Frequent flyers: what's your supermarket points strategy?

By Chris C., March 31 2017
Frequent flyers: what's your supermarket points strategy?

TALKING POINT | Supermarket loyalty programs like Woolworths Rewards and Flybuys aren’t actually about flying and certainly aren’t rewarding, with members earning less than half an airline frequent flyer point per dollar spent with the likes of Qantas, Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways.

Because of this, savvy shoppers know they’re not going to get a free flight just from buying groceries – but as a better strategy, could instead use these programs as a way of topping-up their existing frequent flyer points balance.

That’s the approach I take, but it doesn’t find me loyal to one supermarket chain over the other: I’m easily swayed by offers of bonus points, because these seriously hike the number of points on the table.

For instance, Woolworths frequently offers me a fixed number of bonus points in return for dropping a certain amount (or more) on groceries – such as spend $30 and get 1,000 bonus Woolworths Points, equal to 435 Qantas Points.

Flybuys also frequently churns out offers of triple points on individual shops of your choice – usually via printed vouchers on your supermarket receipt, which I’ll usually save and scan during my biggest Coles shop that week or fortnight to maximise the bonus points earned.

(You can stretch that even further by paying for your groceries using the American Express Platinum Edge Card, which offers its own helping of three frequent flyer points per dollar spent on everything you buy at Coles and Woolworths, year-round!)

But enough about my strategy – how about your supermarket frequent flyer strategy?

Do you just scan your loyalty card and move along, play the game of chasing bonus points, or just keep things simple by buying your groceries wherever is closest or cheapest, and if you happen to earn frequent flyer points on top, that’s good enough?

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

Our household splits our shopping between the two depending on which has the better bonus point offers.

The spend does tend to favour FlyBuys slightly more due to their coupons and email deals which can be stacked.
So far I've only seen spend $x over y weeks for z points offers from Woolworths.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 319

We split ours too, we use my wife's for most of the time, we have found that by not using my card for long periods I seem to get offered the best bonus deals, currently I have an offer to spend $90 per week for 4 weeks and get 12,000 points, it doesn't ave to be in one shop either, that's a good deal, I only have one week to go.

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 178

I've got Woolies and Coles both near me and will choose where I shop from one week to the next based on the deals and offers. I shop each week and can easily buy enough of the 'basics' to last for two weeks at either shop if Coles or Woolies has the right incentives.

29 Apr 2014

Total posts 22

Back in the day when Woolies offered a point for every dollar spent above $30, I would religiously shop at Woolies. That suited me because in my location, and for what I bought, Woolies would tend to be cheaper than Coles anyway.

 Then the points were devalued and I started shopping at Aldi, which has almost everything you need anyway, and my grocery bill was slashed by about a third.

 I am subscribed to bonus point offers from both Flybuys and Woolies so will use them if it suits me, as well as the current double status credit promo running with Flybuys.


13 Sep 2013

Total posts 115

Supermarket points are great for topping up, but not for massing large amounts of points.
We split our shops between my partner and I. They send out excellent bonus offers if you're not using your card for a couple of weeks. 
I just got 10,000 points as a bonus for shopping there for 4 weeks. Recently my partner has been offered the same, so we've stopped using mine and using his. At the end of that promo I'll be likely offered something similar again, so we'll go back onto mine. 
We do go to Aldi when some things are clearly cheaper.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 943

Shopping for points? Points should always be an add on. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 363

To be honest, I don't even bother. The points gained is not worth it and I value my personal data more than the lousy return on loyalty they offer you.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Feb 2017

Total posts 25

Using my Amex Qantas Premium card - currently 2pts per 1 AUD - to be devalued soon to 1.25 :( plus earning Woolworths points (1000 = 435 Qantas points) means for every $1000 i spend at Woolies, i earn 2,435 Qantas points which is pretty good for accumulating points for your everyday spend that you would have to make regardless if you're collecting FF Points or not. 

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 213

My wife has become an expert getting points at Woolies by using both our cards, currently spending $145 week for 4 weeks to get 17K Woolies points + a slim chance to win 10K bonus points and 1K in groceries. 

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 263

Where are these accelerated earn rates from? Targeted approaches or just generic offers I am not across?

Only being aware of the standard earn rates, I shop based on ticket price (including Coles, Aldi, Woollies and Costco) and see any point benefits as incidental wins.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 263

Well what do you know. Received an offer today.

Next four weeks I get 3* points at Woolies, 10* points at Caltex and 10* points at BWS plus 1000 points for signing up to email spam.

Interesting that booze and petrol get the best deals - not the best combination optically!

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 335

Coles - linked to Etihad and Virgin - become local champion at Coles with my Amex Platinum Charge Card  Rack up the Amex MR Rewards points and use lots of Flybuy vouchers  - transfer to Etihad - Just did 2 redemptions with Etihad  

MEL-PER in The Business A330  for 21800 EY Point AU$19 taxes

 and also JFK-SFO American Airlines 3 class A320 in First for 31K Etihad Points and US$18 taxes (many less miles than you need on AA and megaless points than you need through QF for an AA redemption)   Very handy - and Etihad are also an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner for 1=1 redemptions    Now VA Gold thanks to Flybuys explore gold offer - you would never see this with Qantas  -  the only thing QF points are worth is for upgrades domestically  For other redemptions QF charges masses of points compared to CX/AA/EY   and they pass on all YQ/fuel surcharges

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2011

Total posts 270

Not forgetting that Coles & Flybuys ergo Virgin Australia are on top, when you take SC earnings into accont.

Where as Woolworths and Qantas are purely into the QFF points earn side, and will not help status.
So, in the case, Coles/Flybys/VA are out on top, over Qantas.

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