Earning points with shopping bags: What gives?
Coles and Woolworths are both offering bonus points for bringing your own bag.
Over the last month, both Coles and Woolworths eliminated single-use plastic bags from supermarkets following legislative bans in Queensland and Western Australia. This kicked off a frankly ridiculous backlash, with the supermarkets offering free multi-use plastic bags (rather than charging for them) amidst hysterical media reactions that included claims that reusing bags might actually kill people. This, despite the fact that, as the ABC's Media Watch sagely noted, "there are plenty of people still alive in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT where they've had the plastic bag ban for years".
The latest sally in this often-ludicrous war came on Friday, with both Coles and Woolworths announcing they would offer reward points for customers who brought their own bags. This isn't a new idea – Tesco did something similar in the UK when that nation introduced a plastic bags ban – and in some ways it's surprising this wasn't rolled in right from the start.
Coles is offering 30 flybuys points for any shop where the customer brings their own bag between 13 July and 31 July 2018 (extended from an original 17 July deadline). You can only take advantage of the offer once a day.
Woolworths promises 2 Woolworths Rewards points per bag the customer brings in, with a maximum of 30 points per day. That offer runs until 31 December 2018. The number of bags needs to be entered by a staff member (which could be fiddly if you're using a self-serve checkout).
So the Coles offer is more generous, but temporary, while the Woolworths offer runs for much longer, but doesn't offer the same number of points for most shoppers.
Whichever supermarket you choose, you're not going to score a free flight just from bringing your own bags. However, it's a pain-free way to boost your total whilst also doing the right thing by the environment.
As always, Points Finder recommends converting your flybuys or Woolworths Rewards points to frequent flyer points, since you can get more value from them that way. Check out our detailed guides to flybuys and Woolworths Rewards to ensure you're getting the most from your loyalty scheme.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.