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Earn (almost) free Virgin Australia flights by shopping at Coles.

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If you're a Flybuys member and shop at Coles every week, you're probably disappointed with the lack of meaningful rewards. Sure, you might score $10 off your shopping every once in a blue moon. But there is so much more to be gained from the Coles Flybuys loyalty program with some clever points hacks!

In this guide, we'll explain how to supercharge your Flybuys points and redeem them for valuable rewards like free flights on Virgin Australia and many other airlines. With these Flybuys tricks, you could earn enough Flybuys points for a free flight by spending as little as $400 on groceries at Coles - an amount which would ordinarily reward you with a discount of just $2 off your shopping.


How to earn Flybuys points

As the loyalty program of Coles supermarkets, you can earn 1 Flybuys base point for every $1 spent at Coles supermarkets. You'll earn an extra point per dollar spent at Coles if you've purchased a Coles insurance policy.

Earn extra Flybuys points with a Coles insurance bundle
Earn extra Flybuys points with a Coles insurance bundle

You can also accrue Flybuys points for shopping at any of the program's many other retail partners. These include:

  • Kmart
  • Target
  • Liquorland
  • First Choice Liquor
  • AGL Energy
  • Shell Coles Express petrol stations

By linking your Flybuys account with your eBay account, you can earn 1 Flybuys point per $2 spent on eBay online purchases. However, this is not as competitive as the 1 Velocity Frequent Flyer point per $1 that you can earn with eBay through the Velocity eStore.

Flybuys credit cards

You can earn additional Flybuys points from your everyday credit card expenditure with a Coles credit card. A popular option is the Coles Rewards MasterCard which awards 2 Flybuys point per $1 in eligible spend. It also has no foreign currency transaction fees, making it a good credit card for online shopping. This credit card has a $99 annual fee.

Flybuys Travel

You can earn 1 Flybuys point per $1 spent on Flybuys Travel bookings, but the real value lies in the regular and generous bonus-point offers. This portal offers flights, hotels, car hire and cruises. Flybuys Travel doesn't have any booking fees, so it's a handy earner when booking travel.

Supercharge your Flybuys points with targeted bonus offers

There are many ways to earn Flybuys points in Australia, but the trick to really maximising your points is the targeted promotional offers from Coles.

Coles regularly emails personalised offers to its members. These are automatically generated and tailored to (what Flybuys thinks are) your normal spending habits. The point is to incentivise you to spend more and to shop more often than usual - and not to reward your loyalty!

Loyalty programs want you to scan your card every time you shop. That way, they can collect personal information about you and your shopping habits. This data is then what's used to create the personalised offers, so the trick is to make the supermarket think you're spending much less than you really are!

If you're a loyal customer, the supermarket doesn't need to send you valuable offers as an incentive to come back. But if the supermarket thinks you're spending money with a competitor, it will send you much better offers.

A common offer from Coles Flybuys is "Spend $x each week for 4 weeks to receive $50 or 10,000 bonus Flybuys points". What varies with these offers is the personalised spend target, which could be as low as $50 per week if you don't usually spend much at Coles - but could be much, much higher if you scan hundreds of dollars worth of groceries through Coles checkouts on a weekly basis. (By the way, always choose the Flybuys points if you get an offer like this!)

Typical bonus points offer email from Flybuys
Typical bonus points offer email from Flybuys

With an offer like this, you'll earn 10,000 bonus Flybuys points on top of the usual 200 points you would earn for spending $200 at Coles (over 4 weeks). That's 50x the normal Flybuys earn rate!

How to get better targeted offers

Here are 6 expert tips for getting better targeted bonus point offers from Flybuys:

Increasing spend, increasing targets

As you take up each offer and increase your average spend to meet the given spending targets, these targets will slowly increase in response.

If your spend targets continue to increase, it's best to start ignoring the offers temporarily. If you stop using your card for a little while, or start putting through smaller transactions, the targets will eventually decrease again. Keep in mind that there may be a lag period of a few weeks, up to a month, for the spending targets to adjust.

How to redeem Flybuys points

There are several ways to redeem Flybuys points, including:

  • Convert to savings at the checkout at Coles (2,000 points = $10 discount)
  • Gift cards (2,000 points = $10 voucher)
  • Merchandise from the Flybuys store (2,000 points = $10 credit)
  • Flights and hotels via the Flybuys Travel portal (2,000 points = $10 credit)
  • Convert to Virgin Australia Velocity points (1,000 points = 500 Velocity points)

You may have noticed that Flybuys points are worth exactly 0.5 cents each with all redemptions except for transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer. By transferring to Velocity Frequent Flyer, you could get much more value from your Flybuys points… but it depends how you plan to redeem them.

Transferring Flybuys points to Velocity Frequent Flyer

1,000 Flybuys points can be converted to 500 Velocity Frequent Flyer points on the Flybuys website. Transfers are typically instant and an annual transfer limit (previously 138,000 flybuys points) no longer applies.

You can manually transfer points as you need them on the Flybuys website. Or, if you opt in to Auto Transfer, you'll automatically receive 500 Velocity points every time you earn 1,000 Flybuys points.

Redeem flybuys points for Velocity points on the flybuys website
Redeem Flybuys points for Velocity points on the Flybuys website.

There are also regular promotions where you can receive bonus Velocity points or other rewards when transferring points from Flybuys.

Outside of these promotions, you're effectively paying 1 cent for each Velocity point transferred over from Flybuys. Is this better value than redeeming Flybuys points for vouchers or merchandise? Well, it is if you're getting more than 1 cents in value from each Velocity point...

This graph shows the average value of 1 Velocity Frequent Flyer point, depending on how it is spent:

Velocity point value as of January 2021

As you can see, Velocity point redemptions for things like gift cards give you less than 1 cent per point of value. But, in general, transferring Flybuys points to Velocity Frequent Flyer is a good idea if you want to use your points for flights, or for upgrades on Virgin Australia.

Redeeming Velocity Frequent Flyer points

Please note: As of January 2021, Velocity redemptions for international & partner airline bookings remain temporarily unavailable.

It costs 7,800 Velocity points (plus taxes and carrier charges) for a reward flight with Virgin Australia on domestic routes like Sydney-Brisbane, Melbourne-Sydney or Canberra-Gold Coast. Business class flights on these routes, meanwhile, cost 15,500 Velocity points (plus taxes and carrier charges). The full points tables are available on the Velocity Frequent Flyer website.

The cheapest international reward flight redemptions using Velocity Frequent Flyer points cost 11,800 points each way. Flights at this price are available on the Brisbane-Vanuatu, Darwin-Bali and Port Hedland-Bali routes.

If you were to use two of those "spend $50 per week for 4 weeks and receive 10,000 Flybuys points" offers, you would end up with over 20,000 Flybuys points for a spend of just $400. That's equivalent to 10,000 Velocity points, which is more than enough for a one-way reward flight with Virgin Australia using Velocity points!

During normal times, it's also possible to redeem Velocity Frequent Flyer points to fly with Virgin's partner airlines including Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines and Delta.

Virgin Australia partner airlines
Virgin Australia partner airlines

Previously, you could also convert those Velocity points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, and redeem them to fly across the Star Alliance network. However, this option was temporarily removed in April 2020.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at editor@australianfrequentflyer.com.au

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