Woolworths has announced long-awaited changes to its unpopular loyalty program. Woolworths customers will once again be able to earn Qantas points at the checkout, and points will now be earned on all purchases – not just specially-marked promotional items.

From Wednesday 31 August, one Woolworths Point will be earned for every dollar spent at Woolworths, BWS and Caltex-Woolworths co-branded fuel outlets. Points will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, and will be earned on every dollar spent – not just on amounts over $30, as was the case under the former Everyday Rewards program.

Once 2,000 Woolworths Points have been earned, there are two ways to redeem them. 2,000 Points can be converted to $10 off a future Woolworths shop. They can also be converted to Qantas points, with 2,000 Woolworths Points the equivalent of 870 Qantas points.

While the changes may not be enough to attract some former customers back to Woolies, the majority of our members agree that the changes are a step in the right direction.

So while not a fabulous deal, it is most likely “good enough” – essentially WW has cloned flybuys but with the option to convert to QF points. Let’s hope Coles sees the light/market competition and introduces a similar conversion to VA.

At least it’s an improvement on the Woolworthless Dollars!!

The new Woolworths Rewards program is almost identical to Coles’ Flybuys scheme. Flybuys points are also earned at a rate of one point per dollar, with 2,000 points converting to a $10 saving at the checkout. Additionally, Flybuys points can be converted to Etihad Guest miles, which are redeemable for flights on Virgin Australia, at a rate of 10,000 Flybuys points to 4,000 Etihad miles. But unlike at Woolworths, Etihad tier miles (the equivalent of Qantas status credits) are also earned at Coles.

The ability to earn QF points directly may pull me back to WW. Although the 0.435 QF/$ earn is not exciting it compares reasonably with 0.4 EY/$ in Coles

With the Flybuys and Woolworths Rewards programs now offering almost identical value on paper, the real difference is likely to be in the targeted offers. Flybuys sends out regular and generous bonus point offers. Unless Woolworths matches these offers, Flybuys is likely to retain this advantage.

I suspect initially Woolies will offer some bonus points offers in order to stimulate some atmosphere around the relaunch of their loyalty card MIII. But the million dollar question will be can Woolies keep up and remain competitive with the offers from Coles/Flybys.

No doubt Coles will continue with their regular targeted bonus point promotions, as they will fight hard to keep all the refugees they won over when Woolies stuffed up on their loyalty card relaunch MII last year.

The Woolworths Rewards program, which was introduced late last year, appears so far to have been a failure for the supermarket giant. The program awarded “Woolworths Dollars” as a rebate, but only on a small range of items that changed every week. In addition to the lack of Qantas points, the sheer lack of earning products was a common complaint of the old program.

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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 [email protected]