Qantas flyers will be worse off under revamped Woolworths Rewards scheme

By Chris C., August 22 2016
Qantas flyers will be worse off under revamped Woolworths Rewards scheme

Woolworths launches its overhauled loyalty program this week, with shoppers once again able to collect Qantas Points – but frequent flyers will be largely worse off compared to the retailer's previous Qantas partnership.

The bottom line: you'll need to spend almost twice as much at the Woolies checkout to earn the same number of Qantas Points.

The revised scheme is both more complex and less rewarding than Woolworths’ previous tie-in with Qantas, which the grocery giant shuttered at the end of last year.

To recap, here’s what you could earn under that scheme:

  • Woolworths and BWS: Earn one Qantas Point per $1 spent on amounts over $30
  • Big W: Earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent (one point per $2) on amounts above $30
  • Woolworths Caltex: Trade in your 4c/litre fuel savings vouchers to instead be rewarded with two Qantas Points per litre of fuel purchased

The new Woolworths Rewards scheme

From August 31 2016 Woolworths will begin offering one ‘Woolworths Point’ for every dollar spent at Woolworths, BWS and Woolworths-Caltex service stations.

One upside is that there's no longer a minimum purchase required: you can spend just a dollar and earn one Woolworths Point.

But it takes 2,000 Woolworths Points to have them converted into 870 Qantas Points.

That means for every 2.3 Woolworths points you pocket, you’ll net one actual Qantas frequent flyer point.

Crunching the numbers reveals how many Qantas Points are on the table under the revamped Woolworths Rewards scheme:

  • Woolworths and BWS: Earn one Qantas Point for every ~$2.30 spent
  • Big W: There's no earning of award points at Big W stores
  • Woolworths-Caltex: Also earn one Qantas Point for every ~$2.30 spent on fuel (but not at the Star Mart and Star Shop service station retail shops). You’re also allowed to ‘double dip’ by using a 4c/L fuel savings voucher to enjoy a cash discount, earning points on the amount paid at the register

The 'new' Woolworths Rewards program: winners and losers

Customers who spend smaller amounts more often will come out ahead, as you’ll now earn points on each and every dollar spent – not just on amounts above $30 on each visit.

Conversely, higher spenders won’t earn as many Qantas Points as they did last year, with a $100 shopping trolley returning 43.5 Qantas Points rather than 70 points via the previous scheme (both schemes are roughly even on a $50 supermarket spend).

For earning points at the pump, a 50 litre refill at an average price of 119.9c/L now earns just 24 Qantas Points rather than 100 Qantas Points previously – although that's paired with a new cash saving of $2 when redeeming a 4c/L fuel discount voucher to offset the difference.

(Also, petrol buyers won't need to choose between earning points or saving money at the pump: they can have both.)

But there's also more complexity under the new system: instead of Qantas Points automatically appearing in your frequent flyer account each week, you’ll first need to amass at least 2,000 Woolworths Points to have them converted into 10 Woolworths Dollars and in turn have those converted to Qantas Points.

Read more: Woolworths brings back Qantas Points from August 31

What do you think of Woolworths’ new Qantas Frequent Flyer deal? Does it encourage you to spend at Woolworths, BWS and Woolworths-Caltex over their competitors?

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 97

Is there even any point to comparing it to the old rewards program? It's been extinct for almost a year now. I think that it is more relevant to compare the new program to the alternatives offered by the competition. Woolworths will remain my preferred supermarket because of their easily obtainable discounted egift cards which earns bonus Amex points. The only thing that will change is that I will now start swiping my Woolworths rewards card with every purchase.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2438

For people who were accustomed to earning Qantas Points under the old program, this article highlights how the new scheme differs as Woolworths hasn't just simply reinstated the old scheme.

You might know the difference already, but others won't.

Comparing Woolworths with Coles is something we've done previously, and had also planned to do again.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

And we have exactly that Woolies vs Coles comparo coming up this morning, Michael! :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 357

On the fuel front, I would say it is better off under this new scheme, which in a way is on par with Cole's caltes partnership.

With the old scheme, you need to choose QFF point earn and forfeit 4c/L saving at a rate of 2pt/L, that is effectively buying QFF at 2c each, which IMO, a bit expensive as i don't think QFF points are worth 2c each. If you choose the fuel saving, you don't earn any reward points, compare to Cole's version, where you can get 4c discount and earn flybuys at the same time.

So the new scheme works out to be better on the fuel front, although you have to look out for Caltex WW, and no doubt dome people will get confused and tries to earn points at Caltex Starmart.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2013

Total posts 33

Can we get a comparison on domestic and trans Tasman flights based solely on Woolworths points/flybuys Qantas/virgin 

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 66

Anyone else notice the fine print in the email:

#Excludes Caltex Woolworths fuel outlets with a Star Mart or Star Shop.

That makes it really hard to know which stores do and don't earn point.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 167

Doing some quick sums, enough points for a one way economy flight between MEL and SYD is the equivalent of about $19,000 in spending at Woolworths!!!

Nice to rack up a few more points if you have other sources that provide the bulk but not a great program for the consumer.


16 Nov 2012

Total posts 57

Agree, that's the only sensible approach: a few extra points could come in handy if you're accumulating plenty, as most of us do, from flights and cards. But it would be useful to allow customers to tick a box makig the points convert automatically once they reach the threshold.

Blah blah, too many rules, too many changes. Constantly disrespecting their customers.  I quit Woolworths when they axed it all a year or so ago. I'm now quite happy with a combo of Coles and Aldi thanks anyway. Lot's more cash in the pocket too!

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