Be wary of supermarket docket bonus points offers
$50 spend for 1,000 points? Thanks, but no thanks.
Bonus points offers can be one of the best ways to boost your frequent flyer points total. Rather than just getting 1 supermarket point for every $1 you spend, you can earn thousands of supermarket points in a single transaction. Convert those points into a frequent flyer scheme (Qantas for Woolworths Rewards or Virgin Velocity for flybuys) and you'll get maximum value.
But that doesn't mean you should enthusiastically embrace every offer that comes your way. A recent experience underlined this for me.
This voucher showed up recently on my Coles docket after a shop:
For a $50 spend, I could earn 1,000 bonus flybuys points. That translates to $5 if I redeem my points for cashback, or $10 or more if I choose the sensible option and convert them to Velocity Points instead.
However, that offer doesn't meet my threshold for being "good value". I routinely get targeted offers where I can score many more points. In one recent example, I got 10,000 flybuys points for $200 worth of shopping spread over four weeks. That's more than 2.5 times the value on offer here.
Underlining that this particular deal wasn't right, a day after I scored this docket I received a targeted offer in the flybuys app, offering 2,000 flybuys points for $70 value. That's a little more like it.
Points offers tend to run in cycles. If you activate an offer than gives you 10,000 points, the next one you receive is likely to have a higher spend requirement and/or a lower offer. So it makes sense to stay away from lower-value offers. In my experience, a better offer will show up soon enough.
Remember too that offers for individual products can earn more points. I gave the example recently of a razor deal where I scored 800 points for a $5.60 spend. That's more bang for buck than 1,000 points for $50.
Two lessons to reinforce here. Firstly, always make sure you print a docket when you're shopping. If you don't, you're potentially missing out. I didn't choose to take up this particular offer, but if I hadn't grabbed my docket, I wouldn't have had the choice.
Second, don't shop purely to earn points. If you can score bonus points for a purchase you'd definitely have made anyway, or by buying up goods for future use, that makes sense. Buying just for the points makes it far too likely you'll spend more than those points are ultimately worth.
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.
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