Optus is joining flybuys
You'll be able to earn points on phone plans and broadband.
Coles (the co-owner of flybuys) announced the new partnership last week, although it didn't make a big deal of it. Instead, it was almost a footnote to an announcement about Optus providing business phone and Internet services to Coles. "Optus will provide great offers to flybuys members on a range of Optus mobile, broadband and wearable products," the release noted.
The two Australian corporate giants already work together, with Coles using the Optus network for its own Coles Mobile prepaid plans. So in theory you could already be earning flybuys points for your mobile plan, but this will now extend that to a broader range of products.
Further details of which Optus services will be eligible weren't announced, and the flybuys site hasn't yet been updated to include any options. I think it's safe to assume that it won't apply to every deal Optus has, and that the emphasis will be on long-term contracts with phones included.
This kind of partnership is common but volatile. Vodafone lets you directly earn Qantas Points on some of its mobile plans. Optus used to let its customers earn Qantas Points, but that arrangement ended in 2015.
I'll always advise converting flybuys points into Velocity Points to maximise their value. But will these new Optus options actually be useful for that goal?
We won't be able to say for sure until details have been released, but there are a few principles to bear in mind.
Firstly, in the current market, plans change frequently and signing up for a long-term contract doesn't make sense. Indeed, Optus' rival Telstra recently dropped long-term contracts for NBN customers.
As such, I'd advise against taking up a 24-month contract purely to earn points. It's better to have flexibility and be able to switch.
Secondly, there's no point taking up something just for the points if it's going to cost you more otherwise. As I've discussed with examples like home loans, sometimes the cost of acquiring the points doesn't justify their actual value when you redeem them.
Ultimately, you'll always be able to supercharge your points total faster through a good frequent flyer credit-card sign up deal than anything else. If Optus is a good choice for you as a phone or broadband plan and you're keen to earn Velocity Points, the flybuys partnership will be worth exploring once more details emerge.
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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