EXCLUSIVE: Coles is still testing flybuys max
The "more points for fresh food" subscription scheme may still roll out more widely.
Coles hasn't yet abandoned its flybuys max experiment, where flybuys members pay an annual subscription and get either more flybuys points or a 5% discount
A flybuys spokesperson confirmed to Finder that the trial of the scheme, originally launched in July 2018 for Coles staff and then extended to a small group of paying customers, is still ongoing.
"The flybuys max trial is ongoing with a small number of members continuing to actively participate," the spokesperson told Finder. "We are collecting valuable insights on this proposition and are continuously working to find ways to provide further benefits to our members."
So while flybuys max still isn't open to the general public, that might still happen in 2020, possibly with tweaks to the existing scheme.
During the trial, flybuys max members pay $99 a year. In return, they either get 10 flybuys points per $1 spent on fresh food (rather than the usual 1 point), or a 5% discount. My analysis suggests that if you're converting your flybuys points into Velocity Points, you'll likely more than cover the cost of the subscription and end up ahead.
It does depend on your shopping habits, though. Because I travel so much, I don't buy heaps of fresh fruit and vegetables, relying instead on tins and my freezer. So I don't think the numbers would add up for me if Coles did extend the trial more widely.
Both Coles and its key supermarket rival Woolworths are experimenting with various subscription schemes designed to cement shopper loyalty. Coles has Delivery Plus, where you can pay a subscription fee to eliminate delivery fees for online orders. Woolworths has a similar scheme, Delivery Unlimited. Coles also offers free delivery to eBay Plus members.
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.