Supermarket Credit Cards Compared: Coles & Woolworths

Rewards at the checkout? Yes, please – but are they as good as the rewards you could be earning elsewhere?

A significant amount of retail spending in Australia is done on credit cards – and supermarkets no doubt form a good portion of our everyday spending. Issuing credit cards can also be a lucrative business, as well – banks and other credit card issuers make money from fees and charges, interest, and the interchange fees which are ultimately paid for by the merchant where the card is used.

In this article, Canstar outlines the differences between normal credit cards and supermarket credit cards when it comes to rewards, interest rates, fees, and more.

What is a supermarket credit card?

Supermarkets understandably want some of the pool of credit card revenue and have partnered with other companies to issuer co-branded credit cards. Supermarket credit cards function in the same way as any other credit card, and can be used at merchants in Australia and around the world.

However, they are also designed to encourage and reward spending with that supermarket brand. This is usually achieved with links to loyalty programs. For example, Coles partners with flybuys, and Woolworths offers a choice between Woolworths Rewards and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Who offers supermarket credit cards?

At the time of writing, Canstar researches and rates the following supermarket branded credit cards:

Brand Product
coles Coles Low Rate Mastercard
Low Rate Platinum MasterCard
No Annual Fee MasterCard
No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
Rewards MasterCard
Rewards Platinum MasterCard
woolworths
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Qantas Platinum Credit Card
Source: Canstar View, 15 December 2016.


Canstar provides an information service. It is not a credit provider, and in giving you information about credit products Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular credit product. See Canstar’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG) for more information.
All cards listed above from Coles and Woolworths offer a rewards program.

Compare Credit Cards

Are supermarket credit cards good?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you value things like low interest rates and low annual fees, as well as a good value rewards program, then you may consider a supermarket credit card useful.

We examine what’s on offer from supermarket credit cards versus rewards credit cards from other providers below.

Are supermarket credit cards good

Interest rates on supermarket credit cards

Supermarket credit cards with a rewards program have comparable or lower interest rates than the average rates for rewards credit cards. As you can see from the table below, there is a lower interest rate than average for purchases with a Low Rate card from a supermarket brand. The average interest rate for cash advances is also lower with Coles than with other providers; however, Woolworths cash advance rates are higher than the average for rewards credit cards.

Product Interest Rate (Purchases) Interest Rate (Cash Advances)
Coles Low Rate MasterCard 12.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard 12.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard 19.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard 19.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Coles Rewards MasterCard 19.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard 19.99% p.a. 19.99% p.a.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card 19.99% p.a. 21.99% p.a.
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card 20.49% p.a. 21.99% p.a.
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards 19.63% p.a.

(Min 11.99% p.a. – Max 22.74% p.a.)

21.00% p.a.

(Min 15.99% p.a. – Max 29.49% p.a.)

Source: www.canstar.com.au

Rates are current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all rates with your card provider.

Currency conversion fees on supermarket credit cards

If you travel, currency conversion fees may be important to you. Supermarket credit cards from Coles have a lower currency conversion fee (2.50%) than the usual for rewards credit cards, and Coles Rewards MasterCard and Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard do not charge currency conversion fees.

Woolworths and the other rewards credit cards on our database all charge currency conversion fees of around 3.00% fees. There are exceptions though, including the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card, and Platinum and World Rewards MasterCards from BankWest, which do not charge currency conversion fees on purchases. There are a number of other credit cards on our database that do not charge currency conversion fees.

Interest-free days on supermarket credit cards

Supermarket credit cards from Coles have a higher number of interest-free days than any other provider of rewards credit cards on our database:

Product Number Interest-Free Days
Coles Low Rate MasterCard 62
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard 62
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard 62
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard 62
Coles Rewards MasterCard 62
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard 62
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card 55
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card 55
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Min 44 days – Max 55 days
Source: www.canstar.com.au

Data is current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

Annual fees on supermarket credit cards

Supermarket credit cards with a rewards program all have lower annual fees (annualised ongoing fee) than the average annual fee for rewards credit cards.

Product Interest Rate (Purchases)
Coles Low Rate MasterCard $49/year
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard $49/year
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard $0/year
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard $0/year
Coles Rewards MasterCard $89/year
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard $89/year
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card $49/year
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card $169/year
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards $170.84/year

(Min $0/year – Max $700/year)

Source: www.canstar.com.au

Fees are current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

Credit limits on supermarket credit cards

Credit limits on supermarket credit cards with rewards are comparably equal to the credit limits on other rewards credit cards, ranging from a minimum of $500 with the maximum credit limit available at the discretion of the lender.

When applying for a credit card, you will usually be asked whether you would like to apply for a particular limit or allow the lender to set a limit based on your circumstances. It is usually best to decide what limit you want when you apply, because letting a lender decide your limit for could lead to having more available credit than you need, and this may affect your ability to be approved for other credit cards or lending products in the future. Find out more on how your credit limit is determined here.

Coles credit cards can be applied for with credit limits starting as low as $500. If you apply and are approved for a limit of over $6,000 you will automatically receive the “Platinum” version of the card, which comes with some additional features such as a concierge service and Merchandise Protection Insurance.

Minimum credit limits on Woolworths credit cards are either $2,000 or $6,000. Since these limits are higher than the minimum available limits on a Coles credit card, it is possible (depending on your financial situation) that you would be more likely to be approved for a $500 Coles credit card than a $2,000 or $6,000 Woolworths credit card.

Product Credit Limits Available
Coles Low Rate MasterCard From $500
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard From $500
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard From $500
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard From $6,000
Coles Rewards MasterCard From $500
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard From $6,000
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card From $2,000
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card From $6,000
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards From $500

Income requirements on supermarket credit cards

Supermarket credit cards from Coles and Woolworths have comparable income requirements to other rewards credit cards on our database:

Product Income Eligibility Requirement
Coles Low Rate MasterCard $25,000
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard $25,000
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard $25,000
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard $25,000
Coles Rewards MasterCard $25,000
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard $25,000
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card $20,000
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card $30,000
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Min $15,000 – Max $75,000

(some cards N/A)

Source: www.canstar.com.au

Data is current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

Minimum repayments on supermarket credit cards

The required minimum monthly repayments on supermarket credit cards vary widely. Coles credit cards come in at close to the minimum for rewards credit cards, whereas Woolworths ask for significantly more each month – double as much as the most expensive rewards credit card on our database.

Of course, the responsible cardholder will want to be paying much more than just the minimum repayment each month anyway. Making only the minimum repayments can provide flexibility in the short-term, but it would be a highly expensive exercise over the long-term. The best way to avoid fees and interest charges is to ensure that your credit card balance is paid in full each month. Find out more about how minimum monthly repayments work here.

Product Minimum Monthly Repayment
Coles Low Rate MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Coles Rewards MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard Greater of $10 or 2.22% of balance
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card Greater of $50 or 2.50% of balance
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card Greater of $50 or 2.50% of balance
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Greater of $20.38 or 2.00% of balance

(Min $10 or 2.00% – Max $25 or 2.00%)

Source: www.canstar.com.au

Fees are current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

It’s also worth noting that how you choose to pay your monthly bill makes a difference when choosing between supermarket credit cards and other rewards credit cards. Coles credit cards charge a $2.25 fee just to pay your bill over the counter at Coles or Australia Post stores, while Woolworths charges $2.95 to pay at AusPost.

Rewards programs on supermarket credit cards

Supermarket credit cards from Coles are unique in that even the Low Rate and No Annual Fee options have a rewards program attached. Woolworths offers a rewards program on their Platinum credit cards.

Product Rewards Program?
(Yes / No)
Card Level
Coles Low Rate MasterCard Yes Standard
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard Yes Platinum
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard Yes Standard
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard Yes Platinum
Coles Rewards MasterCard Yes Standard
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard Yes Platinum
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card Yes Platinum
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card Yes Platinum
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Yes Standard, Silver, Gold, Platinum
Source: www.canstar.com.au

Fees are current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

Complementary travel insurance

We’ve explained before that many credit cards offer complementary travel insurance. But not all of them have insurance policies that are the “real deal”, with as much coverage as a standalone travel insurance policy.

So how do supermarket credit cards stack up when it comes to travel inclusions? Not that great, actually.

The only supermarket credit card to provide complementary travel insurance is the Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card – but be warned! Compared to other rewards credit cards, which cover trips as long as 90 days (3 months) at the least, up to 365 days (12 months), this credit card provides coverage for trips of only up to 30 days (1 month).

Product Complementary Travel Insurance?(International)(Yes / No) Trip Length Coverage
Coles Low Rate MasterCard No N/A
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard No N/A
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard No N/A
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard No N/A
Coles Rewards MasterCard No N/A
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard No N/A
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card No N/A
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card Yes 30 days
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Yes 22

No 17

Min 90 days (3 months) – Max 365 days (12 months)
Source: www.canstar.com.au

Rates are current as at 12 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all rates with your card provider.

Premium services on supermarket credit cards

How do supermarket credit cards fare when it comes to other premium services?

Concierge services are available at the time of writing with the following cards:

  • Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard
  • Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
  • Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card

You can pay your credit card bill via your smartphone with the following cards:

  • All Coles credit cards

Complementary Purchase Protection Insurance is available with the following cards, which all cover theft for up to 90 days after purchase:

  • Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard
  • Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
  • Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card

However, the usual Price Protection Guarantee available on rewards credit cards is not available on any supermarket credit card that we research and rate (at the time of writing).

An extended warranty additional to the manufacturer’s warranty is only available with the Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, and it does not cover accidental breakage.

Invitations to exclusive events are available with the following cards:

  • Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard
  • Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
  • Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card

Discounts on purchases made with partner merchants (e.g. Woolworths partners with BWS; Coles partners with Shell service stations) are available with the following cards:

  • Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
  • Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard
  • Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
  • Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card

Can I get a balance transfer on a supermarket credit card?

Yes, balance transfers are available from all supermarket credit cards. At the time of writing, both Coles and Woolworths provide balance transfers on their credit cards. This makes them equivalent to other rewards credit cards, as all the rewards credit cards on our database at the time of writing allow balance transfers.

Here’s what interest rates are on offer and what the balance transfer fee will cost, for supermarket credit cards:

Product Balance Transfer
Interest Rate
Balance Transfer
Fee/th>
Coles Low Rate MasterCard N/A

(see lender )

Nil
Coles Low Rate Platinum MasterCard N/A

(see lender )

Nil
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard 0.00% for 6 months Nil
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard 0.00% for 6 months Nil
Coles Rewards MasterCard 0.00% for 6 months Nil
Coles Rewards Platinum MasterCard 0.00% for 6 months Nil
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card 0.00% for 14 months Nil
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card 0.00% for 14 months Nil
Other providers of Rewards Credit Cards Min $15,000 – Max $75,000

(some cards N/A)

Min Nil – Max 3.00% of transfer amount
Source: www.canstar.com.au

Data is current as at 15 December 2016.

Data was provided to Canstar by the financial institutions providing these products. Please check all fees with your card provider.

Comparing supermarket credit cards

Whether you decide a supermarket credit card would or wouldn’t suit your spending habits, finding a card that works for you is essential. You can use our website to compare credit cards and credit card providers:

Compare Credit Cards

Learn more about Credit Cards

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