Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard (flybuys, Velocity, Etihad)

Credit Card Review: Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard (flybuys, Velocity, Etihad)

What's Hot

  • Special offer of 20,000 bonus flybuys points for new customers
  • Earn up to 0.87 airline points per dollar spent
  • Convert points to Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways

What's Not

  • No travel insurance or extended warranty cover

X-Factor

  • Low $89 annual fee with no international transaction fees

Introduction

Let's be honest: when you're thinking about great frequent flyer-earning credit cards, the words 'Coles' and 'flybuys' probably don't come to mind: but thanks to the chain's recent tie-ups with Virgin Australia Velocity and Etihad Guest, Coles' Rewards cards shouldn't be overlooked.

For example, take a peek at the Coles Rewards Mastercard: only $89/year and which has no international transaction fees, no limit on the points you can earn and which delivers the equivalent of up to 0.87 frequent flyer points per dollar spent.

Be approved for a credit limit of $6,000 or more and you'll instead receive the Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard: identical to the non-Platinum variant in fees and points, but with Merchandise Protection Insurance and concierge assistance included at no extra cost.

In either case, if you're approved by June 30 2017, 20,000 flybuys bonus points are on the table as a special offer for Australian Business Traveller readers who make a purchase within the first 30 days.

Coles Rewards & Platinum Rewards Mastercards: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Standard or Platinum
  • Card type: Mastercard
  • Loyalty program: flybuys
  • flybuys points earned per $1 spent: 2.0
  • flybuys frequent flyer partners: Virgin Australia Velocity, Etihad Guest
  • 2 flybuys points ($1 spent) = 0.87 Velocity points, 0.8 Etihad Guest miles (manual transfer in bulk)
  • Points transfers: Convert to Velocity in increments of 2,000 flybuys points (870 Velocity points) and to Etihad in increments of 10,000 flybuys points (4,000 Etihad Guest miles)
  • Points capping: Uncapped earning, but conversions to Velocity are limited to 138,000 flybuys points (60,030 Velocity points) per calendar year. No cap on transfers to Etihad Guest.

Fees, charges and interest: 5/5

  • Annual fee: $89 (Standard and Platinum)
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 62
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 19.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: None
  • Minimum income requirement: $25,000/year
  • Minimum credit limit: $500 (Standard), $6,000 (Platinum)

Earning points for free flights: 4.5/5

With flybuys points converting to Velocity at a 2,000=870 ratio, you could swap 18,000 flybuys points for 7,830 Velocity points – enough to book a one-way Sydney-Melbourne economy flight, plus a small payment to cover taxes and surcharges (usually around $20).

Another path is via Etihad Guest with the same flight bookable for 6,900 Etihad miles, equal to 17,250 flybuys points, but with these instead converting in increments of 10,000, you'd have to sweep across a solid 20,000 flybuys points (=8,000 Etihad miles) to get across the line.

While there's no limit on how many flybuys points you can earn, note that transfers to Velocity are limited to 138,000 flybuys points (60,030 Velocity points) per calendar year. No maximum transfer limits apply with Etihad Guest, however.

New customers who apply online for the Coles Rewards or Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard before June 30 2017, enter promotion code ‘PROMO3’ during the application process and make a purchase (as opposed to a cash advance) within 30 days of card approval will also fetch 20,000 flybuys bonus points within two weeks of that first purchase as part of a special offer for Australian Business Traveller readers.

That’s equal to 8,700 Velocity points or 8,000 Etihad Guest miles: both of which are enough to book that near-free Sydney-Melbourne flight.

Don't fancy flying anywhere? 2,000 flybuys points – earned from every $1,000 spent on the card – can also be converted into a $10 voucher for use at Coles and co. Spend at least $9,000 a year and the card literally pays for itself.

Whichever you choose, you'll pay no international transaction fees when travelling abroad or using either Coles Rewards card to shop online with overseas retailers.

Shopping benefits with Coles

These Coles Rewards credit cards double as both a Mastercard on the front and your flybuys loyalty card on the back, so you won't need to carry both: just scan the flybuys side before paying at participating stores to maximise your points.

Cardholders also receive free delivery from Coles Online when spending $100 or more in a single purchase and paying using their Coles Rewards credit card.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Airport lounge access isn't offered on either Coles Rewards card.

Complimentary insurance benefits: 1/5

If you're issued with a standard Coles Rewards Mastercard, there's no included insurance cover to speak of.

Platinum-level Rewards cardholders instead receive Merchandise Protection Insurance, covering selected items that are purchased using the Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard and which are subsequently lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days.

Telephone concierge assistance is also offered to Platinum spenders, although other common features like travel insurance and extended warranty cover are absent on both Coles Rewards cards.

Coles Rewards & Platinum Rewards Mastercards: the verdict

With an $89 annual fee, a minimum income threshold of only $25,000/year and credit limits starting at just $500, the Coles Rewards Mastercard is an incredibly accessible and attainable product, regardless of your current financial position or earning power.

You'll also save on fees when travelling abroad with no international transaction charges – and with no cap on how many flybuys points you can earn, you'll be rewarded for each and every dollar you spend.

Speaking of points, the frequent flyer earning rates on these Coles Rewards cards aren't to be sniffed at, delivering a comparable number of frequent flyer points per dollar spent than many higher-priced Visa and Mastercard products issued by the major banks.

For instance, ANZ Rewards Black Visa credit card customers can earn up to 2 ANZ reward points per dollar spent, equal to one Velocity point. However, after the first year a significantly higher annual fee of $375 applies, making the Coles Rewards cards a good balance between points earned and price paid.

Chris Chamberlin
Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

2 Comments

  • rosie Davis

    gururose

    25 Nov, 2016 04:12 pm

    hi Chris. does this card earn points for BPay payments?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    3 May, 2017 10:21 am

    No points awarded on BPAY payments (these are 'excluded transactions' in the T&Cs), which is standard of most credit cards these days. But of course, if you pay a bill the 'normal way' by credit card (by entering your credit card number and expiry date via the biller's site or phone service rather than making the payment through your own Internet banking portal), you'll earn points at the normal rates.

    No member give thanks

  • Matt Rudolph

    Mattr72

    3 May, 2017 05:15 pm

    Rewards cards from all institutions are quickly becoming a farce. You will nearly have to spend double for the same reward. Hardly worth it.
    No member give thanks

  • Matt J

    MattJelonek

    3 May, 2017 10:25 am

    These cards are becoming silly! 0.87 points!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    3 May, 2017 10:35 am

    Of course, transfer your points during a 15% promotion as is regularly offered between Flybuys and Velocity and the effective earn rate becomes an even one Velocity point per dollar (0.87 is simply as 1 Flybuys points = 0.435 Velocity points and the card earns 2 Flybuys points per dollar).
    No member give thanks

  • Dennis

    DBOC

    3 May, 2017 10:31 am

    The Coles MC is operated by Latitude Financial. Knock yourself out if you like being treated like chump change out of India. No local contacts whatsoever and the guys in India don't give a hoot when you eventually get to speak with someone. We spent big on the card every month (tens of thousands) and one month missed our payment deadline (which fell on a Sunday) by less then 8 hours. Cleared the card on the Monday morning yet they charged us several hundred in interest and - no they weren't prepared to credit the difference. Complaints to Latitude HQ just resulted in boilerplate responses. Following that, our cards got priority boarding to the shredder! I found the card and benefits to be OK but the mob running it are truly awful to deal with.   
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    3 May, 2017 11:01 am

    So, long story short, you failed to pay your credit card by the due date and you had to pay interest because of it, just like anybody that doesn't pay their card in full by the due date. Interest free days are only ever for people who pay their card on time (and in full), so maybe pay on time next time and you won't face the same problem, rather than blaming others for your mistakes?
    Member who gave thanks

    Pointsman

  • Dennis

    DBOC

    3 May, 2017 11:37 am

    Yeah well we're all perfect little pumpkins aren't we. I'm sure you never missed a deadline before either. Not sure where you see any attributed blame actually - rather just detailing an example of their approach to customer service. 

    Automated billing systems all behave the same way regardless of CC vendor no issue there. What happens next though is the interesting bit. You might be working in a different industry but If I go charging every one of my customers a penalty each time they are a day or two late, I'd have no customers left.  Heck it's a free market and they can do as they wish, but if a company prefers 'customer punishment' over 'customer service' they won't make future commissions from my spend and it's as simple as that.    
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    3 May, 2017 11:53 am

    I actually pay my cards a few days early to make sure the payment clears before the due date, so have never had this problem.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    4 May, 2017 08:14 am

    why don't you just setup direct debit to pay off the card?
    No member give thanks

  • devilish

    devilish

    3 May, 2017 11:54 am

    I've missed payments by hours, (actually due to long haul international flight) and called up my bank which was NAB at the time and they happily re-credited the interest they charged. It's referred to as being treated as a person not a number. Needless to say I've kept my business with NAB.
    No member give thanks

  • Georgina MONAGHAN

    GigiPk

    3 May, 2017 03:18 pm

    I have this card but one as to watch Latitude Finance Group which is American owned & COLES has nothing to do with Coles MasterCard at all. I have found that they take business 3 days to transact a payment which most other financial institutions have reduced to overnight if a transaction has been processed before. I have been charged for late payment on DD but they applied to my bank a day after payment was due, I had to have this charge reversed so one has to be vigilant. Is also impossible to talk to anyone in authority, have to wait days until they contact you about a complaint but don't expect a resolution.
    Is good card IF one logs into account regularly, pay amount days before due date & ensure payment is received & credited appropriately.      
    Member who gave thanks

    wdeguara

  • john hauser

    talkscheap

    3 May, 2017 04:45 pm

    I am always amazed by people who cant pay a card by the due date and especially if they spend so much to work the points earned in their favour. Its not that hard, as soon as I get my statement, I check it, then schedule the payment to reach them bu the due date. remember that you are getting up to 55 days interest free on cards. Of course the Coles card is a shocker for Cuustomer Service, what would you expect from a company like them. 
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    16 Jun, 2017 02:40 pm

    Bugger, I ordered a card on Tuesday so I mis out on the 20,000 bonus offer

    No member give thanks

  • danny hibbett

    danny hibbett

    17 Jun, 2017 06:52 am

    Should still be good. Isn't bonus offer still valid if approved by the end of June?
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    17 Jun, 2017 10:57 am

    They told me to cancel the card on the way out and reapply if I want the 20,000 bonus points, they won't put the promo code in after the application was approved

    No member give thanks

  • DBPZ

    DBPZ

    16 Jun, 2017 05:15 pm

    I've been holding it since the beginning (May 2014). The reward rate is great, but what bothered me is that the annual fee just keeps growing every year.
    No member give thanks

  • paul271

    paul271

    25 Jun, 2017 08:16 am

    Clearly the author needs to do some in depth research.
    There is no international transaction fee as such,but 2 fees under different names when using the card overseas or buying online in non AUD. These fees ( 0.8% and 0.2% ) add 1% to the cost of the goods/services. I am referring to purchases with the comments above , not cash advances ,which have multiple charges and should be avoided whenever possible.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    25 Jun, 2017 10:33 am

    We've done our research Paul, which included confirming with Coles Financial Services that the 0.8% + 0.2% fees do not apply to purchases made overseas (only things like cash advances which we'd never encourage anyway). We also flagged with CFS that the description of these fees on the Coles website can come across as confusing, so as a result of our feedback, Coles is in the process of improving its website to make this clearer, if it has not already done so.

    No member give thanks

  • paul271

    paul271

    25 Jun, 2017 11:02 am

    Am looking at the Coles Rewards Mastercard Rates and Fees section now Chris. 
    There is no confusion here.Let me tell you what is written verbatim. 
    Cross-border assessment fee.
    0.8% of the transaction amount. ....
    when you make a purchase OR cash advance at international merchants in a currency other than AUD.
    Currency conversion assessment fee.
    0.2% of 'as above'
    So if the card is used overseas in the currency of the particular country then 1% is added to each purchase. 
    I won't believe that this is not the case unless in writing on the website.
    It would be great if this can be clarified.Thanks 



    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    25 Jun, 2017 05:58 pm

    Hi Paul, as previously noted, this is something we've discussed with Coles who advised their own wording is in error and that these fees do not apply to purchases. Of course, for formal written confirmation from the card issuer on this, you'd need to contact the card issuer.

    No member give thanks

Guest

23 Sep, 2017 06:49 am

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