles Mastercard simultaneously at eligible stores.
Furthermore, if you buy Coles Car Insurance, Coles Home Insurance, Coles Landlord Insurance or Coles Life Insurance, you will earn an extra flybuys point per $1 spent for any policy up to five flybuys points per $1. This means your regular earn rate can be five flybuys points per $1 if you bundle Coles products.
Compare flybuys credit cards
Woolworths credit cards
Woolworths also has two credit cards that offer rewards for everyday spending outside the supermarket. The Woolworths Qantas Platinum earns 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on the card.
The Woolworths Everyday Platinum, on the other hand, earns between 1-3 Everyday Money Reward Points per $1 spent. These points are then converted into Woolworths gift cards every 4 months, with 4,000 points equalling $20 in value.
Both of these options also double as your Woolworths Rewards membership card, with the barcode on the back so you can scan it at participating Woolworths and Caltex stores to earn your regular Woolworths Rewards points.
Earning Qantas Points at the supermarket
If you’re a Qantas frequent flyer, consider how Alicia maximises her Qantas Points through her family’s supermarket expenditure. She spends an average of $250 per week at Woolworths, and holds a Woolworths Rewards card which she has opted in for earning Qantas rewards. She also has an American Express Qantas Discovery credit card that earns 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent
Over a year, she would earn:
- Woolworths Rewards: 5,220 Qantas Points with 1,000 Woolworths points left over (because her 13,000 Woolworths Rewards points will be converted in multiples of 2,000 to 870 Qantas Points, i.e. 12,000 Woolworths Rewards points = 5,220 Qantas Points)
- American Express Qantas Discovery card: 13,000 Qantas Points
Total: 18,220 Qantas Points
With these 18,200 Qantas Points, she could redeem a pair of Gold Class movie vouchers for 10,770 Points, or (at the time of this article) a Nikon Coolpix A10 camera on sale for 16,500 Points. She could also use the points to count towards flights, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation or car rental by using Points + Pay, where she can pay for any Qantas reward with a mixture of points and cash.
Earning frequent flyer points while doing your supermarket shopping can be a good way to maximise your rewards. After all, this is a regular expense and you might as well get something out of it in the long run. To get the most value for your money, though, compare all your options first so you can decide on the right program for you.