Coles Rewards Mastercard losing earn on ATO spend

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The Coles Rewards MasterCard credit card is the latest card to lose its ability to earn points when paying your tax bill. The removal of ATO payments (and all government spend), comes as Citibank takes over the day to day operations of the cards.

When Citibank takes over the running of the cards on March 5, 2018, there are a number of changes being made to the card. For the points hunter, Citi are bringing the definition of an eligible transaction into line with most other Citi cards.

As of March 5. eligible transactions will exclude purchases made with government entities, and this includes the Australian Tax Office.

Eligible Transaction means any purchase excluding (but not limited to) Cash Advances, Balance Transfers, Special Promotions, BPAY payments, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, transactions made in operating a business, payments to other Citi accounts, bank fees and charges such as interest and ATM charges, transactions made using flybuys Points and government related transactions. Government related transactions include transactions with government or semigovernment entities, or relating to services provided by or in connection with government (for example but not limited to transactions made at Australia Post, payments to the Australian Taxation Office, council rates, motor registries, tolls, parking stations and meters, fares on public transport, fines and court related costs).

Coles Rewards Mastercard

The Coles Rewards Mastercard is probably not the first card that comes to mind when considering a point earnings credit card. This is especially the case if you want to earn points to travel with. However, it does earn flybuys points, and this brings options. The standard earn rate on this particular card is 2 flybuys points per dollar. This is equivalent to a 1c per dollar return. Not a bad return these days.

Firstly, they can be converted to Velocity Points. The standard conversion rate to Velocity is 2,000 flybuys points to 870 Velocity Points. At standard rates then, a $1 spend will bring in 0.87 Velocity Points. Things improve when you consider the 15% bonus offer that comes around from time. During a 15% bonus offer, the effective earn rate moves up to 1 Velocity Point per dollar of spend. Which is about as good as it gets for a Mastercard.

They can also be used to purchase travel though flybuys travel. Through flybuys travel, you can book flights or accommodation using your flybuys points. These are converted at the usual rate of 0.5 cents per flybuys point (or $10 for 2,000 flybuys points)

It also comes with one very interesting feature for travellers. It is one of only a handful of credit cards that does not charge an international transaction fee. This in itself can save 3% on a transaction while you are overseas (or making a purchase online at a retailer that is overseas)

Having said all that, it is at the end of the day a no frills Supermarket card. So it doesn’t come bundled with a large array of travellers features.

Card feature Summary

Card Features
Basic Details
Card Name Coles Rewards Mastercard
Annual fee $99
Interest Rate 19.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases
Interest Free Period Up to 62 days (until March 5)

Up to 55 days (from March 5)

Point Earning
Loyalty program flybuys
Points Earning
  • 2 Flybuys points per dollar on eligible purchases
Bonus Points
Points earn rate(Cap/Tier) Uncapped
Other Benefits
Travel benefits
  • No International Transaction fee
Included Protections
Other Fees/Charges
Foreign Transaction Fee 0%
Supplementary Card Fee $0

Final Thoughts

While the card is basically a low cost no-frills card, its tie in with flybuys makes for some interesting opportunities. It may not have a bunch of included insurances, but it does have a reasonable return on day to day spend.

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About Author

Mark is the founder of FlyStayPoints, and caught the travel bug early in life. He discovered the benefits of travel loyalty programs in 2001, and is always learning how they can make travel better. While work takes him between Perth and Melbourne, he is always plotting his next adventure.