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.