Is it worth buying Coles Gift MasterCards to earn more points?
My favourite American Express credit card is the Platinum Edge. For anyone getting serious about collecting points, I really recommend them to start with this card. One of the best aspects of the card is its high earn rate for spend at supermarkets and petrol stations. Each dollar spent at Australian supermarkets yields 3 points per dollar, with petrol stations earning 2 points per dollar.
This excellent earn rate also applies to gift card purchases at Coles and Woolworths, and so can effectively expand the 3 points per dollar to any retailer that you can buy a gift card for.
It's also possible to buy Coles Gift MasterCards that allow you to shop at any retailer online or in store that accepts MasterCard. The catch with the card is that it costs $5 to purchase. So for a $100 Gift MasterCard, you're effectively paying $5 to earn 315 American Express Membership Rewards points. That equates to 1.59 cents per point, which is probably more than what I'd be willing to pay to acquire American Express Membership Rewards points.
The real sweet spot comes from the Coles flybuys bonus offers. If you're signed up to flybuys, the company runs semi-regular targetted promotions for bonus flybuys points for Coles Gift MasterCard purchases. The latest offer was for 500 flybuys points for a $50 card or 1000 flybuys points for a $100 card, this is in addition to the 1 flybuys point per dollar spent. So for a $105 card, you'll earn 1105 flybuys points which translates to 480 Velocity Points. If combining the 480 Velocity Points with the 315 American Express Membership Rewards points, this results in a total of 795 points for $5. This equates to 0.63 cents per point, which I consider excellent value. This makes a 139,000 one way European Business Class redemption equal to $795 worth of points plus taxes, which I think is excellent value.
So for me, Coles Gift MasterCards are a valuable part of my points earning strategy, but only when the bonus offers are available, otherwise I don't think it's especially good value.