Flybuys points cut on Coles Rewards Mastercard

Coles’ points-earning plastic was, surprisingly, one of the most rewarding credit cards without an international transaction fee.

By Chris Chamberlin, September 29 2020
Flybuys points cut on Coles Rewards Mastercard

Coles’ credit card customers will earn fewer Flybuys points on their spends from next year, with Coles Financial Services imposing new points tiering arrangements on the Coles Rewards Mastercard.

Currently, cardholders receive two Flybuys points per $1 spent, uncapped – but from January 12 2021, this earning rate will apply only to the first $3,000 of monthly spend.

Transactions beyond $3,000 per statement period will instead earn points at just half of today’s rate, being one Flybuys point per dollar spent, until the next statement period begins.

Velocity Points impacted

As Flybuys points convert into Virgin Australia Velocity Points at the rate of 2,000 Flybuys points = 870 Velocity Points (1 Flybuys point = 0.435 Velocity Points), the change will have a noticeable impact on the number of frequent flyer points higher-spending cardholders can earn.

At those conversion rates, Coles Rewards Mastercard customers currently net the equivalent of 0.87 Velocity Points per $1 spent, via the Flybuys program.

Following the changes, purchases above $3,000 per month would be rewarded with the equivalent of 0.435 Velocity Points per $1 spent instead.

For a cardholder spending $5,000 per month on purchases, that reduces the monthly reward from 10,000 Flybuys points (4,350 Velocity Points) to 8,000 Flybuys points (3,480 Velocity Points).

That’s a loss of 10,440 Velocity Points per year, as would more than cover a return business class upgrade from flexible economy fares on short domestic flights, or a one-way upgrade to business class from more affordable economy tickets.

While Velocity does occasionally offer a bonus on points transfers from Flybuys, such conversions are typically capped at 138,000 Flybuys points (60,030 Velocity Points) per year, unless waived during promotional periods.

Fees and charges stay the same

The Coles Rewards Mastercard’s $99 annual fee will remain unchanged, as will its international transaction fee waiver – which, when paired with the card’s high uncapped points earning rate, previously made this product one of the best-priced and most-rewarding options for overseas flyers.

These changes follow the recent revamp of the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Visa: a competitor to the Coles Rewards Mastercard, also offering points on purchases with no overseas transaction fees.

While ANZ didn’t reduce the number of points offered – which were already tiered after $2,000 of monthly payments – the card will lose its complimentary return Virgin Australia flight and Virgin Australia lounge passes each year, in exchange for a reduced annual fee.

Read: ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures drops flight, lounge benefits

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 24

A brave move when no one knows the Flybuys to Velocity conversion rates and onto Krisflyer going forwawd.  

When ANZ capped earning rates my personal spend on their card went from $8Kpm+ to $2K and after they restricted their travel insurance coverage last October it went to zero. 

I was an ANZ CC fan for 30 years based on their travel insurance policy, but they have comprehensively gutted their cardholder value and all that remains is a marketing  illusion at any level of fee.

Coles is heading to the same grave.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Dec 2015

Total posts 8

Hadn't noticed a change to the travel insurance with the ANZ Travel Adventures card - what changed?

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 319

Not to mention that the Coles Mastercard is operated by Citi, which also runs Qantas Mastercard, and based on feedback on both cards you wouldn't touch either with a yard post. User forums like this are just littered with complaints! BUYER BEWARE!

bad move Coles. Many will now look to switch cards & banks. Think Coles MC was Citibank.


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