Flybuys offering bonus Velocity Points during April 2018

Throughout April 2018, receive 100 bonus Velocity Points for every 2000 flybuys points you transfer to Velocity.

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Throughout April 2018, receive 100 bonus Velocity Points for every 2000 flybuys points you transfer to Velocity.

Normally a transfer of 2000 flybuys points would yield 870 Velocity Points. During April 2018, you’ll receive 970 Velocity Points for every 2000 points. This represents an 11.4% bonus which isn’t too bad. It’s unclear whether the regular 15% bonus which usually runs in May will re-appear or not.

Flybuys bonus with Coles Gift Mastercards

Coles is once again offering bonus Flybuys points for Coles Gift Mastercard purchases.

Coles is once again offering bonus Flybuys points for Coles Gift Mastercard purchases. Similar to previous offers, you’ll get 1,000 bonus flybuys points for a $100 Coles Gift Mastercard or 500 points for a $50 card. Along with this there is also a $5 card purchase fee. 

If you’re interesting in learning how to earn Flybuys points with Coles Gift Mastercards read my guide. Using the American Express Platinum Edge in combination with this offer can be a great way to quickly earn points  

This promotion runs until 29 August 017 and is available in store. 

Double Velocity Status Credits with flybuys during April 2017

Velocity partner flybuys is offering members double Velocity Status Credits from now until 30 April 2017

Velocity partner flybuys is offering members double Velocity Status Credits from now until 30 April 2017 on purchases at Coles, Coles Online, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor.

This means that for every $100 spent (even across multiple transactions), you will receive 2 Velocity Status Credits, up to a total of 20 during the offer period.

This is a great method for topping up your Status Credit balance. For more, checkout our guide on earning airline status without flying.

15% bonus Velocity Points for flybuys transfers before 10 March 2017

Transfer your flybuys points to Velocity Frequent Flyer between now and 10 March 2017 to receive a 15% bonus in Velocity Points.

Transfer your flybuys points to Velocity Frequent Flyer between now and 10 March 2017 to receive a 15% bonus in Velocity Points. This matches the offer available that was available when the Velocity and flybuys partnership was first announced last year.

When transferring between the two programs: 2,000 flybuys points will deliver 870 Velocity Points, the same rate as Woolworths and Qantas Points. With the 15% boost, 2,000 flybuys points become 1,000 Velocity Points, which equates to 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent at flybuys partners such as Coles and BWS.

I have accrued almost 40,000 flybuys points since last year and am planning on taking advantage of this promotion!

Keep in mind that you can also transfer flybuys points to Etihad Guest, at a rate of 10,000 flybuys points to 4,000 Etihad Guest Miles (1:0.4).

Is it worth buying Coles Gift MasterCards to earn more points?

Utilising the Platinum Edge credit card and the bonus flybuys offers, Coles Gift MasterCards allow you to effectively buy extra points at a reasonable rate.

My favourite American Express credit card is the Platinum Edge. For anyone getting serious about collecting points, I really recommend them to start with this card. One of the best aspects of the card is its high earn rate for spend at supermarkets and petrol stations. Each dollar spent at Australian supermarkets yields 3 points per dollar, with petrol stations earning 2 points per dollar.

This excellent earn rate also applies to gift card purchases at Coles and Woolworths, and so can effectively expand the 3 points per dollar to any retailer that you can buy a gift card for.

It’s also possible to buy Coles Gift MasterCards that allow you to shop at any retailer online or in store that accepts MasterCard. The catch with the card is that it costs $5 to purchase. So for a $100 Gift MasterCard, you’re effectively paying $5 to earn 315 American Express Membership Rewards points. That equates to 1.59 cents per point, which is probably more than what I’d be willing to pay to acquire American Express Membership Rewards points.

 

 Coles flybuys bonus points for gift card purchases
Coles flybuys bonus points for gift card purchases

 

The real sweet spot comes from the Coles flybuys bonus offers. If you’re signed up to flybuys, the company runs semi-regular targetted promotions for bonus flybuys points for Coles Gift MasterCard purchases. The latest offer was for 500 flybuys points for a $50 card or 1000 flybuys points for a $100 card, this is in addition to the 1 flybuys point per dollar spent. So for a $105 card, you’ll earn 1105 flybuys points which translates to 480 Velocity Points. If combining the 480 Velocity Points with the 315 American Express Membership Rewards points, this results in a total of 795 points for $5. This equates to 0.63 cents per point, which I consider excellent value. This makes a 139,000 one way European Business Class redemption equal to $795 worth of points plus taxes, which I think is excellent value.

So for me, Coles Gift MasterCards are a valuable part of my points earning strategy, but only when the bonus offers are available, otherwise I don’t think it’s especially good value.

Earn airline status without flying

Traditionally the only way to earn status with an airline has been through flying. However flybuys offers customers the opportunity to earn Velocity Status Credits and Etihad Tier Miles on their spend at Coles.

Virgin Australia

Your membership tier in the Velocity Frequent Flyer program is based on the number of Status Credits you earn in a 12 month period. Usually the only way to earn Status Credits is from actually flying on Virgin Australia or a codeshare partner.

Introduced last year at flybuys, for every $100 spent across Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor each calendar month gets you 1 Status Credit. Each $100 may be spent across multiple transactions and total spend is calculated at the end of that month. Up to 10 Velocity Status Credits can be earned each month.

 Status Credits earned from Coles spend with flybuys
Status Credits earned from Coles spend with flybuys

Etihad

Membership tiers in Etihad Guest are determined based on a member’s accumulation of Tier Miles throughout the year. Tier Miles are predominately earned through flying with Etihad and its partners. Tier Miles cannot be redeemed for flights and are used purely to determine a member’s status level.

Members of flybuys can earn 1 Tier Mile per dollar spent at Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express, Liquorland or First Choice Liquor, up to 2500 Tier Miles per month.

 Tier Miles earned from shopping at Coles with flybuys
Tier Miles earned from shopping at Coles with flybuys

Given the fairly high limit of 2500 Tier Miles per month, it is technically possible to reach Etihad Guest Silver, and gain lounge access in Abu Dhabi when travelling with Etihad, through shopping alone. However I think for most people this will just serve as a top up for people who are already collecting status through flying with Etihad.

Summary

Traditionally there has been very few avenues for earning status without actually flying, so it’s interesting to see some alternative offers coming through. For me personally, I use flybuys to gain an extra 30-40 Velocity Status Credits per year through my normal shopping at Coles, which makes it slightly easier to retain Platinum/Gold each year.

How to maximise points from supermarket shopping

One of the simplest ways to start earning frequent flyer points without spending any extra money is reviewing your grocery shopping habits and making sure you’re getting the most from your spending.

One of the simplest ways to start earning frequent flyer points without spending any extra money is reviewing your grocery shopping habits and making sure you’re getting the most from your spending.

Supermarket loyalty programs

In Australia, both major supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths offer their customers the opportunity to earn points from spending. IGA doesn’t have its own loyalty scheme, but bonus points can be earned through the right credit card. Unfortunately Aldi doesn’t have any loyalty scheme.

Flybuys

Flybuys is Coles’ supermarket loyalty program. Most regular purchases from Coles earn 1 flybuys point per $1 AUD spent. Flybuys is partnered with Velocity Frequent Flyer. Converting your flybuys points to Velocity Points at a rate of 2000 flybuys points to 870 Velocity Points equates to 0.435 Velocity Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent.

The earn rate is fairly low but is on par with Woolworths. The real strength of the flybuys program comes from fairly regular targeted promotions. Some promotions ‘challenge’ participants to spend $50 per week at their local Coles over 4 weeks to receive 10,000 bonus flybuys points. Participating in this offer brings the Velocity Frequent Flyer earn rate to 22 Velocity Points per dollar spent. A very good return.

The amount that flybuys challenges you to spend each week is generally just above your regular weekly expenditure, which could be much higher than $50. You may benefit from having multiple flybuys cards and switching between them to trick Coles into thinking that you spend less per week.

Flybuys points can also be converted into Etihad Guest Miles at a rate of 10,000 flybuys points for 4,000 Etihad Guest Miles. This gives shoppers an effective earn rate of 0.4 Etihad Guest Miles per dollar spent.

Woolworths Rewards

Woolworths allows customers to earn 1 Woolworths Reward point per dollar spent. A partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer allows you to convert 2000 Woolworths Rewards points into 870 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points equating to an earn rate of 0.435 Qantas Points per dollar spent. This rate is the same as can be obtained from Coles.

Credit card bonus points

Perhaps the best way to earn airline points from your supermarket shopping is not through the supermarket at all, but through a credit card that offers bonus points for your spend. 

American Express Platinum Edge

The Platinum Edge Credit Card from American Express offers 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 AUD spent at all of the major supermarket chains in Australia; including Woolworths, Coles and IGA.

American Express Membership Rewards points are a very valuable currency that offer 1:1 conversion rates for many airline partners; such as Velocity, Etihad and Singapore Airlines. Unfortunately Qantas Frequent Flyer is not a transfer partner.

The Platinum Edge costs $195 per annum but includes a $200 travel credit to use on American Express Travel.

American Express Local Champion

An additional unique benefit to American Express issued American Express cards is Local Champion. Once a card holder has opted in, Local Champion can be accessed via the American Express mobile app. This feature is not exclusive to the Platinum Edge and works with most American Express cards. 

The app allows you to nominate up to 10 places where you use your American Express card to try to become the ‘Local Champion’ at that shop by making more transactions than other card holders. Unfortunately not all shops participate but you’ll find most major supermarkets and chains. The number of transactions it takes to become the ‘Local Champion’ depends on how many others are playing the game at that vendor, sometimes it’s 1 transaction, sometimes it takes 20 or more.

If successful at becoming the ‘Local Champion’ at your supermarket, it can be a great way to boost your points earn for groceries.

 

 

Coles branded credit card

Although not as generous as the American Express earn rates, Coles offers a branded MasterCard that gives card holders 2 flybuys points per $1 AUD spent anywhere, which equates to 0.87 Velocity Points per dollar. When using this card at Coles along with your flybuys card you’ll take in 3 flybuys points per dollar, equal to 1.3 Velocity Points per $1 AUD.

The earn rate is reasonable for a MasterCard and comes with no international transaction fees and an $89 annual fee. This card may appeal to people with an already healthy flybuys balance that they are looking to boost for transfers to Velocity or Etihad.

Summary

If you or your family spends a fair amount of money at your supermarket every week it’s worth taking a moment to check whether you’re getting the most value from your spend, depending on your travel or points goals. For me, the Platinum Edge with 3 points per dollar is the real winner, and then using my Woolworths Rewards or flybuys card depending on which store I’m at. 

What’s your strategy?