Confirmed: Woolworths ditches Qantas in new Woolworths Rewards scheme

Confirmed: Woolworths ditches Qantas in new Woolworths Rewards scheme

UPDATE | Woolworths shoppers will once again be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, with the grocery giant set to reverse a widely-criticised decision to axe its points partnership with the airline. Read more...

PREVIOUS | Woolworths has axed its partnership with Qantas, with shoppers set to earn new 'Woolworths Dollars' instead of Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Australia's biggest supermarket chain will stop issuing Qantas Points through its Everyday Rewards loyalty program as of December 31st.

Woolworths Dollars will be earned only at Woolworths and BWS stores – not Big W or Cellarmasters, where you can also currently earn Qantas Points.

Fuel discounts at Caltex/Woolworths petrol stations will remain in place, but there'll no longer be the option to earn two Qantas points per litre when you top up the tank in 2016.

The troubled grocery giant will rebrand its Everyday Rewards program as Woolworths Rewards and shift to offering direct at-checkout discounts

One Woolworths Dollar – earned only on selected products marked with an orange ticket, and at rates beginning at 20c ( Woolworths cents?) – will shave $1 off your bill.

Woolworths says the new program is geared around a simpler premise of giving customers "money off their shopping", although it will remove the company's massive overhead – estimated to exceed $80 million annually – from buying frequent flyer points from Qantas to give away under the Everyday Rewards scheme.

Qantas entered a series of last-ditch talks with Woolworths in an effort to keep the partnership alive in some form, and even at last Thursday's annual general meeting in Perth, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said "We regard Woolworths as an important loyalty partner and of course Qantas would like to continue dialogue with them."

That said, Joyce also signalled that the financial impact of losing Woolworths would "not be significant" for the airline.

Update: Qantas is working on a new points-based partnership with Woolworths to take effect from January 2016. Read more...

Qantas forges its own path forward

Woolworths joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme in mid-2009 and has been pivotal in driving mainstream engagement in the airline’s loyalty scheme, with Qantas Frequent Flyer membership almost doubled from 5.6 million to over 11 million over those six years.

For its part, Woolworths Everyday Rewards has some nine million members on its books.

The Qantas Loyalty division, which counts the frequent flyer program as its star attraction, has long been a rich vein of revenue for the airline. It reported an underlying pre-tax profit of $315 million over the 2014-2015 financial year, marking the sixth year of successive double-digit growth.

Qantas has spent the past two years expanding the Qantas Points partnership portfolio, primarily through an online shopping mall, while also launching loyalty spin-offs including the Qantas Cash travel money card, aQuire small business rewards program and the Qantas Golf community. 

Virgin wins for points at the pump

Woolworths’ move away from Qantas also plays into the hands of Virgin Australia.

While the challenger doesn’t have a similar supermarket partnership, its Velocity points-earning alliance with BP – which is simpler than that of the Qantas-Caltex-Woolworths troika – will now be more attractive motorists used to earning frequent flyer points every time they top up the tank.

Read more: Qantas vs Virgin Australia: which is best for points on petrol?

Coles, Etihad hook up

Woolworths' prime competitor Coles has also launched a partnership with Etihad Airways, which is a major stakeholder in Qantas' challenger Virgin Australia.

The alliance enables members of Coles' Flybuys program to earn frequent flyer points but also status credits for fast-tracking towards Silver, Gold and Platinum membership and perks.

The deal covers Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor stores.

More great stories on Qantas points from AusBT

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

59 comments

  • Elizabeth Jones

    Chesterwally

    25 Oct, 2015 07:52 am

    This will completely change my shopping habits.  I exclusively shopped at Woolwoths, only for the points.  Now il will get the Coles shopping experience.

    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deany83

    25 Oct, 2015 08:14 am

    Same, I know people will say it's only a few points but it was what made me choose Woolworths over Aldi and Coles.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    25 Oct, 2015 09:11 am

    Wandering off topic here slightly, but it will be interesting to see their sales figures for quarter 2 - it's actually quite overwhelming to see just from a small number here that a lot of people will now switch to Coles.

    As if Woolies aren't struggling already, I would expect to see their sales growth flat or even negative.  Wesfarmers will be rubbing their hands with glee...

    No member give thanks

  • Victor Perez

    vperez

    25 Oct, 2015 09:29 am

    Agreed.  Woolies generally has higher prices on goods than Coles but the QFF link up gave me reason to shop there.   After 31 December I'm off to coles and will cash up Flybuys which you earn on your total shop and not "selected products."

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    25 Oct, 2015 08:15 am

    Im off to coles and will join up to flybuys today. Iv been shopping at woolworths for over 20 years and iv had enough at the high prices. I earned about 26000 points every year with woolworths through shopping and fuel points. Woolworths. Big mistake, very big mistake. You will go down the drain with masters. 

    No member give thanks

  • vvbjr

    vvbjr

    25 Oct, 2015 08:20 am

    See ya Woolies!

    No member give thanks

  • Alex

    tm_smile

    25 Oct, 2015 08:22 am

    Because shopping at woolies wasn't confusing enough with their current range of shelf tickets. Now saying you only earn money on specific products is just plain dumb. Whoever came up with this scheme doesn't actually understand what attracts the general public to a loyalty program. 

    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    25 Oct, 2015 09:14 am

    Their whole marketing campaign is a shambles.  I mean...cheap cheap.... what has that got to do with Fresh???

    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    25 Oct, 2015 11:20 am

    Maybe because the person running the program ran FlyBuys in 2008-2010.

    No member give thanks

  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    25 Oct, 2015 08:25 am

    CYA Woolies! This is such a big mistake. The ONLY reason why consumers when to your stores is for the points inclusive of myself. Now I am off to Coles where not only we can earn points but ALSO status credits. 

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    25 Oct, 2015 08:29 am

    I was loyal to woolworths and safeway even when coles have what i wanted on special. Being loyal means nothing to woolworths. There stores are old, run down. Just look at blackburn north in vic. Its 1980,s. Coles is going forward with good changes and woolworths going backwards. Good by woolworths and big w

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    25 Oct, 2015 08:34 am

    With 8 vans on the road. 30 staff to feed, woolworths points was a great bonus to me. BP and virgin. Here we come. Hello Sir Richard. Im your new frequent flyer.

    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    25 Oct, 2015 09:49 am

    If you pay via BP Card, you are not eligible for Velocity points.

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    25 Oct, 2015 10:20 am

    Use amex with virgin velocity to get Tribble points.  

    No member give thanks

  • motef

    motef

    25 Oct, 2015 08:42 am

    I am lucky emough to have Woolworths and Coles 100m apart directly opposite each other in the same shopping mall.

    Increasingly with Coles having bonus points for Telstra recharges, Coles insurance and now the partnership with Etihad its is goodbye Woolworths.

    I just cant see any reason at all for me to go to Woolworths with the QFF partnership gone. 

    No member give thanks

  • Tom Mackay

    tommackay

    25 Oct, 2015 09:03 am

    Bye bye Woolies! What a shame to see such a long-term partnership disappear. Look forward to tieing back up with Coles and Etihad

    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Oct, 2015 08:31 am

    Remember the Fly Buys/Etihad tie-up is only likely to be of value to you if you are also a FF with Etihad or partners and collecting points in the Etihad scheme.  If this is your sole way of earning Etihad points, it is unlikely to ever earn sufficient status credits or points to be of much value.

    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Oct, 2015 08:48 am

    It's a shame it wasn't with velocity

    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    25 Oct, 2015 09:36 am

    I have a Coles less than 1km from home but used to travel a few kms to a Woolworths.  Looks like that is about to change.

    No member give thanks

  • Colin Steven

    colin5353

    25 Oct, 2015 09:39 am

    Wonder how this will affect Macquarie Bank and its WOW Visa card sales. 

    No member give thanks

  • Tom Goddard

    TomGoddardd

    25 Oct, 2015 10:10 am

    1 thing R.I.P

    No member give thanks

  • GOPAUS

    GOPAUS

    25 Oct, 2015 10:10 am

    Woolies will lose some customers, no doubt about that, but it will be interested how this affects Qantas Frequent Flyer program as they loose a big partner in the retail area without good alternatives: Coles is tied to Etihad, Myer is already a partner but would not ditch their own points scheme and Aldi is not exactly into high costs partnerships.

    Also, there is no easy way to keep Qantas FF points alive for more than 18 months for the average joe who doesn't fly frequently. Not sure, but I have the impression that Qantas makes a lot more money with their FFP  with people that do not travel frequently. 

    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    25 Oct, 2015 11:04 am

    actually Qantas Cash makes it possible to keep your account active...just load $100 onto it and fill up with a tank of fuel once every 6 months

    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    25 Oct, 2015 11:31 am

    A cheap purchase in Ebay will keep points alive.

    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    25 Oct, 2015 04:49 pm

    yea that's much less effort actually, but I'm looking to use up the small about of QF points I have since  I now put all my effort into velocity and convert points to krisflyer.

    No member give thanks

  • KK

    KK

    25 Oct, 2015 04:48 pm

    Purchase a game in Apple shop through Qantas e-store.

    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    25 Oct, 2015 10:21 am

    I know this site is skewed towards those who would accrue FF points, but almost everyone looks as though they'll decrease shopping at Woolies. Wow.

    I personally have no interest accruing points in another loyalty program. 

    No member give thanks

  • alenb

    alenb

    25 Oct, 2015 10:44 am

    so many qantas lovers, seriously open your eyes and see that they've been screwing the public for a very long time. who cares, you'll get your food cheaper i dont think qantas will feed you when you need it

    No member give thanks

  • debbiedankworth

    debbiedankworth

    25 Oct, 2015 11:21 am

    Famil of 4 with 4 cars and a $500 a week shop - hmmm bad choice Woolies- a new Cols has just opened and as soon as you take away my points its over to Coles we go. Bad for Qantas bad for Woolies

    No member give thanks

  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    25 Oct, 2015 12:13 pm

    Ehhh, I shop and W/w for the convenience. There's a W/w in my walking distance, but no Coles in my walking distance.

    My local W/w also has a pretty good selection, and even has some products which can usually only be found at specialty stores.

    The QF points were a good bonus but honestly, they aren't usually a deciding factor for me since I get frequent flyer points on my credit card.

    Having more regular, direct discounts is probably better for me at least. Of course, other people in different situations will react differently.

    No member give thanks

  • tmsmile

    tmsmile

    25 Oct, 2015 10:01 pm

    Intersting that you comment about the selection. I've recently found that the selection at Coles is superior than that at Woollies.

    In comparing Sydney inner west/city, Coles at Broadway, World Square, Surry Hills, Pyrmont and Leichhardt are miles better than Woollies Leichhardt, Balmain, Erskineville and Wolloomooloo.

    Larger suburban ones like Wolli Creek or Marrickville Metro aren't too bad, but its seems like they require way bigger store footprints to have a decent range. This doesn't even take into account it's actually depressing in Woollies and far nicer inside most Coles stores.

    Strike 3 is the fact the metro/central stores are next to useless.

    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    25 Oct, 2015 12:29 pm

    I can't get over how botched this change had been managed.

    Woolies in underestimating the effect on loyal QFFs.

    And there's Qantas telling customers that there is a new partnership in the works with Woolies from 1 Jan even though Woolies haven't indicated this at all. 

    No member give thanks

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    25 Oct, 2015 12:41 pm

    Just received the Woolworths and Qantas emails re: Woolworths withdrawal from the QFF program.

    Woolworths state (according to today's SMH) that through their research only 10% of their EverdayRewards members redeem points. Huh? Either something is seriously wrong with their research or members are staying away in droves already. Or, alternatively, this is just PR bull$h*t.

    Doesn't seem true, when one considers that in excess of 5 million people have signed up for EverydayRewards since the 2009 introduction. If they didn't sign up for QFF points, what did they sign up for? Meagre 'fuel' discounts? I think not.

    The other major issue that is a turn-off with this 'new' program is that points are NOT earned on your TOTAL shop. Only on those items with an ORANGE sticker. Beware - the devil is in the details.

    I expect to see a MASS EXODUS from Everyday(whatever) come 31 December 2015. Serves Woolworths right - they have never understood the power of their loyalty program and the slipshod way it is applied (or not) across their range of businesses.

    No member give thanks

  • pap0007

    pap0007

    25 Oct, 2015 01:30 pm

    to answer your question on why so many customers signed up, many customers actually only signed up for the everyday reward speacials. many don't even know that you collect points with the everday rewards card and the program is severely under used.

    No member give thanks

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    25 Oct, 2015 06:06 pm

    Not sure that I'd necessarily agree with that.

    Currently, verdayRewards has 9m members and QFF has 11.1m members. It was precisely due to the publicity and cross-promotion by Woolies and Qantas that the QFF program has shot it's numbers through the roof in the past 5 or so years.

    With targetted emails and free QFF signup being regularly highlighted, I'd be loathe to believe that there'd be members that aren't aware of the ability to collect points.

    Under-used? Somehow, I don't think so. Underpromoted and inefficiently used (by Woolworths)? Definitely.

    No member give thanks

  • pap0007

    pap0007

    25 Oct, 2015 11:07 pm

    When u work at woolies mate, you have first hand experience of what customers actually think. Many customers actually just use it for the discounts. You may not neceasarily agree but when you have first hand customer feedback on a daily basis, its just hard for me to believe you.

    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    31 Oct, 2015 12:45 am

    It varies by store. My store gets 30% who don't care about rewards. 30% who actively earnt QF points through the program and the rest split between people who only go there to steal and those who keep using temp cards, don't sign up for the rewards and only use it for the discounted orange tickets.

    More people were after points then those after discounts.

    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    31 Oct, 2015 01:09 pm

    talking about stealing, one time when I used to work in Coles some 13 year old kid stole a packet of Pâté...

    No member give thanks

  • Tara jane

    Tara jane

    25 Oct, 2015 12:58 pm

    I'm a shopper who only joined Woolworths 3 mths ago with the birth of our newest because I received free delivery in a baby bundle at the hospital. We are a young family and continued shopping there because of the point plan, in 3mth earned 11,000 points from shopping alone. Now with this going I will be returning to Coles & have since learnt tgat flyby points can be used on webjet on any airline. Thanks for the service woollies it was better than Coles I have to admit but it's not enough to keep our huge weekly shop. Going back to flybuys.

    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    25 Oct, 2015 01:39 pm

    By the way, Carrefour in France were doing "Carrefour Cash" at least 12 years ago - spend on certain products you'd get an instant cash off for your next shop. Nice to see Woolies is being innovative lol. I'd be asking for a refund on their expensive consultants fees

    No member give thanks

  • abc

    abc

    25 Oct, 2015 03:57 pm

    i went on a chat with someone from Woolies this morning. I asked about the Woolworths Platinum Credit Card and they told me it will also stop earning QFF points from 1 Jan 2016.. That's a double whammy good bye

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    25 Oct, 2015 04:05 pm

    The woolworths credit cards earning QFF points is not affected 

    No member give thanks

  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    25 Oct, 2015 04:53 pm

    Bye Woolies!!

    No member give thanks

  • Auspal

    Auspal

    25 Oct, 2015 05:32 pm

    This is a big mistake for Woolworths, I have been a loyal customer for many years and like the last poster an exclusive shopper. I would often take part in the many promotions to earn extra points. I have been online to let them know how disappointed I am, I hope they get the message.  Apparently most members want to earn a discount at the register, but if this is on targetted items, I somehow doubt it. Some great new Coles stores opening up close by, where I will do the majority of my shopping and just pop in to Woolies for the odd item on my way home from work.

    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    25 Oct, 2015 10:17 pm

    Metcash / IGA, this is your opportunity!

    No member give thanks

  • pilotdude09

    pilotdude09

    26 Oct, 2015 03:40 am

    Yep count me in, bye bye Woolworths and your prepackaged meat, crap service and dearer products.....Hello Coles!

    No member give thanks

  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    26 Oct, 2015 08:05 am

    LOL at all the 'text book' rants.... when i got this email about Everyday rewards i was on man...the ABT website is gonna blow up :) If you arnt slaving for the dollar, you are slaving for the points :)

    No member give thanks

  • CityRail

    CityRail

    26 Oct, 2015 10:41 am

    So my conclusion is that shop your way to fly fails. Neither Australian airlines will allow you to earn frequent flyer points directly on your daily groceries without  using a credit  card.

    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Oct, 2015 11:01 am

    That is not quite correct.  QF wanted Woolworths to stay in their scheme and why wouldn't they, given they were pocketing $80M p.a. and most of the points were never redeemed and even if they were, it was only for marginal cost to QF given the seats would've otherwise flown empty.

    The fact is neither major Australian retailer is prepared to handover points on a wholesale basis.  Loyalty programs can be very lucrative and they want the profits rather than handing them over to QF or VA. 

    No member give thanks

  • dandandan

    dandandan

    26 Oct, 2015 04:30 pm

    Most people that choose to accumulate QFF points through these programs save the points for leisure domestic or international travel and will aim to save enough points to take family on these trips as well. This takes time to accumulate, especially for the less savvy  who don't know how to maximise earning potential, so the argument stated that most points were never redeemed is such an unknowledgable point.

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    26 Oct, 2015 03:07 pm

    Iv heard that Etihad are signing up cudtomers at over 1000 per hour

    No member give thanks

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    26 Oct, 2015 03:07 pm

    Iv heard that Etihad are signing up cudtomers at over 1000 per hour

    No member give thanks

  • dandandan

    dandandan

    26 Oct, 2015 04:25 pm

    My take on how this rash and poorly thought out WOW strategy will play out:

    WOW grocery sales will continue to decline, at a more rapid rate. The same happened at BigW when they changed the QFF earn at BigW and stopped the bonus point earns there. None of the smart people said or thought it would happen!

    IGA/Metcash or ALDI will step in and take up one of those too good to be true dumb competitor business decisions, that just give you a whole new client base for small change.  

    WOW share price will tank and Private Equity will swoop in to buy for the money making strategy of splitting the company entities up. In time WOW stores will get listed separatley along with Dan Murphy's/BWS as one group and Masters/Home Hardware as one group. Big W will be shut or sold off. 

    Some dumb decisions here that show the new chairman is not up to scratch. 

    No member give thanks

  • SuperSonic

    Shoudy Chen

    27 Oct, 2015 09:26 am

    RIP Woolies. The partnership will never be the same :'( 

    No member give thanks

  • Michelle

    MsQantas

    30 Oct, 2015 03:45 pm

    Interesting concept...Both in loosing end...

    Woolworth will loose customers like me... the only reason i shop they is for Qantas Points.

    Qantas close eye on Coles and eithad (they the winners on this action)

    Qantas re think  this issue. Beyond the Square

    No member give thanks

  • Glenn Gould

    kajdes

    30 Oct, 2015 03:51 pm

    As a loyal Qantas flyer and Woolworths shopper I don't understand why customers weren't given the choice of the 2 reward program options - earn FFP or get a discount on shopping, that way keeping veryone happy. Let the customer elect what is important to them rather than giving and taking away. This has worked with the Caltex service stations - buy your fuel and elect to either get a 4 cent discount when shopping with Woolworths or earn FFP instead.

    I have read over the new rewards details and it seems you'll only earn a discount on your shopping if you buy the specially marked orange ticketed products they want you to buy. Of course we'll have to wait and see, but these may not be product/brands you normally or want want to buy. So it might all add up to a big fat zero for some.

    I read that Woolies and Qantas are still suppose to be in talks about some kind of points based realtionship moving past 31st December. Not sure if thats just hot air to give some false hope to the many upset everyday reward members or if there is something genuine in the pipeline. Again we'll just have to wait and see.

    For me, I'm seriously thing about buying my groceries at a supermarket chain that in the past I've tried to avoid - Coles.

    No member give thanks

  • flyOFTEN

    flyOFTEN

    30 Oct, 2015 05:34 pm

    was told at Woolies that you can earn Qantas ff pts til end of Dec. Maybe Woolies are demanding Qantas make the poinst cheaper ?

    Qantas can't afforsd to lose Woolies.

     

    No member give thanks

  • Glenn Gould

    kajdes

    30 Oct, 2015 08:26 pm

    Just did a shop at Woolies and those orange tickets were on products - hardly a product I would buy and they seemed to be on products I thought were overpriced. So it's not going to be a win for me. Lucky I'm still earning FFPs for the next 2 months.

    No member give thanks

  • Les White

    Les White

    31 Oct, 2015 07:46 pm

    Did our first shop in Coles today in about 15 years, must admit I  found it cheaper and being a coeliac they had a much better range of products, I will keep going ot Woolies till January and then it's bye bye Woolies, I reckoon this is a grave mistake by them and Qantas will tie up with another chain pretty quick.

    No member give thanks

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