Woolworths' new rewards card a game of supermarket lotto

Woolworths new rewards card a game of supermarket lotto

Supermarket giant Woolworths has introduced a new rewards scheme which they say will give their customers what they want: cash. But is it worth it? RateCity puts the new rewards system through its paces.

The end of the Qantas Era

The new rewards program will see the end of Qantas frequent flyer points system by the end of this year and deliver cash back off grocery items instead.  When you get to $10, you get the money deducted from your next shop.

Sounds good? Sounds great! But there’s a catch.  It only applies to less than one per cent of their products, marked with an orange ticket.

“Having such a limited number of eligible products makes Woolworths‘ new rewards program seem like a lottery,” said RateCity’s Money Editor Sally Tindall.

“The best way to view rewards is as added bonus. As soon as you start buying products just because they’ve got a sticker, then the program is working you, rather than you working the program.

“The same can be said for rewards credit cards.  If you play the game and fastidiously pay off your balance in full each month, they can generate some decent perks.  But as soon as you start racking up costs just to get a free flight, its time to take out the scissors,” she said.

Putting it to the test

RateCity put the new rewards card to the test by comparing almost identical grocery shops at both Woolworths and Coles.  The results found that while Woolworths came out on top in terms of rewards value, it was only because we picked the crumpets (yum), which came down to personal choice.

Most importantly, when comparing the total of the shop, Woolies was $5.55 cheaper than Coles – or more than five times the rewards points value – so it really does pay to look at price at all costs.

The results are below:

Head to head: Coles vs Woolworths

RateCity conducted a sample shop on both of the major supermarkets online sites of approx. $150 (36 items). Items were pre-selected before the shopping exercise so we weren’t swayed by rewards or bargains.

The Woolworths shop delivered $1.55 in rewards dollars but this was only from the single packet of crumpets.  The Coles shop generated flybuys points on every item but the total value of rewards was just $0.75.

Coles

  • Total cost: $151.46
  • Rewards points: 151 Flybuys points
  • Actual value: $0.75

Woolworths

  • Total cost: $145.91
  • Rewards points: $1.55 towards a $10 gift card
  • Actual value: $1.55 (plus, frequent flier points will still be accumulated up until 31 December 2015)

Shopping list

Full cream milk, 2L – store band
Free range eggs, 12 pack, 700 g – store brand
Tip top white bread, 700 g
Golden crumpets, 6 pack
Huggies nappies ultra dry 10 – 15 kg 36 pack
Latina Fresh ricotta and Spinach agnolotti pasta 625 g
Coon tasty cheese block, 1kg
Devondale Extra Soft Blend Spread 500g
Yoplait, Vanilla yoghurt, 1kg
Soda water, 1.25 L, store brand
Baby peas, frozen, 500 g, store brand
Toothbrushes, 3 pk, Colgate medium, zig zag flex
Palmolive Dishwashing liquid 500 ml
Mince meat, premium / healthy, store brand
Chicken breast (600g – 650g), store brand
Bushells tea bags 100 pack
Uncle Toby’s muesli bars, chewy chocolate chip, 185 g
Dolmio Classic tomato pasta sauce, 500 g
Tinned diced tomatoes, store brand
Sunrice long grain rice
Cobram Estate Olive Oil Extra virgin classic, 375 ml
Tim tams, original chocolate, 200 g
Sakata plain rice crackers, 100 g
Edgell red kidney beans, tinned, 420 g
Tomato sauce squeeze pack, 500 ml, store brand
Kraft vegemite 560 g
Brown onions – 1
Carrots –  2
Gold washed potatoes – 4
Field tomatoes – 4
Green cucumber, 1
Hass avocado, 1
Iceberg Lettuce, 1
Navel oranges, 4
Pink lady apples, 4
Sweet corn, 2

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