Fly Buys

Reporter: Tineka Everaardt

Australia's biggest loyalty program is about to be revolutionised. Fly Buys launched in 1994 and Aussies went wild for it, one million of us joining within the first six weeks. It's now Australia's most popular reward scheme with more than ten million members, and now, the card powered by Coles is being revamped.

Coles' Marketing Director, Simon McDowell says come Monday, the Fly Buys system will soar to new heights. The biggest selling point is the My Five scheme which lasts till November this year. "Every dollar you spend you get one fly buys point that is 50% more value to you. You go online and you pick the 5 products that your family buy most and every time you buy them at Coles, every day you will get another 10 % off, even if they're on special, so it is kind of like you are choosing your own discounts", said Simon.

The old fly buys got you two points for every five dollars spent. The new one gets you one point for every dollar, while Woolworth's everyday reward card is also one point for one dollar and points are only counted once you spend over $30.00

Points use to expire after three years on fly buys, but now they have no expiry date, as long as you use the card once a year, Woolies is the same if you use the card once every eighteen months. For a family doing one large and one top up shop a week, to earn a $50 gift card with Fly buys you'd need to spend $10,000. .The same gift card at Woolies would cost you nearly $11,000.

Jason Pallet from the Australian Centre for Retail Studies says the supermarket wars have given consumers the upper hand. "The consumer having the power is certainly a great thing. There has definitely been a war the last few years between war and milk and this is the latest shot and it will be interesting to see what Woolworths comes back with", said Jason.

Other retailers on the card crusade include Myer where you can earn two shopping credits for every dollar you spend . Two thousand credits gets you a $20 gift card. At Priceline you will earn one point for every dollar. One hundred points in three months gets you a 3% discount voucher, as well as invites to VIP sales. If you have countless loyalty cards clogging up your wallet, all promising great discounts, the experts say when it comes to the number of cards, sometimes less, is more.Ingrid Youst from Consumer Group Choice says it doesn't always pay to be loyal. "Any loyalty scheme is all about getting you to go back into that store repeatedly as opposed to shopping around. You may find that you may find far greater savings week to week if you shop at the other stores and the other supermarkets.", said Ingrid.

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