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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.
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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