Woolworths Rewards is Coming to TasmaniaEXCLUSIVE | With more than 12 million members, Woolworths Rewards is one of the most popular loyalty programs in Australia. Members can earn points for shopping at Woolworths, Big W & BWS, and those points can be converted to Qantas Frequent Flyer points. But until now, Tasmanian residents have been excluded from the Woolworths Rewards program.

This is soon set to change, with Woolworths preparing to replace its “Frequent $hopper Club” with the Woolworths Rewards program in Tasmania. It is understood that this will happen later this year. This means Tasmanians will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points at the checkout, but it could mean a reduction in savings for members that choose not to earn Qantas points.

Woolworths confirmed to Australian Frequent Flyer that it is preparing to discontinue the Frequent Shopper Club program in Tasmania, but said that it won’t happen immediately.

“While we have no firm plans at this stage, it is our intention to offer Woolworths Rewards for Tasmanians longer-term,” a Woolworths Rewards spokesperson said.

“We have more than 12 million Woolworths Rewards members and we’re always looking for ways to extend the full range of benefits of the program to even more.”

What is the Frequent Shopper Club?

While many Australians are members of the Woolworths Rewards loyalty program, Woolworths supermarkets in Tasmania have never participated in it. Instead, Tasmanians can enrol in the Frequent Shopper Club.

For customers that are happy to redeem their points for a discount off their shopping, the Frequent Shopper Club is actually more rewarding than Woolworths Rewards. Like their mainland counterparts, Tasmanians earn 1 point per $1 spent at Woolworths – but they can get a $10 discount off their shopping for every 1,000 points earned. With Woolworths Rewards, members redeem 2,000 points to save $10.

The trade-off is that Woolworths Rewards is affiliated with Qantas Frequent Flyer. Woolworths Rewards members have the option of converting 2,000 Woolworths points to 1,000 Qantas points – something Tasmanians cannot do. Tasmanian residents are also missing out the current promotion allowing Woolworths Rewards members to earn up to 50 Qantas status credits until the end of June 2020.

Why does Woolworths have a different loyalty program in Tasmania?

The existence of the Frequent Shopper Club program in Tasmania is a quirk that is unique to Woolworths. Flybuys, the rival program to Woolworths Rewards, operates in all Australian states and territories.

The Frequent Shopper Club was launched in 1992 as the loyalty program of Purity Supermarkets. When the Tasmanian supermarket chain was sold and stores were rebranded as Woolworths in 2000, there was an agreement that the Frequent Shopper Club loyalty program would be retained in the state. Woolworths kept this arrangement even after it launched the Everyday Rewards program – later renamed to Woolworths Rewards – for mainland customers.

Until now, Woolworths had been reluctant to replace the Frequent Shopper Club with Woolworths Rewards. It believes the existing program in Tasmania is very popular with local residents.

“Throughout the life of the Frequent $hopper Club we have found that our customers in Tasmania prefer the Frequent $hopper Club, and have therefore maintained this program as the Woolworths loyalty program in Tasmania”, the Frequent Shopper Club website states.

What will the new loyalty scheme mean for Tasmanians?

With Woolworths Rewards to be rolled out nationwide, Tasmanians will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points when shopping at Woolworths. But it’s unclear if the current redemption rate of $10 off for every 1,000 Woolworths points earned will be retained. The most likely scenario is that this reverts to the same rate as the rest of the country, where 2,000 points = $10.

“We’ll need to be mindful of our popular existing program in Tasmania and what it means to our members,” a Woolworths Rewards spokesperson told us.

Woolworths Rewards recently released a new App, which allows members to view their personalised offers. Some Australian Frequent Flyer members have been offered 3,000 bonus points for downloading the App.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Do Tasmanian Woolworths customers really prefer the “Frequent $hopper Club”?

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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]

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Ashley

Best “exclusive” news ever….well not quite ever, and it would be nicer to have better news on Covid-19, but this is great. We have been the poor cousins for years due to this Purity agreement. I have rung and complained every couple of years, to no avail! Never been able to get WR bonus points in Tasmania like Flybuys, so the sooner this happens the better. Waiting for any timing/date updates now.

David

I have to say Ashley your comments smack of a Woolworths Public relations plant. Tasmanians are not the “poor Cousins”. The Everyday rewards scheme is far inferior to the Frequent shopper scheme, and nobody in their right mind would applaud such a bone headed move to alienate loyal Woolworths customers by HALVING their rewards.. The Qantas frequent flyer scheme that is touted as a benefit of the Everyway rewards scheme has proven time and again to be ineffective. I personally came to that realization about 15 years ago and switched my allegiances to the other airline which at least provides… Read more »

Elroy

Hit the nail on the head. Tasmanians are not at all forgiving of “Mainland” interference and there will be a backlash if the existing benefit of the cash discount is removed or halved. Converting it to points instead will not be popular if that is the only choice. Why do you think nothing has been done before.

Ashley

Elroy, Conversion to $10 off a shop has always been available with WR and FSC. You do realise that the basic FSC benefit is only 1% “off”, and yes WR is lower at 0.5% “off”. FSC Double points 1 day a month gives a little extra benefit, but who manages to do large shops for double points when they are only announced the day before!

Significant rewards are available under WR, and taking up just one WR offer would likely outweigh any loss if basic points earn are halved.

Ashley

Not a plant, just a points maximiser. There is absolutely no maximised value in $ spend in earned points, either at $10 per $1000 spend (FSC) or $10 Per $2000 spend (WR). The value is in the bonuses, where mainland WR players earn(Amongst others) 2000 points per $x spend (Eg $50) on a regular basis., similar to flybuys. Noting we don’t get ANY points offers on gift cards in Tas ever. Sure they are targeting customers $ with their offers, and it’s all a marketing ploy, but when I (And anybody) can play the same game, groceries can be had… Read more »

Cara

Am with you Ashley, looking forward to jumping between the Flybuys/Velocity and WR/Qantas offers finally! Round the world first class is getting closer!

David

Cara. It has been long proven that frequent flyer schemes often fail to provide useful flights, Often total lack of availability on popular or desired routes. It is MUCH more beneficial to receive cash discounts (such as Frequent Shopper Club) and to use that financial benefit towards finding the best available fare on the day that suits your personal travel arrangements. That also does not tie you to spending your benefit solely on travel
Frequent Flyer schemes are a sham. Good luck on trying to book Frequent Flyer seats any time soon

Julia

What happens to the money that we have saved towards our Christmas shop with FSC?

Donna Wright

I have both cards one from mainland Australia and one from Tasmania and I was told that I can transfer the amount of points fro tassie to my mainland card can you tell how please ..I have sat on the phone for quite a long time waiting for someone to answer me I know you have a lot of inquiries so I thought I’d try this way ……..thank you Donna

Judi Rutherford

How on earth does Matt, in story above get to go to 60 countries on shopper/qantas points????? To me it doesn’t add up. I am a qantas member and it takes multiple thousands of points to fly interstate. Am I missing something? Why change the frequent shopper card, the way I see it overall we have not a lot to gain but a lot to lose by the change.