Coles Credit Cards

Coles Credit Cards

$Last Updated: 25 October 2017

Update Notes

  • Updated Coles Rewards Mastercard Annual Fee to $99 (from $89)

Summary/TL;DR

The Coles Mastercards are a decent option amongst all the Visa/Mastercards available out there.

Highlights:

  • 2 Years Price Protection - claim the price difference if an item you purchase subsequently goes on sale within a 2 year period
    • This applies even if it is from a different branch of the same store, provided it is still in Australia.
  • 2 FlyBuys Points/$ ($99 Annual Fee) or 0.5 FlyBuys Points/$ (free)

It is important to note there is a 1% premium added to your closing balance of each statement, as the Price Protection is offered as part of an optional insurance on the card called "Account Cover Plus". However, the 1% premium can be avoided by ensuring your balance is $0 at the time your statement is generated.

The Coles Rewards Mastercard waives international transaction fees, but has an $99 annual fee. The annual fee would only be worthwhile if you make a significant amount of purchases in foreign currencies. The "breakeven" amount you would have to put through on the Coles Rewards Mastercard to make the annual fee worthwhile would be $9900 annual expenditure (19700 FlyBuys points), as this amount would earn you enough points equivalent to the $99 annual fee.

Otherwise, it would probably simply be better to hold the Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard & Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard. This gives you two fee-free cards that give you access to 2 Years Price Protection and another card with Travel Insurance that also waives your international transaction fees

Coles Credit Cards

Amongst the multitude of Mastercard/Visa options in the market, there are very few that offer decent value. Coles are one of the exceptions.

The main highlight of the Coles Credit Cards are primarily the following features:

  • 2 Years Price Protection
    • If the price of an item you buy drops in price within 2 years, you can claim the difference in price.
    • As an example, you purchase the Samsung Galaxy S8 from JB Hi-Fi in May 2017 for $1200. In April 2019, due to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S10, the Galaxy S8 is now sold for $650. You can claim the $550 price drop, provided you paid for the Samsung Galaxy S8 on your Coles Mastercard
  • [Coles Rewards Mastercard] 2 FlyBuys/$ - which equates to 1% cash return
  • [Coles Rewards Mastercard] No International Transaction or Foreign Exchange fees
  • [Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard] One of the few Credit Cards in the market with no annual fee and Rewards Points - although the return is extremely low (0.25%)

Coles issue Credit Cards in three different flavours:

  • Rewards
  • No Annual Fee
  • Low Rate

For the purpose of this post, I will only be focusing on the first two variants. The main highlight of the Low Rate card is the interest rate, which is still far too high to be worth considering. That, along with my motto of (generally) never paying interest on Credit Cards, is why I will not be discussing the Low Rate card at all.

Common features of both Rewards & No Annual Fee Cards

  • Apply by 30 June 2017, make a purchase within 30 days, and get $100 off a single shop at Coles
  • Free Delivery upon spending $100 on Coles Online and paying with your Coles Mastercard
  • Access to 2 Years Price Protection via "Account Cover Plus" - I will dedicate a section to this below, as this is the primary highlight of the card
  • Purchases have up to 62 days interest free

Rewards ($99 Annual Fee)

Official Link

Summary:

  • $99 Annual Fee
  • 2 FlyBuys Points/$ - equivalent to:
    • 0.8 Etihad Guest Miles/$
    • 0.87 Velocity Points/$
    • 1% "Caskback" in the form of FlyBuys Points
  • If you are approved for a Credit Limit of >$6000, you will get a "Platinum" version with extra benefits

No Annual Fee

Official Link

Summary:

  • At the time of writing, the only Credit Card in the Australian market with both no annual fee and Rewards Points
  • 0.5 FlyBuys Point/$1 - equivalent to:
    • 0.2 Etihad Guest Miles/$
    • 0.22 Velocity Points/$
    • 0.25% "Cashback" in the form of FlyBuys Points

2 Years Price Protection

The 2 Years of Price Protection offered by Coles Mastercards is a unique feature which I do not believe is offered by any other Credit Card in the market. There is a similar one offered by 28 Degrees, but only for a period of 6 months. Some other Credit Cards offer a similar Price Protection feature but generally have much more restrictive conditions, usually along the lines of:

  • Valid for 21 days after purchase
  • For a price within a radius of 25km of the original purchase location

However, the one offered by Coles is quite versatile and flexible.

It is offered as part of an Insurance offered by the card which actually triggers a 1% "premium" payable as a function of your closing statement. In other words, if your statement for the month of May 2017 totals $1000, your "Shoppers Protection" premium will be $10, and the total amount owed on your card will be $1010.

The rough Terms & Conditions of the Price Protection are as follows:

  • Maximum $600 claimable per item
  • Maximum $2000 per 12 month period
  • Excludes certain types of items: jewellery, tickets, animals, plants, items purchased outside Australia, perishable items

I often have a dilemma deciding whether to pay for items on my Coles Mastercard or another Credit Card offering me a higher points earn-rate. There is no "correct" card - as it really depends on whether you believe the price of an item will drop significantly in the future, and what other benefits you may be foregoing by not paying on another Credit Card.

As an example, you may wish to pay on the American Express Explorer Credit Card to ensure you get an extra year of Manufacturer's Warranty.

How to avoid the 1% premium

Before your statement gets generated, ensure that the balance owing on your card is $0 (or less). If you are not sure when your statement gets generated, you can check in your Coles Credit Cards login and see the statement generation date. It is usually fairly consistent.

If this is your first month holding the card, the safest way to avoid the premium is to ensure your account is in credit for an amount equal or higher to a purchase you intend to make.

To put your Credit Card in "credit", simply "overpay" it (as if you had a balance owing). The result of this is your balance owing will be negative and you will pay nothing for having the benefit of Account Cover Plus.


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