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Woolworths narrowly beats Coles in key battle for millions of Aussies

The supermarket edged out its biggest competitor when it comes to loyalty program users

The battle between Woolworths and Coles has been simmering for decades as each supermarket tries to beat the other on every aspect of shopping. However, Woolies has pulled ahead in the customer loyalty program sector as Australians keep battling the high cost of living.

The company’s Everyday Rewards has been revealed as the most popular in Australia, with 71 per cent of Aussies being members. Coles came in just behind at 70 per cent of the population, while 31 per cent had Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Racking up these points with everyday purchases can help you save money in the long run.

Woolworths shop front
Woolworths' Everyday Rewards loyalty program is the most popular in Australia. (Source: Getty Images)

How are you using your points to save money? Email me at stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said rewards points were a big incentive for some consumers.

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“We are spending more than ever on everyday expenses so it’s nice to be able to enjoy some perks in return,” he said. “With inflation and interest rates adding to cost-of-living pain in 2024, rewards points help to lighten the load.”

Australia’s most popular rewards programs

  1. Woolworths Everyday Rewards - 71%

  2. Coles FlyBuys - 70%

  3. Qantas Frequent Flyer - 31%

  4. Velocity Points - 19%

  5. Commbank Awards - 9%

  6. ANZ Rewards - 4%

The majority of program users (37 per cent) redeem their points to get cashback or wipe off a few dollars from their shopping bill. One in seven people who responded to Finder’s survey said they used their points to buy gift cards, while 14 per cent used them to book flights or upgrades.

A sliver of Aussies (5 per cent) also choose to use those points to shave off some money when booking hotels or car hire, as well as retail items, like appliances. A little more than one in five Australians (21 per cent) don’t redeem their loyalty points at all. They could be sitting on a little gold mine that could help them during an expensive month.

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Cooke said shoppers should definitely be signed up to one or two loyalty programs to ensure their money was going as far as it could.

“Assess which rewards programs are most valuable to you and plan your spending around special points promotions,” he said.

“Be sure to activate any rewards boosters and double down by using a rewards credit card when shopping. However, as these cards tend to have the highest interest rates, make sure you can pay off your spending at the end of each month.”

He urged people to look at the fine print to make sure each loyalty program’s benefits were right for you.

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